Breakwaters, Revetments and Marine Structures

Breakwaters, Revetments and Marine Structures

Structural Design

Optimization of structural marine designs aims to reduce construction costs, improve construction methodologies and find an optimum balance between costs, time, risk and maintenance. Thorough understanding of the environmental conditions, design factors and design formulae form the basis of the optimization process. Important aspect in the design of Hydraulic Structures is the combination of a theoretical correct design and practical design in reality. Any constraints of material and/or equipment should be investigated before design and taken into account. As construction costs form a large part of the total costs, highly practical construction is important in the design process where collaboration with the Contractor is very important.

Breakwaters often form a large part of the capital costs of port projects. Breakwaters and revetments furthermore provide the main protection of a port or land area against extreme wave conditions and are therefore essential to perform as anticipated.
The design of such structures should therefore be reliable and sufficiently stable, while the costs should be minimized as well. This requires proper and in-depth knowledge on the latest design techniques and extensive experience to obtain the most effective design.
We have in-depth knowledge of port breakwater and sea defence designs such as dynamically stable breakwaters (like berm breakwaters), concrete element breakwaters and rock breakwaters.


Due to our cooperation with experienced senior engineers, experts like Prof. Jentje van der Meer and recently educated staff, different alternative design options are always considered during our design studies to obtain the best effective design, which sometimes means a complete out-of-the-box design alternative.
Design studies are always performed in accordance with the international design standards and the latest information and technologies.
Furthermore it is very important, not only to design according to the latest theories and standards to obtain a design ‘according to the books’, but to focus on the local hydraulic conditions (for construction), available construction material, and the expected equipment to be used.
A design should not only be functional on paper, it should also enable to construct properly and in accordance with the given criteria and tolerances under local circumstances. Therefore, a practical design which can be constructed in time and where the quality of construction can easily be obtained, is preferred over a design which only provides a low bill of quantities. Especially now, the construction costs, constructability, and time for construction become more and more important on the total costs and feasibility of a project.


CDR provides the following services:

  • Breakwater  design:
    We do not only look at the conventional designs, but also newly developed materials and construction techniques. Where considered efficient and operationally viable, we will consider alternatives with geo-synthetics, e.g. dedicated geotube and geocontainer systems to reduce core materials in breakwaters, groynes and revetments.
  • Breakwater optimization design:
    Optimization of breakwater structures and marine structures to reduce the construction costs, improve construction methodologies and find an optimum balance between costs, time, risk and maintenance.
  • 2D and 3D physical model testing:
    Breakwater and revetment designs are finally optimized and verified by means of 2D and 3D physical model testing.
    CDR has performed several of such studies, successfully optimizing the design and increasing the functionality of the structure, and hence has experience with several laboratories in Europe and China to perform such physical model tests.
    During the tests we focus on further optimization of designs and correct representation of the reality in the model. Focus on the constructability in reality starts already with the model testing, involvement of a contractor is therefore preferred to investigate the possibility to obtain same quality of construction in reality as in the model testing.
  • In particular CDR can assist in preparations of the model testing:
    • Finding a suitable laboratory
    • Supervising the model testing (including further optimization of the structure)
    • Interpreting and presenting the results in reporting and PowerPoint presentations. The quality and reliability of the model testing is double-checked to obtain the required results

Cost optimization:
We advise clients by independent third party reviews on cost optimization by involvement of world-leading experts in breakwater design, highly experienced construction experts and senior works managers in combination with desk optimization studies.

Breakwaters, Revetments and Marine Structures Projects

Nigeria – HiTech – Coastal Protection Maiyegun Beach Estate

Nigeria – Outpost Investments – Design Lagos Ilashe Beach Resort Access Causeway

Nigeria – GasInvest – Location Study LNG Terminal

Nigeria – GasInvest – Evaluation of Marine Aspects for FSRU to feed ELPS Pipeline

Nigeria – DEME – Tender Design Shore Protection Ilubirin Island Phase I+II

Nigeria – DEME – Bonny Island Coastal Protection

Nigeria – DEME/Dredging International – Elegushi Beach Reclamation

Nigeria – NPA – Condition Survey of Koko Port Sheet Piles

Nigeria – NPA – TinCan Island Port Shore Protection

Nigeria – OrleanInvest – Prodeco – FS Badagry Port Development and Sandbar Breakwater Design

Nigeria – Dangote Oil Refining Company (DORC) – Lekki RO-RO Jetty Detailed Design

Nigeria – DEME/BCC – Port Harcourt Development