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  • MEGASTRUCTURES

  • Every Monday 21:00 KSA 22:00 UAE

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Take a look inside the most ingenious and awe-inspiring structures of all time. From architectural triumphs of ancient times to the cutting edge science and technology behind marvels being built around the world today, MEGASTRUCTURES reveals the methods used and the challenges faced at every stage of design and construction.

EPISODE GUIDE

  • Megastructures: Leaning Tower of Abu Dhabi
    The Capital Gate building will create an iconic and avant-garde entrance to the city of Abu Dhabi. Leaning at a whopping 18 degrees westward, the tower will claim the Guinness Book of World Records title of Most Inclined Building on Earth. Discover how the engineers and architects overcome the force of gravity, and transform this vision into reality.
  • Megastructures: Eco School
  • Megastructures: Heavy Metal Shredding
  • Megastructures: Itaipu Dam
    The Itaipu Dam is the world's largest hydroelectric power plant and a triumph of giant-scale engineering. Find out how engineers and over forty thousand Brazilian and Paraguayan workers toiled around the clock to create this immense structure. Follow the story as they lay millions of tons of concrete, divert the course of the world's 7th largest river, and relocate thousands of people and animals in order to bring power to millions of people in two countries while overcoming impossible odds and breaking construction and engineering records.
  • Megastructures: China's Ultimate Port
    In 2002, Chinese engineers and workers tackled one of the biggest construction projects on Earth. Thirty kilometres out to sea, in the middle of the ocean is the location for Yangshan Deep Water Port. With twenty kilometres of quay and fifty berths, Yangshan is destined to become the biggest deepwater port ever built. Linked to China by the world's second-longest ocean bridge, Yangshan's deep water allows the world's biggest container ships to come calling. Its massive cranes, cutting-edge control system, and focused personnel are already shattering records for loading and unloading gigantic container ships and it's not even finished being built.
  • Megastructures: Petronas Towers
    The 450 metre Petronas Towers, the tallest twin towers on the planet, pushed the outer limits of construction technology and stand as a symbol of Malaysian pride and modernity - all in a country that had never built a mega skyscraper before. But building the towers was a construction challenge like no other - at every turn unexpected problems threatened the project. The towers were built in a torrential monsoon belt. The construction site wasn't made of bedrock but unstable sediment, and the towers were not made of lightweight steel but reinforced concrete. The six-year endeavour turned out to be a high-risk showcase project with a hugely ambitious schedule.
  • Megastructures: Atom Smasher
  • Megastructures: Kansai Airport
    The Kansai Airport in Japan is considered to be one of the great engineering achievements in the world, second only to the Panama Canal. It is a "State-of-the-Art" facility that handles over a million passengers a week. It has all the operational problems of a normal International Airport, but on top of that it has to contend with typhoons, earthquakes and to top it all off¿ it's sinking! We will go behind the scenes to figure out how this feat of engineering works.
  • Megastructures: Golden Gate Bridge
    In the face of powerful natural forces - constant erosion, violent storms, hurricanes, powerful underwater currents and earthquakes - the Golden Gate Bridge was once thought 'impossible to build'. But engineers, designers and construction teams conquered wind speeds of up to 100 miles per hour, and built the Bridge to withstand a potential sway of up to 27 feet. MEGASTRUCTURES: GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE will reveal at a 'nuts & bolts level' how this awesome structure was originally designed and built and how it will survive into the future.
  • Megastructures: Episode 1
  • Megastructures: Shanghai Super Tower
    What do you get if you take sixty thousand tons of steel, 260,000 cubic meters of concrete, 2000 dedicated Chinese workers and the best design brains in the business? The Shanghai World Financial Center. At 101 floors high it will not only be the tallest building on the Chinese mainland but one that can withstand the toughest challenges Planet Earth can throw at a skyscraper... and even deadlier human threats.
