Construction Industry News Roundup: March 2019
March 28 2019
TfL eyes new £1.7bn London metro line, Google uses AI technology to boost wind energy efficiency, and the plans for a £60 billion artificial island in Hong Kong: Catch up on all the important industry news from this month.
The Plans for a £60 Billion Artificial Island in Hong Kong
Full article: Deezen
Hong Kong plans to build one of the world's largest artificial islands with an eye-watering £60 billion price tag, city officials announced this month.
The government's HK$624 billion proposal to reclaim over 1,000 hectares of land around the territory's largest island, Lantau, has been presented as a solution to the pressing housing shortage in the city, which is infamous for being one of the least affordable markets on the planet.
Authorities say they hope to start work on reclaiming land in 2025, estimating that residents would be able to move to the island in 2032.
As the city's most expensive infrastructure project to date - it would be four times the cost of building Hong Kong International Airport, and far outstrip Dubai's famous palm-tree shaped Palm Jumeirah, which cost around $12 billion to build.
The man-made island would be almost three times the size of New York's Central Park and provide up to 260,000 flats, more than 70% of which would be used for public housing, the government has said.
People have criticised the vast reclamation project, citing that it’s far too costly and could damage the environment, especially marine life. Many have expressed frustration over the lack of a public say in the plans.
Authorities are also planning to build another 700-hectare artificial island around Lantau, but have not released any further details about that project or its cost as of yet.
Google Uses AI Technology to Boost Wind Energy Efficiency
Full article: Euractiv
Google has boosted the value of the wind energy it produces by 20% after installing its own artificial intelligence software across its renewable energy facilities in the US.
Google’s staff confirmed that the decision to apply machine-learning algorithms across 700MW of wind power capacity last year had paid off. Google has been powering 100% of its operations with renewable power since April 2018.
The algorithms, developed through DeepMind – the AI solutions firm owned by Google’s parent company Alphabet Inc – allow Google to predict the energy output of a wind farm up to 36 hours in advance by considering components such as weather forecasts and energy market fluctuation.
Once these predictions have been made, the technology recommends the actions which Google staff should take to make optimal hourly delivery commitments, ensuring both grid stability and that the company receives the highest possible price for its clean power.
“Our hope is that this kind of machine learning approach can strengthen the business case for wind power and drive further adoption of carbon-free energy on electric grids worldwide” DeepMind’s programme manager Sims Witherspoon said.
Renewable energy is also an exciting industry for SenSat to be involved in, with growth predicted to increase by 20% by 2023. In November 2018, the team at SenSat successfully digitised an area across a 52 km stretch as a part of the Triton Knoll offshore wind farm project. The digital replica gives the client a complete understanding of the terrain that can easily be more than 100x more accurate than satellite data.
TfL Eyes New £1.7bn London Metro Line
Full Report: Transport for London
Deputy Mayor of London for Transport, Heidi Alexander, revealed this month that Transport for London is considering introducing a £1.7bn metro line.
If implemented, the new line will primarily target commuters working in south and south-east London who currently need to travel into central London in order to reach outer London locations and will operate out of London Bridge and London Victoria.
Looking at estimated figures from 2014, the metro line could cost £1.7bn. However, the Deputy Mayor has stated this figure is likely to change given the early stage of the project.
Hunt for £6bn Meridan Water Phase 2 Developer
Full article: Construction Enquirer
Enfield Council is searching for a development partner to work on the second housing phase of the £6bn Meridian Water project in North London.
Meridian Water is regenerating 85 hectares of land in order to create a new district in London with schools, health facilities, rail infrastructure and new open spaces. The next Meridian Two phase will see 200-250 affordable homes and workspace completed by 2022/23, prioritising the benefits for the local people in Lee Valley.
The council is expected to reveal the winning developer to deliver Meridian One in a matter of weeks.
Enfield Council Leader, Nesil Caliskan, said: “We want a development partner who shares our passion and who wants to help us deliver this world-class development.”
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