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

Really, really old school building methods put to the test

Great Big Story bills themselves as "a global media company devoted to cinematic storytelling." Last year, they produced a great short feature about a team of skilled contractors and archeologists putting ancient building techniques to use in order to construct a medieval castle. Here's the description accompanying the video: It’s hard to fathom how magnificent … Continue reading Really, really old school building methods put to the test

Researchers demonstrate high-performance concrete that resists water and minimizes cracking

There are some in the building industry — perhaps even a majority of people — that believe concrete is either waterproof, or that it is somehow immune to any negative effects from exposure to moisture. However, typical concrete is porous, with many tiny cracks, allowing water to penetrate. Exposed to freeze-thaw weather cycles, that water … Continue reading Researchers demonstrate high-performance concrete that resists water and minimizes cracking

Bill Gates reflects on the materials that make modern life possible, and their impact

Bill Gates is obviously a really smart dude, and his personal wealth is well documented. But ever since he left active duty at Microsoft, shifting his focus to what I would call entrepreneurial philanthropy through the foundation he and his wife lead, Gates has become a real inspiration for me. One of my favorite characteristics … Continue reading Bill Gates reflects on the materials that make modern life possible, and their impact