XStream blocks in River IJssel, The Netherlands

XStream blocks in River IJssel, The Netherlands

As a direct result of climate change our rivers are experiencing much larger differences between high and low water levels. This is caused by heavier rainfall in shorter periods of time exacerbated by dry spells and longer periods of drought. On top of that, growth in our economies and increasing populations result in more traffic on our waterways. Keeping them open and in good health is key. This requires efficient, reliable and sustainable river maintenance.

Pilot with Dutch Ministry of infrastructure and Water Management

Together with Rijkswaterstaat (part of the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management) we started a pilot for the Self Supporting River System programme. Together with Rijkswaterstaat, Van den Herik and De Meteoor Beton, BAM has constructed three groins built with our new Xstream blocks in the river IJssel, in the Netherlands.

This unique concrete block is a smaller version of the much larger Xblock, typically used in breakwaters and shore protections, and comes with many benefits.

Habitat for fish

By using Xstream blocks, approximately 60% of the groin will consist of hollow spaces. These hollow spaces allow water and sediment to pass through. This enables us to influence the flow of the river and the sediment dynamics around the groins.

The hollow spaces between the Xstream blocks the groins also provide a wonderful habitat for fish and other animals that thrive on our wetlands.

Other benefits also include:

  • Xstream blocks reduce the amount of concrete required in comparison to other solutions. Using Xstream blocks saves CO2 emissions compared to other solutions.
  • Placement of the Xstream blocks is easy and fast. Groins can be adjusted if needed by adding or removing blocks. Removed blocks can be reused. Using Xstream blocks stimulates circular construction.
  • The groins prevent strong concentrations of currents around the tip of the structures and drastically reduce any erosion in front of the groins, resulting in less dredging during river maintenance. This saves on costs and CO2 emissions as well.

Xstream blocks are suitable for applications subject to currents and flows such as river groins, bottom protections and bank protection works.

More information

Contact Bas Reedijk for more information about the Xstream block or our other solutions for breakwaters and shore protection.