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Technical paper: Sandisle structures

Brian E W Dowse, BA, BAI, IVIS, PEng (Ontario), MICE, CEng. This paper was first published in GE’s March 1979 edition.

The story of the development and construction of Sandisle Structure Ann has been reported in the technical press throughout the world. The construction of the world’s first hydrostatically supported sand structure in September 1976 off the south coast of England followed 2.5 years of extensive research and laboratory testing carried out in the United Kingdom and in Canada.

The short life of the structure and its ultimate demIise in an unprecedented series of storms in October 1976 has done little to satisfy the natural sceptics of all new engineering ideas, but it has contributed an enormous amount of knowledge to the performance of Sandisle structures during construction and under storm conditions.

The construction of the prototype Sandisle indicated that the basic concept is sound but the significance of some of the design detail was not fully appreciated prior to its construction. The redesign of these details is a simple and inexpensive matter. 

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