Freshwater is essential to human prosperity, but a sizable fraction is negatively impacted by construction, and a sizable portion of construction is also affected by water. Therefore, there needs to be a solution that can help reduce the dangers inherent in construction on or near waterways and flood-prone areas. Inflatable cofferdams are a modern solution to this ancient problem and are some of the least expensive, most efficient, and eco-friendly water intrusion protection tools. So, how can they help add to efficiency, and what makes inflatable cofferdams superior to other, more traditional damming methods? Read on to find out.
Inflatable vs. Traditional Cofferdams
Cofferdams are an ancient technology dating back to several hundred years B.C.E. However, in recent decades, multiple options have evolved out of the original dual-walled design of a cofferdam, where two barriers would be constructed around one another and the water transferred out. Traditional damming methods now include:
- Earthen barriers (which are the oldest method still used today).
- Cellular cofferdams (for use in deep waters exclusively).
- Concrete barriers (which inflatable cofferdams aim to be the replacement for).
While all traditional cofferdams are effective, an inflatable cofferdam is superior when waters are under twelve feet deep. Where all other conventional methods can take dozens, if not hundreds, of working hours, to erect, an inflatable dam can be up in just a few hours with a single crew working on it. Moreover, inflatable cofferdams are incredibly durable, puncture resistant, have modular flexibility to cover large areas, and are eco-friendly options.
Advantages in Specific Construction Scenarios: Pipeline Construction And Boat Ramp Construction
While many construction projects can benefit from an inflatable cofferdam, pipeline and boat ramp construction are two standouts we would like to highlight here.
- Pipeline Construction: Inflatable cofferdams create a dry space for workers to install or repair pipelines and other infrastructure. However, as pipelines tend to follow busy areas and often bypass vital waterways, an inflatable cofferdam’s utility and mobility allow for construction to be conducted in segments along the line, providing minimal interference with water traffic and ecological disturbances.
- Boat Ramp Construction: As an essential function of a boat ramp is to allow access to boats in waters that vary in depth, it’s vital to have a damming tool that can stand up to varying tides or water levels. Inflatable cofferdams are perfect for boat ramps as they provide versatile protection, but their quick removal time allows the ramp to be open sooner.
Economic Advantages Of Using Inflatable Cofferdams
While we have sung the praises of inflatable cofferdams in several situations, what are the tangible economic advantages of using them over other damming options?
- Lower cost of materials
- Reusability allows a single investment to be used at multiple work sites and projects.
- Recyclable and reduces the cost of waste
- It saves you time and, therefore, money.
- Lowers the price of permits and water blockages
- Reduced environmental impact
The Future Of Inflatable Cofferdams In Construction Efficiency
Inflatable cofferdams represent the future of water control in the construction industry and will likely only improve over time. There are currently prototypes that assist with even greater depths of water. As the formula for their construction is refined, they will likely remain the eco-friendly option for damming, which is a growing need as we move toward a more sustainable construction industry. So, make sure you get in on the ground floor now! Dam-It-Dams brings you the best in modern cofferdam technology, and we ship anywhere in the United States. For more information, give us a call at 810-695-1695 today!