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World’s largest dams

What is a dam?
Dams are built to control and store water. Dams are made from earth, stacked rock or concrete, and are usually constructed across rivers to store water in the reservoir that is formed behind the dam as a result of the river being blocked.

How do dams work?
Dams store water in the reservoir formed behind the dam. The stored water can be used for various consumptive purposes, including use as water for irrigation, or as sources of drinking water for urban and regional towns and cities. The stored water can also be discharged from the reservoir during the times that natural flows in downstream rivers are inadequate to help meet a variety of environmental objectives.

Depending on the catchment area for the dam, the water stored in dam reservoirs is usually easier to treat to a drinking water standard than other sources of drinking water, such as run of river supplies. This is because the long time spent in storage usually improves the quality of the water stored in the reservoir.

Definition of a large dam
The International Commission on Large Dams defines a large dam as one which is:

  • More than 15 metres in height measured from the lowest point of the general foundations to the crest of the dam,
  • More than 10 metres in height measured as in (a) provided they comply with at least one of the following conditions:
  • The crest is not less than 500 metres in length
  • The capacity of the reservoir formed by the dam is not less than 1 million cubic metres
  • The maximum flood discharge dealt with by the dam is not less than 2000 cubic metres per second
  • The dam is of unusual design

Here are 5 of the world’s largest dams:

Hirakud Dam is built across the Mahanadi River, about 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) from Sambalpur in the state of Odisha in India. Behind the dam extends a lake, Hirakud Reservoir, 55 km (34 mi) long. It is one of the first major multipurpose river valley projects started after India’s independence. The Hirakud Dam is a composite structure of earth, concrete and masonry. 10 km (6.2 mi) north of Sambalpur, it is the longest major earthen dam in India, measuring 25.8 km (16.0 mi) including dykes, and stands across the river Mahanadi.

Hirakud Dam

Vital Statistics

Country: India
Year completed: 1976
Length: 4.8 km (3 mi) (main section) 25.8 km (16 mi) (entire dam)
Height: 60.96 m (200 ft)
Type: Composite dam and reservoir
Total capacity: 5,896,000,000 m3 (4,779,965 acre·ft)

 

Fort Peck Dam Tis the highest of six major dams along the Missouri River, located in northeast Montana in the United States, near Glasgow, and adjacent to the community of Fort Peck. It is the largest hydraulically filled dam in the United States and creates Fort Peck Lake, the fifth largest man-made lake in the U.S.

Fort Peck Dam

Vital Statistics

Country: United States
Year completed: 1940
Length: 21,026 ft (6,409 m)
Height: 250 ft (76 m)
Type: Hydraulic earthfill
Reservoir Capacity: 18,463,000 acre·ft (22.774 km3)

 

Atatürk Dam originally the Karababa Dam, is a zoned rock-fill dam with a central core[1] on the Euphrates River on the border of Adıyaman Province and Şanlıurfa Province in the Southeastern Anatolia Region of Turkey. Built both to generate electricity and to irrigate the plains in the region, it was renamed in honour of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk (1881–1938), the founder of the Turkish Republic.

Atatürk Dam

Vital Statistics

Country: Turkey
Year completed: 1990
Length: 1,819 m (5,968 ft)
Height: 169 m (554 ft)
Type: Reservoir
Reservoir Capacity: 48,700,000,000 m3 (39,500,000 acre·ft)

 

Houtribdijk is a dike in the Netherlands, built between 1963 and 1975 as part of the Zuiderzee Works, which connects the cities of Lelystad and Enkhuizen. On the west side of the dike is the Markermeer and on the east is the IJsselmeer. Although called a dike, the Houtribdijk is actually a dam.

Houtribdijk

Vital Statistics

Country: Netherlands
Year completed: 1968
Length: 30 km
Height: 68 m

 

Oahe Dam is a large dam along the Missouri River, just north of Pierre, South Dakota in the United States. It creates Lake Oahe, the fourth largest artificial reservoir in the United States, which stretches 231 miles (372 km) up the course of the Missouri to Bismarck, North Dakota. The dam’s powerplant provides electricity for much of the north-central United States. It is named for the Oahe Indian Mission established among the Lakota Sioux in 1874.

oahe dam

Vital Statistics

Country: United States
Year completed: 1963
Length: 9,360 feet (2,850 m)
Height: 245 feet (75 m)
Type: flood control, earthfill
Reservoir Capacity: 23,137,000 acre feet (28.539 km3)

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10 oldest man-made earth structures

Most of these buildings are still standing today. A true testament to brilliant engineering. Check them out!

