7 underground builds
Whether it is to strengthen a city’s infrastructure, or provide suitable, more spacious housing, we take a look at underground builds which have boosted the local economies in which these builds are situated.
Buenos Aires Underground, Argentina
Originally constructed at the start of the 20th century, the Buenos Aires Underground now has six lines after being rapidly expanded to cater for increased demand, incorporating over 80 stations and bus links.
Catacombs of Paris
One of the most popular tourist sites within Paris, the catacombs are home to the remains of over six million people, dating back to the 18th century.
The construction of the catacombs under Paris’ local streets has made it impossible for large buildings to be built above ground.
Underground City, Montreal, Canada
The Underground City within Quebec Province is utilised by millions of tourists and locals within the area, with the build incorporating various retail outlets, cultural venues and business ventures, alongside a sophisticated transport system.
Since its development and launch in the 1960s, the site has been expanded in order to strengthen the city’s infrastructure.
Underground City, Beijing
Finalised in the late 1970s, the Underground City in Beijing is now closed, but incorporated a multitude of entertainment facilities, such as theatres, skating and various restaurants for locals and tourists to enjoy.
Originally built as a military defence shelter, the build is situated under Beijing’s main centre.
Jungfernstieg Station, Germany
Originally opening in 1931 with over 20 entrances, Jungfernstieg Underground Station has been developed under local lakes and rivers, and is utilised by millions of locals within Hamburg.
Underground City, Derinkuyu, Turkey
Although the construction date is unknown, half of the Derinkuyu Underground City is now solely open to tourists who wish to visit the area.
Discovered in the 1960s, the structure comprises of several tunnels and is able to accommodate over 15,000 people, with religious areas and rooms to relax or store various goods.
Read the September 2016 issue of Construction Global magazine
Apprenticeships can bridge skills gap says Autodesk director
The UK construction industry needs 216,800 new workers by 2025 to meet rising demand, according to the Construction Skills Network published by CITB.
Even before Covid-19, it was estimated it needs to attract 400,000 new recruits each year to meet the UK’s infrastructure needs.
But given one in three current construction employees are over 50 there is predicted to be a 20-25% decline in the available workforce over the next decade. And with end of the free movement of people from the EU, it has further limited access to skilled talent.
Mike Pettinella, Director, Autodesk Construction Solutions EMEA, believes the solution may be one that is hardly new, but might have taken a back seat during the pandemic.
"Apprenticeships could help us bridge the construction skills gap and meet this rapidly rising demand, and attract a new crop of younger talent to the industry," he said.
"Apprenticeships benefit everyone. For candidates, it’s an opportunity to learn valuable skills without incurring thousands of pounds of student debts. For employers, it’s a chance to train up employees in the competencies that are really needed – combining technical knowledge with collaboration and team work, which are equally important as you enter a new industry. And if you’re a larger company and already required to pay the apprenticeship levy, it makes sense to ensure you’re benefitting from the scheme too."
Marshall Construction recently took on nine new apprenticeships covering various roles. "Some of our previous apprentices have left and started their own businesses, which sets them up for life," said Chairman Robert Marshall. "Most of our current managers came from organic growth within the business whom we have trained to our own standards." Firms such as Barnwood Construction and Keepmoat Homes are also advertising and supporting apprenticeships.
According to the CSN, most English regions will experience an increase in construction workers by 2025, with East Midlands (1.7%) and West Midlands (1.4%) forecast to lead demand. Scotland (1.4%) and Wales (0.7%) are also predicted to fare well. The only region forecast to see a slight decline in workforce is the North East (-0.1%).
Major projects such as HS2 are driving growth in some regions and infrastructure (5.2%) and private housing (6.7%) should see the healthiest pace of expansion by 2025.
The impact of the Fourth Industrial Revolution on the future shape of work will be profound. Modelling by the McKinsey Global Institute on the effects of technology adoption on the UK workforce shows that up to 10 million people, or around 30 percent of all UK workers, may need to transition between occupations or skill levels by 2030.