Day 6: August 13, 2010

Boiler Earthworks:

Nick Tremmel – Civil Materials, Nina Klepczarek – CEM, Patrick Sarbieski – CEM, Patrick O’Malley – Civil Structures, Alex Vaughan – Civil Structures

August 13, 2010 marks our 6th complete day in London. After spending a very educational and rewarding day with Bechtel yesterday, we had the opportunity to meet with Bechtel again this morning. Approaching the St. Pancras railway station we were struck by the extravagant Victorian gothic structure that once was the Midland Grand Hotel. The hotel, now titled the St. Pancras Chambers, has undergone renovations to bring it to a five star caliber rating. Rounding the corner of the hotel, we were able to see as the Barlow Shed, constructed in 1868, blended with a newly constructed bay to form the St. Pancras International railway station. Part of the structure of the Barlow Shed had to be re-worked to provide a usable space after the renovation. The Shed consists of 25 wrought iron arches that span the length of the station – at the time of construction, the largest single span roof and enclosed space. These arches were kept in place with the help of a 2000 iron girder floor resting on cast iron columns.

Upon being shuffled inside we were exposed to a scale model of a planned construction for a 68 acre development of the Camden and Islington boroughs. The development features the construction of 50 new buildings, 2000 new homes, railway expansions, retail space as well as several other areas. The privately funded project has a planned completion date of 2020 and has really jumped on the back of the 2012 Olympic Games. The Games are going to bring a significant amount of people into the city and the boroughs mentioned are in need of a serious overhaul. Across the street from the St. Pancras station, the Kings Cross station can be seen already under construction. The station is receiving an expansion that will be complete just in time for the games. The games are expected to bring in 50 million passengers over the course of the summer. King’s Cross is in no way fit to currently accommodate this amount of travelers; however, the expansions will fix this problem. The rest of the construction obviously will not be, but the owners hope that the games will bring an increase of positive publicity for the developing area. The millions of people who come through the area in 2012 will hopefully view the models and understand that the area will soon grow into a flourishing community.
After parting ways with the Bechtel group, we met with CH2M Hill representatives for a discussion of their involvement in the 2012 Olympic Infrastructure, Crossrail infrastructure, and Thames Tideway project. The Crossrail project is currently the largest construction project in Europe. The challenges that CH2M Hill is considering a related to keeping London open and operating throughout construction of the Crossrail, delivering the project on-cost and under budget, target zero safety, and interfacing with the partners. For every £1 spent, it is estimated that £2.60 will be earned (a total of £36 Billion over 20 years).

Next they spoke about the Olympics. Consisting of 10 venues and 3,000 residential units, the 618 acres of the Olympic site are being developed at a cost of £9.3 Billon. It was stated that 750,000 m3 of contaminated soil were washed to prepare the site for development. The development of the site will contribute to the rehabilitation of East London. In an effort of sustainable practices, many of the buildings have ‘Legacy’ designs; this allows buildings to be partially or completely dismantled to reduce operating costs and waste. It was also mentioned that there will be well over 50,000 m2 of studio space will be constructed for the press covering the Olympics. Some of the challenges mentioned included a 50% sustainable material transport quota, the possibility of discovering unexploded ordinance, and working with many stakeholders.

The final project mentioned was the Thames Tideway. The owner of this contract is Thames Water, the largest wastewater services provider in the UK. The Tideway is estimated to be over 30km long with a diameter of 7.2m at a depth of 45m – 75m depth. This tunnel is expected to reduce 39 million cubic meters of sewage currently estimated to be discharged into the Thames in an average year.

Following the presentations, we spent the evening with a few Boilermaker Alums in a local pub. The drinks were good; the food was great, and the company even better. The pub was located in an alley that was used in the filming of some scenes in the Harry Potter Movies.

Today provided even more opportunities for networking and was a solid day to end our first week in London. The end of the Alumni event was the beginning of the group’s free weekend. The group split with some students remaining in London and traveling to Dover, others traveling to Amsterdam, while still a third group travelled to Paris, France.

Boiler Up!

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