Construction Today - March 2011 - (Page 18)

BUILDING DOWN BELOW Going underground has its benefits. BY GARY BRIERLEY URBAN CONSTRUCTION L arge urban areas such as New York, Chicago and Los Angeles are complex “social organisms” that are created from buildings, roads, bridges and a myriad of other facilities, most of which are visible above the ground surface. Interestingly, an equally valuable part of the urban infrastructure is located underground. Imagine, if you will, what New York would be like without subways or what pollution would be like in Lake Michigan without Chicago’s extensive system of drainage tunnels. Or, how about cities without facilities for natural gas and electrical distribution, communications and/or water supply and sewage disposal? In general, densely populated urban areas are simply not possible without underground construction. Underground construction is extremely beneficial for the following reasons: 1. Underground construction is energy efficient from two primary perspectives. Once you go underground, the amount of energy required to either heat or cool a structure is a fraction of what is required above the ground surface. This is especially true in areas of extreme temperature variations like Montreal or Houston, which have extensive networks of underground facilities for pedestrians. The second aspect of energy conservation has to do with drainage facilities that operate purely by gravity and transportation facilities that operate along more or less constant gradients. Ideally, the invert elevation for a drainage tunnel can be chosen so that it operates purely by gravity. In Colorado, for instance, numerous transmountain water supply tunnels provide a continuous and reliable supply of water to Denver at no cost for operation. For subways, highways,and railroads, tunnels greatly minimize energy consumption by providing reduced gradients. 2. Underground construction provides a secure, quiet, earthquake-resistant environment for sensitive and/or important infrastructure facilities. Nuclear power plants, natural gas storage facilities, civil defense facilities and similar structures all should be located underground. Underground space is easy 18 CONSTRUCTION-TODAY.COM MARCH 2011 http://www.CONSTRUCTION-TODAY.COM

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Construction Today - March 2011

Construction Today - March 2011
Table of Contents
Social Media
Exploring BIM
Best Practices
Urban Construction
Building Growth
Bermúdez, Longo, Díaz-Massó (BLDM), S.E.
Wadman Corp.
Universal Builders Supply Inc.
Harold O’Shea Builders
Ralph L. Wadsworth Construction Co. LLC
Hudspeth & Associates Inc.
Dana B. Kenyon Co. – Florida State College at Jacksonville
Kaback Enterprises
Hyder Construction
On Site Management Inc.
Retail Developers in Ontario
Morguard Investments Ltd. – Bramalea City Centre and Expansion
Ivanhoe Cambridge Inc.
Bayfield Realty Advisors Inc.
Rudolph and Sletten
Collavino Construction Co. Inc. – One World Trade Center
MW Builders – Fort Leonard Wood AIT Barracks, Phase 1
Thor Construction
Weir Welding Co.
JE Dunn Construction Co. – Woman’s Hospital
Manhattan Kraft Construction Co. – Sarasota Police Department Headquarters
P.J. Hoerr Inc. – Advocate BroMenn Medical Center
Poettker Construction – Watterson Towers Renovations
Merit Kitchens
BBL Builders – Columbia Parc at the Bayou District
Reliable Builders Inc.
Joe Hall Roofing
ECM International Inc.
Branch Highways Inc.
GCC America Inc.
HOK: NOAA Pacific Regional Center
Last Look

Construction Today - March 2011