Author(s): Robin Morelissen; Wilbert Verbruggen; Roland Vlijm
Linked Author(s): Robin Morelissen
Keywords: Outfalls; Innovation; Sustainable; Design; Opportunities
Abstract: The design and construction of outfalls traditionally aim at minimising the impacts of the outfall on its environment. While this is a key aspect of a well-designed outfall, options exist to transform the 'problem' of the outfall into an 'opportunity'. By taking into consideration the natural environment in which the outfall is placed and the system it is part of from the start of the outfall design, opportunities can be identified for the environment and system. Outfalls tend to become larger with the increasing demand in power and water use. Furthermore, the environmental awareness is increasing in governments world-wide. As a result of this, compensation projects are more often requested by these governments. Another trend in the power and water market shows a focus on making systems more energy efficient. These trends provide interesting opportunities to combine the minimising of outfall impacts with opportunities for innovative and sustainable designs of outfall systems. This paper presents several examples of innovative opportunities when the natural environment and overall system are taken into account from the start of the design. Such opportunities include reduction of harbour siltation, flushing of harbours and/or lakes, reduction of ice-induced harbour closures, etc. The overall design philosophy is adopted from the Building with Nature research programme that focused on similar aspects related to dredging. In this paper, this philosophy is translated in overall steps in the design process for intake and outfall systems to create opportunities for sustainability in the design.