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Photo: Donaldson Associates

​​Utility services such as water, gas, electricity, communications and sewerage are all parts of the infrastructure considered essential to modern life.

Increasingly congested urban space, and barriers such as highways, rail and watercourses, present significant constraints to the routing and installation of this infrastructure. COWI UK Limited has developed world-leading expertise, experience and understanding in the development of underground space, in the form of tunnels and caverns, and in particular in the application of this technology to allow the passage of utility networks effectively and efficiently.

Utility tunnel experience

Our wide experience in many kinds of utility tunnel ensures that we understand how it fits into the wider network and what aspects are unique to that type of tunnel. Our designs accommodate the necessary structural support, ventilation and cooling and essential accommodation features for the installation process – from high voltage cables to high-pressure gas pipelines and water mains.

Stakeholder engagement

In sizing the tunnel, we also ensure a detailed understanding of the operation and maintenance needs of the end user. As part of the process we lead design, risk and safety workshops. This ensures stakeholder engagement and that all aspects of the tunnel's form and function are addressed at the right stage of the design process.


Our detailed knowledge and experience of tunnel and civil engineering construction allows us to understand and anticipate the needs and issues relating to construction constraints, space utilisation, access requirements and safety issues unique to each project, at the earliest stage. This process is iterated as the design develops by engaging effectively with the construction team to establish a detailed understanding of their particular methods and needs, to enable effective incorporation into the design.

LAST UPDATED: 22.12.2016