  • Megastructures: North Sea Wall
    In 1953 a killer storm surge floods the Dutch coastline and claims over 1800 lives, inspiring the construction of the biggest, most sophisticated flood defenses on the planet. Costing billions of dollars, the systems of giant concrete and steel sea walls and retractable floodgates include one of the Seven Engineering Wonders of the Modern World. But with sea levels rising across the globe, the fierce North Sea and swelling rivers threaten to breach the defences again and wipe out the Netherlands, a quarter of which lies below sea-level. In response, the Dutch are designing floating houses and roads, even whole cities. Can technology once again ensure their survival?
  • Megastructures: Sears Tower
    The Sears Tower is the tallest building in North America, but how does this mega structure work? Understand the quirks of building and running a super-tall skyscraper by going deep inside this one-of-a-kind structure.
  • Megastructures: Grand Canyon Skywalk
    Perched 4,000 feet above the Colorado River over the edge of the Grand Canyon, the horseshoe shaped skywalk's glass bridge is one of the most innovative engineering marvels of our time.
  • Megastructures: MegaShip
    Climb aboard the cargo ship OOCL Atlanta as she journeys from Hong Kong to Singapore. How does a minimal crew keep this 1,000ft-long vessel afloat in treacherous seas?
  • Megastructures: Akashi Kaykyo Bridge
    The Akashi Kaikyo Bridge: It's the world's longest suspension bridge - a third longer than any constructed before. Its also the tallest and the most expensive suspension bridge ever built. But it's built in a place where no bridge should be. Japan's Akashi Strait is a deepwater channel beset by typhoons; heavy rain; treacherous currents and to make things worse, it is built in the middle of a major earthquake zone. Midway through construction the bridge was hit by the full force of the Kobe earthquake. Incredibly, construction is only delayed by a month. The bridge has been open and trouble-free for six years. But could it one day fall down?
  • Megastructures: North Branch Correctional Facility
    The North Branch Correctional Institution (NBCI) will house 2,000 violent criminals. Its security measures are much more than technological marvels they are the features that will protect the lives of prison guards and revolutionize rehabilitation programs for inmates. This programme explores the history of NBCI, the lessons that experts have learned from prison disasters of the past, and the astounding technology that will make NBCI one of the largest maximum security prisons in the United States. Examining NBCI's secret control rooms, 200 remote-controlled cameras, impenetrable steel doors, and a sea razor wire, North Branch Correctional Institution reveals the engineering feats that offer new safety from and hope for the most dangerous and desperate criminals.
  • Megastructures: Ultimate Oil Rig
    The world is desperate for oil and gas. But dwindling energy supplies are forcing oil rigs to drill in some of the harshest environments on the globe. It takes a megastructure oil rig, like the Noble Piet, to withstand the fury of nature and keep on drilling. Follow a skilled team of roughnecks as they battle the elements of the North Sea in pursuit of an untapped reservoir of natural gas worth 350 million dollars. But there's a shortage of oil rigs like the Noble Piet. So the Keppel FELS shipyard in Singapore is designing and building an impressive cluster of 23 rigs at once. Can this shipyard build rigs fast enough to keep up with exploding demand and which will be tough enough to endure the punishment of drilling in the open sea?
  • Megastructures: Hoover Dam Reinvented
    Hoover Dam is regarded as an engineering masterpiece and an American icon. But what if it did not exist today? How would engineers build it today?
  • Megastructures: Beijing Water Cube
    In Beijing a building like no other has emerged. It is a bold experiment in architecture and a cutting-edge vision of construction eco-engineering. When Beijing hosts the 2008 Olympics the eyes of the world will be riveted on this building. Its official name is the National Aquatics Centre but in the world of mega-architecture it is reverently known as the Water Cube. It's a brilliant fantasia of steel and plastic - a honeycomb of 22,000 steel beams supporting pillows of high tech plastic inflated onto shimmering translucent bubbles. We go behind the scenes to learn more about the vision behind a building destined to become one this century's leading architectural feats.
  • Megastructures: World's Busiest Port
    Straddling one of the world's busiest shipping lanes, this is the port of call for a quarter of the world's containers and half the world's supply of oil. Now, imagine if something at this port were to go horribly wrong...
  • Megastructures: Extreme Helicopter
    A special on the largest, most powerful helicopter workhorse in the world. The Air-Crane heavy-lift helicopter is really big, totally cool, and addictivelly watchable. It does extra-heavy, brute-force work with surgical precision.
  • Megastructures: Oil Mine
    Oil Mine profiles the Syncrude Company as it grapples with challenges of the present in hope of producing oil that will power our future.
  • Megastructures: USS Virginia
    MegaStructures brings you the newest nuclear sub to prowl the oceans, the USS Virginia. The first major redesign of nuclear subs since the end of the Cold War, the USS Virginia is the most tricked-out underwater warship in the US Navy. Built to answer America's military needs for the 21st century, this sub features a number of forward-looking advances in naval technology. We'll take a hard look at how the USS Virginia came to be as we talk with designers and engineers about the challenges that arose in creating a new class of submarine. We'll also follow the newly commissioned USS Virginia as the Navy brings this marine megastructure up to speed. This show promises to be an exciting ride aboard the newest addition to the Navy's nuclear-powered arsenal.
  • Megastructures: Korean Super Link
    South Korea never constructed a submerged tunnel, but now tackles the challenge of building one of the deepest immersed highways on Earth.
  • Megastructures: Skyscaper In The Round
  • Megastructures: Sea Launch
    The two giant ships of Sea Launch, a NASA-like mission control and a launch pad floating on the ocean, form part of an audacious, outrageously expensive, multi-national venture for blasting commercial satellites into space. The plus side: it's a very effective way of launching satellites into geosynchronous orbit (allowing the satellite to keep pace with the earth's rotation). The minus side: it cost over a billion dollars, it's never been done before, and it's riddled with challenges. The tale of Sea Launch involves spectacular engineering successes, the launch of the heaviest commercial payload in history (weighing nearly six tons), and a couple of costly failed launches.
  • Megastructures: Leaning Tower of Abu Dhabi
    The Capital Gate building will create an iconic and avant-garde entrance to the city of Abu Dhabi. Leaning at a whopping 18 degrees westward, the tower will claim the Guinness Book of World Records title of Most Inclined Building on Earth. Discover how the engineers and architects overcome the force of gravity, and transform this vision into reality.
  • Megastructures: The Millau Bridge
    Opened in December 2004, the Millau Bridge in Southern France is the tallest in the world reaching 1,125ft. This 2.5 kilometer long megastructure is even taller than the Eiffel Tower. The project's vital statistics tell a story of engineering derring-do. The roadway viaduct is cradled by 154 steel stays that look like gigantic cobwebs of steel stretched out from the seven cloud-piercing concrete piers. The top of one of the piers is big enough to hold a tennis court.
  • Megastructures: Sheikh Zayed Mosque
  • Megastructures: The sheikh zayed-grand-mosque
    12 years in the making, more than 2500 people have been working on a project that’s intended to become a national icon. The construction of the Sheikh Zayed Al Nahyan Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi is destined to be the biggest mosque in the United Arab Emirates. The final result is nothing short of spectacular, not only in sheer size, but also in architectural and creative beauty; this is not just a mega structure but an artistic statement on a massive scale.
  • Megastructures: The sheikh zayed grand mosque
    12 years in the making, more than 2500 people have been working on a project that’s intended to become a national icon. The construction of the Sheikh Zayed Al Nahyan Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi is destined to be the biggest mosque in the United Arab Emirates. The final result is nothing short of spectacular, not only in sheer size, but also in architectural and creative beauty; this is not just a mega structure but an artistic statement on a massive scale.
  • Megastructures: Autobahn
    It is the most famous road in the world-the Autobahn and one of the few places in the world where serious drivers can race luxury cars for seemingly endless stretches of mile after scenic mile¿at eye flattening speeds. The history, technology, and lore surround this modern marvel is truly impressive. Every driver that ever embraced the freedom of the open road owes a nod to Germany, because the modern highway was invented here. The Autobahn (meaning high-speed motorway system) is truly one of a kind.
  • Megastructures: Channel Tunnel
    Dateline 1987. Thousands of workers go into action. Their task: to build the world's longest undersea railway tunnel in one of the world's most hostile environments. The Channel Tunnel is an engineering marvel. Yet in the face of financial meltdown; an epic battle with flood; and a near fatal fire, the Tunnel's story is a hard won triumph.
  • Megastructures: Seoul: Unlocking The Grid
    On 1 July, 2004, under the circumstances, the city implemented an innovative traffic reform. It introduced, for the first time in the world, a state of the art transport system by coupling IT technology with a traffic policy and carried out a citizen-oriented comprehensive traffic policy.This program will take a close look into its traffic reform policy and the secrets to success, and introduce scientifically its state of the art transport system, a key technology to the success.
  • Megastructures: Super Copter
  • Megastructures: Ultimate Roller Coaster
    How would it feel to go from zero to 205 kph in three and a half seconds? Ride the world's fastest roller coaster, Kingda Ka and find out. Located at Six Flags Great Adventure theme park in New Jersey, U.S. this monster thrill ride is also the world's tallest roller coaster, with its highest point at a record-setting 45 stories. In this episode of MegaStructures, find out how workers overcome some of the most difficult engineering and weather challenges to design and construct the world record-breaking ride. Join the designers as they test their creation and follow the entire construction process from its slow and steady start through to its dramatic and heart-racing finish.
  • Megastructures: Super Rig
    Join Richard in the discovering the engineering behind the Troll A gas platform; the largest object ever moved by man across the surface of the Earth.
  • Megastructures: Tau Tona: City of Gold
    An astounding feat of engineering, the Tau Tona gold mine is the worlds deepest gold mine.Some five thousand people work over three kilometers underground in the mine, which is entirely sustained by an artificial environment.Tau Tona - City of Gold examin
  • Megastructures: China's Smart Tower
    The Pearl River Tower is one of the first of a new generation of super smart buildings. It will use less than half the energy of a conventional skyscraper and will harvest the forces of nature to make energy of its own. With a curved facade that faces directly into the wind, the Pearl River Tower in China's Guangzhou City is shaped for performance. With a design specific to its environment, the Pearl River Tower utilizes a multitude of energy efficient technologies in one single structure, and symbolizes the future for super-tall building design.
  • Megastructures: Meyden Racecourse
  • Megastructures: Ice Hotel
    10,000 tons of crystal clear ice and 30,000 tons of pure snow are needed to build the Ice Hotel in Sweden every year. The hotel sleeps over 100 guests and every bedroom is unique. It has become renowned for its ingenuity and originality but it isn't the only structure created from ice. A little further into Sweden's northern wilderness is a network of roads that are created every winter on top of the Baltic Sea. Witness the construction and disappearance of two of the world's most unique Megastructures.
  • Megastructures: Dubai Mega Mall
    Dubai, a tiny desert emirate - being shaped to become the leisure capital of the oil rich Gulf. Centrepiece of this new Dubai will be a shopping mall - The Dubai Mall - designed to outstrip all malls. With the largest indoor aquarium, an Olympic sized ice rink, a roller coaster, twelve hundred shops and a slogan as brash as its scale - Everything You Desire. All completed to a next to impossible deadline. Riding on its success is a price tag that has run into the millions and still counting. And the reputation of Dubai.
  • Megastructures: Icebreaker
  • Megastructures: Eco Ark
    Built out of one and a half million recycled drink bottles, the nine storey high Eco Ark Pavilion was designed specifically for the Taipei International Flora Expo that starts in November 2010 - a horticultural extravaganza on an Olympic scale. As one of the show's crucial themes was environmental awareness, the building had to be green. Young Harvard trained architect/engineer, Arthur Huang, who has a special interest in sustainable design, came up with the idea of the Eco Ark Pavilion. Each year Taiwan has to deal with 90 thousand tonnes of waste plastic bottles -- Arthur Huang was looking at ways to put that waste to good use in the construction industry. But with limited time and money and plenty of unknowns in the equation, Arthur and his design team battled almost overwhelming challenges. With lightweight plastic construction still at the experimental stage, they had no idea whether recycled drink bottles would be able to withstand the forces of nature. The building had to bear up to wind, rain, fire and earthquakes and provide safety and shelter for the visitors to the Flora Expo. With about six million visitors expected to go through the pavilion, it wasn't just Arthur and his team's reputation on the line, but also people's lives. It soon became clear that ordinary plastic bottles weren't up to the job and the team set out to transform the bottles into building bricks. They came up with a brand new revolutionary product: Pollibricks - remoulded interlocking plastic bottles, strong enough to withstand the forces of nature.
  • Megastructures: World's Fastest Roller Coaster
  • Megastructures: World's Tallest TV Tower
    At 610m high the Guangzhou Sightseeing and TV Tower is the tallest television tower on earth. Find out how it is designed to withstand typhoon, earthquake and other assaults from Mother Nature.
  • Megastructures: Garbage Mountain
    Uncover the giant world of garbage at America's largest active mega-dump in Puente Hills, California. Here, a record 2,000 tonnes of rubbish are processed in an hour.
  • Megastructures: SMART Tunnel
  • Megastructures: London's Olympic Stadium
    Bolted together like a giant Meccano set, London's 80,000-seat Olympic Stadium is built to be downsized to a 25,000-seat venue after the games.
  • Megastructures: Impossible Build
    The renovated California Academy of Sciences - the world's largest green public building - emerges from the landscape of Golden Gate Park. Viewed from the air, the undulating living roof resembles a piece of the park flying as if by magic. But the apparition belies an institution grounded in science. The mega-structure is home to a planetarium, rain forest, natural history museum and the world's deepest coral reef display, all under one mega-green roof. In this hour, we follow the incredible story of the building, from initial concept, through construction challenges, to the grand finale of moving the plants and animals in. The museum is like a modern day Noah's Ark, housing 38,000 animals and 20 million research specimens. The design, executed mostly in glass, is breathtaking. But there's a catch… It's sitting in the heart of one of the world's most renowned earthquake zones. The design requires exceptional innovation. Architects and engineers must learn to work with - not against - one of nature's greatest forces.
  • Megastructures: Soviet Doomsday Sub
    In the extreme Russian nNorth a team of engineers are ready to dismantle the a Typhoon-class submarine-the world's largest nuclear submarine, the Typhoon. Int its heyday, this monster sub was a terrifying weapon of war-it prowled the oceans of the world armed with 20 deadly nuclear missiles. Now that the Cold War is over, the Typhoon is ready for demolition. But dismantling a submarine with two nuclear reactors is a risky mission. It will take the team over a year to remove the radioactive nuclear fuel, move the submarine into the dry dock and cut its hull into pieces small enough for recycling.
  • Megastructures: Dam Buster
    A team of experts mobilizes to demolish, excavate and recycle a 25,000 ton dam built of concrete and steel. The pressure is on: They have just half the time needed to complete the job. Worse yet, their biggest challenge stands behind the old dam - One million cubic yards of boulders, gravel, and sand that the river has stacked against it for nearly a century. To remove this blockade, the team gambles on a radical, dangerous plan that's never been tried before: Turning the energy of a perfect storm against the debris. If they are not successful, a generation of endangered salmon returning to spawn may be wiped out.
  • Megastructures: Steam Drillers
  • Megastructures: 747 Breakdown
    For years, when a jumbo jet reached the end of its 30-year lifespan, it'd end up in a scrap yard, or rotting at the end of a runway. But at the Evergreen Air Center in Marana, Arizona, planes past their prime are recycled instead. We'll witness each step.
