New Steel Reinforcing and Post-Tenioning safety requirements coming to CA in 2018

Retrofit Magazine shared the following major construction safety news announcement: The California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board (OSHSB) has voted to adopt the Iron Workers (IW) safety standard updates for reinforcing steel and post-tensioning activities. California is the first state-approved OSHA plan to work with the IW to reform existing safety standards. The IW … Continue reading New Steel Reinforcing and Post-Tenioning safety requirements coming to CA in 2018

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

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

First Pre-Stressed, Steel-Reinforced 3D-Printed Bridge To Be Put Into Service

Technische Universiteit Eindhoven (TU/e) in Netherlands reports the following: Today the Built Environment department’s concrete printer starts printing the world’s first 3D printed reinforced, pre-stressed concrete bridge. The cycle bridge will be part of a new section of ring road around Gemert in which the BAM Infra construction company is using innovative techniques. One of … Continue reading First Pre-Stressed, Steel-Reinforced 3D-Printed Bridge To Be Put Into Service

Canada: Crumbling & cracking concrete cladding causing concern

Vancouver, British Colombia played host for a couple decades to a dramatic uprising of concrete-clad condos that permanently altered the city’s skyline. Developers rushing to sell units to (oftentimes  foreign) investors and empty-nesters cut corners, leading to years of litigation followed by tougher standards and improved oversight — particularly regarding the building envelope. Despite the … Continue reading Canada: Crumbling & cracking concrete cladding causing concern

University researchers develop a more crack-resistant concrete using recycled tires

According to a press release by the University of British Columbia, researchers have developed a concrete formulation that includes recycled tires for a more resilient and sustainable building material: The researchers experimented with different proportions of recycled tire fibres and other materials used in concrete—cement, sand and water—before finding the ideal mix, which includes 0.35 … Continue reading University researchers develop a more crack-resistant concrete using recycled tires

3D-Printing an entire building is reality, no longer just a theory

Researchers at MIT have confirmed that the future of the A/E/C industry is now in fact here. In the proof-of-concept, a vehicle of sorts, moving along a track, carries a robotic arm that utilizes a precision-controlled nozzle to place a variety of materials including spray foam insulation and concrete. ScienceDaily reports: Structures built with this system could … Continue reading 3D-Printing an entire building is reality, no longer just a theory

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

Artist repairs concrete cracks with gold as part of new project

Within the construction defect industry, we sometimes joke that the repairs proposed by some parties represent a much more costly approach than is truly necessary to solve a particular situation. You might hear comments like “that’s the Cadillac repair” or “how can this be so expensive — what are they trying to do, gold plate the building to keep leaks out?”

So when I learned that there was an artist using gold to fill cracks as part of a new installation, I couldn’t help but take a closer look. Allison Meier, writing for Hyperallergic, highlighted the work of Rachel Sussman inspired by an ancient Japanese art form known as kintsukuroi. Continue reading “Artist repairs concrete cracks with gold as part of new project”

What #11 Grade 60 Rebar looks like when stretched to breaking in slow motion

Happy Friday, everyone. As a treat, here is a cool video from The Slo Mo Guys taken at a testing laboratory at Purdue University.

Reinforced concrete is truly an amazing product that is critical to the structural design and integrity of most modern buildings. The utility of the material comes from its ability to resist both compressive force as well as stretching. Concrete on its own has great compressive strength, but relatively little tensile strength without steel reinforcing.

That’s fairly common knowledge among most people in the building industry, but how many people can say that they’ve seen what rebar looks like when stretched to breaking?

Continue reading “What #11 Grade 60 Rebar looks like when stretched to breaking in slow motion”