Added Value of Sand

The knowledge development scheme –┬áHondsbossche Dunes project – officially started yesterday.

The contract for this project was signed during the conference ‘Building the Future‘ in Utrecht by Ecoshape, the Flood Protection Program and Water Board Hollands Noorderkwartier.

The aim of the project is to follow closely the development of the new coastal defense and thereby develop knowledge about ‘Building with Nature‘.

The knowledge project will investigate how the coastal reinforcement contributes to the landscape formation by looking at the evolution of morphology and vegetation. It is expected that the landscaped dunes develop into an area that is even more attractive for wildlife and for recreation. Therefore it is also investigated how visitors experience the coastal defense.

Ecoshape – Building with Nature carries out the project in collaboration with Flood Protection Program of Rijkswaterstaat and the Water Board Hollands Noorderkwartier. The project runs from 2015 to 2018.

Henk Nieboer, director of Ecoshape, said “At Ecoshape we develop knowledge about Building with Nature in order to make this philosophy commonplace. In this project we investigate the advantages Building with Nature provides for nature, economy and society. We also examine the financial and design aspects: Reinforcement with sand can be cheaper than an engineering solution with hard materials. Sand is relatively inexpensive, both in construction and in maintenance.”

“The study will also contribute to the knowledge about how much sand is needed for sustainable construction and maintenance of this type of coastal defenses. The knowledge we develop in research projects such as this is translated into more generic knowledge that can be applied at home and abroad.”

The Hondsbossche scheme

The Hondsbossche Dunes were built in 2014/2015 to restore the flood defence at the so called ‘weak link’ in the North Holland coast.

The former ‘hard’ seawall was strengthened with sand instead of rocks to increase the opportunities for recreation, tourism, nature and the economy in the area.

This is in line with the philosophy of Building with Nature, where the forces of nature are utilized to create engineering solutions with added value for society economy and nature.

Ecoshape – Building with Nature consists of Dutch knowledge institutions, companies, government intitutions and NGOs such as Boskalis, Van Oord, Arcadis, HKV, Witteveen en Bos, Alterra, Deltares and IMARES.