Seawalls and breakwaters are designed with heavy primary/outer armour rock or concrete units that are sized to resist the impact forces of waves that can break upon them. These structures may require significant upgrades over time arising from climate change projections for increases in storm intensity and sea level rise.
The Water Research Laboratory of the School of Civil and Environment Engineering, University of New South Wales Sydney, was engaged to investigate the effectiveness of retrofitting existing rock and concrete-armoured coastal structures with additional (and more stable) primary armour. Physical modelling was used to enhance the understanding of unconventional designs that may arise when coastal structures are upgraded.
These guidelines provide information to help decision makers using a risk-based approach to optimise upgrades for existing structures and to design for staged construction of new seawalls that are resilient and adaptive to changing conditions.