Maccaferri: Hydraulic Works - Design the change

The approach to watercourse management is increasingly considering social and environmental aspects along with the economical impacts of hydraulic structures.


Sometimes referred to as Green Infrastructure approach, the incorporation of the natural environment and engineered systems has proved to be effective in enhancing community health and safety, ecosystems and to boost the economy.

An understanding of hydraulic engineering and watercourse ecosystems enables us to find a better balance between the demands of our societies and environmental equilibrium.

Named after one of the first inventions carried out by Maccaferri over 100 years ago, the Reno Mattress is now synonymous with hydraulic works and erosion protection projects worldwide. The Reno Mattress Plus is filled with stones at the project site to form flexible, permeable, monolithic structures such as riverbank protection and channel linings for erosion control projects.

The Reno Mattress Plus offers a vertical standing double diaphragm so that filling operations can be completed more easily. It also has X-Ties and PoliMac coating, X-Tie is the experimentally developed and patented tie to maximise the structural resistance of the mattress. The coating gives outstanding protection against mechanical loads and chemical aggressions.

Less materials

Traditional riverbank protections realised with loose stones (rip-rap) require a thick layer of material to be effective. This is due to the fact that the stones are not confined and that the stones layer cannot be accurately placed resulting in higher stone consumption and, consequently, increasing the environmental burden.

Traditional Reno Mattresses are over-designed riverbank protections compared to the actual load they are subjected to. Reno Mattress Plus is the result of the experimental tests at Colorado State University. A deeper understanding of the performance of the mattress enables us to make more cost-effective designs that will give our solutions an increased competitiveness in comparison to equivalent and alternative (traditional) systems.

Quicker installation

The Reno Mattress Plus features robust double diaphragms that help speed up the installation process, minimising installation inaccuracies as well as in steep slope conditions. The new self-standing ‘X-Tie’ has been developed to make installation easier and to improve the structural performance of the mattress.

Less environmental burden

It creates a natural habitat for living species, enhancing biodiversity through the protection of the benthos. The interstitial spaces of the mattress offer a habitat for species that live in the transition zone between water and land.

Engineering a better solution


Maccaferri’s motto is ‘Engineering a Better Solution’; They do not merely supply products, but work in partnership with their clients, offering technical expertise to deliver versatile, cost-effective and environmentally sound solutions. They aim to build mutually beneficial relationships through the quality of their service and solutions.

E: info@hq.maccaferri.com

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