FEATURES, INTERVIEWS AND IDEAS FROM BUROHAPPOLD ENGINEERING ISSUE THREE
Y MAGAZINE: #THINKAGAIN The magazine of BuroHappold Engineering
E N G I N E E R I N G W I T H A C A P I TA L ‘E’
You may have noticed recently a change at BuroHappold Engineering. A spring in our step and a sparkle in our eye. Well you wouldn’t be wrong. We have been working hard over the last year designing new services and solutions and injecting additional va va voom across the practice! It’s great to celebrate the positive changes and share with all our clients and friends around the world a refreshed, reinvigorated and revitalised engineering practice. BuroHappold Engineering – that’s Engineering with a capital E! Our engineering professionals hold one of the broadest and most diverse skillsets of any engineering firm; in our innovators, problem solvers, economists, designers and consultants, who each hold a unique view of the world, solve problems and turn vision into reality. Our ethos at BuroHappold is the pursuit of the simple honest truth.
In this third edition of Y we continue to celebrate the wonderful spectrum of engineering. We speak with Peggy Liu about how China’s getting greener; we marvel at the ingenuity applied to moving 6000 conference delegates around a hotel efficiently; we travel to the Middle East to hear more about this fascinating market from our new Managing Director and we question whether mega sporting events have had their day. So yes, we are changing and we know you’ll feel the difference. But rest assured even though our dedication, passion and care remain unchanged our hunger, energy and commitment to creating a better world through Engineering has never been stronger. It’s infectious, just talk to us and you’ll understand why. That’s Engineers with a capital E! BuroHappold Engineering
We embrace the difficult to work towards a resilient world that is not just for us to enjoy but that will last many life times. This is the power of Engineering and we’re proud of it.
RECLAIMING ENGINEERING 6 AWAKENING A SLEEPING GIANT 8 A LAND OF OPPORTUNITY 10 PEGGY LIU 14 THE BIG PICTURE: BAAKENHAFEN BRIDGE, GERMANY 20 NORTHERN STAR 22 SPORT MEGA EVENTS: DO THEY HAVE A FUTURE? 24
GREAT IDEAS YOU WISHED YOU’D THOUGHT OF 26 HOW DO YOU GET 6000 DELEGATES TO A MEETING ON TIME? 28 FRACKING AND SUSTAINABILITY ENERGY PLANNING 32 THE BIG PICTURE: GROVE TOWERS, ANDHERI, INDIA 34 BLADE RUNNER: UTOPIA v DYSTOPIA 36 CONTACTS 38
W O R D S T H AT S AY
A common word describing a multifaceted profession that has lost its meaning in today’s complicated world.
If we look back at history, it could be argued that the pinnacle of the engineering profession in the UK was Victorian Britain. The country was undergoing a long period of prosperity, national confidence was sky high, the population began to grow and the country was becoming increasingly interconnected with the improvement in transportation and investment in large scale infrastructure. This boom in industry and technology placed the engineer very much in the public eye. Heroes of the day, they started transforming lives through their ingenuity. Brunel, synonymous with the time and the profession, showed the world just what engineers could achieve.
Regarded as a business man, innovator and problem solver he was revered by many and inspired many more to follow him. Several decades on the 1960s and 1970s saw rapid social change on a global scale. New nations were formed and new economic powerhouses began to rival the United States. Soon economics began to dominate international relations. Pollution, poverty, weapons and war. Engineers were often blamed for many of these woes. So what of today? The developed world has become a healthier, safer and more productive place; a place where engineering has forged an irreversible
imprint on our lives and identities. But has society forgotten this; do we now overlook the value of great engineering and the profound impact it has had and continues to have on our lives? Perhaps scientists are to blame, after all what’s the difference between them and engineers? A common held view is that scientists discover new knowledge and it’s the engineer who takes that knowledge and puts it to practical use. Scientists look for absolute truth but an engineer must see the bigger picture to understand how all the interrelated parts work together. An engineer bridges science and society by acting as the intermediary between
people and technology. Public policy and debate often mistakes science and engineering to be the same thing, despite their differences. The scientific world has really communicated what it’s doing incredibly well, and has raised its public profile. Professor Brian Cox, who featured in our first edition of Y, is testament to that. The engineer, however, has difficulty communicating successes, due to the modesty and pragmatism that they often possess; we have a tendency to solve problems and not shout about it. In a world of uncertainties change is constant and today we see our existence heading into another period of very rapid upheaval. The role of the engineer is becoming increasingly important. Extraordinary technological advances, population growth and significant migrations of people to cities presents society with a myriad of issues that need to be addressed as a matter of urgency. Couple this with scarcity of essential resources, changing weather patterns, complex health challenges, looming food and water shortages, overstretched social services and ageing populations; there is an increasing need to deliver much more with a lot less. But this is of course what engineers do. We need to embrace the difficult and apply our diverse range of skills and expertise; technical, economic, consulting, planning, design, problem solving to lead the way with a clear understanding of the challenges ahead. We need to be brave enough to stand up and take a moral, technical and political stance to deliver solutions that achieve the simple honest truth.
So how do we do this? We need to reach new levels of understanding with the public and the ways in which they interact with technology. Engineers must be global citizens who design for opportunity and not a singular planned outcome. The benefits engineering work creates across the globe often go unmeasured but not unnoticed. Brunel did not imagine how his legacy would live on; most of his work has been adapted and reimagined and is used even today in these modern times. Fortunately the mind-set of the engineer is one that can adapt, respond and advance quickly and it’s been this way since it was recognised as a profession over 100 years ago. There are some enduring characteristics of an engineer that make this all eminently possible. We are hard wired to analyse, question, examine, interrogate and then, of course, proceed with practical purpose.
Lastly the engineer must lead and accept that traditional engineering goes beyond what has happened in the past; today we must integrate people with science and technology like never before. Brunel was regarded as a maveric in some circles but he mobilised whole societies. This liberated his success, enabling society who trusted him to innovate and balance economics and infrastructure. BuroHappold is an engineering practice and we’re proud of it. Our contribution is broad and goes far beyond what today’s society gives engineers credit for. Through our actions and engagement we are at the heart of advancing key holistic solutions to the biggest challenges of our time and the future. This is full-breadth consultancy and integrates multiple skillsets to deliver elegant, high value solutions for our clients.
