World's First 3D-printed Reef Tiles in Terracotta

Vriko Yu
Published: 27 March 2023
Last edited: 27 March 2023
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Recently named one of the "Forbes Asia 100 to Watch" startups, Archireef Limited is a green tech company that leverages marine biology, material science and the latest technologies in 3D printing to create the world's first 3D printed coral reef tile in terracotta, a truly ocean-friendly material. Featured by CNN, CBS, SCMP, Tatler and other international as well as local media, our reef tiles deliver a proven 4 times effectiveness over conventional methods, securing a 95% coral survivorship.


Southeast Asia
West Asia, Middle East
Scale of implementation
Coral reef
Marine and coastal ecosystems
Biodiversity mainstreaming
Coastal and marine spatial management
Disaster risk reduction
Ecosystem services
Fisheries and aquaculture
Genetic diversity
Habitat fragmentation and degradation
Indigenous people
Local actors
Outreach & communications
Protected and conserved areas management planning
Science and research
Species management
Sustainable financing
Species Conservation and One Health Interventions
Species Status Assessment
Wildlife Health Surveillance (to capture biodiversity, health, disease, and pathogen surveillance)
Species Monitoring and Research
Species Intensive Management (in situ or ex situ)
Species Disease Early warning systems
Species Conservation Translocations
Species Conservation Planning
Risk communication, community engagement and behaviour change
Risk assessment
Urban and Disaster Risk Management
City management, governance and finance
Sustainable urban infrastructure and services
Loss of Biodiversity
Ecosystem loss
Lack of public and decision maker’s awareness
Lack of technical capacity
Poor monitoring and enforcement
Poor governance and participation
Sustainable development goals
SDG 8 – Decent work and economic growth
SDG 11 – Sustainable cities and communities
SDG 13 – Climate action
SDG 14 – Life below water
SDG 17 – Partnerships for the goals
Aichi targets
Target 1: Awareness of biodiversity increased
Target 2: Biodiversity values integrated
Target 5: Habitat loss halved or reduced
Target 6: Sustainable management of aquatic living resources
Target 10: Ecosystems vulnerable to climate change
Target 11: Protected and conserved areas
Target 12: Reducing risk of extinction
Target 13: Safeguarding genetic diversity
Target 14: Ecosystem services
Target 15: Ecosystem restoration and resilience
Target 17: Biodiversity strategies and action plans
Target 19: Sharing information and knowledge
Target 20: Mobilizing resources from all sources
Sendai Framework
Target 1: Reduce global disaster mortality by 2030
Target 2: Reduce the number of affected people globally by 2030
Target 3: Reduce direct disaster economic loss in relation to GDP by 2030
Target 5: Increase the number of countries with national and local disaster risk reduction strategies by 2020
Business engagement approach
Direct engagement with a company
Direct engagement with associations
Indirect through financial institutions
Indirect through government


Hong Kong | UAE
Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates


Coral reefs are carbon sinks, meaning that they can sequester and store carbon. As the deadline is approaching, it has become increasingly popular for nations and policy makers to start looking for relatively new methods to achieve their carbon removal and 1.5 degree goals. One of the methods is to account for carbon sinks in countries' carbon budget. Coral reefs are therefore viewed as natural capital that contribute to global climate action.


Apart from restoring coral reefs, we hold workshops for schools and corporates. After deployment, we monitor and deliver quantifiable ecological impacts using science-backed methodologies that can be integrated into clients' ESG reports.

How do the building blocks interact?

Before the deployment of our 3D-printed reef tiles, 3D-printers are used for production at our eco-engineering facility. After deployment, we continuously monitor their impacts using eDNA, quantifying the ecological benefits brought by our projects.


Coral reefs are not only beneficial to costal communities and divers - they are home to 25% of marine life and are therefore integral to biodiversity. For now, we are focusing on corporates who have an emphasis on ESG and biodiversity and are open to innovative solutions. Thanks to the extensive media coverage that we have enjoyed so far, for instance, CNN in Hong Kong, CNN in the UAE, World Economic Forum, our clients actually reached out to us!


Coral survivorship is one of our key impacts and it depends on an array of factors from site selection to deployment methodologies and post-deployment check-ups. We also have a strong emphasis on social impact as we are a human-centric company. We try our best to amplify project impacts by always integrating education to both adults and children into our work and so their feedback is another key success indicator of our work.


Vriko Yu

Our CEO and co-founder, Vriko Yu, grew up in Hong Kong’s countryside.  When she was young, she spent a lot of time around the ocean. She got her diving license in college, and that opened a new world. Hong Kong is incredibly biodiverse - Hong Kong waters cover only 0.05% of China’s marine areas, but we can find more than 25% of the total marine life recorded in China. In 2014, she witnessed a large-scale bleaching event, which then led to the disappearance of a small patch of coral communities in just two months. That inspired her to think outside of the box, combining innovation and marine ecology to save coral reefs. We have been incredibly lucky in our journey. Apart from restoring reefs in Hong Kong, we have been invited to bring our solutions to international platforms for the likes of COP27 in Egypt and World Economic Forum's Annual Meeting in Switzerland.


Contributed by

hayley_42635's picture

Hayley Wong Archireef Limited