Engineering News

Emerging Green Technologies

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With pollution levels rising around the world, we’re developing alternatives to traditional energy sources more and more each year. Here’s a rundown of the emerging technologies that allow us to bring electricity and resources to our households in the most environmentally friendly ways.

The Erickson Building

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A new luxury residential tower in Vancouver provides a twist on the typology

It’s not hard to imagine why developers flock to the waterfront of Vancouver, British Columbia. Concord Pacific Group has built many high-rise glass and concrete residential towers there, but the Erickson Building – a new 17-story, 61-unit development – stands out among their portfolio. Designed in the style of legendary Canadian architect Arthur Erickson, known for his modernist concrete structures, the Erickson’s twisting form rotates counterclockwise and then shifts clockwise, evoking the motion of the water below. Between concrete columns, expanses of glass capture panoramic views of downtown Vancouver, False Creek, the Strait of Georgia, and the Pacific Ocean beyond.

Case Study: Zaha Hadid Architects’ Riverside Museum of Transport and Travel, Part 5

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The fifth and final article in Buildipedia’s series on the Riverside Museum takes a look at some of the less visible aspects of this spectacular building: the HVAC system, acoustic engineering, and more.

“Complex geometry” is a phrase that successfully sums up Zaha Hadid’s Riverside Museum of Transport and Travel in Glasgow, Scotland – particularly its roof plane. According to Rod Manson, partner and engineer with Buro Happold, “The roof was commonly referred to as the ‘fifth elevation’ on the project.” Its zigzag form, coupled with the vast size of the exhibition space beneath, created several challenges for the engineers tasked with integrating the building systems while ensuring a streamlined look, both inside and out. “It was very important to the architect that the MEP systems be invisible and blend in with the overall building form,” explains Manson. He shared a few of Buro Happold’s clever solutions.

Case Study: Zaha Hadid Architects’ Riverside Museum of Transport and Travel, Part 2

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Second in a five-part series on Glasgow’s Riverside Museum, this article examines the building's structural engineering. International engineering firm Buro Happold provided structural engineering services. Follow Buildipedia throughout the month of March to read in-depth coverage of the Riverside Museum's various design and engineering systems.

Zaha Hadid is known for designing buildings with far-out forms. The recently completed Riverside Museum in Glasgow, Scotland, lives up to this reputation, featuring a zig-zagging profile in plan and section. Although seeming to defy gravity with its column-free spans, the building conceals some savvy structural maneuvers beneath its sleek skin of zinc. Engineering giant Buro Happold was the wizard behind the curtain.

Tight Construction Timelines Affect Lincoln’s Pinnacle Bank Arena

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Architects, engineers, and contractors streamline their process to ensure a quick delivery of the Nebraska Cornhuskers’ new home, Pinnacle Bank Arena.

Along the western edge of downtown Lincoln, Nebraska, lies the historic Haymarket District. An industrial and commercial area in use since the 1870s, the district had nevertheless become blighted and run-down. In the 1980s, the Haymarket District began to attract some mixed-use development, including art galleries, coffee houses, and residences. In more recent years, rehabilitation efforts have extended westward, and an official redevelopment plan was established.

Toronto's Deep Lake Water Cooling System

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Downtown Toronto takes advantage of Lake Ontario's constant lake bottom temperature to operate a heat exchange system.

Toronto’s Deep Lake Water Cooling system offers the city’s downtown property owners a compelling alternative to their buildings’ air conditioning requirements. Instead of installing separate chilled water generators within their buildings, many are taking advantage of the Deep Lake Water Cooling system, operated by Enwave Energy Corporation. The Deep Lake Water Cooling system offers substantial cost savings if building operators forego a standard chiller plant and instead install heat exchangers to interface with it. We’ll overview the functional parts of the Deep Lake Water Cooling system, which has been in service since 2004: the Lake Ontario intake pipes, the Island Filtration Plant, Enwave’s Energy Transfer Station (ETS), and the closed-loop Deep Lake Water Cooling chilled water circuit that individual buildings can access with new heat exchangers.

Intelligent Benchmarking and Beyond

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Measuring is the best way to improve what you are doing. Doing it right is the trick.

Benchmarking is a form of measurement – where you measure something else to see where you are lagging, identify the areas and take corrective action. This is the essence of benchmarking. Incorporate this as part of your Health Check, as discussed earlier.

Civil Engineering Tip: Go Play in the Rain!

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My latest bit of unsolicited advice for civil engineers and other land development professionals is simple: go play in the rain. Alternatively, if you feel you have gotten too old (never!) to play in the rain, at least get out and watch it. The typical human tendency is to stay inside when it rains, and going out to check on the site of your proposed, ongoing, or completed construction project is probably one of the last things that you want to do, but it can be a tremendous learning experience.

Successive Alkalinity-Producing Systems (SAPS)

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A challenge of mining operations and any project that disturbs large volumes of earth below grade is the potential to generate contaminated water runoff at the surface known as acid mine drainage (AMD). Precious metal and coal mine shafts traditionally require excavation below the water table, exposing metal sulfides in the disturbed earth and waste soils to the atmosphere and water. Similar exposure can occur during major highway construction projects. Stormwater runoff and water discharged from dewatering pumps related to these construction activities can be very low in pH (acidic) and can contain harmful metal ions. Eric McCleary of Greenhorne & O’Mara helped develop the successive alkalinity-producing system (SAPS) process to treat this AMD water and shares insights regarding this innovative technology with the Buildipedia audience.

LEED Silver-Certified Landfill: The First of Its Kind

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Throughout the last 10 years LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) has developed into an efficient and effective solution for building owners to reduce expenses and limit the environmental impact of their buildings. Although many LEED projects take the form of typical commercial, institutional, government, and healthcare facilities, LEED provides many other sectors the ability to differentiate and produce a truly rare project, none more so than the Twin Oaks Landfill in Grimes County, Texas, which achieved LEED Silver certification.

The Controversy Surrounding Hydraulic Fracturing

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The Marcellus Shale, a subterranean rock formation that extends to 10 eastern and Appalachian states as well as Canada, may well become the proving ground for hydraulic fracturing, an increasingly controversial method of drilling for natural gas, with Pennsylvania currently the flashpoint of this controversy.

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