Black & Veatch Design Wins Award

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Black & Veatch

Cavern reservoir design helps preserve listed buildings, hillside and trees; saves space and money; and reduces waste

A design that aimed to preserve the heritage and natural environment of the campus grounds at the University of Hong Kong (HKU) won in the Design category of the 2010 International Water Assn.’s Project Innovation Awards for the East Asia region presented last week at The Portman Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Shanghai, China.

Prompted by the Water Supplies Department’s initiative of building a service reservoir inside a cavern, Black & Veatch’s design fashioned a cavern to house two service reservoirs as part of HKU’s Centennial Campus expansion. The approach had never been attempted in Hong Kong before and was commended for the environmental benefits that it brought about.

There was a freshwater service reservoir inside the proposed campus expansion site supplying drinking water to local residents. The original project scope called for replacing this reservoir with two new reservoirs with a total capacity of 26,500 cu meters on platforms cut into the Lung Fu Shan hillside located next to the site.

The solution hinged on the construction of saltwater service reservoirs that would be housed in a new cavern carved out from inside the hill. The new freshwater service reservoirs would then be built on the area previously occupied by the original saltwater service reservoirs.

The award-winning design saved a significant number of trees and an area of 6,000 sq meters from destruction. By ensuring the slopes and trees all stayed intact, the amount of generated waste was reduced by approximately 85%. Three graded historical buildings, as well as the habitats of a number of protected species of flora and fauna, were also preserved.

In addition, Black & Veatch was able to complete the project six months ahead of schedule and under budget.

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