Tag Archives: Engineering

Inside Views: Rebuilding Notre Dame Cathedral

NOVA PBS Official (December 2022) – Following the April, 2019 fire that almost destroyed Paris’s iconic Notre Dame Cathedral, a team of engineers, masons, and timber workers set out on the daunting challenge of restoring France’s historic landmark.

Video timeline: 00:00 Introduction 02:10 The Aftermath of the Fire of Notre Dame 05:25 Current Efforts to Rebuild Notre Dame 07:13 Rebuilding the Roof of Notre Dame 14:12 Recreating Notre Dame’s Spire 19:40 The Use of Iron in the Structure of Notre Dame 26:00 Studying Notre Dame’s Stained Glass Windows 33:47 Hazards of Restoring the Burnt Cathedral 36:20 Cleaning the Limestone Vaulting 41:41 Carpentry Practices for Roof Restoration 45:06 Historic Changes to Stained Glass Window 49:47 Racing to Complete Notre Dame Before 2024

The program traces the dramatic human and technical challenges of the project’s first three years, going behind-the-scenes with carpenters shaping lumber for the new roof and spire, stone masons repairing gaping holes in the vault, and artisans who use traditional techniques to restore stained glass windows. A symbol of the nation’s identity and resilience, Notre Dame gradually rises from the ashes, thanks to a restoration project like no other.

Aquarium Design: Sea World Abu Dhabi (2023)

The B1M – ABU DHABI has built some of the world’s most striking construction projects. And it’s not done yet. Work is underway to build a record-breaking aquarium, one that will blow all the others out of the water.

The Shedd Aquarium in Chicago holds about 19M litres of water. Chimelong Ocean Kingdom in China holds 49M, and is currently the world’s largest – but when Sea World Abu Dhabi completes, it’ll likely contain a whopping 58M litres of water. That’s the same as 23.2 Olympic pools.

Designing and building a tank this big poses an extreme engineering challenge. It has to withstand immense water pressure, let in the right amount of light for tens of thousands of species to survive and immerse millions of visitors in an underwater world.

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Engineering: Why Mexico Has So Few Tall Buildings

The B1M – TAKE a look at Mexico’s cities and you might spot some similarities.

You’ll see it’s a country that clearly knows a thing or two about urban sprawl, with hardly a skyscraper in sight. But look closely and you’ll find that skyscrapers do exist, just not really in any great numbers.

That’s because it’s one of the toughest places on Earth to build tall and engineers must grapple with the extremes of the elements, unforgiving ground conditions, congestion and the absence of some key resources.

Now though, after decades of building outwards instead of upwards, skyscrapers in Mexico are seriously on the rise and construction crews are managing to meet some immense challenges.

Florida Design: Building The Salvador Dali Museum

The challenges of redesigning the Dali museum in Florida were two-fold: deliver an iconic design befitting of its subject, and defy conventional building methods to make it strong enough to withstand a hurricane. The result: a landmark structure, as enduring as the work of the great artist himself.

The original Dalí Museum opened in St. Petersburg in 1982, after community leaders rallied to bring the Morses’ superlative collection of Dalí works to the area. The Dalí’s stunning new building opened on January 11, 2011. Designed by architect Yann Weymouth of HOK, it combines the rational with the fantastical: a simple rectangle with 18-inch thick hurricane-proof walls out of which erupts a large free-form geodesic glass bubble known as the “enigma”.

The Enigma, which is made up of 1,062 triangular pieces of glass, stands 75 feet at its tallest point, a twenty-first century homage to the dome that adorns Dalí’s museum in Spain. Inside, the Museum houses another unique architectural feature – a helical staircase – recalling Dalí’s obsession with spirals and the double helical shape of the DNA molecule.

Analysis: Saudi Arabia’s Hyper-Planned “Line City”

The Line is a proposed smart linear city in Saudi Arabia in Neom, Tabuk, currently under construction, which is designed to have no cars, streets or carbon emissions.

 The Line is being described as a one-building vertical city outfitted with exterior mirrors, big enough to house 9 million people — along with everything they need, from parks and waterfalls to flying taxis and robot maids. There are even plans to include an artificial moon for residents to gaze upon.

With its proposed width of only 656 feet, The Line will rely primarily on its height to encompass its residents and a host of modern trappings, such as a high-speed rail to connect sections of the 106-mile city. Saudi Arabian officials claim The Line will be otherwise devoid of roads, cars or emissions and will be powered strictly by clean energy (although details have not been released). Here are a few of most notable proposed features of The Line:

  • vertically layered homes, offices, public parks and public schools.
  • year-round climate control of all indoor and outdoor spaces.
  • high-speed rail that will transport residents from end-to-end in 20 minutes.
  • a five-minute walk to all amenities.
  • accessibility to parks and natural elements within a two-minute walk.

Energy: Nuclear Start-Ups Address Safety Issues (WSJ)

Nuclear projects are getting a boost of investment as countries try to tackle an energy crisis sparked by the Ukraine war, while also pursuing emissions targets. WSJ looks at how start-ups say their alternative designs can help solve past issues.

Cities: The Skyscraper Boom In Toronto, Canada

Canada’s biggest city is experiencing a skyscraper boom. Toronto, the capital of the province of Ontario, is a major Canadian city along Lake Ontario’s northwestern shore. It’s a dynamic metropolis with a core of soaring skyscrapers, all dwarfed by the iconic, free-standing CN Tower. Toronto also has many green spaces, from the orderly oval of Queen’s Park to 400-acre High Park and its trails, sports facilities and zoo.

Engineering: Sabah Al Ahmad Sea City, Kuwait

In this city almost every resident has their own beach access on a lagoon that leads directly into the sea. But constructing such a city meant overcoming tremendous engineering problems.

Sabah Al Ahmad Sea City is a city in Khiran Kuwait built with canals forming 200 kilometres (120 mi) of artificial shoreline. The city houses up to 250,000 residents.[1][2] The city was inaugurated in mid 2016.[3][4] The artificial islands that make up the area are unusual because they were built excavating large channels in desert land rather than using reclaimed land. The city is considered a pioneering project in the region due to its environmentally sustainable construction techniques.[5][6]

The first phase of the project was opened to the sea in 2004.[5] The multi-billion dollar development is within a 25 year construction period with ten phases.[1] Sabah Al Ahmad Sea City is the first urban area in Kuwait built entirely by the private sector.

MIT Engineering: The Design Of Living Things

In MIT class, 2.788 Mechanical Engineering and Design of Living Systems students explore how mechanics, structure, and materials intersect with biology by studying butterflies at every stage of their metamorphosis. Associate Professor Ming Guo and Associate Professor Mathias Kolle take a cross-disciplinary approach to introduce students to the engineering behind biological systems.