Living Seawalls

Reef Design Lab + Sydney Institute of marine science



Seawalls are an ever present structure in our intertidal environments and are rarely designed in a way that provides shelter for native marine animals. Normally a seawall is completely flat and devoid of crevices minimising the potential for colonising organisms. The aim of the living seawalls project is to begin developing a blueprint for how we can design marine infrastructure in the future.


The Living Seawalls Project


Reef Design Lab has been working with Sydney Institute of Marine Science since 2015 on the Living Seawalls research project. We are investigating how 3D printed geometry can be used to create habitat for native intertidal species that live on seawalls. It is not simply about creating complex habitat geometry on a seawall but rather taking the time to research which designs will encourage native species colonisation and foster biodiversity. Once the results are in we can start to develop methodologies to incorporate these designs into marine infrastructure on a larger scale. The project is a SIMS initiative that builds on decades of Sydney based green engineering research.

The project is currently testing 5 different panel designs which are bolted to seawalls in various configurations in the intertidal zone.

More information about the project and the researchers can be found below

If you are interested in becoming a research collaborator please get in contact with us here.