RESP – Reef Enhanced Scour Protection

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Carbon neutral, plastic free, nature positive, scour protecting reef cubes made from 98% recycled materials and deployed by fall pipe vessel

Page last modified
April 10 2024

The reef cube is a patented proven technology already used in a number of subsea and intertidal applications to protect man-made assets whilst delivering nature positive habitat enhancement.  RESP stands for Reef Enhanced Scour Protection and uses modified reef cubes to provide seabed scour protection whilst providing hard substrate, chambers and complex surface texture that stimulates marine growth, provides sheltered nursery areas for eggs and juveniles and anchor points for colonisation by a range of flora and fauna.

The two year RESP project kicked off in November 2022 and will deliver at scale deployment of at least 6,000 reef cubes deployed around 3 offshore monopiles with 3 others left as-is to act as ecological control comparison sites for ecological impact monitoring. The project involves significant theoretical and physical modelling to establish the operating envelop that the reef cubes can be deployed within to meet typical scour protection performance standard requirements and impact monitoring to verify how their use promotes marine life and specifically the abundance of key target species in and around an offshore windfarm.  We are also optimising the design and mix to meet scour protection, drop testing and ecological enhancement drivers.   Deployment will be by utilising a standard DP2 fall pipe vessel, typically fitted with a 500mm or 1000mm fall pipe, which sets up the upper limit on the size of reef cube deployable via this method.   The product is currently at TRL 6 and will be at TRL 8/9 by the end of this project (Oct 2024).

Pros & Limitations
Reef cubes are a proven marine habitat enhancement unit that encourages marine biodiversity net gain
Reef cubes are proven to provide robust scour protection and be stable under design operating envelope conditions
Reef cubes are made from 98% recycled materials and have a 91% carbon footprint saving compared to traditional concretes.
Made from sustainably sourced raw materials unlike the traditional granite rock quarried via blasting scenic mountains and imported from Norway
Cost per tonne likely to be more expensive than rock but can save expensive vessel time to become less expensive overall.
Their use will create an array of oasis of biodiverse reefs that will help re-wild areas currently devoid of hard substrate.
Specification Title Specification Description
Carbon Footprint Saving :
91% saving compared to Portland cement as standard. Carbon neutral options available. Reduced transportation impact.
Recycled Content :
Made from 98% recycled materials supporting the circular economy
Toxicity :
Certified non-toxic to the marine environment having passed EU leachate standards
Marine Impact :
Proven to stimulate a biodiversity net gain due to nature inclusive design, supporting UN SDG-14 life below water
Size :
Reef cubes supplied in various sizes (100mm to 500mm) to suit fall pipe diameter of construction vessel and scour protection duty
Decommissioning Liability :
Designed to be left in situ forever, potentially reducing asset decommissioning liability at end for project life.
Repurposing :
Units can be recovered and are certified as suitable for secondary repurposing as building aggregates.


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ARC Marine is an award winning (2022 SPE Offshore Achievement Award for Emerging Technology, 2022 RWE Ecology Award) eco-engineering company specialising in low carbon footprint high impact marine materials for subsea cable/pipeline protection, scour protection, coastal defence, eco-friendly moorings and deliberate marine habitat enhancement.  Our patented product Reef Cubes® is made from Marinecrete® and creates sustainable eco-friendly marine habitats intended to benefit both people and the planet. Our expertise is in the design, manufacturing and deployment of Marinecrete, Marine Matts and Reef Cubes® and the monitoring and long-term custodianship of new ecosystems these help create. Further marine habitat enhancing products are under development.

Applications include coastal defence, offshore energy, eco-tourism, aquaculture, moorings, habitat enhancement and anti-bottom trawling deterrents in areas closed to such practises e.g. marine protected areas or around critical subsea infrastructure. Our products are non-toxic, contain no plastics and can be made locally using sustainably sourced aggregates and recycled materials, creating jobs in the communities impacted and minimising transportation carbon footprint.

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