Urban geoscience report : the value of geoscience data, information and knowledge for transport and linear infrastructure projects

Bricker, S.; Terrington, R.; Burke, H.; Dobbs, M.; Arnhardt, R.; Kearsey, T.; Thorpe, S.. 2022 Urban geoscience report : the value of geoscience data, information and knowledge for transport and linear infrastructure projects. Nottingham, UK, British Geological Survey, 67pp. (OR/21/065) (Unpublished)

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New transport and urban infrastructure provision lies at the centre of UK government’s Build Back Better campaign and the Levelling-Up Agenda, to deliver significant socio-economic value to local economies, through provision of jobs and supply contracts, and enhancing well-being through greater local access to services. This will comprise large scale investment in major infrastructure and construction projects like HS2, Crossrail, and major flood risk management programmes as well as the provision of housing and the rapid deployment of fibre and 5G. To maximise the value of investment in new infrastructure the UK Government has set targets for improved productivity, efficiency, and adoption of environment-sensitive principles in the construction sector with the introduction of ‘Project Speed’ and the ‘Faster, Better, Greener’ approach. A number of recent initiatives have highlighted the value of subsurface data sharing to support construction and infrastructure development, and wider subsurface management. These include the Geospatial Commission’s National Underground Asset Register; Dig-to-Share -an Infrastructure Industry Innovation Partnership project; Project Iceberg; and the EU Sub-Urban COST Action. These initiatives have been successful in bringing together public and private sector bodies to demonstrate the potential benefits arising from the deposition and (re-)use of geoscience data and information. Despite these successes the value of geological and geotechnical data throughout the infrastructure and construction lifecycle is still under appreciated, resulting in inefficiency and reduced productivity. It has been estimated that unforeseen ground conditions contribute to significant delays in 20-60% of transport and linear infrastructure developments, and budget overruns, typically over 10%, are recorded across the industry. This report describes how geological data and knowledge is key to overcoming challenges associated with ground conditions and improving efficiency within planning and construction. Whilst the review is targeted to the transport and linear infrastructure sector, the observations on Ground Investigation (GI) data and geological data and support services are relevant to the broader construction lifecycle. Some of the wider social, economic and environmental benefits delivered when good GI and data management principles are applied are also highlighted. The report identifies the key datasets and services available from the BGS for those undertaking GI for new transport and linear infrastructure projects but more widely for those employed in construction and asset management. A number of cases studies are described which demonstrate the value of geological and geotechnical information for transport infrastructure, such as the Lower Thames Crossing, and Farringdon Station (CrossRail).

Item Type: Publication - Report
Funders/Sponsors: British Geological Survey
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: This item has been internally reviewed, but not externally peer-reviewed.
Date made live: 01 Sep 2022 13:20 +0 (UTC)

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