Cutting the cost of coastal engineering
Press release issued: 15 April 2003
Civil engineers at Bristol University claim they can cut the cost of coastal engineering by 80% thanks to a remarkable new invention from the University's hydraulics laboratory, Hydrolab.
The BRUNO (BRistol UNiversal Octagonal armour unit) is a new type of armour unit that its inventors believe could result in large financial savings if it was adopted for use in the construction of all breakwaters, bastions, groynes and other coastal defences.
Dr John Loveless, Hydrolab's manager and a prominent member of COZONE, the UK's coastal engineering network, has been researching the design of offshore breakwaters for 19 years. He said: "Cutting the cost of coastal engineering would be very good news for anyone who is worried about coastal erosion. If costs are reduced, it becomes much more viable to defend land and property assets which it would previously have been deemed uneconomic to save.
"We've put a lot of effort into the design of a suitable scheme for the Alderney Breakwater that uses the BRUNO. This is one of the toughest coastal defence assignments in Europe so if the BRUNO will work here it will work anywhere."
Hydrolab's estimate of the cost of their latest design for the Alderney Breakwater is £2 million, easily beating the estimated cost of the previous best design which was £20 million.
Octagonal in shape with a circular hole through the middle, the BRUNO can be used in a variety of lengths according to the design requirements. Its inventors believe it has the potential to revolutionise the art and science of coastal engineering and put the UK firmly in the forefront of this technology.
While the UK market for coastal defence is currently only about £200 million, the world market could be as large as £4 billion. If the BRUNO is a success, its inventors believe the UK market could grow to £500m per year and the world market to £10 billion.