Smart design makes water work in Tongzhou District
The successful completion of a water infrastructure project in China will allow massive urban development to go ahead.
Tongzhou District in southeast Beijing is marked for intense future urban development, being located at the end of China’s Grand Canal and acting as an eastern gateway to the nation’s capital. However, until the completion of significant water works, the region had experienced water shortages as a result of declining groundwater supplies. Planning teams anticipated that, to meet current and future water demand and supply continuous water to residents, Tongzhou Water Works would need to significantly increase capacity and reduce reliance on groundwater.
As part of the Beijing South-to-North Water Diversion Project, a ¥354 million ($74.4 million) project was initiated to deliver 600,000 m3 of water/day. Beijing Institute of Water was contracted by the Water Affairs Bureau of Tongzhou District to design the water facility and ancillary buildings. The project, serving as an important infrastructure guarantee for future land development projects, needed to improve building energy efficiency, reduce construction costs and eliminate the impact on the surrounding environment, as specified by the Chinese Government.
Collaborative design process
To tackle the design brief, the project team established a collaborative 3D design management platform using Bentley’s ProjectWise and MicroStation software. This platform was used to centrally store and manage design information for 13 professions, as well as extract 2D construction drawings and engineering statistics. The 3D platform enabled the team to enforce production standards for the 26 engineers working on the design, securely share data and models, and minimise design errors while improving work efficiency.
The 2D construction drawing and engineering statistics completed during the 2D design phase took six months to implement, involving more than 50 engineers. However, the 3D design software allowed just 26 engineers to complete all 3D modelling, 2D drawings and engineering statistics work in 40 days, saving more than 50% of the design effort by automatically generating engineering statistics and increasing the accuracy of calculations.
Considering environmental impacts, the layout of the water purification structures and plant terrain was designed to reduce operational electricity consumption, achieving a 5% reduction. The heat-pump placement saved more than 40% on cooling and heating costs. To take advantage of favourable sun exposure, the team was able to implement solar heating to reduce fossil-fuel energy usage by more than 45%. In addition, by placing a rain-catchment area on-site, the facility could collect and store 80% of rainwater for re-use.
Meeting current and future demands for water
The final design achieved its objective, providing 62.9% of domestic water and production water supply to 900,000 people in a service area of 155 km2. This raised the regional water supply capacity to 2.8 times that of 2011 and increased the water supply safety coefficient to 1.3. Additionally, by replacing local surface water with diverted groundwater, the proportion of local, underground water supply fell from 74.2% in 2011 to 21.4%, resulting in an annual reduction of 4.77 million m3 of groundwater exploitation.
Now that the facility has been completed and is operational, the city’s subcentre and Tongzhou New Town will be incorporated into the south-to-north water supply zone to enhance the region’s water quality, volume and pressure, reaching supply levels in line with the city centre. Water quality will reach, or even exceed, WHO and US EPA standards. The improvement in water conditions of the Tongzhou area will allow the government to relocate the city government to Tongzhou and make it a vital population hub in the future.
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