Here’s our pick of what’s hot right now and under the spotlight in the Architecture, Engineering & Construction arena!
Tottenham Hotspur Stadium – the first of its class
Formed in 1882, the Tottenham Hotspur Club started playing on public land at Tottenham Marshes, London. As the club became more popular, they moved to larger pieces of land and rented pitches. In 1899 the club moved to its current location, East of Tottenham High Road. The White Hart Lane ground commenced construction in 1909. The ground was redeveloped in the 1980’s and turned into an all-seater stadium.
With the increasing success of the Tottenham Hotspur Club, they announced a plan to build a new stadium in 2008. Although the initial plan was for the stadium to be ready for the 2012-13 season, issues with a CPO delayed the project. The Club solved the issues in 2015 and construction began. The new larger stadium was built in phases, so that the old White Hart Lane could still be used. On 3rd April 2019, the new stadium opened to a ceremony for an important game. It was the Premier League match against Crystal Palace. Luckily for Tottenham Hotspur, they won 2-0 to celebrate the opening of the stadium.
The new stadium, with capacity for 62,214 spectators, shows a modern glass design. The firm responsible for the architectural design was Populous. The main differentiator of this stadium is its fully retractable pitch, which also allows for NFL games to be played. Thanks to this, it has become the first stadium in the world purpose built for the two most popular games – football and NFL. Chris Lee, Chief Architect, took inspiration from over 300 stadiums across the world to take the best of each of them. If you want to have a look at what some people call the ‘best’ stadium in the world, book a ticket on their website!
London City Airport – carbon neutrality achieved!
In the middle of an expansion programme, London City has achieved a major milestone as an airport. Indeed, they have been accredited as ‘carbon neutral.’ In the current engineering world, sustainability is gaining more and more weight. In 2015 the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals set the world’s agenda in terms of sustainability. Countries are striving to become more sustainable, and engineering plays a big role. The United Kingdom has committed to be carbon neutral by 2050. And London City Airport is leading the way!
On 19th December 2019, the Airport Carbon Accreditation was given to London City. Alison FitzGerald, chief operating officer for London City Airport, said: ‘It recognises our efforts to cut carbon emissions in every part of our business, from runway lighting to energy systems, and underlines our commitment to building a more sustainable future for the airport and aviation industry.’ As part of the accreditation, the airport has engaged with 48 local schools to find suitable locations to install solar panels to offset the carbon emissions.
The airport has also offset emissions through a project to generate electricity using solar energy in India. Additionally, they are working hard to minimise carbon emissions during their expansion programme, worth half a billion pounds.
Crossrail – when will it finally open?
The opening of the new Elizabeth Line appears to be delayed again. Crossrail, initially planned to be opened in 2018, has experienced some added challenges. Mark Wild, Crossrail chief executive, says that although many stations look ready, ‘behind the mask there is a lot of integration work to do … It’s complex work and we can’t take any shortcuts.’ The latest estimates point to an opening date somewhere in spring 2021.
Although major infrastructure works seem finished, there is still a lot of cabling and wiring to be done. And with increasing complexity, lots of new signalling to be tested and re-tested. Of course, more time means more money. The initial budget of £14.8 has increased to £18.25.
At least, as of 15th December 2019, the TfL runs stopping services of the Elizabeth Line between Reading and Paddington. This is the next step in the delivery of Crossrail, but we will have to wait until 2021 to see the entire line fully functional.
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