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WORLD TUNNEL CONGRESS 2018 IN DUBAI: THE MIDDLE EAST CONSOLIDATED ITS POSITION AS POWERFUL EMERGENT MARKET

WORLD TUNNEL CONGRESS 2018 IN DUBAI: THE MIDDLE EAST CONSOLIDATED ITS POSITION AS POWERFUL EMERGENT MARKET

27 April 2018

 

PRESS RELEASE

April 26th2018

For Immediate Release 

      

Held in Dubai, from 21stto 26thApril by the Society of Engineers (SOE) and the International Tunnelling and Underground Space Association (ITA), the World Tunnel Congress and 44th ITA General Assembly were a momentous occasion and an undoubted success for the global industry.

Focused on “The Role of Underground Space for future cities”, the world tunnel congress shared a light on the sustainable aspects of developing underground construction. The challenge faced today by many key players of the industry (Engineers, urban planners, architects), when building new underground facilities is to fully respect the surrounding nature. 

The opening ceremony was well attended by VIP guests, delegates from government and private sectors, presidents of international engineering associations, representatives from major engineering and tunnelling companies, as well as key stakeholders in tunnelling industry from all over the world.

Inaugurated byEng. Dawoud Al Hajri, Director-General of Dubai Municipality and President of the Society of Engineers and Prof. Tarcisio Celestino, ITA President, the ceremony was rhythmed by high-skilled lectures and speeches, notably the Muir Wood Lecturegiven by Edward Cording and the Landmark Lectureon roman underground road network in Naples given by Stefano de Caro. Eng. Suleiman Abdelrahman Alhajri also gave a lecture on major works on-going in the UAE. 

 

The United Arab of Emirates has always been a pioneer of development in the region, especially in the field of tunnels and the use of underground space, with a number of ongoing mega-projects. We are honoured to be the first country in the Middle East to host the World Tunnel Congress. We welcome all the academics and the specialists in the field, who will be sharing their knowledge to upgrade the engineering sector in the UAE, and the tunnel sector in particular.”

Eng. Dawoud Al Hajri, Director-General of Dubai Municipality and President of the Society of Engineers

 

From this point flowed presentations, working groups, seminars. With 125 technical papers presented orally and 60 posters, the World Tunnel Congress has once again consolidated its position as the world's premier tunnelling event.

During the 44thITA General Assembly, Copenhagen was chosen to host the World Tunnel Congress in 2021. Next year it will be in Naples, Italy and in 2020 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

AN INTERNATIONAL EVENT DEDICATED TO SUSTAINABLE CONSTRUCTIONS & HIGH-SKILLED EXPERTISE: 

 

  NEW APPROACHES OF UNDERGROUND SPACES AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT 

There is a common trend that consists in saying underground space must be developed in urban areas facing space scarcity. Although, new global demand, urban agenda and sustainable goals require to look differently at underground spaces and their utilization. For this edition of the WTC, the link between sustainable goals and underground space is more than ever at the core of many discussions. 

The ITACUS technical session highlighted various innovative concepts including those presented by the Young Professionals Think Deep Programme, such as a virtual reality model of hard rock wastewater tunnel used in Stockholm. Also, the digital twin tunnelpresented by Karin Dehaasshowcased the potential benefits of a fully digital tunnel, allowing to identify with precision the surrounding environment and to share data to predict aging behavior, malfunction or failure, in order to preserve the existing nature around underground constructions. 

 

For this edition, Han Admiraaland Antonia Cornaro, co-chairs of ITACUS Committeepresented their new book “Underground Unveiled: Planning and creating the cities of the future”. The book explores a new way of thinking underground spaces, intergrating visions of all stakeholders: urban planners, urban designers, architects, geologists, engineers… 

The authors give a global overview of innovative concepts on-going all around the world supporting the idea of underground space as a lever of sustainable development: underground farms, multi-functional tunnels, underground pedestrian lines…

 

More information : https://thinkdeep.net/

 

 

The ITACUS Committee: 

The committee has been setup to address the issue of Underground Space Use worldwide and to raise awareness with regards to both the actual use and the need to develop a vision on the use which allows for planning the use of underground space.

 

 

CONTRACTUAL PRACTICES IN 21stCENTURY: THE ITA AN FIDIC WORK HAND IN HAND TOWARDS A STANDARD CONTRACT 

 

Underground construction is a fast growing market sector and a special one by many aspects.

The underground works differ from high-rise construction because the creation of the necessary space within the ground and the nature of the latter is often unpredictable without doubt. It involves greater uncertainty and greater risk. 

 

The risk of differing ground conditions is at the roots of many issues in contracting processes. When the ground within which a tunnel is to be built     is worse than expected, the tunnel shall be more expensive and take longer to build than anticipated. Nowadays, fixed price-fixed time  contracts, as they are often   successfully used in high-rise, have not proven to be effective in underground works: causing higher costs and time overrun.

 

FIDIC (The International Federation of Consulting Engineers) and ITA-AITES (The International Tunnelling and   Underground   Space   Association), both organizations recognized by     the UN,by the World    Bank, by Development Banks and by the International Tunnel Insurers Group ITIG, have formed a joint Task Group (TG10) to propose a new Form of Contract for Underground Works : The Emerald Book. 

 

Approached during round tables of the Open Session, the major points included in the Emerald Book are: 

 

·      Balanced  sharing of the ground related risks between owners (ground conditions risks) /contractors (time and cost risks in the expected ground conditions)

·      Provisions for dealing with unforeseeable ground conditions will be included inthe General Conditions of Contract

·      A provision for a standing Dispute Avoidance and Adjudication Board(DAAB)

·      A guidance for the preparation of tender documents