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Ecoshape is the foundation that carries out the public-private Building with Nature innovation programme. Within Ecoshape contractors, engineering companies, research institutions, governments and NGOs work together to develop and spread knowledge about Building with Nature. This is a new philosophy in hydraulic engineering that takes building with natural materials and the use of forces and interactions within the natural system as the starting point.

Our people

Interdisciplinary approach

In the philosophy of Building with Nature, finding an engineering solution is not just a task for engineers, but also for ecologists and economists. Through collaboration between different disciplines, we reach our common goal: effective solutions for engineering problems and a boost for nature, recreation and economy.

The Building with Nature philosophy

Research objectives

After founding Ecoshape in 2008 we used the first four years to stimulate this change in thinking about engineering solutions. We showed that Building with Nature offers great opportunities to come up with innovative solutions. We created awareness and started field experiments to test our solutions in practice. Since 2012, we continue our work on strengthening the knowledge base. We develop tools to support the implementation and assessment of suitability of BwN solutions.

Research objectives

Learning through pilot projects

We develop knowledge through pilot projects. By testing theories in practice, we expand our knowledge base. In doing so we gain knowledge about specific systems, so that we can make our knowledge applicable for other locations with comparable systems. Knowing the system is key to designing a sustainable solution.

Pilot projects

Sharing knowledge

In recent years partners within Ecoshape have already built up a wealth of knowledge and experience. This knowledge is captured in reports on the project pages of this website and in the Building with Nature Design Guidelines. This knowledge is freely available.

Design Guidelines

Public-Private Knowledge Network

Our knowledge network is an energetic collaboration of contractors, engineering companies, research institutions, governments and NGOs. Parties that are all aware of the need for a change in thinking. We found each other in our common goal: to provide durable solutions in the water, by letting nature to do its work.

Building with Nature network