Comparison table

 BoxBarrierSandbagsBig-bagsWater filled TubesConcrete waterfront block


Temporary Floodbarrier Permanent foundation / permanent on site
Temporary Floodbarrier Permanent foundation / transported to site
  Sandbags Big Bags
Easy to install (untrained) + + + - + - -
No equipment required + - - - - - -
Usable by small team + - - + + + +
Installation speed + - - + - + +
Weight + - - + - + -
Transportation + - - + - + -
Storage + + - + - + -
Costs + + + - + - -
Durability + - - + + + +
Robustness / vandalism proof + - - - + + +
Maintenance/cleaning + - - + + - +
Flexibility + + + + + - -
Can be adapted to situation + + + - + + +
Can be scaled + - - + + + +
Foundation required + + + + + - -
Resistant to sharp edges in subsoil + - - - + + +
Placing in water + + + + + - -
Resistant to waves + - + + + + +
Recycling possible + - - + + - -
Can be walked on + - - - + - -

Additional Documentation


Comparison Sandbag versus BoxBarrier®

The installation of BoxBarriers as temporary flood defence system has a number of important advantages over the conventionally applied sandbag. Filling of the sandbags can be done by hand which is very labour intensive and time-consuming or can be done by using special equipment. Huge amounts of sand, bags and possibly the filling machine have to be brought to site along with a vast amount of labour. After the flood has passed, the bags, which are often deteriorated and torn apart, have to be removed. This again is a very labour intensive process. All of this can be prevented by using the BoxBarrier system. Water, which is abundantly available, is used as ballast material in the boxes. Besides the BoxBarrier elements itself only a pump is required for filling or emptying the boxes. The installation and removal of the system is quick, easy and labour friendly. The boxes are light, very robust and reusable. After removal the site will be free from damages or debris / leftovers from the barrier system.    

Comparison Big-bag versus BoxBarrier®

Many advantages which the BoxBarrier has over the conventional sandbag are valid for the comparison of BoxBarrier versus Big-bags as well. Application of Big-bags requires special heavy equipment which can fill and install the bags. This might not be an easy task in the flooded area of concern. Besides the huge amount of sand required, this equipment has to be brought to site as well. Usually Big-bags will not be re-used and can deteriorate or be torn apart before or during removal resulting in a sand polluted area.

Comparison Water Filled Tubes versus BoxBarrier®

The installation of the geo-tube system is more difficult compared to the installation of the BoxBarrier system. Geo-tubes are not as easy to adapt to the local situation as the BoxBarrier and require more water. Length and height of the system are more or less fixed. The Water Filled Tubes are more susceptible to damage due sharp edges in the underground and to vandalism. Also the costs of the geo-tube system are relatively high.

Comparison Concrete Water Front Block versus BoxBarrier®

The blocks of the Concrete Water Front Block system are heavy and are usually lifted into position by using special equipment which has to be brought to site. The installation speed of this system is relatively slow compared to the installation of the BoxBarrier. From a transport point of view the BoxBarrier system has a large advantage over this concrete block system as well.

Comparison Temporary Flood Defence System - Permanently available on site versus BoxBarrier®

This system, which is permanently available on site, can be applied at locations with regular flooding. This is a fixed system which requires a foundation which is permanently available in-site the ground. The system can only be installed before flooding occurs and not during flooding. In many ways the BoxBarrier system is far more flexible and for floodings below 0.50m far more cost effective than this on-site permanently available system. 

Comparison Temporary Flood Defence System - Foundation permanently available on site versus BoxBarrier®

This system is applied only in regularly flooded areas. The system requires a special foundation, permanently installed in the ground. The elements required above ground level are heavy and are lifted into position using special equipment. In many ways the BoxBarrier system is far more flexible and for flooding below 0.50m far more cost effective.