British Universities Film & Video Council

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Extreme Engineering: Season 1

Synopsis
This selection of programmes from the first series of EXTREME ENGINEERING unveils some of the most ambitious architectural plans of our times. Some are theoretical, others are in the works. Computer animation and first-hand accounts from builders, designers and engineers breathe life into some of the most ambitious construction projects ever conceived. The five projects featured are:1) BUILDING HONG KONG’S AIRPORT - Follow architects and engineers from start to finish as they build the world’s most vital air transit centre - 16 miles out at sea; 2) WIDENING THE PANAMA CANAL -
A readily accessible passage for decades, the canal has begun to turn ships away because they’re simply too wide to make it through;3) BRIDGING THE BERING STRAIT - A massive bridge joining North America and Asia - following the same intercontinental route as the ancient Bering Strait land bridge - holds the promise of unprecedented economic growth; 4) TOKYO’S SKY CITY - With land area shrinking and population growing, Japan has decided to take urban development to the next level. With its 14 steel, concrete and glass "plateaus," each 40 storeys high and stacked on top of each other, Sky City will rise a mile into space; 5) HOLLAND’S BARRIERS TO THE SEA - Engineers reveal the inner-workings of a stunningly sophisticated series of barriers designed to keep the Dutch safe and dry.
Language
English
Country
United States
Year of release
2007
Year of production
2004
Subjects
Engineering
Keywords
airports; bridges; civil engineering; marine engineering; Netherlands, The; skyscrapers; Tokyo; Panama Canal; Hong Kong airport; Bering Strait; Sea defences

Distribution Formats

Type
DVD
Format
Region 1
Price
$49.95
Availability
Sale
Duration/Size
5 x 55 minutes
Year
2008

Sections

Title
Building Hong Kong’s Airport
Synopsis
In the 1990s, Hong Kong undertook one of the largest civil engineering projects in history when it decided to build a new international airport 16 miles out to sea.
Duration
50 mins

Title
Widening the Panama Canal
Synopsis
Everyday, ships the size of a city block transport goods through the Panama Canal - a strategic 50-mile shortcut between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans that allows captains to shave thousands of miles off their routes. For nearly a century, the canal has permitted almost every type of ship imaginable to sail between the oceans. But for the first time ever, ships are being turned away in droves because they’re simply too wide to fit through the narrow locks. It’s time for the Panama Canal to "loosen up!?

Follow teams of European and American engineers as they compete for a winning lock design that will widen the Canal. Project planners try to strike a balance between risk and reward - a faulty design could lead to an accident that cripples world trade, but the increased shipping revenue from a wider canal would be monumental. Join designers as they struggle to enlarge the aging lock chambers, great slabs of steel that currently pass within inches of ships’ hulls. Meanwhile, landscape architects navigate through treacherous mountain passes and guard against mudslides - a constant threat on the isthmus. This may just be the most extreme engineering project since the original canal was built.
Duration
50 mins

Title
Bridging the Bering Strait
Synopsis
A massive bridge joining North America and Asia - following the same intercontinental route as the ancient Bering Strait land bridge - holds the promise of unprecedented economic growth. That is, if it can be built.
Duration
50 mins

Title
Tokyo’s Sky City
Synopsis
With land area shrinking and population growing, Japan has decided to take its urban development strategy to the next level. Welcome to Sky City - the most massive super-building on earth and certainly one of the most daring feats of engineering ever attempted.

With its 14 steel, concrete and glass "plateaus," each 40 stories high and stacked on top of each other, Sky City will rise a full mile into space - more than twice the height of any existing building! The towering, vertical city will house more than 100,000 people and provide for every aspect of modern life with parks, schools, homes, offices and shops all housed within the "city’s" ample walls.

Only one problem: No one knows for sure if it can really be built! Join leading engineers from Japan, Taiwan and Canada as they try to tackle the immense mechanical, structural and logistical issues behind such an enormous project. Architects have drawn up plans for a truly majestic edifice, but can they protect the city from earthquakes, typhoons and the very worst disaster that can strike a tall building - a raging inferno?
Duration
50 mins

Title
Holland’s Barriers to the Sea
Synopsis
Most of Holland is below sea level, a drainage basin for three major rivers. This problem has plagued the country with periodic flooding, killer sea swells and massive loss of crops and life since the Middle Ages. In 1995, after a pounding from a world-class hurricane, workers began constructing one of the engineering wonders of the world - the Delta Works and Measlandkering - a series of barriers designed to protect the country from the encroaching sea. In this programme designers reveal the inner workings of these surprisingly sophisticated contraptions. The Delta Works is a network of massive, computer-controlled sea barriers and dams that straddle each of the major rivers emptying into the delta. While the Measlandkering is a gigantic sea surge barrier a quarter-of-a-mile wide that consists of two horizontal, hydraulically-run walls, each of whose giant sea "arms? is 1,000 feet long. Technicians demonstrate the practical power source behind the barriers - the Netherlands’ famous, electrically-driven windmills! The system’s 60 floodgates - each 75 feet high - remain standing in good weather, allowing the three rivers to flow into the sea, but are lowered in less than an hour for threatening storms.
Duration
50 mins

Production Company

Name

Discovery Channel

Phone
020 7462 3600
Fax
020 7462 3700
Address
160 Great Portland Street
London W1N 5TV

Distributor

Name

Discoverystore.com

Email
http://store.discovery.com/discovery/layout/cspopup.html?cs=http%3A//discovery.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/discovery.cfg/php/enduser/ask.php&net=discovery
Web
http://shopping.discovery.com/ External site opens in new window
Phone
+1 859 727 7163
Fax
+1 859 342 0633
Address
Two Explore Lane
P.O. Box 788
Florence
KY 41022-0788
USA

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