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The Dryline project addresses New York City’s vulnerability to coastal flooding.
The Dryline project addresses New York City’s vulnerability to coastal flooding.
June 21, 2016 5:00 PM CDT

The Dryline Project Wins LafargeHolcim Award

BIG - Bjarke Ingels Group honored


BIG - Bjarke Ingels Group has been honored with the Bronze LafargeHolcim Award for sustainable construction. The Dryline project addresses New York City’s vulnerability to coastal flooding with a protective ribbon in southern Manhattan. The eight-mile infrastructural barrier incorporates public space with the high-water barrier doubling as parks, seating, bicycle shelters and skateboard ramps.

The project was praised for its sensitive blend of hard flood protection infrastructure and solutions for community needs that foster local commercial, recreational and cultural activities. It would provide flood protection that anticipates the effects of sea level rise and the likelihood of more intense storm activity. The project also takes the opportunity to enhance social infrastructure.

Reclaiming the waterfront

After Superstorm Sandy in 2012, New York City proposed a series of investments in southern Manhattan, described as integrated flood protection, that would reduce the risk of flooding and integrate into the neighborhood fabric. In collaboration with the city, a consortium led by BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group developed The Big U as a protective system around the low-lying topography of Manhattan, from West 57th Street, down to The Battery, and up to East 42nd Street.

The project under the original title BIG U (East River Park) was one of six design proposals to address vulnerabilities exposed by Hurricane Sandy that was selected by the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) Rebuild by Design competition in 2014. Of the $920 million HUD allocated to New York, New Jersey, and New York City to begin implementation of the winning projects, $335 million was awarded to the City of New York for the realization of one of the three compartments described in the BIG U proposal – the East Side Coastal Resiliency (ESCR) Project – from East 23rd Street to Montgomery Street.

The ESCR Project includes a mixture of elements, which may include concrete “bench” water barriers that also serve as playgrounds, bike shelters and planters; along with berms that also function as green areas and attenuate traffic noise or transform bleak zones beneath elevated roadways into public pavilions with a dual function of flood containment. When completed, it will benefit thousands of public housing and other residents of a particularly vulnerable part of Manhattan, and will demonstrate a new model for integrating coastal protection into neighborhoods, consistent with the City’s resiliency vision.
Holcim and Lafarge joined forces in July 2015 and are committed to driving sustainable solutions for better building and infrastructure. The HolcimLafarge Awards are an integral part of the company’s commitment to sustainable development. The activities of the Holcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction continue under the name LafargeHolcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction.

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About the Author

With a well-balanced presence in 90 countries and a focus on cement, aggregates and concrete, LafargeHolcim is the world leader in the building materials industry.


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