We are ingenious, resourceful, imaginative and creative, we can be broad in our focus, linking the independent component parts and solving problems by understanding the system as a whole. However to really reclaim greater esteem in our society we must communicate effectively; connecting diverse global teams, managing public and private enterprise and global clientele.
Roger Nickells CEO
The best communicators listen as well as speak and so engineers can’t just focus on visual, oral and written mediums to convey their solutions, they must hear what their clients’ needs are and respond appropriately.
Awakening a sleeping giant Every city has one; a treasure that is loved and protected by the people, a building or place that has stood the test of time and is ingrained on the hearts and minds of residents locally. But sometimes, a place can affect a whole nation. You can’t quite put your finger on it, but people become passionate and wildly protective of it; they stake their claim, it’s part of their life, their story and history. Places like this don’t come around every day but this is exactly what Battersea Power Station is; one of central London’s largest, most iconic buildings and one of England’s most celebrated sleeping giants that is slowly being awakened and along with it the passions of Londoners and the population beyond.
On the developers’ circuit Battersea Power Station is probably one of the most visionary and eagerly anticipated new developments in the UK for years. The project will see the creation of a vibrant, mixed use development, a new urban quarter for central London serviced by an extension to the London underground network and the restoration of the Grade II listed power station. The 42 acre industrial site will include a community of homes, shops, cafes, offices and 18 acres of public space. With vision, comes change and visible change to boot. Whilst there have been many years of remediation work at Battersea, this time the heart strings are being tugged, as work begins to start taking down the iconic chimneys.
Awakening a sleeping giant
Justin Phillips partner and director at BuroHappold Engineering cited “For 15 years we have tried various different ways of affecting repairs to the chimneys but if they are going to be safeguarded on the skyline for future generations it has become clear they need to be dismantled and rebuilt. The process will be done sensitively using a circular rig which will gradually descend from the top as the chimney is dismantled, and then ascend shortly afterwards as the chimney is rebuilt. The rebuilt chimney will be visibly identical but the pattern of the steel reinforcement and the composition of the concrete has been improved to make them less vulnerable to corrosion.” From a distance the scale of the damage to the chimneys is hardly visible but when you get up close it’s clear to see the extent of harm that years of neglect
have caused. Like a shattered eggshell the chimneys are in a very fragile state. Rather neatly the ingenious rigging solution will slowly descend the chimney chipping away at the material and safely removing the debris through the existing structure and then reusing it as construction material on the project. Once each chimney has been dismantled it will be rebuilt from the bottom using the same form of reinforced concrete materials as the original. It will take approximately three months to dismantle and about five months to fully rebuild each chimney to its height of approximately 50 metres above the brickwork. The south west chimney will be the first to be rebuilt and once it has been reconstructed to reach a height of 25 metres above the brick wash tower, work will commence simultaneously
Justin Phillips firstname.lastname@example.org +44 (0)1225 320600
to dismantle and reconstruct the three remaining chimneys. All four chimneys are expected to be fully reconstructed in mid 2016. Philip Gullett, Chief Operating Officer at Battersea Power Station Development Company commented “The four iconic chimneys are not only one of the most distinctive features of the London skyline; they are the very DNA of this historical building. Today we are a step closer to the start of this vital restoration work to safeguard the chimneys and the power station building itself for future generations.” Public consultation around the works have been vital in keeping people informed of the plans for the city’s faithful old friend and keeping the look of the original chimneys the same has been painstakingly thought-through. Firstly paint scrapings have been
scrutinised and matched with new to create exact visual replicas and of course the same materials are being recycled but with the recommended steel reinforcements to ensure longevity. For each chimney approximately 600 tonnes of concrete will be removed and a similar volume used in the rebuild. This attention to detail and desire to retain the building’s integrity has helped to ease public concern over the project. Councillor Ravi Govindia, leader of the London Borough of Wandsworth commented “The four chimneys of Battersea power station are a defining feature for both Wandsworth and London’s skyline. For that reason we exercised a real duty of care to make sure the necessary replacement programme will proceed quickly and accurately under any circumstances. We have agreed a financial bond with the
developers which means that there will be funding ring-fenced specifically for the replacement of the chimneys which the council can call on. We have also agreed a sequencing strategy whereby at no stage is the power station left with no chimneys visible.” Battersea Power Station is of exceptional architectural and historical significance and its future is something that millions take very seriously indeed. Preserving the future of the site and ensuring the longevity of the new chimneys was at the heart of the process. Exceptional engineering has secured the future for Battersea and the expectation is that with periodic maintenance the rebuilt chimneys will last well into the next century before requiring any major repairs.
Awakening a sleeping giant
A land of opportunity Oliver Plunkett, MD of BuroHappoldâ€™s Middle East region talks about the exciting opportunities that arise when you live and work in this economic powerhouse.
The Riyadh cityscape from the air. Looking along King Fahd Road.
A land of opportunity
Why did I move to Riyadh in 2009? Simply put, it’s the land of opportunity for engineers! If you examine the pace of change in Saudi Arabia, what’s been achieved here in an understated and workmanlike fashion in the last 50 years is incredible. Although there are tight controls on the numbers of foreign workers, there are still great opportunities to get involved with interesting work here. There’s something a bit different about Saudi projects. I’m not interested in repeating designs and fortunately this isn’t a place where you have to; everything is unique. It’s now five years since I arrived here and BuroHappold has a multitude of once in a generation projects approaching completion: Atturaif, Haramain, King Abdul Aziz Centre for World Culture and King Abdullah Financial District to name a few. Playing a part in bringing all these projects to fruition really does makes my job one of the most satisfying in the world!
