Massive U.S. construction projects often grab the industry’s attention because of their pricetags and complexities, but in other countries, construction companies are pushing the envelope and using new technologies and methods to deliver groundbreaking projects.
Here is a look at some of the most innovative projects underway on several continents.
Forest Green Rovers Stadium
U.K.-based Zaha Hadid Architects received planning permission in late 2019 to build the world’s first wooden soccer stadium. Located in Gloucestershire, England, the stadium will be home to the Forest Green Rovers Football Club, a soccer team competing in the U.K.’s League Two. Nearly every element will be constructed of sustainably sourced timber, including the structure, roof cantilevers, and louvered cladding.
The arena will be one of the greenest soccer stadiums in the world, powered only by sustainable resources. The 5,000-seat venue, which will include an all-weather field, is part of a growing green technology business park in the area. Recycled rainwater and solar panels powering floodlights at the Forest Green Rovers current stadium is part of why FIFA, the world soccer association, recognized the team as the world’s greenest football club.
Submerged 16.4 feet under sea level off the northern tip of Norway, Under resembles a periscope peeking out through the surface of the water. The restaurant, designed by Oslo-based architecture firm Snøhetta and opened in 2019, is Europe’s first underwater restaurant and the largest underwater dining spot in the world.
Nearly 2-foot-thick reinforced concrete protects the interiors while the large windows that are Under’s main attraction are 1 foot thick. The foundation was laid under the water, but the exterior structure was built above ground and lowered below sea level via a barge. Once the structure was lowered, work on the interior was completed.
Ras Abu Aboud Stadium
Ahead of the FIFA World Cup in 2022, Qatar plans to build several soccer stadiums, including one that can be dismantled, moved and reassembled.
At the 40,000-seat Ras Abu Aboud Stadium in Doha, everything from the restrooms, hospitality suites and the exterior will be made from large shipping containers. Concrete will be used for the foundation of the structure, but most of the iron and containers will be able to be disassembled after the events.
The venue is one of seven under construction for the World Cup, but Ras Abu Aboud is the only stadium that will feature this movable approach to construction, which could appear at future world sports venues.
Floating Office Rotterdam
A sustainable floating office will be coming to the Netherlands later this year. Dutch architecture firm Powerhouse Company has shared a design for Floating Office Rotterdam, the future headquarters of the Global Center on Adaptation, a climate change preparation group.
Construction of the building is expected to begin soon and won’t last long, as most of the building will be prefabricated. When completed, it will consist of three floors, a restaurant and a swimming pool. The roof will be covered in greenery and solar panels and the building will use harbor water for efficient heating and cooling.
The final phase of work has begun on the Rohtang Tunnel, a 5.5-mile-long highway tunnel in India, which will be the world’s longest highway tunnel built above 10,000 feet. Rohtang should become operational within the next eight months.
Built at 10,171 feet above sea level, the Rohtang Tunnel will be underneath the Rohtang Pass in the Pir Panjal Range of the Himalayas. When snow falls in the winter, the weather can cut off villages from the rest of the country. The tunnel seeks to change that, as well as reducing the distance between the villages and Manali by about 30 miles.