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    Session topics

    Surface Challenges – underground solutions

    Rapid population growth, increased urbanization and expected climate change will require major infrastructure investments, and wide use of underground solutions.

    Urbanisation encourage underground solutions

    Today more than half of the world’s population lives in cities. The surface urban space is limited available. This means that infrastructure must be planned underground. Accordingly, the use of the underground needs to be carefully and coherently engineered with sustainability in mind.

    New infrastructure must take into account, that future tunnels and underground facilities must be used to protect critical infrastructure from the forces of nature and human interference. Installations for oil and gas, information technology and communications, and civil defence are therefore increasingly being located in rock caverns. This ensures their operability even when disaster strikes.

    More renewables necessary

    Mitigation may be important, but climate solutions are even more so. Norway is today a major supplier in the renewable energy network thanks to the high number of Hydro Electric Power plants. The demand for more green energy is sought-after all over the world and Norway have this expertise.

     “Surface challenges – Underground solutions” is more than a slogan; for ITA-AITES and its members it is a challenge and commitment to contribute to sustainable development. The challenges are numerous and the availability of space for necessary infrastructure ends up being the key to good solutions. The underground is at present only marginally utilized. The potential for extended and improved utilization is enormous.

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    WTC-2017 Session topics


    • Site investigation, ground characterization
    • Urban tunnelling (planning, design and construction)
    • Strategic use of underground space for resilient city growth
    • Utilization of underground for hydropower projects (unlined tunnels and shafts, underwater piercing, air cushion chambers)
    • Mechanized excavation (hard rock, soft rock and soil)
    • Innovations in drill and blast excavation
    • Large caverns (planning, design and construction)
    • Underwater tunnels (strait crossings for road and railway, utility tunnels)
    • Tunnelling for mining purposes
    • Underground waste storage and disposal
    • Innovations in rock support and water proofing technology
    • Operation and maintenance
    • Safety management of complex underground excavations
    • Stability assessment, risk analysis and risk management
    • Seismic design of tunnels and underground excavations
    • Case histories – lessons learnt