Building projects aside, the Kingdom does, however, present its own unique set of urban challenges. A major concern in Saudi is the rapid rate of population growth and the need for city infrastructure to support the resulting urban sprawl. In Riyadh alone around 6 million car journeys are made every day, so you can imagine the congestion problems! The few private buses that trundle noisily up and down the main street outside our office, don’t even start to address the congestion issues. Riyadh just continues to expand, which could be a major problem if it doesn’t enable itself to be sustainable from a financial perspective; it could end up with similar problems to those seen in Detroit. If the reason for a city to exist changes and growth continues at an unprecedented rate, it can adversely affect revenue streams. The huge urban challenge facing Riyadh now is that the transport infrastucture for the Riyadh metro and bus rapid transit system is
only just being put in place to support the continued population expansion, which in many ways is a cultural thing. With the majority of the populace having grown up only ever using private cars, a significant cultural shift is necessary to persuade them to use public transport. It will happen but it will most likely take a generation for this change to make an impact. In the meantime the city must contend with this huge urban challenge. Our teams out here are doing all they can to help the region tackle these pressing challenges. The metro system by itself won’t combat the issue of growth, but it will give the large population an alternative to gridlock on the roads. We are working with the Riyadh Municipality to deliver transport solutions through our ‘Future Riyadh’ work. Using our contextual experience and skills to consult with local people has really been fundamental in our approach to addressing these challenges and to explore what the municipality
and the people think the city should look like. Using our contacts, we have brought together groups of Saudi business leaders, students and women’s groups in workshops focused on exploring what they believe the future of the city should be. Helping to shape the future of Riyadh through consulting a cross-section of local people has proved a really fascinating process. When thinking about the future of Riyadh, it’s impossible not to question the sustainability of an economy that is so reliant upon the oil industry. What alternative big future market could be viable for Saudi if the country is to move away from this dependence? One solution could be religious tourism. Muslims around the globe are determined to visit Makkah and Medina at least once in their lifetime. Recognising the significance and value of these destinations offers a huge opportunity to extend tourism by encouraging visitors to stay and explore
other landmarks such as the Unesco World Heritage Site of Atturaif as well as other equally significant natural and historical features. Our Cities team has created a Geo Tourism Scheme for the local tourism authority – effectively creating the framework for a series of national parks across the Kingdom and an associated revenue stream. Imagine a pilgrim arriving at the northern border of Saudi by train to visit the ancient city of Mada’in Saleh, continuing to Makkah and Medina on the Haramain Railway, then travelling on to Riyadh to visit Atturaif, relaxing in Wadi Hanifah and experiencing the retail delights of Riyadh before flying out from the expanded, modernised King Khalid International Airport – all BuroHappold projects! I am driven by the opportunities which Saudi Arabia continues to present to BuroHappold as they’re distinct from other Gulf States whose challenges are
based around creating effective business opportunities without the benefit of oil revenues or the demands of a large population. It’s a challenge I relish though as these unique, iconic projects really keep me engaged and passionate about the region and its people. I am thrilled to have been given the opportunity to extend my involvement as Managing Director for BuroHappold in the Middle East. I’m really looking to delivering new elegant solutions to the complex challenges facing the region.
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The King Abdullah Financial District under construction, Riyadh, KSA.
A land of opportunity
Image: Neil Macbeth, TEDxChristchurch
Peggy Liu speaking at TEDxChristchurch, New Zealand, 2010.
PEGGY LIU Peggy Liu believes China has to get greener as it gets richer. She talks to Chris Moss about sustainability, smart cities and language barriersâ€Ś
Peggy Liu and Shanghai were made for each other. If you’ve ever been to China’s economic powerhouse, you’ll know that the city lives in a permanent rush-hour; not only at the micro level, but at the macro level too, with roads, rail systems and skyscrapers going up all about you, round the clock. Peggy Liu’s curriculum vitae fits the city perfectly. Born in America to Chinese parents, Liu grew up in the States. She graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in electrical engineering and computer science and completed a programme in global leadership and public policy for the 21st Century at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government as well as a program at the Lee Kwan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore. After a few years in Silicon Valley followed by a short stint at McKinsey & Co as a management consultant she relocated to China, initially because her husband wanted to explore the new work opportunities available there but also because her own family had relocated too. But the move felt like a homecoming. “It doesn’t matter where you’re born but if you’re Chinese you have this sort of calling back to your motherland. I’m not familiar with any other culture or ethnicity that has that strong a call,” she says. “Lots of us are coming back to try our hand here. This is a really exciting moment, when China has come from zero, the slate has been wiped clean and it’s struggling to grow really fast across all sectors. If you have any language capability and international experience you can make a huge difference.” To this end, in 2007, she created the Joint US-China Collaboration on Clean Energy (JUCCCE), a non-profit organisation dedicated to sustainable development in China through the fostering of international collaboration. The range of objectives of the organisation is wide and ambitious, including training more than 600 Chinese government officials on sustainable urban development; generating mainstream green-hued consumer media coverage; convening high-level influencers in cross-border and cross16
sector collaboration; holding the first public dialogues between US and China on clean energy; introducing smart grid energy systems to China. At the heart of all these initiatives is a focus on communication. When you talk to Liu, the first thing that strikes you is how articulate, charming and sharp she is. She talks passionately about smart cities and can reel off statistics on green investments and still find time for dry humour about how “China sucks at marketing” and for selfdeprecating wisecracks. “At JUCCCE we’re trying to use marketing language, that is storytelling, to engage people enough so they want to get involved in solving problems,” she says. “This is new for China and it’s also pretty new for the world. The environmental movement has largely failed during the last few years because we’ve not been telling the right story. We’ve been talking to people’s heads instead of their hearts, and we’ve been using scare tactics instead of aspiration. “A large part of what we do is to tap into the dark arts of mass media, movies, television and advertising, and try to use that type of storytelling to transform desire. We have to stop talking about sustainability completely, and stop using words like green, climate change, and circular economy, and use normal words that relate to normal people’s ideas of personal prosperity.” The detail of this is outlined in JUCCCE’s “China Dream” initiative, which reimagines prosperity in a sustainable China and outlines the dialogue that will be needed to make it happen. Liu says the media-savvy approach is gaining momentum globally, most notably in the UK, where she highlights the work of former Saatchi & Saatchi advertising executives Julian Borra and Vicky Grinnell-Wright. Their collaborative UK Dream project, modelled on China Dream, was launched at the Science Museum in March 2013. But communication is also at the heart of the work Liu does with the government. “China just doesn’t know how to relate to the West,” she says. ”That’s why it has got such a terrible image in so many places. It doesn’t actually recognise the value of marketing. If you
“The environmental movement has largely failed during the last few years because we've not been telling the right story”
Above and left: JUCCCE has developed a curriculum for the three training academies it works with to improve teaching methods for building sustainable cities. In the last five years, JUCCCE has taught 600 officials all over China including vice mayors, mayors, central bureau heads and state-owned enterprise executives. Topics have covered such areas as Ecoheritage tourism, Soul of a City – social spaces, Sustainable lifestyle and Low Carbon Transport.
