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niranjana
niranjana • Dec 31, 2011

Construction Sector In 2011: A Year That Made Civil Engineers Proud

What a year it has been. 2011 saw some marvelous structures coming into existence and many more being planned. In this post I’ll be giving you a glance at all the important construction news.

Kingdom Tower To Break Burj Kalifa’s Record

The year started with the attempt to break the record that was created just the previous year. The world’s tallest building was open in January, 2010. It will not be long before the Burj Khalifa loses its record for being the world’s tallest building. The Saudi Arabia’s kingdom holding company has plans of constructing a US$ 1.2 billion tower called “Kingdom Tower” just outside Jeddah that will rise to a height greater than 1 km. The exact height is not yet released.  The vertical escalator will take around 12 minutes to travel the whole height of the tower which will house various offices, a hotel and some residential units spread over a 38 million square feet area. Designed by Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture with Thornton Tomasetti as structural consultant a lot of expectations rest on this tower. The planning is in progress now and the construction is expected to start in January, 2012.

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The Kingdom Tower

India’s Longest Rail Tunnel Connecting Kashmir Valley To India

India’s longest rail tunnel which will connect the Kashmir valley of India to the rest of the India is under construction in 2011. The authorities announced the news that it will be the India’s longest tunnel till date and the second largest in Asia (next to 20km Wushaoling tunnel in Gansu, China). This engineering feat named T80 will pierce through the wall separating the valley from Jammu, the Pir Panjal range. The Rs. 19,500 crore project will be commissioned before 2012.

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India's Longest Rail Tunnel

Qingdao Jiaozhou Bay Bridge – Becomes World’s Longest Cross-Sea Bridge

On 30th, June, 2011 Qingdao Jiaozhou Bay Bridge became the world’s longest cross-sea bridge. It is located at China connecting the port city Qingdao and the off-shore island of Huangdao. 36.48 km long eight lane bridge which costs 14.8 billion Yuan ($23 billion) was built in four years and employed at least 10,000 people, used up 450,000 tonnes of steel (enough to build 65 Eiffel towers) and 2.3 million cubic meters of concrete. This bridge is said to resist damages caused due to earthquakes, typhoons and collision with 300,000 ton vessel.

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Longest cross sea bridge

The officials also made an announcement that the 9.47 km long undersea tunnel that would run parallel to this bridge was also complete and would be open too.

Taipei 101 Is LEED Certified To Become The World’s Tallest Green Building

Taipei 101 may have lost the title “world’s tallest building” but now it has another coveted title to its credit-“World’s tallest green building”. Taiwan has invested $1.8 million in energy efficiency upgrades which are expected to yield $20 million annually in savings or 14.4 million kilowatt-hours of electricity or an 18 percent energy-saving, over three years and thus made Taipei 101 the world’s tallest green building. On 28th, July, 2011, Taipei 101 received the LEED platinum status.

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This has now set the new trend for the skyscrapers. Presently 40% of newly built skyscrapers have submitted for the green building status.

Construction of the world’s largest indoor arena (to seat 50,000) in Manila, Philippines started

Philippines is all set to construct a US$214m, the 50,000-seat indoor stadium at Ciudad de Victoria. It is commissioned by commissioned by the Philippine's Iglesia Ni Cristo and will be completed in time for its centennial celebration in 2014. It uses simple geometry to for a strong appeal.
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Dubai Skyscraper (The Torch) Matches Empire State Height To Become Tallest Residential Building In World.

The torch, one of the residential projects coming up in Dubai Marina, became the world’s tallest residential property in May, 2011. Being 348m high it is 25m higher than the previous tallest residential building, the Gold Coast’s Q1 Tower in Australia.
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But it won’t remain so for long as other buildings in the Dubai Marina such as the 414m high Princess Tower and the 516m high Pentominium Tower are due to be commissioned next year.

Lai Chi Kok Drainage Tunnel – Main Tunnel Breakthrough

The contract to design and construct the Lai Chi Kok Transfer Scheme was won by Leighton Asia and the construction work began in November, 2008. The breakthrough of this branch tunnel was done January this year and the whole project is expected to be finished late next year. The HK$1.7 billion project involves the construction of the branch tunnel and the main tunnel, each with internal diameter 4.9m, which totally adds up to 3.7km length. The main tunnel will collect all the storm water from butterfly valley and the branch tunnels and will be conveyed into the Victoria Harbor near Stonecutters Island.
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Luxurious five star Rixos Palm Jumeirah hotel to be completed and handed over on January 2012.

The luxurious five star hotel is all set to make its presence felt in Dubai also. The construction of the Rixos Palm Jumeirah hotel has been in full swing and will add value to the palm islands built in the Dubai coast. It will be open in January, 2012.
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The project footprint shows that only 30% of the land is indoor area. Rest 70% is dedicated to gardens and a beach promenade area.

Capital Gate completed

One building with innovation and splendor is the Capital Gate of Abu Dhabi, also called the “leaning tower of Abu Dhabi”, it has earned a name for itself as ”the World’s Furthest Leaning Manmade Tower’.  The building has a westward incline of 18 degrees which is 5 times that of Leaning tower of Pisa. The concept called symmetry is totally overruled and here there are no two floors with same plan or no two rooms with same dimensions. It is indeed a true masterpiece!

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The Leaning tower of Abu Dhabi

The Capital Gate though scheduled for completion in 2010, was completed only in 2011. It will also house a Five-star hotel, Hyatt Capital Gate, which was opened on December, 21st, 2011.

London Olympics 2012 Stadium Construction completed

The most expected sporting events of the next year is the London Olympics 2012. And the designers have taken up a challenge to make the venues spectacular and make a mark. The stadium is built at Lower Lea Valley in Stratford at Marshgate Lane. The design team comprises of HOK sports (Populus) which is a sports architecture firm, consulting firm M-E Engineers which also has the Olympics stadium for the 2000 Sydney games to its credit. The design was finalized on November 2007 and the construction began in May, 2008. The seating capacity of the bowl shaped stadium is 80,000 of which only 25,000 is permanent.

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Architectural plans of the 2022 FIFA World Cup stadiums released this year and the works commenced in the stadiums

December 2010 the location for 2022 FIFA World Cup is finalized as Qatar. Qatar is raising expectations of the entire world with the slogan ‘expect amazing’ for the 2022 FIFA world cup. Qatar plans to renovate three existing stadiums and build 9 new stadiums for this tournament. Qatar has already been successful in attracting the attention of the world towards its 12 colorful proposed stadiums including ones like the  boat shaped Al Shamal stadium, the sea shell shaped Al Khor Stadium. Qatar says it will be unrealistic to have so many luxury stadiums once the event has ended. So they will be dismantled as modular parts and be used to rebuild 22 new stadiums in the developing nations. The stadium seating will consist of two tiers. The lower tier will be permanent and the upper tier will alone be made of modular elements and will be removed once this sporting event is over. The architechtural plans and other details were released early this year. And the construction works in different stadiums commenced.

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Doha Port Stadium

To make it comfortable for the fans and the players in spite of the unbearable summer heat, Qatar is planning to have the world’s first open air cooled stadium. It is a proven and fully effective technology. It will cool the stadiums, training zones, and fan zones to 27 degree centigrade.  The system is operated by solar power and uses carbon neutral technology. It will make 2022 FIFA world cup first ever cooled outdoor sporting event.

That concludes the compilation of the news that made Civil Engineers proud! Hope that the next year too has more such outstanding creations coming up and they outlive 21st, December, 2012!

Happy New Year 2012 Crazyengineers!

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