Underwater construction concept could harness seabed energy resources
Japanese construction company Shimizu Corp. has revealed outlandish plans for an underwater living space. The project known as Ocean Spiral is an interesting concept, which would provide accommodation for 5,000 people and include research centers for excavating the seabed for energy resources.
Shimizu spokesman Masataka Noguchi said, “This is just a blueprint by our company, but we are aiming to develop the technology that would enable us to build an underwater living space.”
According to the company, the Ocean Spiral would include a spherical structure with a diameter of about 500 meters floating near the water’s surface. It will have a spiral path underneath, which will connect it to the excavation research center on the ocean bed, approximately three to four kilometers below. The spiral path would be about 15 kilometers long.
Humans will live inside the 500-meter pod, and the spiral paths, which would carry resources from deeper down, would also guard the Ocean Spiral from being influenced by strong currents, Noguchi explained.
The design for the building was developed by researchers from the University of Tokyo, the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology and the government’s Fisheries Research Agency.
Shimizu Corp. said that Ocean Spiral would use temperature differences in ocean water to create energy and produce desalinated water using hydraulic pressure. Fish farms would be built around the structure.
“The ocean has an infinite amount of possibilities” and the Ocean Spiral could help mankind put them to practical use,” Shimizu said.
While the construction giant doesn’t have a schedule for when it will actually build the Ocean Spiral at this point, it said that research aimed at building one should help them develop new technologies. The company said it would probably require about ¥3 trillion ($26 billion) to build an Ocean Spiral and take about 5 years to complete.
Winvic tops out first hotel project in Milton Keynes
A roof covering programme is now underway which will be followed by floor and ceiling curtain walling, and extensive glazing on the 13th floor, which will contain a sky bar, restaurant and public exhibition space.
Work on envelope and cladding will continue with the 30m high, LED-lit satin finish stainless steel circle on the eastern façade completing the external design. The ‘sun’ design will be visible up the city’s Midsomer Boulevard, which was created to align with the sun on the longest day of the year.
Winvic is currently fitting-out the 261 bedrooms, which has included the sailing and positioning of off-site fabricated bathroom pods. Fit-out of other facilities within the hotel will also continue, such as the 12,000 sq ft flexible conference floor that comprises adaptable meeting spaces and an external terrace that has been designed to be high load bearing. The project is expected to be handed over in July 2022.
Mark Jones, Winvic’s Head of Multi-room, said: “We started on site just two weeks after the first 2020 lockdown was announced and despite the unprecedented challenges, our team have hit milestone after milestone on, or ahead, of schedule. I’d like to say a huge thank you to them. Reaching the highest point of any multi-room project is always worth celebrating, but this is a bit more special as it’s Winvic’s first hotel," he said.
Winvic recently lifted eight railway bridge beams into place over the A5, 2km north of M1 J18. It is one of three bridges that Winvic is constructing for Prologis at DIRFT III in Northamptonshire, as part of a £29 million contract to deliver a new Intermodal Rail Freight Terminal.