Image: McMaster Institute for Sustainable Development in Commerce
Peggy Liu at the FT China Energy and Environment Summit, 2009.
â€œIt's exciting to think of all the opportunitiesâ€? 18
look at Chinese investment in sustainability, you can’t deny the scale of commitment. There are 100 cities that are doing smart city pilots and the government has provided $100bn in subsidies to support that work. There are three regional pilots to combat air pollution, costing $270bn, and there is $330bn being spent on water pollution pilots. “Compare that with the US, where Obama came out to announce $1bn for a climate resilience fund. All of the US government agencies together add up to a spend of around $8bn for clean technology programmes, while China is easily spending a trillion dollars on sustainability and yet the message doesn’t get out.” This is where Peggy Liu and JUCCCE come into their own. With only approximately 50 million Chinese owning passports, the country lacks access to international forums and the global discourse on sustainable development. “It’s not like the Chinese are going out to the pub in London and meeting people,” she says. “A CEO from China doesn’t really know how to network or socialise when he finds himself in, say Germany, on a business trip. “This may sound strange but I’m one of very few people here who can go out there and talk about sustainability in English and Chinese and get the right people interested.” If you need proof of the latter, she’ll tell you she’s even got President Xi Jinping talking about China Dream. As the number of consumers in China grows from 474 million today to around 800 million in 2025, and average per capita income trebles, Liu argues that the country will have to rethink everything from food sourcing to mass transport to urban development at a human scale. “Take social spaces,” she says “There are very, very, very few in China and the ones that are any good have been designed by foreigners. We’re looking for models at places such as Granville Island in Vancouver Island, Borough Market in London and Bryant Park in New York City.” But whether it’s social spaces or entire smart cities, China needs them urgently. JUCCCE was always conceived as a ten year, finite project, responding to immediate issues and sowing the
seeds of change. This sits well with a country that evolves according to national five year plans and is used to seeing tangible results in the short term. “The pace can be exhilarating and terrifying,” says Liu. “If you have slightly perfectionist tendencies like I do, then you are terrified because we’re building so fast and there can’t possibly be craftsmanship. You’re not going to build Buckingham Palace in nine months. It just has to be good enough. We rolled out a smart grid exhibition space and working demo in Yangzhou in the time it would take to fix an elevator in the US.” Liu recognises that because of its huge population China’s problems are the world’s problems, noting how even a simple switch from traditional lighting to energy saving lightbulbs can save huge amounts of energy. The fact that power in China is concentrated in a centralised government allows green policies to be approved speedily and universally. “The 1.3bn would overwhelm me if we weren’t able to work so fast, if the government wasn’t structured in such a way that there are very few decision makers and centralised channels where we can move the needle fast. But because China has learned how to do change at large scale and is learning how to do it better all the time, it’s exciting to think of all the opportunities. “If you’re the sort of person who wants to make the world a better place there is no better incubator than China.”
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The Big Picture
Baakenhafen Bridge Hamburg, Germany
The Big Picture: Baakenhafen Bridge, Hamburg, Germany
Image: BuroHappold Engineering / Wilfried Dechau
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Built in collaboration with Wilkinson Eyre Architects, the Baakenhafen Bridge is 170m long, 21m wide and weighs approximately 2,300 tonnes. Completed in 2013 it unlocks a key site on the HafenCity development in Hamburg, opening the area up to the constant free flow of traffic by both road and water. Designed to meet current and future traffic and sustainability demands, this elegant bridge has an innovative removable element; using a lift-out section, moved by the force of the tide it facilitates the passage of large shipping, breaking new grounds in “minimal movement”.
The Big Picture: Baakenhafen Bridge, Hamburg, Germany
Northern Star Leeds, key hub for northern England, is a dynamic, thriving city and a testament to how economies can prosper outside of London’s often overwhelming influence. The regional capital of Yorkshire, Leeds sits on the River Aire, nestling in the shadow of the nearby Pennines and close to the breath-taking Yorkshire Dales. It’s the regional service centre for healthcare, higher education, law and finance and is currently the UK’s fourth largest urban economy. A leading light in the industrial revolution of the 18th century Leeds’ economic growth relied heavily on manufacturing, built up around locally sourced materials; textiles, potteries, printing, tanning and soap makers. However in the last few decades the city has seen a radical switch from an economy based on manufacturing to one led by the service sector with its fortunes firmly fixed around a range of professional services. Working to a visionary plan to regenerate and revitalise the city centre, Leeds’ latest service-based offering is the retail centre, Trinity Leeds. Breaking with the recent tradition of creating out of town retail parks, scattering consumers and their cash around the suburbs, Trinity Leeds is based in the very heart of the city; an inspired
strategy that has truly paid dividends in bringing revenue, both from consumers and businesses, in to the centre. The development which is one of the largest in Europe has enticed visitors across an ever-increasing catchment area and, equally as important, has kick-started Leeds’ reputation as the business hub of the North, increasing the demand for lucrative commercial office and residential space, following in the footsteps of developments such as Clarence Dock and Brewery Wharf. The city today There is a real buzz in the Leeds of today, a sense of excitement and confidence about the place. The cityscape has been transformed in recent years with the likes of Trinity Leeds, a number of new tourist attractions and entertainment parks as well as both the refurbishment of existing residential properties and new developments. People are drawn to Leeds; it has a fantastic reputation as an amazing place to work, live and play. Academically the local schools have a solid standing with a number
achieving Ofsted Outstanding and in the higher education stakes, the University of Leeds attracts students from around the globe, boosting the local economy substantially. The city’s suburbs are brimming with the affluent, attracted by the thriving business community and the short urban commute. However there is a vast difference between the quality of life in these wealthy neighbourhoods and some of Leeds’ deprived inner-city areas. Recently the council-led Leeds Initiative introduced the Neighbourhood Renewal Strategy; a plan devised to tackle the multiple problems of poverty and to improve all parts of Leeds, looking at new ways to share resources and work with communities to achieve results. A centre for tourism It’s been estimated that tourism brings nearly £735m in to the local economy each year and the attractions Leeds can offer are diverse. For example, weaponry aficionados can quell their thirst for knowledge at the Royal Armouries Museum, or find out more about the
city’s heritage at Leeds City Museum. Accolades such as Conde Nast’s UK’s Favourite City and a place in the Top 501 Must Visit Cities guide have also enabled Leeds to cast significant influence on the international events calendar; this year it played host to the opening leg of the 2014 Tour de France. More than 12,000 people watched the opening ceremony for this world renowned event in the Leeds area and thousands more gathered in the streets as the cyclists pedalled by. Future Leeds There is no doubt that the forward thinking plans led by the city council will ensure Leeds continues to secure its place amongst the UK’s top cities supporting a booming economy and a high standard of living. A number of country wide initiatives will help in this sustained success including the plans for HS2 – the high speed rail link planned between London and the north. It is envisaged that HS2 has the potential to unlock one of the largest regeneration projects in Europe, the redevelopment of the city’s south bank, creating jobs, housing and investment, as well as a new step-change in the city’s transport links. As we have for the last quarter of a century, BuroHappold will be there to support, advise and help deliver the continued regeneration of Leeds, truly a northern star.