Colosseum

Located just east of the Roman Forum, the massive stone amphitheatre known as the Colosseum was commissioned around A.D. 70-72 by Emperor Vespasian of the Flavian dynasty as a gift to the Roman people. In A.D. 80, Vespasian’s son Titus opened the Colosseum–officially known as the Flavian Amphitheater–with 100 days of games, including gladiatorial combats and wild animal fights. After four centuries of active use, the magnificent arena fell into neglect, and up until the 18th century, it was used as a source of building materials. Though two-thirds of the original Colosseum has been destroyed over time, the amphitheatre remains a popular tourist destination, as well as an iconic symbol of Rome and its long, tumultuous history.

 

Stonehenge

Stonehenge is perhaps the world’s most famous prehistoric monument. It was built in several stages: the first monument was an early henge monument, built about 5,000 years ago, and the unique stone circle was erected in the late Neolithic period about 2500 BC. In the early Bronze Age, many burial mounds were built nearby. Today, along with Avebury, it forms the heart of a World Heritage Site, with a unique concentration of prehistoric monuments.

 

Tower of Hercules

The Tower of Hercules has served as a lighthouse and landmark at the entrance of La Coruña harbour in north-western Spain since the late 1st century A.D. when the Romans built the Farum Brigantium. The Tower, built on a 57-metre high rock, rises a further 55 metres, of which 34 metres correspond to the Roman masonry and 21 meters to the restoration directed by architect Eustaquio Giannini in the 18th century, who augmented the Roman core with two octagonal forms. Immediately adjacent to the base of the Tower is a small rectangular Roman building. The site also features a sculpture park, the Monte dos Bicos rock carvings from the Iron Age and a Muslim cemetery. The Roman foundations of the building were revealed in excavations conducted in the 1990s. Many legends from the Middle Ages to the 19th century surround the Tower of Hercules, which is unique as it is the only lighthouse of Greco-Roman antiquity to have retained a measure of structural integrity and functional continuity.

 

Mosque of Uqba

The Mosque of Uqba also known as the Great Mosque of Kairouan is located in the historic walled district of the Medina, between the Rue de la Kasbah and the Rue el Farabi in Tunisia. The mosque, as it stands today, was built by the Aghlabid governor of Kairouan, Ziyadat Allah, between 817 and 838. He erected the building on the site of an older mosque, originally constructed by Uqba ibn Nafi at the time of the 670 AD Arab conquest of Byzantine North Africa. Although the current mosque retains virtually no trace of the original seventh-century building, it is still often referred to as “Mosque of Sidi Uqba,” or,”Mosque of Uqba Ibn Nafi.” Historically, it has been accorded great significance as the first mosque in the first town of Islam in the West.

 

Acoma Pueblo

Acoma Pueblo is built atop a sheer-walled, 367-foot sandstone bluff in a valley studded with sacred, towering monoliths. Since 1150 A.D., Acoma Pueblo has earned the reputation as the oldest continuously inhabited community in North America. The mesa-top settlement is known worldwide for its unique art and rich culture.

 

Nanchan Temple

The Nanchan Temple is a Buddhist temple near the town of Doucun on Wutaishan, in Shanxi Province, China. It was built in 782 AD, and its Great Buddha Hall is currently China’s oldest preserved timber building in existence

 

Proserpina Dam

The Proserpina Dam, located approximately ten kilometres north of Merida in Spain, is the world’s second oldest dam currently in use. The earthen dam was constructed by the Romans between the late 1st century AD and early 2nd century AD. It is covered with concrete and measures 427m long and 22m high. It is located on the course of the brook of Las Pardillas, a sub-tributary of the Guadiana on its right bank. It has two bends in the crest and nine buttresses on the inner side. The Confederación Hidrográfica del Guadiana (Water Management Administration) refurbished the dam in 1991.

 

Caravan Bridge

Built in 850 B.C., the Caravan Bridge is 2,861 years old and has reportedly been crossed by the likes of Homer and Saint Paul. The arched stone slab straddling the River Meles, in Izmir, Turkey, extends only 42 and a half feet and is about as simple as they come.

