Innovative modular units used by the City of Greater Geelong Council in its Dell Eco Reef project at Clifton Springs have been recognised with a prestigious international award for design and sustainability.
The project was announced as the winner of the ‘Dezeen Award for Sustainable Design (Building Product) of the Year 2023’ in London last week.
The award nomination was submitted by industrial designer Alex Goad of The Reef Design Lab, who designed and fabricated the 46 Erosion Mitigation Units installed by the Council at The Dell beach, Clifton Springs.
Made of eco-friendly concrete using the bi-product fly ash instead of standard cement, blended with recycled shells, the units are helping to reduce coastal erosion by creating a permeable barrier in shallow water 60 metres offshore.
They’ve also created habitat for marine life and become a tourist destination for recreational snorklers and swimmers.
“This project offers an alternative to traditional coastal erosion defences that emulates nature and was designed first and foremost to benefit marine life rather than humans,” the award judges said.
“The Erosion Mitigation Units go beyond being a simple building product, helping to construct a healthier ecosystem along our coastlines while also protecting humans from the fallout of storm surges and erosion.”
Greater Geelong Mayor, Trent Sullivan congratulated Alex Goad and Council’s Senior Strategic Environmental Planner, Ralph Roob, who collaborated on the project.
“It is a genuinely innovative project that has created real environmental benefit while also being a great place for snorklers and swimmers to visit,” the Mayor said.
“It builds on Geelong’s reputation as an international UNESCO Creative City of Design and helps us work towards our goals around environmental sustainability.
“Alex has created something truly different and special, and I’m sure this won’t be the last time this project is recognised with awards.”
He said the Dell Eco Reef project adds to the multi award-winning Ramblers Reef at Portarlington as examples of Council’s innovative efforts to mitigate coastal erosion and storm surges with environmentally sustainable solutions.