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On October 29, 2012, Superstorm Sandy impacted 443,000 people and caused nearly $19 billion (about $58 per person in the US) worth of damage within New York City. As part of the New York City infrastructure reparation plan, the Living Breakwaters project in Tottenville addressed coastal resilience, allocating $100M of public funds to a series of artificial breakwaters by the southwest coast of Staten Island. Each breakwater is constructed and designed to mitigate water flow in storm events. ECOncrete, a primary element of the breakwater, is a specialty cast cementitious product that is marine organism-friendly that encourages biocalcification and photosynthesis. Studies conducted in the 2000s suggested that alternative cementitious products produced such adverse effects as low colonization biodiversity and other ecological distortions and created the potential for pollution. According to Israeli biologist and co-founder Shimrit Perkol-Finkel, ECOncrete can be cast in complex, 3-D textured surfaces that simulate natural reefs and stimulate the growth of oysters, corals, algae, and other healthy marine life (Levy, 2020). ECOncrete prices are up to 2% more than traditional concrete but are 5% stronger and more immune to deterioration from chlorine. The decision to incorporate this material as an element of the project reflects a balance of costs and benefits. The primary objective of this research is to explore the material properties, price, and benefits of ECOncrete utilizing project reporting, case study comparison, and analysis of resource timing. Expected outputs include work towards the creation of a resource-loaded schedule and accompanying map of the material’s locations.


This poster was presented at the 37th Semi-Annual Dr. Janet Liou-Mark Honors & Undergraduate Research Poster Presentation, Dec. 1, 2022. Mentor: Prof. Ann Marie Sowder (Construction Management and Civil Engineering Technology).