Éco-Cavalier is a ballasting system for underwater works, which also acts as habitat for marine flora and fauna.
It is designed so that the impact of the pipes on the natural environment is minimal and so that the structure laid will be beneficial for the marine environment by creating new shelters for marine flora and fauna. The geometrical and structural characteristics of Éco-Cavalier (the design, dimensions, volume, construction materials, etc.) meet two crucial objectives:
- They ensure the hydrodynamic stability of the pipe on the bed (swells caused by storms, shear currents), its durability and ease of installation, and that biodiversity is developed and maintained;
- They constitute a shelter for local marine species: a spawning ground, a habitat, and a nursery area. As they integrate into the environment, they improve the resilience of the marine ecology (by increasing the number of species and habitats) and restore coral beds that have been damaged (due to silting, overfishing, mechanical destruction, etc.).
For their innovative work developing Éco-Cavalier, Egis won the "Biodiversité et entreprises" (Biodiversity and Businesses) grand prize in 2010. It also received a special mention in the "product for biodiversity" category.
Éco-Cavalier provides a concrete example of the first phase of Egis's applied development research. Its eco-design came about through the technical expertise of civil engineers and environmental engineers. Having been tested with prototypes, it is currently integrated into underwater works.
At this time, 350 Éco-Cavalier structures are being built or implemented worldwide.