Proof of Concept: Ultra-thin, insulated concrete roof with embedded PV

Once again, the incredibly brilliant minds at Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich (ETH Zurich) have announced innovative processes and materials for a better built environment. Phys.org has the story: Researchers from ETH Zurich have built a prototype of an ultra-thin, curved concrete roof using innovative digital design and fabrication methods. The tested novel formwork system will be … Continue reading Proof of Concept: Ultra-thin, insulated concrete roof with embedded PV

The 2 questions every builder needs to be asking to drive real innovation

Lloyd Alter, writing for Treehugger: According to Jacob Atalla of KB Home, “The best way to predict the future is to make it.” So he and others in the building industry often build model concept homes to test out ideas. Michele Lerner of the Washington Post talks to a few people in the industry to … Continue reading The 2 questions every builder needs to be asking to drive real innovation

New concrete product claims to be more earthquake resistant AND more sustainable

Concrete is a really amazing building product that provides strength and protection, particularly when reinforced with steel, or when combined with various admixtures. Unfortunately, concrete is extremely costly to produce in terms of its environmental impact. By some accounts, concrete production results in the release of a ton of carbon, for every ton of concrete. … Continue reading New concrete product claims to be more earthquake resistant AND more sustainable

Gypsum Association hurricane and flooding resources for homeowners and professionals

Drywall is a funny name for gypsum-based wallboard. Gypsum itself contains a good deal of water as it is typically formed from the evaporation of saline water. When heated, some of the water is evaporated, but the typical Flue-Gas Desulfurization (FGD) gypsum that makes up about 50% of the gypsum products used in the US still contains quite a bit of water.

In fact, the presence of water allows for one of gypsum wallboard’s most important applications in the built environment — fire protection. As gypsum is heated, that water is released as steam, retarding the spread of fire.

Continue reading “Gypsum Association hurricane and flooding resources for homeowners and professionals”

Saturday Night Live’s hilarious roast of the guy behind the Papyrus typeface

Papyrus is distinctive as typefaces go, and as a result, highly recognizable. For typeface designers, that seems like the ultimate accomplishment. Unless, as in the case of Papyrus and Comic Sans before it, the typeface becomes so prevalent that it loses its luster.

I will go one step farther, and state for the record, that I believe Helvetica has suffered the same fate. It is a great font, but it is too common.  Continue reading “Saturday Night Live’s hilarious roast of the guy behind the Papyrus typeface”

CBS on the impact of the skilled labor shortage on homebuilders, and the economy

Television, unless it is available to stream via Hulu, Netflix or HBO Go, isn’t something I watch much of. CBS apparently aired an impressive program highlighting the impact of the skilled labor shortage on the construction industry, and the resulting impact on the rest of our economy and infrastructure. Here’s an excerpt: America’s economy has … Continue reading CBS on the impact of the skilled labor shortage on homebuilders, and the economy

Is the Consulting industry about to go the route of video rental stores and the Dodo?

Perhaps. That’s the warning from Soren Kaplan, writing for Inc. on the upcoming disruption about to rock the world of business and management consultants everywhere. In an article titled, “The Business Consulting Industry Is Booming, and It’s About to Be Disrupted,” Kaplan states: Continue reading “Is the Consulting industry about to go the route of video rental stores and the Dodo?”

Procore on the Value of Big Data Analysis

Socrates is alleged to have asked the possibly rhetorical question, “Is the unexamined life worth living?” One might ask the same question of data — Is unexamined data worth storing? Procore, purveyors of fine construction software, recently touched on the topic of the value of data analysis on their Jobsite blog. Duane Craig identifies “5 … Continue reading Procore on the Value of Big Data Analysis

Why BIM hasn’t become too much of a factor in construction claims and disputes, so far…

RICS, the UK Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, is ramping up their focus on Building Information Modeling (BIM) and its impact on the building industry. I found this recent article interesting: The adoption of BIM and the subsequent BIM revolution, continues to have a major impact on every element of the construction industry – changing … Continue reading Why BIM hasn’t become too much of a factor in construction claims and disputes, so far…

Net-Positive Earth Moving Equipment?

Massive earth moving equipment ranks among some of the heaviest and most costly machinery in the world, outside of experimental particle physics, of course… Not surprisingly, the mostly diesel-powered mammoth vehicles typically employed for major infrastructure projects require a great deal of that diesel fuel to get the job done. Considering that in many such … Continue reading Net-Positive Earth Moving Equipment?