10 Civil Engineering Facts

1. It took machines as long as two football pitches, drilling over 76m a day, 3 years to drill the tunnel for the Channel Tunnel from France to the UK.

2. Hafod Eryri – the Snowdon Summit Building – was designed to withstand and be constructed in the following conditions:  150mph winds  +30°C /-20°C temperature range (-50°C in wind chill!)  5m annual rainfall  5m snow drifts

3. The UK’s largest crane was used to lift the 140m “Pont y Werin” bascule bridge into place to enable pedestrians and cyclists to cross between Penarth Marina and Cardiff International Sports Village. It took five men, three days to assemble the crane, which had to be delivered in sections on 30 separate lorries.

4. The water supply for the population of North East London – about half a million people – is the equivalent of 23 Olympic sized swimming pools.

5. ‘Superadobes’ - beehive-like buildings developed for future communities on the moon – have been adapted by civil engineers to create affordable emergency housing for survivors of disasters like the Asian tsunami.

6. Each gate of the Thames Flood Barrier is a hollow steel-plated structure over 20 metres high, weighing around 3,700 tonnes – equal to 3,500 Mini Coopers.

7. Civil engineers have found a way to convert chicken farming waste – “biomass” – into electricity at Westfield power station in Fife, Scotland.

8. The Falkirk Wheel in Scotland can lift boats and 600 tonnes of water – equivalent to 100 African elephants – over 35m in under 4 minutes… using less energy than boiling 2 kettles

9. 25,000 double-decker buses would fit inside the walls and roof of Wembley Stadium.

10. Taipei 101 in Taiwan – the world’s tallest building – is 508m tall, over nine times the height of Niagara Falls.
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