For the Weather Channel – Building Invincible
Proposed TX date 30th March 2014
Mother Nature unleashes the most destructive forces on the planet.
But around the world, engineers are fighting back - racing to build structures that can survive the worst – that are bigger, higher and stronger than ever before.
How do they do it?
Discover the secrets behind engineering the impossible…
Earthquake Bridge: Soaring 40 stories high, and spanning 2.2 miles of water, San Francisco’s new Bay Bridge is one of the most earthquake-proof bridges in the world. And it has to be. Built between the two most active earthquake faults in America it is under constant attack from Planet Earth. To keep San Francisco’s Life-line standing, even when the Big One hits, engineers have packed it full of innovative quake technology: some of the largest shock absorbers in the world, foundations you’d normally find on an oil-rig, and a radical cable design that makes this the largest Self Anchored Suspension Bridge in the world.
Tornado Proof Tower: Reaching 423 Metres into the sky, The Trump International Hotel and Tower is no ordinary residential building. it has been designed and built to withstand some of the most powerful winds on the planet – tornados. To ensure the Tower remains stiff in the face of the worst tornado imaginable, the architects and engineers opt for an incredibly daring design solution – building the tower out of reinforced super strength concrete, making it the tallest concrete structure in the world for its time. An ingenious hidden concrete “core and outrigger” system helps the stability – but to construct the tower, Trump’s engineers had to break records to deliver and pour the concrete to record breaking heights.
Hurricane Proof Ballpark: Miami’s futuristic new ballpark looks more like a space-ship than a sporting arena. To combat Florida’s hot, humid weather it has a state-of-the-art retractable roof that weighs as much as The Eiffel Tower, France. But Miami City is directly in the firing line of the most powerful Hurricanes to hit the States, and Marlins Park sits right in the flood zone. So engineers have packed the ballpark with radical aerodynamic solutions and innovative technology: giant hinges that allow the roof to sway, a roof that can be put into three different positions, and window glass toughened to withstand killer impacts.