Protecting a marine environment
A Middle East steel pelletizing plant built on reclaimed coastal land next to an environmentally attractive harbour wanted a durable all-weather way to protect the neighbouring area. The bulk of the dust was observed to be coming from their 1km long stockpiles. They were also concerned with the possible visible impact of a wind fence on the view from a nearby housing area.
Being almost part of the seawall, marine-grade corrosion protection for both the above ground parts and the foundations was critical.
Following CFD studies, a 20m high fence with an aerodynamic porosity of 24% was designed to run along the site perimeter and surround most of the piles. Access is on the downwind corner where the plant borders the piles.
To help blend the fence into the surrounding environment WeatherSolve created a 20m x 800m mural depicting sand and sky as part of the wind fence. To paint the fabric a new paint system was developed and extensively tested in Canada before being used to paint the panels. The 3m x 30m panels were then shipped to the site and installed. The 2.6km long fence was completed in 2009 – beating a very tight deadline by a few hours.
The corrosion protection was achieved for the foundations by using relatively shallow foundations (2.5m) and mass concrete – all securely coated with a water-proof paint. Above ground the steel poles were painted with a durable epoxy paint and all fittings used marine grade stainless steel.
10 years later, the solution has proved its merit. The structure looks good, the fabric is approaching replacement time and the marine neighbours are thriving. The company is now planning an extension to their yard – with a WSS wind fence to the same specifications.