Jun 01

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On the television, YouTube or any other streaming services, new shows are being released every day, turning the decision of what to watch into a tedious and exhausting process. Sometimes, you might want to look at a bubbly and cheerful comedy; other times you might be looking for a thought-provoking documentary loaded with information that will deepen your knowledge on subjects relevant to your professional career. If you are the latter, this post was made for you!

Here, you will discover five great shows with a focus on engineering and construction, offering you detailed information on how things work, how major structures are built and many other great topics concerning construction. You will also find episode recommendations for each one of the shows containing the most exciting or biggest projects from each series.

1. Build it bigger (2003 – 2011)

Originally called “Extreme Engineering” until the end of the 3rd season. This show came to life after the great success of “Engineering The impossible,” a 2-hour documentary focusing on the construction of the Gibraltar Bridge, the 170-story Millennium Tower, and the Freedom ship, a 1317-meter long ship with housing for 50-thousand persons. The documentary won the Beijing International Science Film Festival and received the 2nd highest weeknight rating for 2002 on the Discovery Channel.

Following the great success of the documentary, the Discovery Channel launched a TV-series inspired on it featuring very promising and challenging projects from all over the world. The show offers a sneak-peak into colossal construction sites along with interviews with architects and engineers which present new perspectives on these state-of-the-art projects. Build it bigger truly provides an inside view of the construction industry through the presentation of vast and complex projects.

Recommended episodes:

  1. Season 1 Episode 1: Tokyo’s Sky City
  2. Season 1 Episode 10: Boston’s Big Dig
  3. Season 3 Episode 1: The Snøhvit Arctic Gas Processing Platform
  4. Season 8 Episode 8: Gotthard Base Tunnel
  5. Season 9 Episode 2: Drought-proofing Australia

2. Impossible Engineering (2015 – present)

This show pays tribute to the incredible engineering used to create state-of-the-art building techniques and cutting-edge materials that revolutionized their field. It explores past, present and future technologies and infrastructures that changed the course of history, showcasing current applications on ongoing projects. Impossible Engineering offers an inside view of the challenges and stories of each project and the impact of engineering in history and our lives.

The show started in 2015 with great success so far. The current season three of the show displays contemporary projects such as the international space station, the Tesla factory, the Panama Canal expansion and many more interesting topics worth watching.

Recommended episodes:

  1. Season 2 Episode 4: World’s Most Powerful Dam
  2. Season 2 Episode 8: The Glass Skyscraper
  3. Season 3 Episode 2: Panama Canal Overhaul
  4. Season 3 Episode 6: The Invincible Tower
  5. Season 3 Episode 7: International Space Station

3. Dirty great machines (2012)

This 4-part documentary reveals how the biggest, most astounding and technologically advanced drilling, excavation and boring machines work. The documentary introduces state-of-the-art machinery in action, displaying them in use at some of the world’s most challenging engineering projects. From London’s tunnels to Mexico’s underground, discover how those giant machines master impossible tasks. This documentary shares exciting stories, amazing explorations and marvelous science explanations of modern construction machinery and how they are built to attain extraordinary performances.

Recommended episodes:

  1. Season 1 Episode 1: Titans of tunneling
  2. Season 1 Episode 2: Monsters of mining
  3. Season 1 Episode 3: Deep Sea Giants
  4. Season 1 Episode 4: Beasts of Destruction

4. Machines: How do they work? (2016 – present)

This short TV-series explains the workings of everyday objects up to more complex machinery such as 3D printers, pneumatic drills, and many other exciting items. Understand how each of these objects works with exhaustive and straightforward descriptions as well as stunning and comprehensible visuals.

The show describes the challenges on the design of the object and its internal structure. It illustrates the insides of each object and demonstrates how each part of the system interacts with others to accomplish its final goal.

Recommended episodes:

  1. Season 1 Episode 4: Safes, Tennis Ball Launchers, and Music Boxes
  2. Season 1 Episode 13: Car Jacks, movie projectors and Leatherman’s
  3. Season 1 Episode 15: 3-D Printers, Cross Trainers, and Kitchen Mixers
  4. Season 1 Episode 18: Outboard Motors, Pneumatic Drills, And Retractable Pens
  5. Season 1 Episode 20: Elevators, Petrol Pumps, and Air Hockey Tables

5. How to build everything (2016 – present)

The show offers clear and complete information on how particular objects are made using a whimsical DIY approach with step-by-step instructions on how to build each object. It provides insightful information on many aspects of the production of various objects such as its costs, timeline for production and many other interesting details that occur during production.

It offers an easy-to-understand approach to the production of today’s brightest inventions and incorporates witty and insightful comments by numerous outstanding professionals such as engineers, inventors, astronauts among others.

Recommended episodes:

  1. Season 1 Episode 3: Inside a super stadium
  2. Season 1 Episode 6: Drone Revolution
  3. Season 1 Episode 11: Satellites declassified
  4. Season 1 Episode 10: Rise of the Skyscraper
  5. Season 1 Episode 12: Rocketship revealed

Whether you are a professional or a construction enthusiast, here you will find a show for you. These shows are not only engaging and entertaining but also educational and insightful, creating excellent content of engineering marvels and construction masterpieces. From visual explanations on how retractable pens or pneumatic drills work to visits of the biggest and most challenging construction sites in history, there is surely something new to learn from here.

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