Building with nature

Svašek’s founder, Honzo Svašek, was also one of the originators of the concept of ‘Building with nature'. Hence, Building with nature was Svašek's motto already far before this became common practice in coastal and river engineering and it is part of our DNA. This means that we always advocate Building with Nature measures whenever viable. Nature processes are used to strengthen a solution instead that an engineering structure opposes natural processes. The advantages are plenty: less negative impact on nature with sometimes even possitive impact and a more economic solution with less capital investment combined with adaptive maintenance.

Climate change is another reason that Svašek Hydraulics is a big fan of soft coastal protection measures according to the Building with Nature principle whenever possible. Unlike hard coastal structures, soft coastal protection can be adapted later on more easily. This eliminates the necessity to design for worst case climate change scenarios which is needed for hard coastal protection structures to guarantee a certain lifespan. As climate change will alter the design conditions over the years a Building with Nature soft coastal protection can simply follow at the same pace by natural evolution combined with extra maintenance.

Examples of Building with Nature solutions where Svašek has participated are Plan Waterman for the coast of Holland, design of a sandy breakwater for a port entrance in the Black Sea, design of a sandy breakwater for a port entrance in West Africa and  the Hondsbossche en Pettemer coastal defence.