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Building with Nature

EcoShape is the foundation that carries out the public-private 'Building with Nature' innovation programme. Within EcoShape, Van Oord has joined forces with contractors, engineering companies, research institutions, public authorities, and NGOs to develop and disseminate knowledge about Building with Nature. This is a new philosophy in hydraulic engineering. The programme takes building with natural materials and the use of forces and interactions within the natural system as its starting point.

For knowledge institute Wageningen Marine Research it is essential to work together with industrial partners on highly innovative solutions for impact in real life. The Sand Motor, Mud Motor and Clay Ripening projects show the unique value of the EcoShape consortium and our fruitful cooperation with Van Oord

Tammo Bult, Director at Wageningen Marine Research

The Programme

The Building with Nature expertise programme was set up to facilitate innovation. Dutch marine contractors hope to capitalise on their early work in sustainable coastal, delta, and river engineering. A sound research programme is crucial to that aim. The mission is to develop new, sustainable design concepts for coastal, delta, and river areas that satisfy infrastructure and economic requirements while being based on ecological opportunities. Known as 'ecodynamic design', this approach involves research and case studies that furnish scientifically proven knowledge and tools. 

The principles

The Building with Nature programme has four basic principles:
- Research
- Learning through pilot projects
- Sharing knowledge
- Public-private partnership network

Four themes

The programme also focusses on four themes:
- Nature-based flood defences
- Sustainable port development
- Ecosystem restoration
- Resilient delta cities

Detailed information about the principles and themes can be found on the website of Ecoshape.  

Related U.N. Sustainable Development Goals

  • Icon: decent work economic growth decent work economic growth
  • Icon: sustainable cities communities sustainable cities communities
  • Icon: climate action climate action
  • Icon: life below water life below water
  • Icon: partnership goals partnership goals