BuroHappold Engineering has been operating in Leeds for over 25 years
1 C larence Dock a residential, retail and office development designed to bring high quality living to the city centre. Image: BuroHappold Engineering / Angus MacDonald
2 T rinity Leeds, a 1,000,000 sq ft, £350m retail centre opened in 2013 in a prime position in the thriving city. Image: EG Focus
3 T he Royal Armouries Museum with 8,500 objects in display in five galleries, forms part of Clarence Dock development. Image: BuroHappold Engineering
4 Doubletree by Hilton, part of the Granary Wharf development, with spectacular views across the city. Image: View Pictures Ltd
5 B rewery Place, a £100m development forming part of the significant regeneration within the city centre along the River Aire.
“The Leeds office has been a significant part of the BuroHappold success story over the last 25 years in the UK. Leeds is a great city and continues to develop itself to meet the ever changing demands of business, technology and people. There is no doubt that the future is bright for the City of Leeds.” Simon Wainwright MD Northern Europe
Image: Simon Collison
6 The Grand Départ of the 2014 Tour de France from Leeds. Image: peteaylward
To find out more about our work in Leeds please contact: Simon Wainwright email@example.com or Mark Phillip firstname.lastname@example.org
DO THEY HAVE A FUTURE? While mega sporting events each have their own peculiarities, they often share a number of characteristics; they are transient, but often of great economic and cultural significance; they employ drama and spectacle to highlight and promote values of local, national and international importance; and they put increased focus on the societies, institutions and elites who are involved with them. However given the fragility of the global economic climate and the billions invested into infrastructure geared solely for these brief â€˜megaâ€™ sporting spectacles, there is an ever pressing question, do we need to start rethinking the model for such events across the globe?
sport Mega events: do they have a future?
Image: Ben Tavener
At the UN’s seventh global gathering of city stakeholders in Colombia recently, the ongoing narrative focused sharply on neighbouring Brazil’s hosting of the World Cup and Olympics. This summer’s Brazilian World Cup is estimated to cost roughly $15 billion, easily topping the $5 billion spent by South Africa in 2010, and this has already placed a great strain on the country’s society. Last year the skyrocketing budget for the country’s mega events and the prospect of rising transit fares drove tens of thousands of Brazilians on to the streets, prompting President Dilma Rousseff to offer political concessions and pledge more than $20 billion toward public service investments. Brazil is not the only host nation which has faced political backlash in recent months; Qatar, hosts of the 2022 World Cup, is looking at a bill estimated at around $200 billion. At the UN gathering, economist and architect Nicholas You suggested that host cities should consider cheaper non-permanent facilities, citing that the model for world expos should be considered. “The unique trait of the world expo and the world fair is that most of the construction is temporary, it’s not meant to be permanent. The very idea that we design something temporary, but fit for purpose is an interesting idea for mega events in the future.” But is temporary construction a “throw away” option and could there be a more palatable alternative? An emerging principle of designing infrastructure for a mega event is to ensure that you design to the specification of the legacy purpose and not solely for the short term spectacle. The opportunity for investment and regeneration that long term planning provides is too good to miss, given the huge economical and social benefits. Giving consideration to the legacy and what will ultimately become of the projects after the main events is also the key to ensuring public support for such events. Intelligent thinking around infrastructure will also provide host nations with the opportunity to make the most of the new facilities after the event has passed.
The London 2012 Olympic Games are a prime example of how a mega sporting event can bring a nation together, inspire future generations, then re-use the sites for public consumption. These games were met with apprehension prior to the opening ceremony, however, when the lights lit up the greatest show on earth, viewers across the globe were united in their love for sport. The recent reopening of the London Olympic Park site to the public proves that the promise of repurposing the infrastructure designed for a mega event can become a reality and a success. Its use by local communities and the wider public is testament to great design and visionary thinking, indeed upwards of 50,000 people visited the park on the opening weekend. Mayor Boris Johnson was thrilled with this turnout saying “Londoners have voted with their feet by turning up in their hoards to declare this opening weekend a great success. With a season of bank holidays nearly upon us, I urge families to head east and visit London’s latest attraction.” Managed correctly a mega event can inspire a generation and facilitate a change in attitude towards sport for years to come. The prospect of swimming in the same pool as your Olympic hero, diving from a board where a world class competition has been held or cycling the same path as a Knight of the Realm inspires young people to strive for progress. When a country commits to hosting a mega event it also commits to investing huge amounts of tax payers’ money in order to deliver the requirements of the sporting spectacle. In order for that investment to appear attractive to the public, today’s events need to be planned and designed with legacy in mind. The society supporting the investment needs to be able to clearly see the long term benefits of the mass expenditure and the positive possibilities economically, socially and culturally that hosting an event of this size can bring for years to come.
sport Mega events: do they have a future?
