Clifton Springs’ Dell Eco Reef wins top international design award

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Clifton Springs’ Dell Eco Reef wins top international design award

Words by Staff Writer

The project was announced as the winner of the ‘Dezeen Award for Sustainable Design (Building Product) of the Year 2023’ in London last week.

In a nod to innovation and sustainability, the modular units spearheading the City’s Dell Eco Reef initiative in Clifton Springs have clinched a prestigious international award for design and environmental consciousness.

The project secured the coveted ‘Dezeen Award for Sustainable Design (Building Product) of the Year 2023’ in a ceremony held in London last week, catapulting the Greater Geelong region into the global spotlight for its eco-friendly coastal solutions.

Stay up to date with what’s happening in and around the region here.

Industrial designer Alex Goad, the creative force behind The Reef Design Lab, masterminded the design and fabrication of the 46 Erosion Mitigation Units installed at The Dell beach. These units garnered attention not only for their sleek design but also their commitment to sustainability.

Crafted from eco-friendly concrete utilising fly ash—a by-product—instead of conventional cement and blended with recycled shells, the units serve as a permeable barrier positioned 60 metres offshore. Their primary purpose is to combat coastal erosion while fostering a conducive habitat for marine life.

The accolade-winning project doesn’t merely act as a traditional coastal defence system; it emulates nature and prioritises marine life’s well-being over human convenience, according to the esteemed judges of the Dezeen Award.

“This project offers an alternative to traditional coastal erosion defences that emulates nature and was designed first and foremost to benefit marine life rather than humans,” judges said.

“The Erosion Mitigation Units go beyond being a simple building product, helping to construct a healthier ecosystem along our coastlines while also protecting humans from the fallout of storm surges and erosion.”

Greater Geelong Mayor Trent Sullivan expressed his congratulations to Alex Goad and the City’s Senior Strategic Environmental Planner Ralph Roob, acknowledging their collaborative efforts in bringing forth this groundbreaking initiative.

Sullivan noted, “This genuinely innovative project not only champions environmental benefits but also serves as a sought-after destination for snorkelers and swimmers. It aligns seamlessly with Geelong’s standing as an international UNESCO Creative City of Design, advancing our commitment to environmental sustainability.”

The Dell Eco Reef project follows in the footsteps of the acclaimed Ramblers Reef at Portarlington, adding another feather to the City’s cap for its trailblazing approach to mitigating coastal erosion with ecologically sound solutions.

Dezeen, renowned as ‘the world’s most influential architecture, interiors and design magazine,’ bestowed the award. Boasting over three million monthly readers and offices in London, New York, and Shanghai, Dezeen is hailed as the most-visited architecture and design website globally.

As accolades continue to pour in, the Dell Eco Reef stands as a testament to Greater Geelong’s prowess in merging design, innovation, and sustainability on the global stage. The City’s commitment to coastal resilience has truly become an inspiration worldwide.

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