Microtunneling is a type of tunneling construction technique used to create utility tunnels roughly 0.5-4 m in diameter. Due to this exceptionally small diameter, there’s no need for a driver to operate a tunneling machine. Instead, the tunneling takes place remotely.
The primary benefit of this type of tunneling is that it creates minimal surface disruption. It can be used in both drainage and sewage construction. But it’s also used in sewer lining and replacement, oil pipelines, gas and water mains, and even electricity and telecommunication cables.
As a result of its vast uses, the use of microtunneling contractors is increasing in popularity. However, this type of tunneling is also predicted as the next big thing in green construction due to the following environmental benefits.
A Much Cleaner Process
Microtunneling is incredibly kind to the environment due to its extremely clean process. The quantities of both incoming and outgoing materials are limited and reduced significantly in comparison to traditional open-cut construction processes.
Therefore, the process is less harsh on the surrounding environment. But beyond this, there’s also less disruption to the surface area of the construction site.
A Significantly Safer Work Environment
The clean process also ensures that safety is increased for workers; there’s no need for drivers to manually operate tunneling machines.
Because this process is safer for employees, construction companies benefit from the reduction of workplace injury claims, while employees benefit from a reduced risk of injuries.
Vacuum Extraction Systems
Compared to other underground construction processes, microtunneling focuses on vacuum extraction systems that promote a cleaner environment. Moreover, this encourages greater support to the ground because a pipe jack system is implemented.
With vacuum extraction systems, the setup footprint of the work site is also reduced significantly. As a result, this technique is far safer for the environment and employees than open-cut construction methods.
The Downfalls Of Open-Cut Construction
Open-cut construction methods are predicted to become obsolete in the future due to the undeniably harmful impacts on the environment and the risk of injury to employees.
Open-cut construction techniques involve exposing existing pipes by excavating downward. The intention of this construction technique is to replace or repair pipelines.
Unfortunately, this construction technique causes a lot of environmental harm. An excess of materials is used, the ground is damaged, and the general public is also at risk of disruption and injury to the surface disturbance the technique implements. Moreover, heavy machinery is often used for this technique, which harms the environment even more.
There’s no doubt that microtunneling is becoming the next big thing in construction as the industry actively hunts out new innovative ways to consider the environment. It’s no secret that environmental destruction is putting the future of humanity at risk; if we continue to destroy our home planet, the human race will cease to exist.
Science predicts that we have roughly ten years to halt environmental damage to avoid this, and specific industries, like the construction industry, are actively making changes that lend a hand in planet conservation.