 

Ponte Fabricio

Ponte Fabricio was built in 62 b.C. by L.Fabricius curator viarum (as it is inscribed on both sides of the bridge). This is the oldest Roman bridge to have survived in the city, and still in use for pedestrians.

 

Hagia Sophia

The Santa Sophia (also known as Hagia Sophia) in Istanbul, Turkey has been a church, mosque and museum since it was completed in 537 AD. It is a great architectural beauty and an important monument both for Byzantine and for Ottoman Empires.

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Project: Chiswick, New South Wales

An absolute joy to have been involved in this project. The client knew exactly what he wanted (and what he didn’t want). The builder was a genius. The architect – PL Projects – was focussed, firm, yet fair. And the team at ACSES Engineers just loved working on it.

ACSES Engineers designed both the bulk excavation solution and the various building structures. Utilising our finite element modelling (FEM) capabilities, we were able to eliminate the need for shoring works by taking advantage of the geotechnical parameters of the site. The FEM analysis verified that our vertical cut solution could safely be carried out without adversely impacting the neighbouring structures.

Again using our FEM expertise, ACSES Engineers designed the superstructure as a concrete framed solution made up of off-form reinforced concrete columns, walls and stairs. To achieve various parameters set by the architect, we designed the suspended slabs as post-tensioned solutions.

The level of detailing required for this master piece was ‘unbelievable’. From the concrete pool rising out of the ground with the infinity edges. To ‘the box’ suspended two levels over the Lower Ground Floor and cantilevering out 5m past its supports. To the off-form concrete walls almost 8m tall that needed to be poured in one go. To the ‘zig-zag’ stairs that could only be 100mm thick or the cantilevered stairs that could be no thicker than 110mm – the end results make all that work well worth the effort.

Congratulations to all involved.

ACSES Engineers are incredibly proud to have been part of the Design Team and honoured to have been the Project Structural Engineer for this development.

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Chiswick New South Wales Image 3

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Project: 1 Bede Street Strathfield

The structural frame at 1 Bede Street Strathfield has been completed, and the builder has done an amazing job in an incredibly short time.

General site specs:

  • Five Storey Building
  • Two below ground basements
  • 12 Residential Units

ACSES Engineers designed both the shoring and bulk excavation solutions, as well as the building superstructure.

Given the relative small size of the development, cost was a major driving factor for the client who gave us a very specific project brief – “fast, cheap and safe – make it happen”…

Utilising our finite element modelling capabilities, we were able to minimise the shoring works required to support the two level excavation face. Our modelling took advantage of the geotechnical parameters present at the site and ACSES Engineers were able to design a cantilevered pile wall solution with shotcrete infills.

Again using our FEM expertise, ACSES Engineers designed the superstructures as a concrete framed solutions made up of columns and walls using the Rediwall product wherever possible. This eliminated the need for traditional vertical formwork and resulted in further savings in time and cost. The slabs were all designed as conventionally reinforced slab solutions and the individual units were partitioned using lightweight non-load bearing walls made from fibre cement (Hebel) and framed Gyproc.

The project was architecturally designed by Ghazi Al Ali Architects and ACSES Engineers are proud to be part of the Design Team and honoured to be the Project Structural Engineer for this development.

1 Bede Street Strathfield Image 1

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Project: 1 Villawood Place Villawood

Works are well underway at 1 Villawood Place Villawood and the team from Grandviewco have gotten off to an excellent start.

General site specs:

  • Nine Storey Building
  • Three below ground basements
  • Each basement level is over 2300m2
  • Ground Floor is over 2000m2 of commercial space
  • 119 Residential Units

ACSES Engineers designed both the shoring and bulk excavation solutions, as well as the building superstructure.

Utilising our finite element modelling capabilities, we were able to minimise the shoring works required to support the three level excavation face. All the basement levels were designed as conventionally reinforced slabs, while Ground Floor and Level 1 were designed as post tensioned solutions. All these levels were supported on traditionally formed and reinforced concrete walls and columns. Working with our design partners from Ultrafloor and AFS Systems, ACSES Engineers designed all the upper levels as a load bearing wall – concrete framed solution. From Level 1 upwards, AFS Logic Wall was used to support the Ultrafloor slab system, from Level 2 onwards. This construction process was adopted by Grandviewco to eliminate the need for traditional formwork as much as possible. To partition the units, lightweight non-load bearing walls made from fibre cement (Hebel) and framed Gyproc were used.

