Becoming licensed as an architect, engineer or contractor is the culmination of many years of hard work. Since humans often like shortcuts, I suppose it should come as no surprise that someone felt that impersonating an architect would be a lot easier than actually becoming one.

As you might expect, hilarity did not ensue.

Consumerist’s Laura Northrop has the story:

If someone is a successful architect, people assume that he or she actually is an architect. Yet a man in upstate New York who drew up renderings of over 100 buildings and received hundreds of thousands of dollars in payments for designing commercial and residential buildings has been charged with pretending to be an architect for more than half a decade.

According to New York’s state Attorney General, the alleged fake architect’s crimes go beyond just telling people that he was an architect when he wanted to impress them. He’s accused posed as an architect from 2010 to 2016, designing buildings and submitting site plans for projects in and around Albany, NY. These included apartment buildings with hundreds of units, a development of townhouses, and a a retail store.

You’ll want to read the full story, but I did want to point out the hilarious Seinfeld clip that Northrop included with her post:

Construction Junkie’s Shane Hedmond shared a video marking completion of work on the foundation at “The Tower” in Jeddah:

The final height of the building has yet to be announced, which is common for supertall buildings, as those involved want to avoid tipping their hand to fellow supertall building developers. It’s expected that the tower will end up between 3,600 feet and 4,413 feet tall. The Burj Khalifa is 2,722 feet tall.

Once completed, the building will likely enjoy a somewhat short-lived recognition as the next world’s tallest building.

From the video’s description:

Since The Tower’s ground-breaking ceremony in October 2016, more than 145 barrette piles have been laid to depths of over 72m. These piles are now being trimmed in preparation for the laying of the 19m-thick pile cap.

Designed by Spanish-Swiss architect and engineer Santiago Calatrava Valls, The Tower will have multiple several observation decks delivering 360 degree views of the city.

The project is currently on schedule for a 2020 completion with the final height of the structure yet to be revealed.

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 castles were built centuries ago. One group set out to understand just that by building their own masterpiece two hours outside of Paris. Tucked away in a forest, a team of master builders and archeologists are attempting to construct Guédelon, a castle from the 13th century, using only medieval techniques.

And here is the video:

Submitted for your approval, below is a video that is part of an entire series of videos on YouTube depicting a guy working on excavating a tunnel all by himself, using primitive tools.

On the one hand, the idea that someone is constructing a massive tunnel by themselves, using hand tools, working shirtless and barefoot is certainly intriguing.

On the other hand, not only is this completely unsafe and goes against well established standards of practice, but if I understand some of the comments, he is not performing this work at his own property. If true, it is highly illegal, and it exposes the actual property owner to significant liability!

Perhaps there are other hobbies one might want to consider…

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: