Engineering that makes Barcelona more sustainable and intelligent
The city of Barcelona is preparing to face uncertain future conditions and the challenges of climate change. Barcelona promotes the adaptation of its infrastructures according to sustainable criteria, implementing effective technical measures.
Engineering companies such as SOCOTEC, with experience in the city, play a key role in creating a more sustainable city.
With this objective in mind, they have organized a day for a group of press, which will include a helicopter flight to get a first-hand look at the projects under development.
Barcelona has experienced a steady growth in its infrastructure to stand out as one of the best capitals in the world. Meeting the mandates of Sustainable Development Goal 2050 requires generating a positive impact at all social levels, and construction is a key sector in this regard. According to Guillem Baraut, CEO of SOCOTEC Spain, "technical engineering decisions can reduce up to 200,000 kg of CO2 per year in carbon emissions from our infrastructures". Responsibility in this area is of great importance.
The "MUST HAVE" that engineering is waiting to adopt
Barcelona, like other cities, is in a process of transformation towards resilience to ensure its survival in extreme conditions in the future. However, there are numerous pending issues that require clear and urgent decisions for implementation in our streets.
Regarding sustainability, "it is inconsistent for the administration to ask us for a waste management plan when we should focus on implementing a circularity plan. It is important to comply with the Horizon 2030 commitments, and, although we can occasionally begin to apply more sustainable solutions, the sector is lagging behind in this aspect," as Guillem Baraut explains.
The collective responsibility of both technicians and the industry, and especially the administration, is crucial to accelerate all these pending actions. "We are ready and we have the capacity, but we need a commitment to innovation," adds the CEO of SOCOTEC Spain.
These challenges go beyond government regulations and require joint action that promotes research, technology adoption and industry leadership in its implementation. In this sense, engineering plays a key role, and actors such as SOCOTEC are fundamental to bring about the necessary changes in our cities, ensuring their viability and efficiency.
Green engineering already working in Barcelona
SOCOTEC is heavily involved in current projects in Barcelona, combining technical expertise with a sustainable vision. In the Glòries area, it is involved in the catenary-free, ground-powered streetcar connection, a solution that works for this type of urban context. This will be the first time it is installed in Spain and the second in Europe. It also contributes to the pacification of Avinguda Meridiana and the future Glòries intermodal station, improving mobility with public transport.
Another important project in which SOCOTEC participates is the renovation of Camp Nou. It carries out geotechnical studies and structural monitoring to ensure safety during the expansion of the existing infrastructure. This geotechnical campaign is the largest carried out in a private infrastructure and reaches a record depth of more than 100 meters, being the deepest soundings carried out in Barcelona.
Also, the extension of metro line L9 is being carried out, which will reach a depth of 50 meters (equivalent to 12 floors), and the future line 8 will exceed 80 meters (equivalent to a 20-story building). SOCOTEC uses the BIM (Building Information Modelling) model to improve communication between the different agents and ensure efficiency in construction.
One of the important investments at the state level, which will become a center of urban and metropolitan mobility through a multimodal rail system, is the Sagrera AVE Station. SOCOTEC engineering is in charge of its control and supervision of its execution. Another infrastructure that contributes to the economic growth of the Catalan capital is the expansion of the southern dock of the Port of Barcelona, carrying out a significant geotechnical campaign in collaboration with the government of the Generalitat.
Today's engineering prioritizes an integrative approach that considers social, environmental and economic aspects in urban projects. SOCOTEC is committed to this approach, developing projects that are sustainable, safe and beneficial to society.