May 16, 2020

Three main challenges in the construction of the Olympic Games at Rio de Janeiro

Olympic Games at Rio de Janeiro
challenges Rio de Janeiro olympic games
Ben Kilshaw
Hamlins LLP
2 min
Olympic Games, Rio de Janeiro
It has been anything but a smooth ride to the 2016 Olympic Games for the host country. Rio has faced a series of headaches in a bid to get the city read...

It has been anything but a smooth ride to the 2016 Olympic Games for the host country. Rio has faced a series of headaches in a bid to get the city ready for the Games. Brazil has had to deal with recession, outbreak of the Zika virus, impeachment of its President and the increasing level of crime. However, the most recent cause for concern is the serious delays in the completion of the subway line required to transport thousands of athletes and fans to sporting venues. This has put a spotlight on whether the sites and the transport links will be ready for sports stars and spectators on the 5 August. Ben Kilshaw looks at the challenges that have faced the Olympic Games so far.

1.    Cost 

The cost of making a location Olympic-ready usually exceeds original estimations – on average by a huge 200%. The Olympic officials in Tokyo have announced ahead of the 2020 Games that they cannot afford to construct the centre piece stadium. In Rio’s bid to host the Games they had promised 14 new venues and transport links, but these plans have been now impacted by the recession. 

2.    Time 

There are concerns that the subway and Olympic sites will not be completed in time for the Games, despite reassurances from Brazilian officials’. These concerns stem from the 14 new venues which were mere shells less than 12 months ago. Only one of the 14 new venues are currently complete; however, with construction staff working around the clock outside the tennis arena, Rio is doing its best to deliver.

3.    Budget cuts

In an attempt to make it easier to travel around the city during the Games, the planned extension of the Metro ‘Line 4’, ranging from the beach areas of the city to the Olympic Park has been set back. The original opening was scheduled for the beginning of July, but officials now say that the line is expected to open 1 August – just four days before the Olympic Games.

Have we seen this happen before?

It is clear to see that these sort of large-scale sporting events regularly come under criticism – Rio is not alone. 2014’s Sochi Olympics had to deal with numerous issues, in addition to the 2014 FIFA World Cup held in Brazil, yet both events were a huge success. Despite these concerns, Rio Olympic Officials remain optimistic that the Olympic Games will be a complete success. 

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Jun 24, 2021

Skanska invests $225m in Houston office project

Dominic Ellis
2 min
Skanska plans to build a 28-floor office tower in Houston as its London office receives WELL Platinum sustainability ranking and drone trials are underway

Skanska is investing US$225m in an office development project, 1550 on the Green in Houston, with construction expected to begin in June and scheduled to be completed in 2024.

The construction contract is worth US$125M, which will be included in the Q2 order bookings. International law firm Norton Rose Fulbright has signed a 15-year lease for about 30 percent of the building.

Located at 1550 Lamar Street, adjacent to Discovery Green, in downtown Houston, Skanska plans to develop and build a 28-floor, 34,800 square meter office tower.

1550 on the Green will be the first part of a three-block master plan by Skanska, which will transform the parcels into a distinguished district known as Discovery West and consist of 3.5 acres of mixed-use development full of restaurants, retail and lush green space. The project will target LEED and WiredScore Platinum certifications.

Since 2009, Skanska has invested a total of US$2.8 billion in commercial and multi-family projects, creating more than 1 million square meters of sustainable and community focused developments in select U.S. markets. Skanska USA had sales of SEK66 billion in 2020 with 7,600 employees in its operations.

Skanska’s flagship London office has set the standard in sustainable workspaces by becoming the first in the UK to achieve WELL Platinum under the new v2 pilot scheme.

The accreditation from the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) was awarded through the v2 pilot, the newest version of the WELL Building Standard. It looks at all building features and management processes – from air and water quality to lighting, acoustics, nutrition, thermal comfort and mental wellbeing. It’s widely recognised as the industry yardstick for measuring how workspaces can contribute to the wellbeing of occupants.

The offices – which span three floors of the newly developed 51 Moorgate – contain floor-to-ceiling windows for extensive natural light, dedicated wellbeing and quiet spaces, as well as stringent air and water quality monitoring, among a range of other features that have helped earn the standard.

The company has also been exploring drone flights for use in industrial environments.

Peter Cater, Development Manager, said it was invited to carry out trials because of its use and knowledge of drone capability. "The trials have benefited everyone involved: get to test their equipment and remote use of the drones and we get access to accurate, real-time data on our construction activities which benefits us and our customer, the Defence Infrastructure Organisation."

“Projects like this – at the forefront of innovation – go to show what an exciting industry construction is to be involved in. We are always looking for innovative ways of working, ways to be more sustainable so we can find better solutions for our customers. These trials are just one small part of our digital transformation journey.”

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