Xbloc - Effective ware protection for breakwaters and shores


The new design philosophy requires an ecological evaluation of marine structures. The Xbloc armour unit fits well into this new philosophy as the random structure and high porosity of an Xbloc breakwater provides a good habitat for different kinds of marine vegetation and animals. DMC developed the Eco Xbloc to stimulate marine growth.

Environmental advantages

Due to the highly optimized form of the Xbloc armour unit up to 15 % concrete is saved in comparison to other single layer armour units. This proportionally reduces the C02-emission as the production of 1 cubic meter of concrete (CEMIII/B) emits 110 kg CO2.

The use of Xbloc armour units places less demand on natural rock sources. An Xbloc shore protection or breakwater is a highly sustainable solution as it is designed with a zero maintenance philosophy. This means no extra costs or use of material during its lifetime.

Artificial reef

In addition to the use of Xblocs as shore protection or as an armour layer for breakwaters, Xblocs can be used to create an artificial reef. Artificial reefs are created globally to either restore damaged reefs or to create new reefs. An artificial reef stimulates possibilities for natural development, fish and vegetation enhancement in two ways:

  • An artificial reef reduces wave transmission and creates a sheltered but open environment;
  • The reef itself provides a healthy environment for reef vegetation and animals, due to the high porosity of the Xbloc armour layer. Biodiversity will be enhanced.

Research has been performed on coral growth on armour units by the Okinawa General Bureau (PIANC magazine no 124 July 2006). Water circulation is important for a healthy coral growth. The porosity of the Xbloc armour layer will supply this circulation. 

Fish swimming in the Xbloc armour layer at Das Island, Abu Dhabi