Graduate Competition – Design a Carbon Neutral Bridge
As part of NCE’s inaugural event ‘Future of Bridges’, we are delighted to launch a competition which will be open to graduates who have graduated in the last 5 years.
Sustainable bridge design has become increasingly important over the last decade as our understanding of the social, economic and environmental drivers has improved. For example, as with many civil engineering projects, bridges need to exploit green design technology, which has numerous environmental benefits for our and future generations. Several bridges are using solar technology, for example, while being carefully placed so as not to disturb the surrounding natural environment. By using fewer resources and making an effort to conserve the natural area, civil engineers are finding numerous financial and sociological benefits of sustainable bridge design.
The competition is designed to challenge the bright, young minds in the industry to think completely differently about sustainability, the carbon footprint of the structures we design and build, and their role in a sustainable world.
The winning team will benefit from positive exposure on the NCE website and significant kudos within the industry.
Sustainable bridge design encompasses a very broad range of topics, and the following issues - amongst others - should be considered when designing a sustainable bridge:
- How will the use of natural materials, energy consumption, and environmental resources be kept at a minimum during construction?
- How would the use of recycled or waste materials be included in the design, and what use would be made of the materials at the end of life of the bridge?
- How will the design ease ongoing operation and maintenance demands in order to minimise whole life cost and environmental impact?
- Is the bridge designed to be aesthetically pleasing while contributing positively to the local scenery and support or preserve historic or cultural heritage?
- Will the bridge create a more connected community?
- How will the bridge integrate, encourage and prioritise walking, cycling and other means of non-motorized or low-impact transportation? How does it contribute to the physical and mental well-being of the communities it serves?
- To what extent does the bridge minimise or ease traffic congestion and so reduce the environmental impacts such as noise pollution and air quality?
- Can the bridge adapt to a changing world and how we use our infrastructure?
- How does the bridge design minimise ecological or environmental impacts on the waterways it crosses?
Further inspiration may be found by considering how the UN Sustainable Development Goals can be applied to our work as civil engineers and bridge designers.
Do you have what it takes to rise to the challenge?