Marine Environments: Waves of Complexity

San Francisco waterfront rehabilitation

Structures in marine environments present unique challenges and opportunities. The imposition of a permanent fixture such as a wharf or pier into an inherently fluid body creates an ongoing tension between certainty and change.

There is inherent value in being close to a marine environment. In many coastal cities real estate close or adjacent to the ocean is the most valuable property.

San Francisco Bay and Embarcadero
San Francisco Bay and Embarcadero

Our engineers look at ways to reinforce aging infrastructure that fronts harbors and waterfronts in coastal cities. These structures often don’t confirm to typical standards intended for more traditional structures – like buildings! Through performance-based engineering we analyze the capacity of existing structures and identify the most appropriate and economical way to meet the required performance criteria.

Holmes San Francisco Waterfront Experience
Pier substructure rehabilitation

Building and maintaining structures in marine environments is challenging. Water, salt, minerals, wave action and environmental concerns each contribute to challenges and constraints in design and construction.

Pier Substructure Repair — San Francisco, CA

Marine Environments and Sea Level Rise


Changes in the natural environment come through traditional means such as tidal action and newer phenomena such as sea level rise (SLR). SLR will have many public policy and planning ramifications in coastal cities over the coming years. In cities such as San Francisco the local governments are taking the lead in developing broad strategies and tactics to mitigate potential impacts. In other regions the effects of these changes will be experienced one property at time. Link to San Francisco Sea Level Rise Action Plan

Port of Los Angeles
Port of Los Angeles

More Perspectives

Working with the sustainable natural resource of wood we are improving our carbon impact.

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