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Mega-Projects Around the World

This blog will explore the array of megaprojects that are currently in the planning or building stages. These fascinating large-scale projects showcase the peak of ambition and engineering. Mega projects promise a lot for their communities such as, job creation, economic revitalisation, and technical innovation. However, to succeed they require smart planning, and flawless implementation.

NEOM

NEOM is a large area of Saudi Arabia that has been held in reserve for development. NEOM has a commitment to sustainable urban development which consists of 10 regions. So far, the details of only four have been announced, which leaves speculation on what other exciting and futuristic plans are to come. This blog is going focus on two areas of NEOM that we find particularly interesting.

One of the major construction projects currently in the works at NEOM is The Line. The Line is a smart city with the potential to be the biggest and most ambitious construction project of all time. The project is 200m wide, 170km long and will be home to 9 million residents. With promises to eliminate the pitfalls of daily commutes, it offers faster and more environmentally friendly alternatives. Roads, cars, and emissions are to be completely discarded in replacement with high-speed rail, renewable energy, and improved accessibility by foot.

Another project planned for NEOM is Sindalah. NEOM’s commitment to sustainable urban development does not stop at The Line. Sindalah is and idyllic luxury island in the Red Sea, is their equally ambitious tourism project. It covers 84+ hectares and is set to boast a range of leisure activities. This includes, three mega luxury hotels, a 5,920m golf course, and world-class super yachting. Whilst The Line is focused on cultivating a sustainable city for its inhabitants, Sindalah aims to showcase NEOM’s potential to the rest of the world. Aimed at international tourists this could be the world’s gateway into not just NEOM but a complete and inspiring megaproject.

According to The Guardian, the Middle East has a 30% lower adoption rate of BIM for construction than Asia and the US. This is due to the lack of BIM experts, awareness of BIM benefits, and confidence in Return On Investment (ROI). Here at Proicere we have are able to solve these three conceptions that holds the Middle East back. Firstly, our team has extensive experience in heavy industry, pharmaceuticals, commercial, nuclear, and oil & gas, proving BIM’s value in these sectors. Secondly, projects that adopt a BIM approach are experiencing tangible benefits, including a reduction in re-work, site issues, and data replication issues. We use BIM to its full potential. Finally, we have experienced ROI first hand due to our capabilities on our projects. Using 4D planning alone, one minor aspect of BIM, has saved £20 million on one of our projects.

At Proicere, we dismantle the beliefs that are blocking BIM’s successful adoption in the Middle East. If handled by a team of experienced professionals, there are extensive opportunities for development in the Middle East afforded by BIM, Digital Twin, and Virtual Rehearsal. With a diverse range of large-scale construction projects ranging from local to global, our team is always working to improve and enhance the next project.

Iceland

A collection of volcanic islands with a population of just under 380,000, Iceland is undergoing a remarkable transformation into a sustainable nation. Three million tourists per year visit Iceland to enjoy its waterfalls, volcanoes and lagoons. However, this powerful natural environment is not only a tourist attraction, but also key to Iceland’s energy transformation.

Major transformative works include, a new hospital, a new public Transport Line and ongoing works on the capital’s airport. Project-related work contributed 27.7% of Iceland’s gross value added (GVA), which translates into 425 billion Krona (around £2.5b) in monetary benefits in 2014.

However, when it comes to Iceland’s transformation over the past decade, Project Management hasn’t been entirely smooth sailing. In an interview conducted by APM with Sunna Björg Reynisdóttir, she discusses project managing Reykjavik’s transport transformation. This discussion highlights that Icelandic nature sometimes involves less planning and thinking ahead when completing projects, but due to low energy costs, this hasn’t had a major impact on costs. More recently, Sunna says she has seen an increase in qualified project managers. As construction continues to develop in Iceland, do you think the methodology of planning will have to grow with it?

New Administrative Capital

Cairo, Egypt’s capital city, is home to 20 million residents – a number that is expected to double in the next 40 years – making it one of the most crowded cities in the world. The NAC (New Administrative Capital) is expected to ease this congestion and address a range of issues facing Egypt to improve its quality of life. The city has been under development since 2015.

Currently under construction, the Iconic is Africa’s tallest tower. It is only one of twenty giant towers in the NAC. Standing at 394m, it consists of 78 floors that house offices, a five-star hotel, and luxury apartments. The tower is expected to be completed in 2023.

The city also includes:

  • A central park with an area of 375 acres (larger that NYC’s Central Park)
  • A 35km long river
  • 2000 educational institutions
  • 663 hospitals and clinics
  • 1250 mosques and churches
  • 90km squared of solar energy farm
  • A major them park (4x the size of Disneyland, USA)

The plethora of large projects currently being undertaken in the NAC make it a very interesting and progressive construction process for Egypt.

All megaprojects have different aims, but they are united by a shared philosophy: driving society forward. From railway lines to entire smart cities, megaprojects aim to improve the quality of life for their communities in various different ways. Some of the most common benefits include:

  1. Economic growth – Megaprojects create jobs and stimulate the economy through their significant investments and transformations to infrastructure.
  2. Improved infrastructure – By constructing and improving critical infrastructure, megaprojects can improve connectivity and improve the overall quality of life for its community.
  3. Technological advancement – Ambition is at the heart of any megaproject, which means they frequently push the boundaries of construction, architecture, and engineering to achieve their goals.

Effective planning and implementation are crucial to the success of a megaproject. Construction risk are typically the most significant in the life cycle of a megaproject. Without proper planning, the project can experience construction risks that lead to the cost overrun and schedule delays. This is true to all construction projects, including those that we support at Proicere, but the scope of a megaproject magnifies these risks so that its consequences are more severe than a regular project. It is therefore vital that they are avoided.

At Proicere, we combine project controls with innovative tools to ensure successful project delivery for our clients. With high ambitions and major scope, it is hoped that every megaproject shares this comprehensive and competent approach to planning so that its goals can be achieved with minimal setbacks.

Do you have a favourite mega project, or have opinions of the mega projects outlined in this blog? Please make sure to comment below!

Group 2431

Gracie Dooner / Proicere

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