Geotechnical Design for a bridge crossing a river

Order Details;

Faculty of Science & Engineering

School of Architecture & the Built Environment


Module Title: Civil Engineering Design Project
Module Code: 6CV008
Component Number: 2 of 2 Element Number: 1/1
Weighting: 75%
6CV008 – Group Design Project
Learning Outcomes to be assessed:
LO1, Economic, Social and Environmental Context
ES1 :Knowledge and understanding of commercial and economic context of engineering processes
ES2 :Knowledge of management techniques which may be used to achieve engineering objectives within that context.

ES3 : Understanding of the requirement for engineering activities to promote sustainable development.

ES4: Awareness of the framework of relevant legal requirements governing engineering activities, including personnel, health, safety and risk (including environmental) issues.

LO2, Design
D1 : Investigate and define a problem and identify constraints including environmental and sustainability limitations, health and safety and risk assessment issues.

D2 : Understand customer and user needs and the importance of considerations such as aesthetics.

D3 : Identify and manage cost drivers.

D4 : Use creativity to establish innovative solutions

D5 : Ensure fitness for purpose for all aspects of the problem including production, operation, maintenance and disposal.

D6 : Manage the design process and evaluate outcomes.

LO3. Engineering Practice

EP1 : Knowledge of characteristics of particular materials, equipment, processes, or product

EP2 : Understanding and use of technical literature and other information sources

EP3 : Understanding of appropriate codes of practice and industry standards

EP4 : Awareness of quality issues

EP5 : Ability to work with technical uncertainties;


Marking Criteria: Percentage scale

Assignment handed out: 3rd February 2015
Latest date for submission: 4pm Tuesday 5th May 2015
Assignments submitted after the deadline and without an authorised extension of time will be marked F0.
Please mark your assignment for the attention of: Peter Mills
You should make it very clear what sources of information have been used; where material/information from these sources is quoted it must be clearly referenced using the Harvard Referencing System. (Details can be obtained from Learning Centres).
The assignment must be handed in to Student Registry, MI (City)

A signed receipt must be obtained when the assignments are submitted. You should keep your receipt in a safe place.

You are required to keep your own electronic and/or ‘hard’ copy of any work submitted.



Assessment 2                                                Issued 3rd February 2015


6CV008, Civil Engineering Design Project, 2015


Do print out the eVision bar coding sheet for this submission.

Please use the Civil Engineering Cover Sheet available on WOLF.


Assignment Structure


  • Overview of Project Requirements
  • Proposed Projects
  • Group Structures
  • Generic Requirements from each “Expert”
  • Key Milestones
  • Compilation of Final Grades



1.0 Overview of Project Requirements


You will work in groups to create a complete, integrated solution to an open-ended, conceptual Civil Engineering problem. Within a group each student acts as ‘the expert’ in a particular branch of Civil Engineering. The group must meet each week to discuss progress – each group will have a team leader who keeps a weekly record of matters discussed and attendance by members and who is responsible for overall co-ordination of the final report/presentation of the group. Note that all aspects of all projects must include commercial management issues (details to be clarified by the staff “expert”). Health and safety risk assessment and sustainability issues must also be addressed by all group members.


You will demonstrate digital literacy in producing an integrated, comprehensive technical report relating to analysis and design for a complex Civil Engineering project. You are permitted free access to relevant computer software installed on computers in the Civil Engineering laboratories and open access decks, to promote your ability to ‘self-learn’ and be innovative.


Tenets of global citizenship are incorporated by emphasising the contribution that Civil Engineers make to the development and support of society through the provision of appropriate infrastructure. At the same time the importance of issues relating to health and safety, environment and sustainability, and ethical practice at a local level are incorporated into each project.


Completed projects from previous years are available to be viewed in MI142, so that you may see the standard of work which is required. Access is available whenever members of the civil engineering staff are present.
2.0 Proposed Projects

The open-ended projects are:


2.1 Wolverhampton Springfield site – new University Technical College (UTC).

In the UK civil engineers are frequently asked to redevelop sites. An example of this is the old Springfield Site located to the east of the mainline railway. The link below is from the Express & Star paper when the news broke a few months ago about the University of Wolverhampton being involved in the purchase and development of the old brewery site. This project would entail investigating the typical needs of a UTC and then the subsequent design of their main structure.


The goal is to design the main structure for the proposed UTC incorporating best CITB practice.


2.2 Wolverhampton Springfield site – new location of the School of Architecture and the built Environment.

In the UK civil engineers are frequently asked to redevelop sites. An example of this is the old Springfield Site located to the east of the mainline railway. The link below is from the Express & Star paper when the news broke a few months ago about the University of Wolverhampton being involved in the purchase and development of the old brewery site. This project would investigate the requirements for a growing School of Architecture and the Built Environment and design the main structure. Such a structure should reflect future educational trends in terms of learning spaces and be an example of low carbon design.