The project was architecturally designed by Tony Owen Partners and ACSES Engineers are proud to be part of the Design Team and honoured to be the Project Structural Engineer for this development.

Here is the 3D Perspective.

1 Villawood Place Villawood 3D

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Project: 5-7 Telegraph Road Pymble

ACSES Engineers designed a shoring and bulk excavation solution that extended four levels below 5-7 Telegraph Road Pymble as well as the superstructures.

Below are some site specs:

  • Two buildings over common basement carparking
  • Three below ground basements
  • Each Basement level is over 2100m2
  • 47 Residential Units

Utilising our finite element modelling capabilities, we significantly reduced the required shoring works at 5-7 Telegraph Road Pymble by designing an anchored pile and shotcrete wall to support the excavated face above the Class IV material, and then vertically cut the rock strata down to the bulk excavation level.

We also designed the crane base, without requiring piles, to bear directly on the Class IV material located higher than the final bulk excavation level. This shoring and bulk excavation solution designed by ACSES Engineers resulted in massive cost and time savings for South West Builders, who must be congratulated on successfully carrying out the detailed works.

Again using our FEM expertise, ACSES Engineers designed the superstructures as a concrete framed solutions made up of columns and walls using the Dincel Wall product wherever possible. This eliminated the need for traditional vertical formwork and resulted in further savings in time and cost for the builder. To partition the units, lightweight non-load bearing walls made from fibre cement (Hebel) and framed Gyproc were used.

The project was architecturally designed by Aleksander Design Group and ACSES Engineers are proud to be part of the Design Team and honoured to be the Project Structural Engineer for this development.

5-7 Telegraph Road Pymble Image 1

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Here is the 3D Perspective.

5-7 Telegraph Rd Pymble 3D

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Project Location: 35 Devlin Street Ryde

ACSES Engineers designed a shoring and bulk excavation solution that extended four levels below Devlin Street, one of Sydney’s busiest roads.

Site access was limited to only the single carriage laneway at the rear, and large tenanted commercial buildings either side of the development were supported on high-level foundations that needed to be protected as well. Utilising our finite element modelling capabilities, we significantly reduced the required shoring works by designing an anchored pile and shotcrete wall to support the excavated face above the Class IV material, and then vertically cut the rock strata down to the bulk excavation level. This resulted in massive cost and time savings for the builder YTO Constructions, who must be congratulated on successfully carrying out the detailed works. To further reduce construction time, we designed the superstructure as a concrete framed solution made up of columns and walls using the Dincel Wall product, which eliminated the need for traditional vertical formwork where ever possible. ACSES Engineers are proud to be part of the Design Team and honoured to be the Project Structural Engineer for this development.

35 Devlin Street Ryde

Here is the 3D Perspective.

35-37 Devlin St Ryde

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Project Update: 100 Castlereagh Street Liverpool

Thanks for all the fantastic feedback.

Below are some site specs:

  • Four below ground basements
  • Each Basement is over 3300m2
  • 2 Commercial Levels
  • 25 Residential Levels – 298 Units

Here are some more images from the site:

100 Castlereagh Street Liverpool Image 1

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Project Spotlight: 2A-8 Burwood Road Burwood

Shoring and bulk excavation works at 2A-8 Burwood Road Burwood have been completed and foundation works have begun. It’s a tight, detailed site, but the COPLEX Constructions team have everything running smoothly like a well-oiled machine. ACSES Engineers are proud to be part of the Design Team and honoured to be the Project Structural Engineer.

2A-8 Burwood Road Burwood Image 1

Here is the 3D Perspective.

2A-8 Burwood Road Burwood

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Project Spotlight: 75-83 Second Avenue Campsie

Sheet Piles are in and bulk excavation works at 75-83 Second Avenue Campsie have now begun. Sam and the team at SWEDA have got it all under control and congratulations to Balintore Developments on yet another great project. ACSES Engineers are proud to be part of the Design Team and honoured to be the Project Structural Engineer for this development.

75-83 Second Avenue Campsie

Here are the 3D Perspectives.

75-83 Second Avenue Campsie Image 2

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