GREAT IDEAS YOU WISH YOU’D THOUGHT OF… In life there are many designs that really stand the test of time; a good design can become an intrinsic part of your life. Andy Parker tells Y about one design he simply can’t be separated from!
Andy has extensive experience of working around the world and successfully established our first office in India. He is a master at delivering specialist buildings and a champion of integrated design. Andy now leads our Health and Scientific sectors. His expertise in the design of complex and specialised environments associated with health, pharmaceutical laboratories and manufacturing facilities has seen Andy become a recognised figure in these fields. He’s a practical, hands on engineer who enjoys the great outdoors and relishes a challenge. To contact Andy please email email@example.com
GREAT IDEAS YOU WISH YOU’D THOUGHT OF…
Fifteen functions all held at once in the palm of your hand. Clearly a forerunner to a smart phone, the Victorinox Huntsman is an amazing bit of design! Mine has been a faithful travelling companion clocking up 29 countries over the years. Regrettably we’ve had to stop touring abroad together with the introduction of new security measures at airports but we are still very much an ingenious double act. Naturally the appeal to an engineer is the combination of efficiency and elegance of design. Whilst it’s very much driven by function the Huntsman knife has acquired iconic style status over the decades and is an instantly recognised global brand. By combining very high quality materials with sturdy construction the tool really performs. Like all good design I believe it will genuinely last a lifetime. For a single item it’s very useful. When combined with duct tape, WD40 and a hammer there is very little one cannot fix. What is it they say? If it should move and it doesn’t, use WD40. If it shouldn’t and does, use duct tape. For everything else use the hammer. However I’d extend this to say Swiss army knife. Back to the Huntsman. Other than the cork screw, the saw is one of the tools I use the most. Like a pruning saw it cuts on the pull and its tapered blade is fantastic for cutting holes in plasterboard or plywood panels and a multitude of DIY jobs. The sharp knife is used for al fresco lunches of camembert, fresh baguette and tomato; tomato is a great test of the sharpness of any knife. The blade is stainless steel so will never be the sharpest of blades though I’ve sharpened it using kitchen knife sharper, curb stone, beach pebble, walls and door steps of stone houses and it’s never let me down. The cork screw, bottle opener and tin opener are all vital especially when camping with the family, in fact the cork screw has the added bonus of being particularly good at unpicking extra tight knots. And it has a mystery tool. The reamer is meant to be used to open out holes, not for picking the dirt out horses hooves which is the common misconception. The scissors are the best nail scissors money can buy; the thumb operation is equally easy to use in your left or right hand unlike traditional scissors. However not all of the Victorinox range shares the Huntman’s enduring characteristics; the Swiss Champ model is bonkers! It’s an example of taking a great concept and extending it to the point where it doesn’t work anymore. Though this is nothing compared with the Wenger Giant with 87 tools and 141 functions, although this is sold as a collector’s piece and comes with the guidance that it’s not practical to use. The tipping point of either style over substance or substance over style is an interesting one and is something we encounter and need to consider in our everyday work as engineers. Good design is innovative, honest, functional, intuitive, aesthetically pleasing, user focused and as I said before lasts a lifetime. GREAT IDEAS YOU WISH YOU’D THOUGHT OF…
How do you get 6000 delegates to meetings on time?
How do you get 6000 delegates to meetings on time? We’ve all been there: stood in the lobby of an office or hotel, waiting impatiently for the lift to arrive, irritably tapping a foot whilst watching a digital display speed through a sequence of floor numbers; pausing briefly; resuming the count; almost there… then pausing again. A look at the watch and a sigh, late already for that all-important business meeting… Imagine then, arriving for that same all-important business meeting only to find you’re not alone, but surrounded by hundreds of other individuals, all staring in unison at the digital display with a burning ambition to get to that meeting on time. This was a scenario that until recently was experienced by delegates at the International Telecoms Week (ITW) conference in Chicago, an event which hosts nearly 6000 delegates representing more than 1,800 companies from over 140 countries across three days. Located in the Hyatt Regency, which comprises two towers each 34 storeys high each and with 350 bedrooms used as meeting rooms, the event is busy and fast paced: mass movement of delegates between these rooms occurs every 30 minutes placing great pressure on the hotel’s lift system. Whilst considered a highlight in the telecommunications community calendar, it was clear to the event organiser that the queues for the lifts needed to be addressed.
Seeking ways to improve the visitor experience, and keen to stick with the same venue, the event organiser Capacity Media called in the SMART Space team at BuroHappold to examine the problem. Using specialist circulation modelling, SMART Space assesses the interaction of people with buildings, processes and environments to provide an evidence-based approach to assess performance of designs and operations so they can be optimised. The team set about identifying critical scenarios such as the morning arrivals for the first meeting and meeting changeovers during the day. Information about the numbers and movements of delegates was collected and fed into integrated people-flow modelling software and a variety of lift strategies were tested and refined to provide the simplest and most efficient solution. “We interrogated a lot of different options for changing how the lifts operate,” says Dr Becky Hayward, a People Flow consultant with the
How do you get 6000 delegates to meetings on time?
Below: Dynamic modelling (in SMART Move) of delegates using express lifts with flexible lift operators for ITW 2013 and 2014 helped achieve significant improvements in waiting times, journey times and delegate experiences.
SMART Space team. “Drawing on our data, we recommended a strategy of using express lifts; instead of running on automatic, you have a person inside each lift who is manually operating the lift and that person only stops at every fifth floor in the towers, effectively reducing how long it takes the lift to do a round trip.” The recommended express lift strategy was implemented at the ITW 2013 event and proved simple, yet highly effective. Delegates flowed more freely throughout the hotel, reaching meetings in good time. The stairs, rarely used in previous events, were buzzing with activity between each fifth-floor stop and presented some unexpected opportunities. Previous attendees pointedly noticed that the queues at lifts were dramatically reduced from previous years and scored the express lifts as a “definite plus”. Indeed, data extracted post event from the hotel lifts confirmed that they were running more efficiently during the 2013 conference compared to 2012.
