Marina design and construction is both an art and a science. Every marina has different needs and must respond to specific weather and atmospheric conditions, geographies, and local geological factors. As such, it is essential to work with trained professionals who specialize in the marina design and construction, and to properly educate yourself as a Marina owner or user, to ensure your facility is up to speed. At Marine Construction Magazine (www.marineconstructionmagazine.com), we provide you with the information necessary to be informed about all aspects of marina design, construction, and maintenance.
Here are some of our thoughts on how to ensure your Marina is properly designed and built, according to best in class practices and the specific needs of your geographic location:
Marina Design is Complex and Unique to a Particular Location: The nature of marina design and construction is not only complex, but dependent on the specific attributes of the area in which a marina is located. Even the nation’s best land planners and designers often come up short when designing marinas, unless they are specifically trained in and have experience working on marinas. This reality is further complicated by the fact that there is no set of established design standards or building codes nationwide. As such, the proper design and construction of a marina necessitates well trained, licensed professionals with significant experience working on marinas that share similar aspects to your property or marina.
Everything is Local, Especially Marina Design and Construction: The complexity of marinas is based on the varied nature of each location’s geography, climate, weather, and local geology. Materials and designs that work in one location may not be suitable for another. In addition to environmental factors, local market conditions must be considered to ensure that a marina is not only well built in regard to standing up to the elements, but to be an attractive place for boat owners and users to give their business. After all, while many of us in the marine industries consider this a labor or love, at root we must take into consideration the realities of business.
Factors to Consider during Marina Design and Construction: A wide array of factors must be taken into account during the design and construction of a Marina, in addition to ongoing maintenance. Each of the following factors will dictate different approaches and solutions to ensure safety of both person and property on a day-to-day basis, and during extreme weather events: Wind (including both prevailing direction and velocity of winds and what could occur during extreme events), Waves, Tides, Storm Surge, and Soils.
Materials are Location Specific: For any number of factors, the materials utilized for the construction of a marina are quite dependent on the factors listed above. For example, a different set of materials will be appropriate for a marina located on the West Coast of the U.S. as compared to the Northeast. Each has significantly a different climate, and vastly different extreme events to consider. Hurricanes are prevalent on the east coast, and dictate materials that can withstand the high winds and associated storm surges, while climate in those areas is far wetter than their West Coast counterparts. While not weather related, the West Coast’s concerns over seismic activity necessitates building materials that are suitable for earthquakes – with consideration for associated Tsunami activity as well. In addition, every marina has unique soils. A trained professional will understand the implications of varying geologic conditions to ensure proper design and appropriate materials that best suit the location. Educating yourself utilizing the resources provided at www.marineconstructionmagazine.com can help you become a more informed consumer, owner, and/or user of marinas, providing more confidence in selecting design and construction professionals that best understand not only best practices nationwide, but the specific needs of your location, and how that may affect what materials are most suitable for your marina.
Form vs. Function and Locally Sourced Materials: At the top of the list for design and construction of marinas is the protection of life and limb, followed by property. However, other factors come into play which further dictates what materials are best suited for your particular property. Aesthetics play a considerable role, especially to meet (and ideally exceed) the expectations of consumers – be they boat owners, or visitors to the property. In regard to both sustainability and blending into the surrounding environment, locally sourced materials often provide a means to address a range of issues and concerns. Again, a trained professional that has experience in marina construction and design, and better yet, one with experience with your local climate and geology, is a key factor in ensuring your marina is built in a manner that will stand the test of time, while providing a pleasant and engaging experience for users of the marina.
These factors all play a role in the design and construction of marinas, demonstrating the need to locally calibrate everything from what materials are used to what construction techniques are employed. In regard to the specifics at hand, we recommend educating yourself utilizing the resources at www.marineconstructionmagazine.com and, we cannot reiterate strong enough, ensure that you utilize a trained professional with marina experience – and ideally local experience – for your next major construction or renovation project.