Creating and maintaining seafront developments is complex and challenging, but sites next to the sea are universally exciting and valued by people. We relish the opportunities these sites present to create truly wonderful and sustainable places.

The coastal zone is a highly complex, sensitive and dynamic environment. Interventions can disrupt its balance and can be difficult to anticipate. Development in this zone demands an experienced and knowledgeable eye to anticipate, manage and mitigate the impacts to create sustainable and  robust developments that deliver the value such sites demand.

Services we offer:

  • Wave and extreme sea level (surge) analysis
  • Sediment processes and dredging assessment
  • Water quality assessment and modelling
  • Coastal flood and erosion management
  • Seafront development masterplanning and design
  • Marina planning and design
  • Design of breakwaters, quay walls, revetments and jetties
  • Beach assessment and design
  • Navigation assessment
  • Environmental assessment and conservation
  • Climate change impact assessment

Early involvement helps lessen risk and expand opportunities

The purposes for such interventions can be multiple; development for residential or commercial use, flood and erosion defence for existing development, public amenity improvement, or even environmental enhancement or restoration. If you have a potential development site on the coast, involve us early to identify the risks and opportunities.

Although sites on the coast attract much interest, only those that have this initial technical engineering grounding successfully progress. At Folkestone Harbour we’ve developed a solution to enhance the beach as the primary sea defence, to unlock  valuable seafront land for a major residential and commercial development. In Kuwait, our approach to waterfront development at Sabah Al Ahmad Sea City has provided a network of tidal waterways, with 180km of new beachfront for the city’s new residents and sustainable habitats for an increasing number of marine species.

Increasing pressures on the shoreline

Over 50% of the world’s population already lives within 60km of the coast, with many of the world’s largest cities and densest population centres in low-lying coastal areas. Predictions vary, but forecasters are agreed that such areas will grow due to population growth due to migration by people attracted by the economic activity and the marine environment,. This will put more people at flood risk, and place increasing pressure on the natural coastal ecosystems. These risks are compounded by expected climatic changes, with mean sea levels predicted to rise 0.5-1m over the next century, or even further, with extreme storms becoming more frequent and intense. Managing these conflicting trends is one of the great civil engineering challenges of our time.

Buro Happold is at the forefront of this challenge worldwide, through coastal management  planning, flood management, harbour redevelopment, and marina design. We have led the creation of inspring and valued, but also robust, spaces for residential, amenity and commercial use. Just like the Louvre Abu Dhabi where our offshore breakwaters are providing a safe environment for this coastal ‘musuem city’ to be seamlessly integrated with its surroundings.

Teams of specialists for any complex problem

Taking your coastal development, or redevelopment, challenge to Buro Happold opens up a world of opportunity and a reservoir of specialist skills to help your project flourish. When our coastal engineers work seamlessly with our other specialists, such as structural engineers, water management consultants,  resilience or environmental consultants, you access the best team to help your project achieve its aspirations.

Talk to Us

Our policies and terms outline the information we collect about you, and how we process your personal information, please read them to be fully informed. We also use cookies on our website to provide you with a better experience. By continuing to use this site, without changing your settings, you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.

Continue Close