The Buoyant Ecologies Float Lab, a project led by CCA AEL directors Adam Marcus, Margaret Ikeda, and Evan Jones, has been selected for a 2018 R+D Award by Architect Magazine. The project builds upon four years of applied research into ecologically productive materials for waterfront structures, and it was developed in collaboration with marine ecologists at the Benthic Lab at Moss Landing Marine Laboratories and fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP) manufacturers at Kreysler & Associates. The Float Lab is a prototype for a floating breakwater that incorporates an ecologically optimized FRP substrate on the underside, which is designed to encourage the growth of diverse marine invertebrate habitats. The accumulation of marine life is optimized such that the resulting biomass helps to attenuate waves and potentially mitigate coastal erosion.
The jury for this year's R+D Awards consisted of Jackilin Hah Bloom and Florencia Pita of Pita & Bloom, Tom Chung of Leers Weinzapfel Associates, and Randy Deutsch of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. In the award citation, juror Deutsch remarked "The research that this team took was in-depth, interdisciplinary, multidisciplinary, and collaborative. That and how they displayed the results over time was over-the-top impressive.”
The Float Lab recently received a permit from the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission for a three-year deployment at Middle Harbor Shoreline Park, located in the Port of Oakland. The prototype will be launched later this fall.