Hard Engineering: establishment of structures which aim to resist the energy of the waves and tides. Such structures include: breakwaters and seawalls designed to oppose wave energy inputs, groins designed to increase sediment storage on the shore, and flood embankments and barrages designed as water tight barriers.
This is an Example of a Hard Engineering Application for the shore Protection in Lykoporia – Derveni, Korinthos, Greece. Total cost: 1.735.000,00€
The Coastal Engineering literature is full of examples of the negative consequences of hard engineering applications. The main disadvantage is that they transfer and intensify Erosion in adjacent coastline sections. In addition the contruction demands large quantities of materials (stones/boulders etc) affecting the total cost. The foundation aspects as well as the structures maintenance add also high risks.
In most cases Hard Engineering Structures act as barriers interrupting the sediment transport and therefore creating adverse impacts
They are no longer implemented for Shore Protection in many European countries and the United States as well without tangible guarantees for their effectiveness by the designers of these structures. In Greece as in many other Countries at the past, there are many unsuccessful examples of Hard Engineering applications for Coastal Protection
The Safety Factor of the Hard structures almost never exceed FS = 1.50 provided that all potential causes of failure have been thoroughly tested . Slight increasement of the Factor of Safety for these structures (i.e. FS=2.0) would immidiately lead to excessive cost increasement and increase of design complexity. Therefore, in most cases the design of these projects is followed by the admission of a “controlled” damage rate which ideally is not less than 5%.
Hard Structures effectiveness for Coastal Protection is questioned by International Institutions and Organizations in their texts for their adverse impacts on the Coastal environmental. The same Institutions and Organizations suggest the use of Soft Engineering Practices mentioning their positive characteristics and their significantly lower cost in construction and maintenance.
The removal of hard engineering works after their construction is unlikely as the task is extremely difficult, extremely time consuming and the cost is very high.
As regards to tourism our country depends on the good condition and the natural beauty of the coasts. This perspective is served only by Soft protection Methods.