Admittedly, this is a little strange, but clearly could be a practical measure in certain parts of the world.

Dahir Insaat Corporation is a Turkish company that specializes in pre-fab cast-in-place construction buildings ranging in size from a small cottage to an entire apartment block.

The company also has developed a design concept for an “earthquake safety bed” design to quickly (perhaps almost violently) swallow the bed’s occupant whole within an industrial strength steel shell in the event of an earthquake or building collapse.

Rather than try to explain the concept any further, here is a video:

Friday is here, and this video seems like the perfect end to this week:

I first noticed this video in a post by Mike Wehner at Boy Genius Report:

As someone who spends much of his work day trying to sift through gadget rumors and staring wide-eyed at photos taken hundreds of millions of miles away from Earth, I’m not the kind of guy who passes judgment on what anyone does for a living. That being said, I have to assume an industry trade show for something as straightforward and utilitarian as construction equipment would be a pretty dull and boring affair. But how wrong I have been.

This footage, smuggled out of some magical fairy tale land where 18-ton bucket loaders prance around like unicorns (or, slightly less interestingly, a Chinese industrial trade show) reveals just how exciting earth-moving machines can be.

While I would like to pretend that this sort of thing happens all the time at construction trade shows, sadly that is not the case. Here’s hoping this trend makes its way to US events in the near future…

Ronald Dahl’s beloved Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was one book, but a sequel called The Great Glass Elevator is where in the movie Charlie explores his world from the air in a super-advanced elevator that moves in any direction, but requires no cables.

Clearly the engineers at Thyssen Krup were inspired by Dahl’s tale of a boy who one day discovered all his dreams had come true, as they have announced proof of concept for a cable-less elevator that moves both vertically and horizontally. Inhabitat’s Lacy Cooke has more:

The elevator was invented over 160 years ago, and engineering firm ThyssenKrupp evidently thinks it’s time to shake things up a bit. They’ve designed the MULTI: a rope-less horizontal-vertical system that’s drawn comparisons to Willy Wonka’s crazy sideways-moving elevator. And now they’ve brought their designs from paper into the real world at an 807-foot-high test tower in Rottweil, Germany.

ThyssenKrupp’s technology allows multiple elevator cabins to run in a loop – “like a metro system inside a building,” according to the firm. And no cables or ropes are necessary; the cars move due to a magnet-based drive system as might be found in Maglev trains. The test tower boasts 12 test shafts, with cars that can travel as rapidly as 59 feet per second.

Here is a video from Thyssen Krup demonstrating the technology:

Apple’s Tim Cook has been unusually candid in recent months about some of what lies ahead in the company’s normally secretive pipeline. Besides empowering the Internet of Things (IoT) as part of a home automation play, Apple has invested substantial R&D resources in developing the best Augmented Reality (AR) experience possible, the way only Apple can.

Using Apple’s ARKit, which gives developers a means to leverage the AR resources Apple has embedded within the next version of iOS, Laan Labs has developed a wonderful proof of concept product that turns your phone’s camera into a realtime measurement tool. The Next Web reports:

To accomplish this, AR Measure factors in the distance between various points in 3D space to help you measure any physical object by simply using your phone’s camera.

All it takes to put the virtual ruler to use is point your camera, select your desired starting point and pull your phone away from it. AR Measure will then calculate the distance between your starting and end points – sort of like a virtual measuring tape.

Want to see it in action? Video below:

The app won’t be available until iOS 11 is released to the public later this year.

Mark Buckshon’s wonderfully rich blog, Construction Marketing Ideas, is in my humble opinion, perhaps the best resource there is for growing businesses in the architecture, engineering and construction industry. Every day, without fail, a new post is published that provides actionable advice, provokes thought, or forces one to question their own previously held assumptions.

And while I am of the opinion that Mark’s blog is one of the best construction-related blogs there is, he has removed himself from consideration for such an honor by instead hosting an annual Best Construction Blog competition. So who won this year’s competition? Oldcastle Building Solutions.

To congratulate the winner, Buckshon conducted a live interview via Google Hangouts to learn more about the not-so-secret tactics and strategies implemented by the Oldcastle marketing team:

Heather Pacinelli, director, digital marketing at Oldcastle Building Solutions, has made herself available for a video interview to discuss the blog’s success behind winning the 2017 Best Construction Blog competition. […]

The blog serves a variety of purposes, including uniting Oldcastle’s diversity of building products and services — educating clients who may not know about everything the business offers.

