May 16, 2020

GBP1bn Swansea tidal lagoon gets green light

Swansea Bay
Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon
Admin
2 min
GBP1bn Swansea tidal lagoon gets green light
Planning consent has been granted for the worlds first tidal lagoon in Swansea Bay leaving one last hurdle before construction can start. Scheme develop...

Planning consent has been granted for the world’s first tidal lagoon in Swansea Bay leaving one last hurdle before construction can start. Scheme developer Tidal Lagoon Power said it must now negotiate how much subsidy will be paid for the energy.

Construction of the vast £1bn project will not start until Contract for Difference negotiations complete to establish whether a tidal lagoon at Swansea Bay is affordable and value for money for consumers.

Any decision to offer a CFD for the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon project would be subject to strict value for money considerations and affordability, and to State aid approval.

If the decision is a positive one, work would start next March on the six-mile horseshoe shaped sea wall which will generate around 500GWh per year of low carbon electricity.

Announcing Government development consent, Energy and Climate Change and Wales Office Minister Lord Bourne said: “Low carbon energy projects like the tidal lagoon in Swansea Bay could bring investment, support local jobs and help contribute to the Welsh economy and Swansea area.”

Former Balfour Beatty chief Andrew McNaughton is new director of engineering and construction on the project, where preferred bidders have just been named for major work packages.

Two years ago in the early stages of development  a team of  Costain, Atkins, and Van Oord were enlisted to carry out preconstruction design work and expected to feature in the build programme.

Swansea bay tidal energy

But the China Harbour Engineering Company was announced last week as preferred bidder for a £300m marine works package that will include the construction of the six mile lagoon wall in Swansea Bay.

CHEC has committed to 50% of the contract value being spent on a British workforce, partners and supply chain.

Laing O’Rourke has been named preferred bidder for a £200m deal to deliver the lagoon’s 410m turbine house and sluice structure block.

Welsh contractor Alun Griffiths has secured a £25m package to deliver ancillary civil engineering for the project’s public realm works, which includes the breakwater surface, roads, slipways, utilities and landscaping.

Share article

Jul 30, 2021

University of Dresden constructs carbon concrete building

UniversityofDresden
construction
projects
CarbonConcrete
2 min
The Technical University of Dresden, collaborating with German architecture firm Henn, is constructing the world’s first carbon fibre and concrete building

The Technical University of Dresden, in partnership with German architecture firm Henn, is constructing the first building to be made out of concrete and carbon fibre, rather than traditional steel. 

The combination of materials, known as, “carbon concrete” has the same structural strength as its steel-reinforced alternative but less concrete is used, according to researchers at the university. 

The building, called “The Cube” is currently under construction at the University of Dresden’s campus in Germany, and is believed to be the first carbon concrete building in the world. Strengthening the concrete, the carbon fibre yarns are used to create a mesh into which the concrete is then poured.

Unlike steel, the mesh is rust-proof meaning that the lifespan of carbon concrete is longer than that of the more typical steel-reinforced concrete. This also allows the layers to be much thinner than steel. 

The design and shape of The Cube 

According to the companies, the flexibility of carbon fibre allows the walls to fold up and become a roof. In a statement talking about the building’s design elements, Hen said: “The design of The Cube reinterprets the fluid, textile nature of carbon fibres by seamlessly merging the ceiling and walls in a single form, suggesting a future architecture in which environmentally conscious design is paired with formal freedom and a radical rethinking of essential architectural elements.

"The wall and ceiling are no longer separate components but functionally merge into one another as an organic continuum.” Displayed as a showpiece for TU Dresden’s major project, backed by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, The Cube aims to explore the potential uses of carbon concrete in construction. 

"Carbon concrete could contribute to more flexible and resource-saving construction processes, and switching to carbon concrete could reduce the CO2 emissions from construction by up to 50%," Henn said in a statement. 

Bio-based carbon fibre under development to reduce carbon footprint

While carbon fibre may be lighter and stronger than steel, it has a much higher carbon footprint. Describing the material’s impact on the environment, Dr Erik Frank, Senior Carbon Scientist at the German Institute of Textile and Fibre Research Denkendorf (DITF), said it is “usually very bad.” To reduce the carbon footprint, Frank is finding ways to make carbon fibre out of lignin, a common plant-based substance found in the paper manufacturing industry. 



 

Share article