  • Megastructures: Ice Breaker
    Examine the vessels that keep the world's shipping lanes open and follow the construction of the largest commercial icebreaker ever built.
  • Megastructures: Hoover Dam
  • Megastructures: Miami Super Stadium
    The Orange Bowl, home to the Miami Dolphins and host of five Super Bowls is demolished to make way for a new stadium. Not only is there a tight timetable, everything must be salvaged or recycled.
  • Megastructures: Deep Sea Drillers
    In an attempt to tap some of the most inaccessible natural gas on the planet, five high-tech mega vessels will complete a 1,800 square mile gas network, over a mile and a half below the oceans surface. At the heart of the project is the enormous gas-processing platform, the Independence Hub. This massive floating platform stretches nearly the length of a city block and towers almost 34 stories high! If our mega movers succeed in creating this deep sea gas project, the system will produce a whopping 1 billion cubic feet of gas per day- enough to supply nearly 5 million households in the US. But if these mega movers cant work in perfect synchronization to make this complex gas gathering station sing, the project will be nothing but a two billion dollar mistake. And with our energy needs increasing daily, this record breaking project cant afford to fail.
  • Megastructures: Hoover Dam Bypass Bridge
    To save one of the most iconic engineering wonders of all time requires the creation of another masterpiece: the Hoover Dam Bypass Bridge.
  • Megastructures: World's Biggest Cruise Ship
    Join the ship, Freedom of the Seas as she makes her maiden voyage in June 2006 a once-in a lifetime Mega experience. What are the designers' biggest fears? Could this be another Titanic?
  • Megastructures: World's Biggest Shredder
    Experience the mighty mega shredder: The world's largest recycling machine, which takes the floor space of an entire factory, and reduces the equivalent of 450 cars an hour to an unrecognizable pulp.
  • Megastructures: Diamond Diggers
    At the Ekati Diamond Mine in Canada's Northwest Territories, meet the world's most hardcore mining machines: the D90 rotary blast drill, the DeMag 655 hydraulic shovel, and the CAT 793C haul truck.
  • Megastructures: Electric Ocean
    The ocean could be our most valuable source of green energy. Three teams of engineers seek the best way to generate electricity using its power.
  • Megastructures: Dubai Racecourse
    In the middle of the desert in Dubai, lies the world's most luxurious racecourse – Meydan. Overlooking the course is a 1.6km long land-scraper that boasts six star luxury for both man and horse.
  • Megastructures: World's Fastest Rollercoaster
  • Megastructures: Skyscraper In The Round
    Skyscraper in the Round will follow the conception to completion of this truly remarkable building, and the obstacles to overcome are audacious. The team will be building against the clock they have just 30 months to construct Aldar HQ if they are to meet their October 2009 target. The client Aldar wants their HQ completed in time for Abu Dhabis hosting of the Formula One Grand Prix the first time this motor racing spectacle will be held in the UAE. But the stakes are raised even higher. The building must also launch the largest construction project ever attempted in Abu Dhabi a new micro-city called Al Raha Beach. The film will illuminate how this astonishing structure, weighing nearly 60,000 tonnes (65,000 tons), came into being. The team overcome a series of construction challenges that begins with a construction site at sea 26 feet deep in the Persian Gulf and 700 feet from the shore. The land on which Aldar HQ will stand needs to be built out of the sea using 3 million cubic metres (one hundred million cubic feet) of sand…
  • Megastructures: Future Trains
    Speeding at 430 km/h, Shanghai’s futuristic magnetic levitation train turns a 30 km journey into an 8-minute joyride. Safe & efficient MAGLEV technology could change the way we travel in the future.
  • Megastructures: Heavy Metal Shredder
  • Megastructures: Monster Shredder
  • Megastructures: Meydan Racecouse
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