11 Civil Engineering Projects That Might Define the Future

These 11 projects might help define civil engineering projects of the future.

11 Civil Engineering Projects That Might Define the Future
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Civil engineering has, since time immemorial, pushed the envelope of current thinking and technological know-how of the time. This hasn't changed today, but the rate of change and demand for the development of ever more sophisticated, new and emerging technology has.

The following 11 projects are great examples of this and some of them might even become the de facto standard of future civil engineering in the future. 

1. The Queensferry Crossing, Scotland Upped the Ante For Future Bridges

Construction works began: 2011

Expected completion date: 2017

Defining feature/innovation/emerging technology/new technology: It is the longest of the bridges that comprise the cross-Forth corridor. It cost £1.3 billion, runs for 2.7 km (22km with motorway upgrades) and is the longest three-tower, cable-stayed bridge in the world. 

11 Civil Engineering Projects That Might Define the Future
Source: John/Wikimedia Commons

2. Jeddah Tower, Saudi Arabia Is a Skyscraper of the Future

Construction works began: 2013

Expected completion date: 2021

Defining feature/innovation/emerging technology/new technology: When completed it will be the tallest skyscraper in the world by standing at 1 km tall. It will also be sustainable, and built under the auspices of the architectural philosophy of Global Environmental Contextualism.

11 Civil Engineering Projects That Might Define the Future
Source: Ammar Shaker/Wikimedia Commons

3. Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge Is the Longest Sea-Bridge Ever Built

Construction works began: 2009

Expected completion date: 2017

Defining feature/innovation/emerging technology/new technology: This civil engineering project is an interconnected system of bridges, artificial islands and tunnels that will eventually connect Hong Kong and Zhuhai to Macau. It will stretch over 50km and is designed to last at least 120 years before significant maintenance works will be needed. 

It is the longest sea-crossing bridge ever built. 

4. Central Park Tower Is To Be 'Super-Sustainable'

Construction works began: 2014

Expected completion date: 2020

Defining feature/innovation/emerging technology/new technology: Currently under construction, the new Central Park Tower in New York has been designed under the philosophy of Global Environmental Contextualism. Its construction is taking advantage of cutting-edge engineering to reduce emissions, optimize air circulation and internal climate control. 

11 Civil Engineering Projects That Might Define the Future
Source: GrissJr/Wikimedia Commons

5. The Alvarado Water Treatment Plant Will Double San Diego's Water Filtration Capacity

Construction works began: 2008

Expected completion date: 2028

Defining feature/innovation/emerging technology/new technology: The project is designed to double the current daily filtration capacity of San Deigo to 800,000 m3 a day, it will also be partially solar powered.

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It has also been designed to last at least 75 years and is being built in anticipation of the city's projected population growth.

Description: The plant will be built over a period of 5 phases and will be one of three that will serve San Diego. These phases comprise a chemical treatment plant, flocculation and sedimentation basins and upgrades to electrical and control systems. The third phase will increase the plants capacity from 150 million gallons a day to 200

6. The Shanghai Tower Is Energy and Construction Material Efficient

Construction works began: 2009

Expected completion date: 2015

Defining feature/innovation/emerging technology/new technology: The Shanghai Tower is one of the most energy-efficient buildings in the world and has the highest LEED rating possible - Platinum. It was designed to be wind resistant that saved thousands of tons of steel and relies heavily on renewable energy sources.

11 Civil Engineering Projects That Might Define the Future
Source: Baycrest/Wikimedia Commons

7. The Man-Made River Project, Libya Will Be The Biggest Irrigation Project Ever

Construction works began: 1985

Expected completion date: 2030

Defining feature/innovation/emerging technology/new technology: When completed it will be the biggest irrigation project ever undertaken. It will consist of 2800 km of pipes, 1,300 wells and will transport 6.5 million m3 a day. 

8. MOSE, the Venetian Tidal Barrier, Could Be the Future of Flood Protection

Construction works began: 2003

Expected completion date: 2015

Defining feature/innovation/emerging technology/new technology: The barrier is unique in its design of the use of mobile gates that can be raised to protect Venice from flood water. Although not huge in scale they could have future applications in other cities.

9. The Carlsbad Desalination Plant Could Solve A Future Fresh Water Crisis

Construction works began: 2015

Expected completion date: Full capacity by 2020

Defining feature/innovation/emerging technology/new technology: This plant will completely redefine how a city meets its water needs in the future. Rather than pumping it from hundreds of kilometers away, this plant removes salt from saltwater to provide 50 millions gallons of fresh water a day. 

11 Civil Engineering Projects That Might Define the Future
Source: Carlsbad Desalination Plant

10. NBBJ's 'Shadowless' Skyscrapers Could be the Future of Skycrapper Fascade Design

Construction works began: N/A - Concept

Expected completion date: N/A - Concept

Defining feature/innovation/emerging technology/new technology: NBBJ has created a concept for a mixed-use development of London's Greenwich Peninsula. Their design involves an innovative rethink of the buildings' exterior to redirect and diffuse sunlight 'to visibly reduce shadows at the towers' base by 60% over typical buildings, providing more daylight for pedestrians and people in nearby buildings.

11. Lake Oswego Interceptor Sewer (LOIS) Could Be the Future of Pipelines Through Water

Construction works began: 2008

Expected completion date: 2012

Defining feature/innovation/emerging technology/new technology: The original system was built in the 1960's, consists of thousands of meters of steel pipes that are believed to be seismically vulnerable and are beginning to corrode. The new system consists of buoyant pipes held in place with anchors and tethers to the lake bottom that float between about 2.4 and 5.8 meters above the lake bed.