How do you get 6000 delegates to meetings on time?
However, inefficiencies still remained. In feedback forms following the event, many delegates noted that the lift operators were stopping at every fifth floor regardless of how full the lift was and which level the occupants required. Stopping at all the floors in between to tell the waiting people that the elevator cannot take any further people was exasperating for those individuals waiting on each express floor and equally frustrating for the lift occupants who felt that they were wasting a lot of time pointlessly pausing at each express stop. Not to be outdone, the SMART Space team set about devising a strategy to improve the efficiency of the system for the 2014 event, without overcomplicating it for either lift operators or delegates. A simple set of flexible rules was developed for the lift operators to follow, represented in a simple decision-making flow diagram.
flowed more freely “Delegates throughout the hotel, reaching
meetings in good time. Using its people-flow modelling software, the SMART Space team developed a bespoke algorithm for the lift following the same set of rules proposed for the lift operators. In a virtual environment they tested the impact of following those rules compared to stopping at every single express floor in the hotel. “When I ran the model it showed there was a 6% to 8% improvement in the efficiency of the lifts,” notes Dr Hayward. “To put that into context, the modelling showed that just having the express floors we recommended gives about a 20% improvement in efficiency. So combine your express floors with lift operators following a set of intelligent rules and you can have real improvement in efficiency.” Placing people and human experience at the heart of the design process is an essential element of the SMART Space approach, so whilst the 6 to 8% increase in efficiency delivered by the flexible operating rules may not seem huge, the delegates’ perception of the experience will undoubtedly be improved, no longer having to stand in a lift making pointless stops at floors when it’s already full.
For Dr Hayward, who applies her specialist people-flow analysis to a wide range of projects from schools, airports, hospitals and large festivals, the ITW event presented a set of unique challenges. “It was a really interesting project for us,” she says. “The challenges were to understand what the movements of the delegates were, how they’re distributed throughout the hotel and what their preferences were for their next meeting. Another complexity that you don’t see in other projects was actually implementing the different bespoke lift algorithms that we needed to test. A standard lift algorithm would not have worked; we needed a bespoke solution that took into account a human operator following a set of rules, implementing that in our software and then testing it.” The SMART Space team is now looking to apply its circulation modelling knowledge to laboratory and research spaces, looking at improving opportunities for interaction between scientists of different disciplines, in order to help generate productivity and innovation. With such far-reaching and potentially life-changing benefits, we can only hope they don’t get stuck in the lift on the way to deliver their findings…
Above: Dr Becky Hayward.
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How do you get 6000 delegates to meetings on time?
Is fracking a short term tactic that fudges the real debate around sustainable energy planning?
The British geological survey recently estimated there could be 1,300 trillion cubic feet of shale gas present in the north of England â€“ double previous estimates. No shale gas has been extracted in the UK to date and the fact that the estimates can vary widely means we should react to them with caution. However the UK Government has announced it will allow shale gas drilling as part of its future infrastructure plansâ€Ś
FRACKING AND SUSTAINABILITY ENERGY PLANNING
Put into context, the estimated amount of 1,300 trillion cubic feet of shale gas in the UK is twice the size of the US reserves. Just 10% of this would be enough to meet the gas needs of the UK for more than 40 years. In recent years the UK has moved from a net gas exporter to importing 80% of its gas. But can the shale gas revolution in the US really be replicated here in the UK? UK shale gas, if exploited, is unlikely to have the same impact on UK domestic gas prices as it has in the US. The principle reasons for this are: There is a glut of shale gas production in the US due to policy incentives and easy access to large unpopulated areas Access to neighbouring markets is limited in the US unless liquefied natural gas technology is deployed in the future The UK is in a position to easily export domestic gas reserves through various interconnectors to Europe, so from a commercial standpoint why sell cheap shale gas in the UK when you can get full market value on the continent? Hence UK gas prices are unlikely to change any time soon. Questions have been raised in the US recently, over the true value of shale assets; much of the exploration, which can add up to $10 million per well, has been unproductive or production has declined at a much faster rate than expected. This means more wells have to be drilled to sustain production, driving up prices or making shale unsustainable, as surely a bust will follow this bubble? The UK ‘dash for gas’ over the last two decades has seen new large scale power generation focus on gas turbines, the main attraction being low capital cost and fast deployment. Gas is an easily distributed low carbon fuel source for heat and electricity generation when compared with existing coal fired plant. This has been a major contributor to the UK staying on track with its 2050 carbon commitments, but it’s fair to say that the hard yards lie
ahead as emissions still have a very long way to fall to meet the 2050 target. The current high price of gas is driving the UK back toward carbon heavy coal for electricity generation; ironically importing coal from places such as the US whose domestic market has been badly affected by low gas prices. So what are the issues in the UK: Small scale renewable deployment No viable large scale energy storage solution A lukewarm market-led approach to new nuclear plants Diminishing coal and nuclear capacity as emission legislation or expired plants drive closure No viable CCS technology as yet What the UK needs is a strong and robust energy policy! There has been widespread UK public opposition to fracking. The primary environmental concerns are water contamination, earthquakes and disruption to rural communities. Shale gas offers potential irreparable harm to the subsurface environment, the consequences of which are not yet understood. There are also concerns over uncontrolled emissions of greenhouse gases arising from fracking. These concerns have been disputed by the UK Government as an over emphasis by campaigners to deter support for fracking. The government recently announced plans to cut tax on shale production from 62% to 30% in an attempt to encourage the extraction of shale gas. This cut will significantly reduce costs for those companies involved and make allowances for necessary infrastructure. The dense population in the UK presents further challenges for fracking. According to national statistics the population in areas surrounding the shale gas licences in north-west England is estimated at over 1300 people per square mile. In contrast last year in the US census data the average population surrounding
shale gas sites ranged between 10 and 96.3 people per square mile. Therefore any negative effects of shale gas drilling, including potential contamination of water and earth tremors, would affect far more people in the UK than in the US. However the pro-camp argues that the shale gas option does offer energy independence, which is important as part of the future UK energy policy as North Sea reserves diminish. The view from BuroHappold’s global energy sector director, Gavin Thompson, is pragmatic: “The 2050 carbon pathway dictates that all electricity and heat production needs to be virtually carbon free by 2050 so burning gas, whilst cleaner than other fossil fuels, is only going to be a stop gap unless carbon capture technology radically improves. Fracking is unlikely to yield lower UK gas prices. So the reason to frack is a short term solution to UK energy independence whilst cleaner, carbon free alternatives are developed, which at the moment look like a mix of tidal power, wind, biofuel and nuclear. “The key question is how long is the UK prepared to endure significant dependence on other states to meet its energy requirements whilst it perfects an alternative. Ensuring secure access to energy is vital, accepting the unknown risks of fracking seems the higher risk. “What the UK needs is stable and decisive direction on long term energy planning which the security risk of fracking can be gauged against. Short term marketled tactics are not enough.”
