• Its use improves the accuracy between design sections and real construction sections in conventional tunnels by more than 60%, as well as reducing cost overruns caused by geometric variations when constructing these types of infrastructures.

ACCIONA, through its Construction Technology Centre, has received the Leonardo Torres Quevedo National Engineering Innovation Award for its laser-guided system for excavating conventional tunnels.

Fernando Vara, Global Business Development Director for ACCIONA´s Tunnels & Railways SBU, collected the award on behalf of the company at the awards ceremony, which took place on 30 November.

The system increases the accuracy between design sections and real construction sections by more than 60%. It uses a laser to project a continuous outline of the theoretical excavation section in real time. In other words, it “draws” the profile that the tunnel should have onto the rock face at each specific point along its route. This significantly reduces cost overruns caused by geometric variations in standard sections during construction of these types of infrastructures.

In addition to reducing the volume of excavated material, the benefits of this innovative system include ease of use, as it is lightweight (75kg) and small in size (100x45x55 cm) and is operated by the works team, so it does not require any additional or specialist training. Furthermore, it provides a digital record of the tunnel’s progress using laser scanning.

ACCIONA has implemented this system in real environments such as the Pedralba Tunnel (Zamora), the Padornelo Tunnel (Zamora), the Olesa Tunnel (Catalonia), Line 3 of the Chile Metro and the Tresponts Tunnel (Catalonia). The company also intends to implement it shortly on construction of Line 6 of the Sao Paulo Metro and the E6 -Trondheim-Vaernes highway in Norway.