Civil Engineering essay

A Feasibility Report
1.1 Desk Study

1.1.1 Introduction

The project is focused on a Solar Power Plant in the UK, which can generate electricity using solar power. The construction of the plant will improve the environmental situation, but the project will need to take into considerations the problem of financing, management and operation.

1.1.2 Size and Type

The plant will need the free area about 100 hectares, in which 3.5 hectares will be used for the installment of photovoltaic panels and 500 sq. m. will be under administrative and storage facilities. On developing the project, it is possible to use the experience of developers of a similar solar power plant in Bavaria, Germany. But it is necessary to adapt the project to the actual situation, needs and physical specificities of the UK.

Taking into consideration technical peculiarities and current needs the targeted output of the plant was defined as 5 mWh. A nominal value of the efficiency of the panels in the UK was supposed to meet current demands and regulations. 700 kWh is the expected yearly production of one square meter of PV cells. More than one type of panels was used for the calculation procedure.

The best results were demonstrated by 25000 Kyocera polycrystalline kc200 ght2 panels. At average they are supposed to generate power of nominal value 35 million kWh per year. The area one such panel covers is 1.4 meters squared and its maximum output is 0.2 kW. The exact dimensions of the panel, 990mm x 1425mm, are shown in fig.

1.1. To install the panels it is planned to use one controller, motor and drive per 10 to 20 rows, following the sun’s path, instead of installing with an angle similar to the angle of the area because it can give between 18% and 35% more energy output than rigid systems [1].

Fig.1.1 PV panels

In fact, the project is developed on the basis of the model of the Bavaria plant.

The Solar power plant uses flat silicon shell panels in order to convert sunlight into electricity without any emissions.

In such a way, it will be possible to minimize its negative impact on the environment and meet the existing standards of distribution and storage and it will be one-storey building. The PV panels will be supported on concrete bases that will not need any excavation works and substantial change of the landscape.

1.1.3 Location of Structure

Taking into account the amount of sunny days, the best location for the proposed project is Brighton which has the most hours of sunshine in the U.K. (fig 1.2)

Alternatively, it is possible to choose Eastbourne and Worthing but Brighton the most suitable location (see fig 1.3).

In addition, the area has essential infrastructure, including the A27 and A23 highways. A23 connects with M23.

However, it will be necessary to find the

Fig 1.2 map

However, it will be necessary to find the specific area to construct the plant because the transportation of panels may need new infrastructure, but water and gas are available in terms of the existing infrastructure.

Fig 1.3 The proposed location is between Falmer and Newmarket Hill on this map.

1.1.4 Demands and Benefits

Taking into consideration the current environmental demands of the EU the plant should meet new standards and contribute to the realization of plans of the EU to provide 21% of its total demand from renewable resources by 2012, while in the UK, the respective goal is for 10% by 2010. [2] This will also reduce the cost of generation and price of energy that creates conditions for the further development of modern plants.

As for the environmental effects of the project, it is possible to name the elimination of the emission of . It is possible to follow the example of the Bavaria plant where around 8,000 hectares of trees are planted that will reduce by 100,000 tons the emissions in the next 30 years [3].

In addition, the project is quite perspective from the financial point of view since it will reduce the cost of generation of electricity, maintenance of the plant and it does not the use of special machinery or costly procedures. Taking into account the European law obliging electricity distribution companies to buy electricity from all available renewable resources before buying from conventional sources, the construction of the plant is very perspective since it will have a stable demand and its productive potential can count for the generation of electricity for at least 20 years. Also, it can stimulate the development of the local economy.

It is worth mentioning that the public may support the project due to its environmental concerns, but may oppose to possible disturbance provoked by the construction of the plant.

1.2 Environmental Impact Assessment Report

In accordance with the 1985 – Directive 85/337/EEC of the European Union Committee, any construction project needs to asses its effects to the environment. Consequently, before planning, the Preliminary Assessment should be carried out.

1.2.1 Preliminary assessment

Basically the project will involve: 1) the local authority 2) the local citizens 3) OFGEM organization 4) the investor 5) The National Grid. 6) The company buying the electricity.

The local authority will control the project to meet the norms of the EU and UK legislation at all stages, starting from planning to the last stages of the construction. In addition, they will protect rights and interests of the local community.

Secondly, due to specialization of the plant on electricity, it should meet the OFGEM’s strategic plan and requirements. This organization will control planning and construction and its appropriateness to the existing norms. [4]

The investor should be particularly focused on the environmental issues and control that the construction of the plant meets the established norms and environmental standards and was safe not only for the environment, but also for the local community.

Furthermore the project should meet standards of the national grid, including certain frequency, voltage and amplitude of the electricity routed through the National Grid supply network.

During the environmental assessment, it is necessary to take into consideration the following issues:

”’ Water quality: no negative impact on water resources can be produced because water and elements polluting water is not used in the project. [5]

”’ Traffic and transport: two raods are supposed to be used The Drove (rural road) and A 27, which are sufficient for the construction of the plant and it is planned that the traffic will not be affected substantially. [5]

”’ Air quality: Due to environmentally friendly technologies and the use of the solar power, a renewable and safe source of energy, no negative impact or emission of dangerous gases could affect the air quality in the area, while the impact of transportation will be minimal and will not exceed the current level significantly, while regular water spraying of the site will prevent hovering dust generation from the vehicle’s movement. [5]

”’ Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI’s):

The map below obtained from ”˜Natural England’ organization site shows that the only SSSI’s that are in proximity to the PV power plant are the those marked with green color and numbered 1,2,3,5,6,8,9,10 (CASTLE HILL, KINGSTON ESCARPMENT & IFORD HILL) . All these sites are do not need recovering procedures and, therefore, no action needs to be taken to protect them. The area shaded in blue color is the proposed area of the PV solar plant. [2], [4]

fig 1.4 SSSI’s close to proposed area of structure [2]

The plant will be constructed inside the proposed area for the South Downs National Park, but the plant will not expose the future National Park to any danger and the problem may be solved through negotiations with the local authorities. [3]

The area selected does not represent any historical value that makes it suitable for the construction of the plant.

Fig 1.5 Aerial photo of the proposed area as it is today

Consequently, due to the safety of the project no mitigation procedures are needed.

1.3 Major design problems and implications

1.3.1 Specific design issues: Building

The building of the plant will include the construction of a standard reinforced concrete two storey structure supported by a raft foundation. It is recommended using limecrete for the foundation because of sustainability concerns. The building should be able to withstand a four hours fire in accordance with British Standards (BS 8110-1:1997 Table 3.2) Panels and transformers: In accordance with recommendations of manufacturer PV panels should be placed on small concrete footings and be placed in a specific angle to maximize their performance and increase their effectiveness. In order to minimize risks in case of fire, it is necessary to place the transformers in the ground floor.

All the components will be controlled through a control centre in the first floor of the building. Local constraints of the geology:
Map data obtained by interactive geological map on show that:

Bedrock in the area is chalk.

There are not creeks, agricultural dams, mountains, major hills or gullies in the area.

Borehole data are not available for the specific area.

Source ( )

1.3.2 Previous uses of site:

The site was not used for any construction before and the only obstacles that may arise are of the natural character. (

Fig. 1.6 Shows map of the area in 1880.

1.3.3 Type of structure, technological challenges:

The major challenges is the construction of the plant itself because an innovative project and there is a deficit of specialists and experience in the development of similar projects in the UK. In addition, it is important to focus on the sustainability of the construction. Furthermore, it is necessary to maximize the protection and safety of the construction in case of a natural disaster or accident, such as fire, that implies the enforcement of the building and installation of fire protection system.

2.0 Funding the project
2.1 Cost – Benefit Analysis

2.1.1 Introduction

In recent years, soar plants have become particularly popular, but their popularity is determined not only by the fact that they are environmentally friendly, but they also very perspective from financial point of view.

2.1.2 Direct Financial Costs

Basically the project will consist of the civil engineering works and the installation of the photovoltaics. The Civil engineering works include earthmoving, construction of a warehouse and office building and small pavement works.

The costs of the civil engineering works will be average to the UK.

In contrast, the installation of the panels will be the most expensive part of the project. The high cost is determined by the innovative character of the PV panels and technological complexity of their installation that will need time and employment of highly qualified specialists. In addition, the transportation and storage of the PV panels will also need significant costs since there will 57000 panels.

Furthermore, the plant will need 80000 square meters that is a large area that needs maintenance and, therefore, additional costs. At the same time, it is possible to use area that cannot be applied for any other profitable projects that will make the cost of the area lower.

2.1.3 Direct Financial Benefits

The construction of Solar power plant will be extremely profitable because it will be one of the first plants using renewable sources of energy that meets the new regulations and legal norms of the EU and UK. As a result, the plan can become the leader in its segment of the market. In addition, the use of renewable sources of energy, i.e. solar power, will not need any additional investments, but the maintenance of the plant that will make it a highly rentable project.

2.1.4 Indirect Costs

Due to the use of renewable sources of energy, the maintenance of the plant will constitute the major art of costs spent on the plant.

2.1.5 Indirect Benefits

”’ The value of the company increases and the plant becomes a profit making asset.

”’ Reduces pollution of the environment through the reduction of use of natural resources

”’ A positive effect on the economy of the area through the generation of jobs

”’ The success of the project will make it incentive for relative projects in the country

”’ The effective use of land

2.2 Sources of Funding

The major source of financing of the project may be found in the private sector. Borrowing, Equity financing, Bonds or Company Reserves are all likely to be used. The public support of the project and the abundance of companies operating in the field of renewable energy, the high profitability of the project will make it attractive for private investors.

In fact, it is possible to develop the project itself and attract an investor that would support the development of the project. Also, it is possible to expect some taxation privileges and the support from the public as well as it is possible to attract companies that are interested in their positive public image through participation in environmental projects.

3.0 Contracts recommendation and details

3.1 Introduction

The construction of the power plant will involve both civil engineering works of regular level and highly specialized electromechanical works. This is why it is necessary to involve contractors that could fulfill both types of works. It is possible to use different contractors, one of which should specialize on engineering works of regular level, while another on highly specialized electromechanical works. The contractors need to provide the assurance that they can build the plant successfully and at a fixed cost. In addition, they have to show their ability to build the plant, as well as be of adequate size to take up the risk that will be put upon them for budget overruns or completion off schedule.

3.2 Type of contract

3.2.1 Civil Engineering Works

A civil engineering contractor can construct the administrative facilities and plant infrastructure, including two-storey office, storage and equipment buildings, small scale pavement works and some earthmoving and the installation of the bases of the photovoltaic panels. Due to regular nature of works a conventional I.C.E. civil engineering contract approach may be applied. In this regard, there should not be any problems of quality.

3.2.2 PV Plant Installation

A PV plant installation is much more complicated process that needs an experienced and reliable contractor. Thus, it is possible to recommend the photovoltaic cells supplier, KYOCERA Corporation that will undertake the installation of the photovoltaic cells and all the other supporting equipment.

The complexity and high technological level of works needs that the provider of the PV system is used not only as a services provider but also as a consultant for the most effective work to be done. KYOCERA will decide on the method to be used to carry out the work depending on factors such as site topography and client requirements.

Bearing in mind that the civil engineering jobs will have been completed, the second contractor will have the freedom to design the system and construct it with the ease of alterations through construction, based on the initial guidelines of the Client.

The major reason for the construction of the solar plant is to generate a return on the money invested in it. In such a context, the quality of the construction is of a paramount importance as well as the cost of the plant since it is supposed to bring a return to the investment.

The client can be expected to have a considerable participation in the design and construction procedure, have advisors specializing in subjects involving electric power generation, solar panels and generators. However, a professional will have to be hired to carry out the management and overlooking of the civil engineering works because of the lack of experience and qualification of the client.

Moreover, the involvement of two separate contractors will need a project manager who will inspect and report any problems to the client company and control and supervise both contactors. It is important to oblige contractors to cooperate with each other by signing a contract, which defines main responsibilities and duties of parties.

As the cost of the project are supposed to be fixed and additional costs should be paid by contractors and this point should be included in the contract.

3.3 Contract Documents

The complexity of works implies the variety of contract documents.

The civil engineering job will be governed by a strict Contract, according to the ICE Conditions, defining the nature of works, obligations, and costs.

The Bill of Quantities, Drawings, Specification and Program can all be well established before the start of the works.

The amount of works will be re measured after the end of each task for greater precision. Drawings of the construction work for the building, the pavement and the groundwork will all be detailed. Specification is also expected to be detailed

For the installation of the photovoltaic system, the Design and Build contract is needed because the contractor should not only build the plant but also take responsibility of establishing how it will be done.

Basically, all contract documents should have general outlines of the requirements that need to be met but it may contain a more detailed time plan to make contractors meet the Client needs.

3.4 Tendering Procedure

The tendering procedure for the contract are of a paramount importance because any budget overruns, delays and especially low quality of the construction are absolutely unacceptable as it will lead to substantial losses of the Client.

At the same time, the Client should choose contractors on the basis of priorities defined by the Client. It is possible to recommend using two different tendering procedures in accordance with works that are to fulfill.

3.4.1 Civil Engineering Job

Basically, the civil engineering works are regular and this is why the major criteria the contractor should meet are cost and time. The special or extremely high qualification is not really needed for regular works. This is why the fixed costs and schedule are the major priorities in the selection of the contractor.

3.4.2 PV Job
The selection of the appropriate contractor is very important because of the high complexity of works. Consequently, the contractor should be selected among a small number of companies that could undertake such an order. These companies should have experience and highly qualified specialists and they should meet the major criterion – the quality of the product. At the same time, fixed costs are also important in the selection of the contractor. The Statement of the Scope of works must be detailed enough to include the systems’ advantages in terms of production, operational and other costs.

4.0 Broad outline program

4.1 Description of the proposed construction phases

4.1.1 Design phase

The design phase will have two major categories: the design so the projected is financial beneficial and second the design of construction. Finance

The major financial condition of the project is its profitability. The latter may be achieved by means of maximizing profits using the renewable sources of energy and through the reduction of costs on the functioning since only costs for maintenance will be needed. Basically, the cost of built, maintenance and production should be lower that the profit. As most products, solar energy’s production cost is reduced per unit as the production increases until a point where the existing facilities are not capable of generating more products. In that case, the cost of production increases as the facilities need to be upgraded. In this respect, it is important that the cost of production should be lower than the price that electricity is been sold to the distributors. The initial cost should be returned within a period of time defined at the stage of planning and after that the project starts to generate profit. Construction

As the Solar power plant is innovative, environmentally friendly project, its construction should be based on a sustainable approach, but in terms of the financial limits defined before. For this reason the design of the electricity production system should be done first. The size and the shape of the project will be directly depended on the size of area that needs to be covered with PV panels. When the area required is calculated then the design of layout of the site can be start.

The entire infrastructure and facilities of the plant should be constructed in accordance with the initial plans and meet the existing norms and standards. The construction should be sustainable and minimize possible risks to the local population or environment, such as the increase of traffic. At first, it is necessary to construct storage facilities and provide the necessary space and comply with fire resistance requirements. The external appearance of the building is also important as it should mix nicely with its surroundings.

The design of the PV panels bases should be done precisely according to requirements of manufacturer to guarantee their fast installation and stable work. There will be no major earth movements as the only part that requires flat area is the building.

4.1.2 Tender phase

There should be two tenders: for civil engineering works and for electrical works Tender for civil engineering works

Civil engineering works can be performed by any contractor that meets the demands of the client since no specific and highly technological works are not planned to do. Tender for electrical works

As for the installation of the PV panels and all the rest necessary components will need the involvement of reliable contractor that has well qualified specialists and a significant experience in the fulfilment of highly technological works. In this respect, time and quality are crucial criteria.

4.1.3 Construction phases

The construction will consist of nine phases:

Phase 1: Preliminary works. In this stage the access location to the site should be prepared. Temporary services need to be connected. Site clearance should take place if required.

Phase 2: Earth works. Site will be reshaped to required levels. Setting out procedure should be completed.

Phase 3: Roads. Access and maintenance roads will be constructed.

Phase 4: Building and PV bases. The majority of the building will be completed. The work on the bases for the PV panels should begin.

Phase 5: PV panels storage and installation. PV panels that arrive on site will go straight for installation on the bases. When more panels arrive on site they will be stored in the warehouse area of the building until installation takes place.

Phase 6: Completion of building and PV installation. All the panels will be removed from storage and installed to the panels.

Phase 7: Site clearance and landscaping. The site will be cleaned and all non useable areas will be landscaped and planted.

Phase 8: Testing of facility. In this phase the performance, reliability and safety of the project will be checked to assure that everything meets the requirements

Phase 9: Connection to the national grid network. The electricity output will be connected to the national network.

4.2 Outline of the major individual construction activities

Phase 1:

Activity 1: Construction of temporary road connecting the site to the existing road artery A27.

Activity 2: Temporary services, including water and electricity, to be connected to an access point into the site.

Activity 3: As seen on figure 1.5 there is no need for major clearance as the site has never been used for other purposes than agriculture.

Phase 2

Activity 4: Surfacing to be completed in order to give the required ground levels for the construction process.

Activity 5: Work compounds area set up that will take about two weeks.

Phase 3:

Activity 6: Temporary roads will be used during the works period to provide inter-site access.

Phase 4: Construction of the building framework.

Activity 7: Foundation excavation 2 weeks

Activity 8: Foundation layout 1 week

Activity 9: Structure Framework: Columns, beams, slabs. 8 weeks

Activity 10: Partitioning and external walls. 4 weeks

Activity 11: Manufacturing of concrete PV bases that will take eight to twelve weeks.

Phase 5:

Activity 12: Kyocera Inc. will schedule the installation of the photovoltaic panels in conjunction with the concrete bases construction and the panels’ supply that will take six to nine weeks.

Phase 6:

Activity 13: Building completion (finishes, painting, services, office equipment and appliances installation) 4 weeks

Activity 14: Pavement completion 4 weeks

Activity 15: Completion of PV panels installation simultaneously with the installation of the electricity production supporting hardware within the building that will take eight to ten weeks.

Phase 7:

Activity 16: Works compound facilities and all other temporary facilities used during construction will be cleared of the site.. 2 weeks

Activity 17: Thorough cleaning of building’s internal spaces will be carried out to ensure the appropriate working environment for the PV plant operators and staff. 2 weeks.

Activity 18: All unused areas remote from PV panels will be planted with low rise trees to improve the appearance of the plant and contribute to the environmentally friendly character of the project. 2-3 weeks.

Phase 8:

Activity 19: Since all the above phases are completed and the plant is ready for operation, a test run will be carried out by the supplying and fitting company (Kyocera).

Phase 9:

Activity 20: given that phase 8 is carried out successfully, the connection of the PV power plant to the National Grid network will be carried out.

4.3 Integration of Design and Construction activities

The project must meet the ICE conditions and the construction should be done precisely in accordance with the plan and existing standards and norms. It is possible to recommend putting together the design and construct contract since these two tasks will overlap each other. Design is more flexible and the contractor has the in house means to carry out the design adjustments.

A detailed project plan is included in the appendix of the report.

5.0 Project management
Project Management Software

The effective planned management is a crucial factor that determines the success of the entire project because it is the foundation on which the construction of the Solar power plant will be accomplished. In this respect, it is necessary to remember about the contracts emphasizing fixed costs of the building and precise scheduling of all works that should be fulfilled on time. The execution of all the phases defined above should be thoroughly controlled and, if changes are necessary, they should be implemented in a possibly shorter terms to maintain the scheduled speed of the construction and guarantee the high quality of the project. At this point the use of effective software is necessary. It is possible to recommend using Microsoft Project, Crest Software, FastTrack Schedule which are effective, though some of them need additional training. In this regard the most effective software is Primavera which is effective and simple to use.

Health and Safety

6.1 Risk Assessment for H&S

6.1.1 List of potential hazards
”’ Adjacent land use – Use fences to keep animals and people of the surrounding area away
”’ The transfer and installation of PV panels within the site will need heavy duty plant
”’ Cranes will be used during the construction of the building
”’ Safety gloves, helmets, boots and yellow jackets should be worn at all times during construction phase
”’ Continuous movement of heavy trucks in the site area could result in accidents
”’ Electrical works will need to take place, workers may be liable to exposure to electricity
”’ Workers may need to be provided with hearing protection during construction, according to the machinery that will be used
”’ During construction of the road workers must follow the necessary health and safety regulations, pavement construction can result in multiple types of accidents and cause permanent damage
”’ The plant will be excessively used for the positioning of the panels and the panels bases. On site maintenance should probably be used
”’ Fire can occur in case of mishandling the electrical parts
”’ Ground conditions: They can affect the crane and ground works

6.1.2 Analysis of risks

The major risks and threats invokes the necessity to employ highly qualified specialists since major risks are associated with the human factor and errors that could be done by inexperienced or low qualified employees. As for environmental risks and threats they are minimal.

6.2 Risk Assessment for Cost

6.2.1 List of risks
”’ Production might be reduced due to bad weather conditions
”’ Problems with the project requiring the change of the design. Inept design of both jobs will lead to budget overruns
”’ The cost of production increases if the facilities are not capable of generating more product
”’ The logistics of the project may cause delays and additional costs. The transportation of the PV panels on the national roads may be delayed due to traffic. This may put the project behind schedule
”’ Higher cost of materials cannot be easily predicted and has proven an important factor for excessive costs
”’ Increase in cost of worker fees could also have significant effect
”’ The installation of PV panels is done by specialist workforce. It may not be always easy to have the appropriate number of people on the job
”’ Bad timing between the two contractors, both of them must finish the project as scheduled and cause each other minimum disturbance
”’ Conflicts between contractor and subcontractors:
1. Change of design will raise claims from the subcontractor
2. The replacement of a subcontractor brings additional costs
3. Bad communication between these two could result in incompetent completion of tasks

6.2.2 Analysis of risks

Basically, the risks mentioned above are related to objective factors that are not dependent on humans, or actions of the Client or contractors. Specifically for such risks claims should be used in every contract, in order to minimize possible negative effects if either risk comes true.

6.3 Pre Tender H&S Plan

In order to meet the existing standards and in accordance with the Construction Skills guidelines on the CDM, the level of detail should be proportionate to the risks involved in the project. [6] Basically, it is necessary to create H&S Plan before the construction begins and take into consideration all possible risks and develop measures and action plan to cope with their effects and prevent them.

The Pre-tender Health and Safety Plan for this project is brought together according to the newest CDM regulations of 2007. The issues that arise when dealing with the risks that could possibly affect the health and safety during construction are clearly stated.

6.3.1 Description of the Project:

The Client must clearly state the possible threats and risks for health and safety that may accompany the project. As the information is delivered before the construction begins the risk of hazards and accidents will decrease because employees will be more aware of possible risks and, therefore, they will be more careful. The same may be said about contractors.

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