Boskalis initiated the innovative research program ‘Building with Nature’. The program uses elements and forces of nature such as wind and currents in the design of hydraulic engineering solutions, to achieve a balance between economic development and environmental care. Scientific research findings are made available for the design and execution of projects and for policy and decision-making. The initiative is a close collaboration between the Dutch government and Dutch companies, universities and knowledge institutes, with Ecoshape as lead partner.
Building with Nature draws as far as possible on ecosystem services – the benefits that nature generates for society, for example when dunes act as coastal defenses, also providing leisure opportunities. To maintain the Dutch coast, Boskalis has constructed the so-called Sand Motor that uses natural forces like wind, waves, currents and tides to spread sand along the coast from a central replenishment location. Building with Nature is also researching methods for the sustainable development of ports.