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Buro Happold – Laying the foundations for world class motor racing

Fangio or El Maestro as he is known, ignited a passion in Argentina for motor racing that has never died, and yet the country has not hosted an F1 event since the mid 90's. This could all be set to change with the Velociudad Speedcity Circuit.

Working with a world class team Buro Happold is providing the environmental and infrastructure engineering to ensure that the new circuit is able to take a leading role on the formula 1 stage. Like a team of finely tuned mechanics we are working behind the scenes to provide Argentina with a stage upon which international racing legends can perform.

Developing a fully functioning masterplan for the relatively compact 69 hectare site has been a challenge. Bringing the spectators closer to the action by the creation of a bowl within the landscape will require significant amount of earthworks. Using the latest software Buro Happold modelled the earthworks to optimise the levels of the track and facilities to help determine the best design for the circuit. Our geotechnical engineers are working closely with the local geotechnical investigation team and testing laboratories to establish the precise nature and behaviour of the soils, and identify the most cost effective means of re-landscaping the site. Retaining structures, underpasses and tunnel sections have all been designed to provide a demanding track for drivers, and a spectator experience unlike any other in motorsport.

The drainage of the track needs to be able to cope with the heaviest of storms, and together with the extensive re-profiling of the landform this brings a significant challenge in the management of storm water to help ensure the track is never flooded. Buro Happold has devised a drainage scheme, including integrating attenuation ponds within the landscape, that is able to cope with the demands of intensive storms without undue impacts on the surrounding lands.

In addition our energy specialists have been analysing various scenarios for the circuit from the everyday business usage, to national club racing and Formula 1 events. As the increase in energy use rises across these scenarios, so the different energy sources are combined together to fulfil the needs of the circuit. To reduce the capital investment required, our team has sought to create a balance between permanent and temporary infrastructure to meet the development's varying energy demands. Renewable energy sources have been proposed to help manage demands and provide a more resilient energy supply. A first for racing world wide is our proposal of a Track Coupled Ground Source Heat Pump solution whereby the track acts as a heat source/sink whereby heat generated from the track is gathered and stored to heat/cool the buildings on the course.

Buro Happold is an international multi-disciplinary engineering consultancy with a world class reputation for delivering landmark projects. We are renowned for bold and elegant design solutions which encourage the efficient use of materials, energy and natural resources. Employing over 1500 staff in 28 offices worldwide, we are able to create design solutions that are wide-ranging in scope: from offices, hotels, schools, hospitals, tall buildings and sports stadia to regeneration schemes, bridges, harbours and waterfront developments.

We operate across three key areas: Buildings, Environment & Infrastructure and Consulting. Working in partnership with clients and architects, we aim to deliver value in our engineering design and complete our commissions both to cost and to programme. The practice has contributed to some of the world's most prestigious landmark projects, including the Millennium Dome/O2 Arena and Arsenal's Emirates Stadium in London, Genzyme HQ and the Smithsonian Institution in the USA, the Grand Museum of Egypt in Cairo, Sabah Al Ahmed Sea City in Kuwait, and Vasilievsky Island in St Petersburg, Russia.

www.burohappold.com


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