Here’s the video of their conversation:

Only by analyzing the failures of our past can we learn how to prepare for a better future. This is one of the core principles behind forensic science, and candidly, it is what personally drives me forward every day.

InterestingEngineering.com compiled a list of “25 Extremely Embarrassing Architectural Failures,” although I would like to clarify that many of their chosen examples have little to do with failure on the part of the architect. In fact, many of the examples are failures on the part of a trade contractor, the owner/developer’s miscalculation of the market, poor understanding of existing soils conditions, or in some cases, just plain bad taste.

Here is the intro:

Welcome to our list of 25 incredible architectural failures throughout history. The following collection of architectural failures is an eclectic mix. They range from the most poorly designed, ugly or downright dangerous architectural projects throughout history. Our list is far from exhaustive and not intended to be definitive. They are also in no particular order. Enjoy!

Some familiar projects are featured:

  • The “Leaning” Tower of Pisa
  • Galloping Gertie (featured here recently)
  • The Kemper Arena roof collapse
  • several Gehry projects
  • The John Hancock Tower

One of the projects featured is the Lotus Riverside Complex in Shanghai, which you can learn more about in the video below:

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 can cause the existing micro-cracks within the crystalline structure of the concrete to expand, and ultimately weaken the assembly’s integrity allowing for much larger cracks.

If only there was a concrete that could resist water, and minimize cracking.

Under the direction of civil engineering professor Konstantin Sobolev, researchers at the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee think that might have something for the building industry that will do just that. Laura Otto at Phys.org has more:

Super-strong polyvinyl alcohol fibers or high-density polyethylene fibers, each the width of a human hair, are mixed into the concrete and bond with it. When cracks begin, the fibers prevent them from opening and becoming larger gaps.

In fact, Sobolev isn’t trying to eliminate cracking. He wants to direct the process in a preferred way, resulting in evenly distributed microcracking. This disperses the load so that tiny cracks remain small while the material’s superhydrophobic features form a water barrier.

This architecture, Sobolev says, allows the material to withstand four times the compression of traditional concrete and have 200 times the ductility, or flexibility under stress.

Since science is more fun with a video, here is the professor and postdoctoral researcher Marin Kozhukhova demonstrating some of their findings:

With 1.4-million square feet of habitable space, spread out among 61 floors, the Salesforce Tower in San Francisco is projected to be the tallest building “West of the Mississippi” topping out at 1,070 feet above ground.

(It should be noted that while the top of the spire at the Wilshire Grand in LA will reach 1,099 feet, Salesforce will still have the highest occupied floor at 970 feet. Until, of course, some third building is erected to surpass both of the former…) (more…)

All this week I’ve been observing destructive testing at a high rise. At a building across the street, workers are taking down scaffolding from a 20+ story condo project after repairs were made to the building’s exterior.

More than a few times over the past several days my colleagues and I have observed workers not tied off to proper fall protection performing extreme acrobatic feats while carrying fairly large and unwieldy sections of scaffolding using both hands.

Watching these hard working folks putting their life on the line with every step has been eye-opening  and terrifying, while at the same time providing me a real sense of gratitude that my job isn’t nearly as risky.

And then I saw this: 

(Via Construction Junkie)

Who even knew that there was a contest to see who can demolish stuff the best? Canadian firm Priestly Demolition, Inc. (PDI) won the 2016 World Demolition Award for best project for their masterful work on a project in Ontario, Canada.

Due to environmental concerns, a bridge needed to be removed without using explosives. In just a week’s time, braving subzero temperatures, PDI successfully dismantled the bridge. Construction Junkie’s Shane Hedmond has more:

The original Nipigon River Bridge was constructed in 1937 as a simple steel deck truss bridge. 37 years later, in 1974, steel girders replaced the truss and it had remained the same ever since. In 2013, a $106 project was started that would replace the old bridge with a new 4 lane bridge and close down the old one. PDI was contracted as the demolition company responsible for removing the old bridge.

The Nipigon River is the largest tributary of Lake Superior and, because of that, there were many environmental concerns for the river wildlife and surrounding habitats. Not only that, but the company had to worry about the recently constructed first half of the new bridge which sat directly adjacent to the old bridge. The old bridge stood 100 feet (30m) above the water and spanned 827 feet (252 meters). Without being able to disturb the water below, the team ultimately decided to jack the bridge up and use hydraulic rollers to move the girders off of the supporting piers and onto land.

Without further ado, I present a 24-minute long video produced by PDI showing the process in depth: