Should the Keystone XL pipeline ever be constructed?
Following on from the news that President Barack Obama would look to veto legislation approving construction of the much-maligned Keystone XL pipeline trailing through North America, how likely is the construction of the mega-project?
The pipeline project is a proposed 1,179-mile (1,897 km), 36-inch-diameter crude oil pipeline, beginning in Hardisty in Canada and extending south to Steele City in the USA. This pipeline is being argued from some quarters as a critical infrastructure project for the energy security of the United States and for strengthening the American economy.
These claims are coming from the US manufacturers who want the Keystone construction to begin so as to generate an enormous amount of work and an estimated 42,000 jobs for the industry.
But there were environmental concerns such as a pipeline spill would pollute air and critical water supplies and harm migratory birds and other wildlife. Its original route plan crossed the Sandhills, the large wetland ecosystem in Nebraska, and the Ogallala Aquifer, one of the largest reserves of fresh water in the world.
The Ogallala Aquifer spans eight states, provides drinking water for two million people, and supports $20 billion in agriculture. Critics say that a major leak could ruin drinking water and devastate the mid-western US economy. After opposition for laying the pipeline in this area, TransCanada agreed to change the route and skip the Sand Hills.
What do you think? Have your say in the comments below or continue the discussion on Twitter.
China’s Broad Group builds 10-storey apartment in 28 hours
The China-based manufacturing enterprise Broad Group has managed to construct a 10-storey steel apartment building in just over a day. Constructed in the city of Changsha in China, the company used bolt-together modular units known as its “Living Building System”.
A video time-lapse showing the build process. Video: Broad Group.
Broad Group, a manufacturing company based in Changsha, constructs a range of air-conditioning, heating, and prefabricated structural units. It accomplished the challenge in 28 hours and 45 minutes, enlisting help from three cranes and an on-site workforce.
Broad Group’s “Living Building” system
Designed to be easy to transport and install, Broad Group’s “Living Building” system uses components that are able to fit into a standard shipping container, and then be bolted together when they reach the site. Ductwork and wiring are fitted directly by the factory, the company said.
As part of the system, Broad Group’s B-Core steel slabs are used as structural elements which, the company claims are 10-times lighter and 100-times stronger than conventional slabs. The company also says they have the ability to resist earthquakes and typhoons, and that it costs less than a carbon steel building and has low energy consumption.
Broad Group also says that buildings of up to 200 storeys, supertall towers, could be built using the same modules due to the B-Core steel slabs’ strength and lightness.
Other Broad Group projects
Broad Group has completed other significant projects in the past. In 2012, for instance, it attempted to build the tallest tower in the world in Changsha at 838m, which would have made it 10m taller than the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. The company claimed it could have made the building, named Sky City, in just eight months. However, due to not receiving approval, it was never built.
In 2015, the company accomplished another “speed-build” challenge, constructing a 57-story tower using the “Living Building system”. It was completed in just 19 days.