April 21 is World Innovation and Creativity Day, established by the United Nations to raise awareness of the role of creativity and innovation in all aspects of human development.
The UN website explains that “creativity” can range from artistic expression to problem solving in the context of economic, social and sustainable development. Innovation is key to the economic potential of nations, giving momentum to economic growth and job creation and enabling opportunities for every person.
An Engineering News Record blog article explains creativity is a quality that can be as fundamental to a construction project as the laws of physics. After all, the industry was founded upon solving problems.
From new materials to building designs and labor-saving innovations, creative solutions for the construction industry are needed now more than ever. The industry faces labor shortages, environmental concerns, quality, safety, risk, and supply chain issues.
Addressing issues sometimes may feel overwhelming, causing project teams to back off new technology and revert back to the “old way” of doing things. However, just the opposite is needed – more extraordinary ideas. As Albert Einstein warned, it’s no use to do the same things over and over again and expect different results.
There are times when a project calls for creative design solutions, even though the average person wouldn’t even notice what’s different about it when it’s finished.
Conversely, it’s obvious that unique insights were needed to design and build the following seven engineering and construction wonders of the world.
If you need a partner to help you investigate creative design solutions, contact Applied Software today. The experts of Applied will help you champion the solution that’s right for your company.
- Burj Khalifa: Located in Dubai, this is the tallest building in the world – an astounding 160 stories reaching 2,722 feet. It opened in 2010 after taking six years to build.
- Chunnel: Considered a modern engineering wonder, the Channel Tunnel is the longest underwater tunnel in the world. Publicized as a symbol of unity between Britain and France, the 31-mile shuttle train tunnel is 246 feet below the English Channel at its deepest point. It took six years to build and opened in 1984.
- Golden Gate Bridge: This suspension bridge is one of the most famous landmarks in the US and purportedly the most photographed bridge in the world. At 1.7 miles long, when completed in 1937 this engineering feat replaced a ferry as the way to cross San Francisco Bay in California.
- Great Wall of China: At 13,171 miles long, the Great Wall has been cited as one of the most outstanding achievements of engineering and construction ever. Estimates of the time to build it range from 2,000 to 2,500 years. What began as a wood and packed earth structure transitioned to brick and stone during the 1300s.
- Hoover Dam: More than 21,000 workers were employed to build this dam on the Colorado River in Nevada. It’s been called one of the most significant civil engineering undertakings ever. In addition to flood prevention, its turbines generate electricity for about 1.3 million customers in Nevada, Arizona and California.
- International Space Station: The ISS was a global effort that required 30 missions to assemble. Weighing 462 tons, it travels at 17,100 mph and orbits Earth every 92.7 minutes.
- Millau Viaduct: A British architect and a French engineer collaborated on this bridge – the world’s tallest at 1,125 feet. Eight cable-stayed spans were used to cross the gorge of France’s Tarn River. Completed in 2004, the 8,100-foot long bridge solved summer traffic congestion between France and Spain.
Creativity is needed in today’s complicated design and construction environment, even when we’re not building a “wonder of the world.” The challenges will continue, and so will the creativity and resilience of the workers in this great industry.