The goal is to design the main structure suitable for the relocation of the School of Architecture & the Built Environment.


2.3 Lower Thames Projects

On 21st of May 2013 the Department of Transport (DfT) explored infrastructure developments for the generation of additional crossing capacity in the Lower Thames Area. Currently, the main links used to cross the river at the Lower Thames area are the New Dartford Tunnel and the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge. Due to their location, these links support users of the M25 and other strategic routes. The increased transport demand from businesses and private individuals has resulted in daily flows which usually exceed 140,000 vehicles. Due to the fact that the existing infrastructure was built to accommodate around 135,000 vehicles, users frequently experience long delays. The government investigated a number of options[1], three of which are presented below. By selecting one of the three projects your goal is to design infrastructure elements to accommodate the increased demand necessary for efficient transport operations around the Lower Thames area.


  1. Improvement of the existing A282 Dartford-Thurrock crossing

The goal here is to increase the capacity of the Dartford-Thurrock site. This may entail expansion of existing, or development of new infrastructure to allow for additional crossing capacity for the link.


  1. Connecting the A2 with the A1089

This project requires the design of a new crossing that will allow the connection of A2 with A1089.


  1. Connecting the M2 with the A13 and the M25 between junctions 29 and 30.

The goal here is to design a new link that will facilitate the flow of traffic between M25 and M2 through A13.


2.6 Water Main and Treatment Plant Design

For many years there has been talk about a serious housing crisis in the UK. The link below is one such article discussing this issue. This project is intended to address the housing crisis within the West Midlands.

A new settlement is under design proposed to establish 20,000 new affordable homes, on undeveloped land within the West Midlands . This settlement will require the design of a new water main to convey the raw water from the source to the treatment works. The treatment works needs to be designed to provide sufficient reserve capacity for the expected future expansion of the settlement and associated retail and leisure facilities.


The goal is to produce a detailed hydraulic design of the water main as well as structural elements relating to the treatment works.



2.7 Design of a 100m tall mega tower at Wolverhampton, UK

Your team have been appointed as engineering consults to develop an architect’s vision for a 100m tall multi-storey building to be situated on land adjacent to the University of Wolverhampton, UK. The building will have a parabolic tapered cross-section to minimise wind induced sway and it will have an innovative hollow core. The intention is that this core will be used to assist in the ventilation of the building and to improve the quality of the interior space. The top third of the building will be used for residential accommodation, the middle third will be a hotel and the bottom third will be commercial office and retail space. As engineering consultants you are required to define exact dimensions of the building, keeping to the target building height. You will design the floor plates, column arrangement and bracing arrangement. You must ensure that building movements are kept to an acceptable level by limiting sideways sway to standardised limits and also by ensuring that the floor plates do not incur significant footfall induced vibration problems. Your client requires 3 stories of car parking space to be situated beneath the building. Solid sand-stone bedrock is located 25m below ground level. You will be required to ensure that the sub-structure between ground level and rock is capable of resisting the base shear and overturning moments from the superstructure.  You will aim to minimise the weight of concrete and steelwork and you are encouraged to develop light-weight floor plate options where appropriate. You should consider the sustainability aspects of the project with a particular emphasis on the use where possible of natural ventilation. The lift design is out-side the scope of your project.



3.0 Proposed Group Structure for Each Project


Project Transportation Environmental Structural Geotechnical


Allocation of “expertise”

  • Geotechnical – BEng student
  • Structural – BEng student
  • Environmental – BSc student
  • Transportation – BSc student


4.0 Generic requirements from each “expert”


All of the areas of expertise must include:

  • evidence of group interaction
  • evaluation of possible solutions
  • justification of chosen solution
  • detailed design of chosen solution
  • reference and design in accordance with current UK standards
  • health and safety risk assessment
  • environmental considerations
  • commercial management aspects


Structural Design must include:

  • Conceptual sketches of proposed solutions
  • Hand drawn sketches of the expected bending and deflection of the structure
  • An assessment of various materials that may be used in the solution, including new material developments
  • Justification of materials chosen
  • Detailed analysis of a representative section of the structural system
  • Suitable numerical analysis incorporating relevant software, which will feed into the structural design
  • Detailed design of structural connections
  • Detailed drawings of the connections and designed elements
  • Appreciation of the uncertainties associated with the multiple of factors making up the design brief
  • An appreciation of buildability and public safety, risk assessment
  • Sustainability of the proposed design


Geotechnical Design must include:

Note that Geotechnical Guidelines 1 and 2 have been produced, which provide more details, but essentially cover;

