Singapore picks Royal HaskoningDHV polder design for land addition

02 January 2017

Singapore has picked out the design by Royal HaskoningDHV for the reclamation of 8.1 square kilometres of land, which will become part of its largest island, Pulau Tekong. The world involved a detailed study with a range of stakeholders, as well as close work with Singapore’s Housing & Development Board. The project is set to be completed by 2022.

Singapore, one of the world’s richest countries, is relatively strapped for land. The country consists of 63 islands, with land of around 723 square kilometres available for use. The country has, since the 1960s, grown its land from 581.5 square kilometres; and is planning to add an additional 100 square kilometres of land by 2033.

Reclaiming land can take a number of formats, including filling in areas with sand to raise them above water level, seen extensively in Dubai which has found itself hiring expertise to keep the relentless sea at bay, and building polders.

The art of polder building – which involves building dykes around waterways and then draining out the water – was begun in earnest in the Netherlands by entrepreneurial Dutch investors, seeking to create additional farming land in Beemster, North Holland, during the early 1600s. The success of the efforts, which saw an inland lake surrounded by a dyke before being drained, was soon repeated thousands of times across the country – with large tracts of land reclaimed for a variety of uses.

Singapore has traditionally opted for reclaiming land by filling in the sea with sand. The process brings with it considerable externalities, however, while also being relatively expensive.

The country recently announced that it will use the designs developed by Dutch consultancy and engineering firm Royal HaskoningDHV, and partners, which leverages the polder method, for the reclamation of 8.1 square kilometres of land to be added to Pulau Tekong, one of Singapore’s largest islands.

Singapore picks Royal HaskoningDHV polder design for land addition

The professional services firm worked, together with Surbana Jurong, a local consultancy, on a detailed study – which including input from Kees d'Angremond as an expert adviser – of the area and project. The project team, which too was supported by Deltares as a Specialist Consultant , also created an engineering design for the development in collaboration with Singapore’s Housing & Development Board.

Mark van Zanten, Senior Project Manager at Royal HaskoningDHV, remarks that the firm is “proud” to help build the future of Singapore. He adds, “The polder approach has been used in the Netherlands for many centuries, but is still in its infancy in Southeast Asia and the rest of the world. This approach significantly reduces the volume of sand required as compared to the traditional method of land reclamation, and will ultimately result in savings on upfront construction costs.”

Loh Yan Hui, the Deputy CEO for Infrastructure , Surbana Jurong, adds, “Innovative and cost effective reclamation solutions are needed to help countries tackle the challenge of rising sea levels as a result of global warming. This partnership with Royal HaskoningDHV is the first of its kind in this region. Royal HaskoningDHV’s global experience in polder reclamation combined with Surbana Jurong’s coastal engineering experience and knowledge of the local environment in Asia puts us in a unique position to offer innovative and cost effective reclamation solutions to clients in Singapore and the region.”

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How data insights helped Network Rail improve the South-East route

11 April 2019

Amey Consulting has leveraged data insights to assist Network Rail with the improvement of its South-Eastern route. Using the Quartz tool, which monitors train movement, Network Rail will now be able to commit to data-enabled interventions to quickly improve underperforming train stations.

With rail services in the UK coming under strain from the demands of modern commuter life, while the infrastructure and service delivery of the nation’s railways has come in for sustained criticism in recent years, a period of regeneration is on the cards at last. Network Rail is the owner and infrastructure manager of most of the railway network in Great Britain, and has subsequently tapped the consulting industry on a regular basis to help find areas of improvement.

The group recently drafted in consultancy BearingPoint to conduct a thorough organisational evaluation and advise Network Rail (High Speed) on attaining a ‘fit for purpose’ organisational standard – for which the consultancy was nominated at the 2019 MCA Awards. Meanwhile, ArupArcadis and Aecom have been contracted to help Colas Rail and Babcock Rail implement a decade-long framework for Network Rail, aimed at supporting the delivery of the next generation of rail systems, with the contracts said to be worth as much as £5 billion

How data insights helped Network Rail improve the South-East route

As Network Rail further aims to improve its performance and customer service offering, another area it has sought help from the consulting sector for is its South-East route. The network of railways connects London with the southern parts of the country, as well as with Europe, making it the busiest in the country, with more than 500 million passenger journeys per year. This crucial expanse of rail was plagued with small minute delays, which were impacting millions of passengers every day, while reducing the efficiency and capacity of the overall network – something Amey Consulting was selected to help solve.

Amey Consulting soon determined that with the sub-threshold delays to services only lasting for 1 or 2 minutes, most were not the subject of detailed root cause analysis, and this made their corrections almost impossible – with dire consequences. Without addressing these delays, passenger satisfaction would fall, while the capacity and efficiency of the network would be reduced, stinging the income of Network Rail even before a host of delay-related fines would hit the company.

In order to help the client gain a better understanding of where, how, when and what these small delays occur, Amey Consulting looked to demonstrate the value of data-led consulting, with a significant reduction in delays within the first month of rolling out changes to key stations. The consultants embedded themselves in Network Rail’s team, helping them learn the key skills needed to support and apply data-driven solutions.

Agile transport

This involved the deployment of the Quartz tool. The system utilises to-the-second train movement data to present the performance of individual stations across the South-East route. It allows users to effortlessly understand station performance with a high level of detail, and use this information to identify losses caused by small-minute delays. The granular data allows for targeted actions to drive efficiency savings and performance improvements. More importantly, it allows users to understand the impact of small process changes on performance. 

Steve Dyke, an Executive Partner at Amey Consulting, said of the project, “We looked to identify the physical root cause on the infrastructure, building a case for change then managing that project implementation and tracking the benefit/value.  In doing so we are working to define a data performance improvement service to the operational and infrastructure owners.”

Just as important for the project as the technology, however, was teaching the Network Rail team how to leverage it after the consultants were gone. The Amey Consulting team worked to develop an agile working culture within Network Rail’s South-East division, helping staff to be confident in using data to improve the journeys of millions of people per year by attacking the problem from the ground up.

Dyke concluded, “This is less about the tools and about the approach to managing performance.  It meant using by-the-second analysis, data science, and then agile development to visualise and identify areas where improvements can be made.  We then worked with NR to change the way they approached the management of the infrastructure changes.  So rather than pass the information down the value chain, any of which could have been missed, we managed the change end-to-end.”

The project was so successful that Amey Consulting was also among those honoured at the recent MCA Awards. The firm scooped the Performance Improvement in the Public Sector prize for its work with Network Rail, at the 2019 ceremony in London.