Comparing carbon footprints: Geotube® containers vs. rocks for shoreline protection

DATE POSTED: February 28, 2022

Geotube vs rocks for shoreline protection

Geotube® containers or rocks?

Which do you think offers a lower carbon footprint when constructing a breakwater structure?

Knowing the carbon footprint of your breakwater project can play an important role in fully understanding the environmental impacts of a project as well as the energy required for its construction; including extraction, manufacturing, transportation, installation, etc.

There are many options and variables to consider when building a breakwater structure and as a result, carbon footprints can differ dramatically. In each case though, our carbon calculator performs a detailed analysis of lifecycle carbon emissions and helps to quantify the environmental impact of each approach.

So, what’s the answer? It’s often Geotube®. Here’s an example that shows why.

This situation considers a 930-metre-long, 1.8-metre-high breakwater structure to protect a section of Lake Ontario shoreline.

Transportation makes the difference

To create a rock breakwater, the material would have to be transported by a convoy of trucks from a quarry that is about 160 km away. A conservative estimate for the amount of rock required is about 13,600 tonnes.

A breakwater structure made of Geotube® containers, however, could be filled with sand that is dredged from the lake at the construction site. This approach dramatically reduces truck traffic and could also reduce the time required and cost to complete the project. The proposed Geotube® system would require about 10,000 cubic metres of sand to fill the containers to the required height.

Once all the factors are considered, our carbon calculator shows that the breakwall constructed from Geotube® containers, using locally dredged sand, can be built with a significantly smaller carbon footprint.

Geotube Carbon Calculation - Shoreline System

And the winner is:

Geotube® breakwater carbon footprint: 175 tonnes CO2

Rock breakwater carbon footprint: 2,824 tonnes CO2

Result: The Geotube® breakwater project is lower in overall carbon emissions by 2,649 tonnes.

Download the detailed carbon footprint calculation.

Learn more about Geotube® Shoreline Protection.

Contact us to discuss your shoreline protection project and for a detailed carbon footprint calculation of a Geotube® breakwater structure vs. other approaches.

More than a sandbag: Geotube® containers protect shorelines, restore beaches, create wetlands and more.

DATE POSTED: April 28, 2020

What does a beach restoration in the U.S., a jetty in Ecuador, and an underwater structure used in Germany to contain dredge spoils have in common? 

All are examples of Geotube® containers as a durable, reliable solution to diverse problems in land and marine management around the world.

Reliable shoreline protection under the toughest conditions

Protecting or reclaiming land, especially where weather cycles take their toll, can be an uphill, expensive and never-ending battle with conventional technologies. Worse, uncertainty is always a concern. Waves, heat, ice and debris can wreak havoc on structures built with earth, stone or concrete, shifting individual components over time and weakening the integrity of the structure.

Geotube® containers are a proven, cost-effective solution that not only protects shorelines from erosion, but rebuilds beaches and reclaims land from bodies of water for recreational, residential and industrial purposes. From dykes and groynes to beaches and wetlands, Geotube® containers have been customized to the diverse needs of clients world-wide.

In many cases, they can be installed for half the cost of armour stone or rip rap and will provide a stronger and more reliable structure. They can also be equipped with a high-impact Debris Shield for rough waters.  

Filling with local materials helps reduce costs and CO2 emissions 

One of the reasons for the lower cost of a Geotube shoreline system is because it can often be filled on site with a slurry mix of sand and water, introduced hydraulically into the units. This reduces transportation and installation costs and can significantly reduce the carbon footprint of a project.

The single, massive structure, can be installed on shore, or in deep water and is virtually immovable once in place. This provides an environmentally sound shoreline protection solution that can be covered with natural materials and restore shoreline or create wetlands habitat.

For more than 50 years, Geotube has protected shorelines, restored beaches and reclaimed land from bodies of water around the world, including in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Ecuador, Germany, the Netherlands and Bahrain.

Let Bishop Water’s expert team assist with all aspects of your project, including design, obtaining the appropriate permits, site preparation and installation.

Learn more about Geotube containers for breakwaters, beach restoration, wetlands creation, jetty and groyne construction, marine or land containment and building underwater structures.

Contact us to discuss your shoreline protection or land reclamation project.