  • An overview of the site geology
  • A geotechnical cross-section, showing anticipated soil profile
  • Detailed numerical analysis of a representative section
  • Detailed design of a representative section, in accordance with EC7
  • Appreciation of the uncertainties of parameters used
  • Recognition of how uncertainties can be reduced
  • Identification of existing underground services; dealing with such.
  • Evaluation of environmental issues and risk assessment
  • Practicality of building the chosen option
  • Sustainability of the proposed design



Environment Management/Sustainable development

  • Environmental Impact Assessment
  • Evidence of sustainability issues having been a key driver in the overall design decision making process
  • Minimisation of consumption of natural resources and energy during construction phase and throughout the life of the project
  • Enhancement and protection of the immediate and surrounding natural and man-made environment
  • Control of waste during the production process (including a Site Waste Management Plan if the project is £300,000 or more)
  • Water and Drainage (environmentally friendly design of the surface water run-off system, SUDS)
  • Carbon accounting
  • Consideration of cultural heritage where appropriate
  • Reference to and compliance with current environmental strategies
  • Highlight the Civil Engineer’s contribution and obligations to society (health and safety of the workforce, general public and environmental safety)


Commercial Management


The commercial management aspects will be dependent upon each specific project. The generic requirement is for “delivering the project on time and to budget”. Specific responsibilities (to be discussed with Pete Harris) may include:


  • Producing a clear statement of project objectives, which will have full regard to (but should not be limited to):
    • A clear appreciation and communication of the project constraints.
    • The key management issues that are specifically relevant this project. These must include, but need not be limited to ;


  • Understanding the framework of legislative requirements that will need to be adhered to in the delivery of the project and ensuring that they are all complied with. This should take account of requirements in respect of issues such as health and safety, personnel, procurement, planning, financial accounting, etc.


  • The analysis and management of risk. This should relate to commercial/ business risk, NOT to issues such as health and safety which should be part of the framework of legislative requirements. The relevant risks should be identified and assessed in terms of likelihood of occurrence and severity. Actions to eliminate/reduce each identified risk should be devised wherever possible and the party best placed to bear the residual risk (in the context of achieving the most cost effective ‘fit for purpose’ job) should be identified.


  • The production of a Project Plan. This is not a programme or a Gantt Chart but a clear concise statement of the key steps that need to be implemented (both pre and during construction) and by who. The need to ensure ‘build ability’ should be a key driver here, i.e. the project should be capable of being delivered by a competent professional team and contractor. The specific management risks identified should also be taken full account of and the project plan should incorporate actions to deal with them.


  • The identification and evaluation of possible procurement and contractual arrangements and the identification of fully justified preferred options


  • The preparation of a detailed programme of work in the form of a Gantt Chart. This should set out the sequence of the key tasks set out in the Project Plan and identify a timeframe for the completion of each task. The programme should clearly identify the ‘critical path’ of activities from inception through to completion; these are those that must be delivered within the timeframe and sequence identified in the programme.


  • The preparation of a robust estimate of the contract price. Full justification must be included. This should be principally derived from a take-off and evaluation of principle work items and quantities but may be supplemented by taking account of contemporary evidence from recent and similar case studies.


  • The inclusion of a framework for performance monitoring (BIM). Details of how Benchmarking and Performance Management of the project will be carried out. BIM is being introduced on this project, how will it be integrated? Key performance indicators should be identified covering all key aspects of the project. The KPI’s should be capable of being monitored and managed using the framework proposed and in the context of the project objectives and constraints, its legislative framework, spend against budget and delivery against programme.



5.0 Key Milestones


Item Details Date
First Group Presentation Blue sky thinking of possible solution scenarios, minimum of 3 preliminary ideas, leading to the working conceptual design. 17th Feb. 2015
Second Group Presentation Development of the conceptual design. The presentation needs to include a detailed diagram that illustrates the information flow between the different group members. 3rd March 2015
Individual Presentations One to one interviews between the student “experts” and the supervising staff, to assess current progress. 10th March 2015
Group Progress Presentations Presentation of the group’s progress to date, highlighting group interaction and any aspects remaining. 24th March 2015
Group Final Presentations and Posters Presentation of your integrated project solution, with associated posters, either individual A3 format or a consolidated A0 or A1 28th April 2015
Submission of Final Report One copy of your group’s full submission. Sub-sections to clearly show the contribution from each member. 5th May 2015



Note each group member must contribute to every group presentations



  • Compilation of Final grades


10% Group Work; 65% Individual work;
Group presentations, 10% Expert section of final report, 45%
Presentation to individual expert, 10%
Quality of A3 poster, 10%


[1] Further information about the Lower Thames Crossing solutions can be found at Although you can collect information from the above stated source, you are required to propose a novel design solution and not simply replicate designs found in existing literature.