Underground Construction: The sustainable choice for global urbanization

Underground Construction: The sustainable choice for global urbanization

Underground construction meets the demand for urban infrastructure, the need to relieve congestion in our cities and save space, and the challenges of a changing climate. The sector grossed 86 billion euros in 2016 and global demand for underground projects is growing by 7% per annum.

Since 2015, the international competition ITA Tunnelling Awards seeks and rewards the most ground-breaking innovation and outstanding projects in tunnelling and underground space utilisation. The 2018 edition will take place on 7 November, in Chuzhou-Nanjing during the 20th Chinese Tunnel and Underground works Conference (CTUC) from 5 to 6 Nov. followed by technical visits on Nov.8 in Nanjing, Chuzhou and Shanghai.

The fourth edition of ITA Tunnelling Awards have collected 68 valid entries coming from all around the world. The candidacies were spread through 8 categories as following:

  • Major Project of the Year – over €500m : 7 candidacies received
  • Project of the Year – between €50m and €500m : 15 candidacies received
  • Project of the Year inclus. Renovation – up to €50m : 9 candidacies received
  • Technical Project Innovation of the Year : 10 candidacies received
  • Technical Product/Equipment Innovation of the Year : 10 candidacies received
  • Sustainability Initiative of the Year (merged with Innovative Use of Underground Space)
  • Safety Initiative of the Year : 5 candidacies received
  • Innovative Use of Underground Space : 4 candidacies received
  • Young Tunneller of the Year : 12 candidacies received

The projects /innovation come from all around the word:

Albania (1), Algeria (1), Argentina (1) Australia (1), China (37, including 3 from Hong Kong), Germany (1), India (2), Iran (4), Italy (3), Malaysia (1), Netherlands (2), New Zealand (2), Norway (3), Russia (1), Singapore (1), South Korea (1), Switzerland (1), Thailand (1), Turkey (2), United Kingdom (2).

The panel of candidacies swings between public transportation projects and sustainable development:

Public transportation is one of the main issue encountered by public authorities when developing urban planning programs. The demand of public railway grow as fast as the need of sustainable solutions and among the batch of 68 candidacies, at least half of them represent these two major trends.

The entries also reinforce the global leadership of Asia and especially China recording an output of almost 37bn€ for tunnelling and underground construction. Indeed, China represents the nearly half of the global output for tunnelling industry, which is estimated globally at 86bn€ for the year 2016..

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