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FRACKING AND SUSTAINABILITY ENERGY PLANNING
The Big Picture
Andheri, Mumbai, India Grove Towers in Andheri, Mumbai is a 70,000m2 prestigious mixed use development comprised of two iconic residential towers, each reaching 140m high. Designed by 3XN Architects from Copenhagen, the towers have a unique spiral configuration and aspire to IGBC LEED Gold pre-certification. Their design includes air cooled VRV systems, energy recovery from extracted air, gravity-based water supply and 100% recycling of waste water within the site after treatment for flushing, cooling and irrigation. The design needed to accommodate the distinctive flaring of the towers so podium level columns and tie beams will be used to eliminate horizontal forces. The project needed a network of transfer beams to transition between the column grid requirements for the apartments compared with that of the car park. In order to maximise profits for the client, a high concrete use strategy was adopted to maximise the area available to sell.
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The Big Picture: Grove Towers, Andheri, Mumbai, India
The Big Picture: Grove Towers, Andheri, Mumbai, India
Blade Runner: Utopia v Dystopia Is there any basis for Hollywood’s obsession with depicting the demise of mankind in the future?
It’s 1982 and Blade Runner hits cinema screens across the globe. Its dark, bleak portrayal of the future made it a cult classic, dividing the critics whilst simultaneously captivating audiences with its paranoia and dystopian themes. The director, Ridley Scott drew his inspiration for the cityscape from “Hong Kong on a really bad day” mixed with his childhood memories of the industrial North East of England.
The city environment portrayed is bereft of humanity; large faceless corporations hold the power, law and order is strictly enforced and the wealthy live above the poor in decaying buildings. Putrid streets are filled with fear and oppression and there is a distinct lack of nature. Conversely technologies have advanced so much that replicants (droids with implanted human memories) exist alongside the beleaguered main stream society. So what year could Hollywood have dreamt such a scenario might become reality? When did they predict the congested megalopolis would have its day? 2019. That’s only five years away from now. Of course the Blade Runner future is far from the reality of today, or is it?
Top down Singapore is an interesting example of a city that has gone from strength to strength and it’s ranked today as one of the world’s most stable and competitive economies. Yet just forty years ago it was a very different story, a third world country with acute housing shortages and stark unemployment levels. In the 1960’s industry was based on very labour intensive low value commodities
Blade Runner: Utopia v Dystopia
but today it’s known for high value, high tech knowledgebased manufacturing and services. Large corporations are reconfiguring the economic landscape, outsourcing their resource-dependant operations to resource- rich neighbours whilst retaining high end activities on home soil. This all contributes to the ‘National Vision’ of becoming a developed nation and is being driven by a plethora of government-created statutory bodies. Does this heavy top down approach nudge Singapore towards a Blade Runner reality? The danger is that it could. With governments under huge pressure to be competitive, does one size fits all blanket solutions from large corporations lose sight of people they are helping?
Or bottom up? Is the bottom up approach any better? This option is already at a disadvantage as power comes from the citizens who don’t have the benefit of money on their side. Under democratic governance you’d like to think that the general public has a say, but as we saw recently in the United States whistle blowers exist to shatter that very myth. You have to ask the question whether in democracies central intelligence is used to data mine for the good of the people or to their detriment? So what’s the answer; which pill do we need to swallow to stop the onset of a Blade Runner existence? It has to be a mix of both top down and bottom up where technology enriches people’s lives rather than a tool used against them. This is essential for a healthy society.
city it will allow KACARE and its inhabitants to manage and measure their performance by taking the pulse of the city through an urban operating system that allows government and individuals to adapt and moderate the way in which they interact with their environment. It provides choice, gives consequence to actions and will ultimately accelerate behavioural change so that the city’s users are instrumental in ensuring that it operates in the most sustainable and efficient way. Aside from the data and savings, creating a vibrant and safe public realm is critical to KACARE’s success; by integrating parks and open spaces with schools, businesses and healthcare, traditional close knit family gatherings will move from homes to streets and communities will flourish. KACARE will set a new precedent in urban development by providing the blueprint for the rest of the world.
Rewind to the filmmaker Blade Runner captivated the imagination of the public and became the catalyst for a whole new genre of Hollywood blockbusters. I Robot, The Fifth Element, Minority Report, Batman and Oblivion may all be precursors to the possible future of our planet but it’s clear that we are still a long way from this. Today a firm belief in the ability of humanity to prevail makes our enjoyment of great films that demean society all the more intriguing and fascinating to watch!
Fast forward five years If we were to create a new city today, what would it look like? King Abdulaziz City for Atomic and Renewable Energy (KACARE) is the visionary response to the challenge of meeting Saudi Arabia’s growing power demands with greater emphasis on low-carbon energy generation. KACARE combines science, research and industries associated with atomic and renewable energy with the provision of higher standards of living and quality of life for its citizens. By creating a smart or living
Blade Runner: Utopia v Dystopia
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In this third edition of Y we continue to celebrate the wonderful spectrum of engineering.