World’s fairs have been held in varying locations across the globe since 1844 and are responsible for some of the most memorable buildings and structures that still stand today. The Eiffel Tower in Paris was originally built for the 1889 Exposition Universelle, San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge was built to coincide with the 1939 World Fair, and Seattle’s Space Needle was designed and built for the 1962 World’s Fair (you can check out photos of the construction here), just to name a few.
At the 1933 World’s Fair in Chicago, 16 homes were constructed for display to promote new building products and materials to the fair-goers. Only 7 have survived since the fair ended and 5 of them have been transported to Beverly Shores, Indiana by barge, in an attempt to preserve them. Perhaps the most famous of the 5 homes that are owned by the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore is the House of Tomorrow.
The House of Tomorrow which debuted almost 30 years before the famous cartoon, The Jetsons, featured many of the features that we have come to expect in homes today and some that have yet to come to fruition. Among the features of the house were General Electric’s first-ever dishwasher, an “iceless” refrigerator, central air conditioning, and push button garage door opener. Those are definitely not features real estate agents would be excited to tell their clients about today, but in the 1930’s, they were pipe dreams. One of the features that has not become a standard just yet is the attached airplane hangar, which the architect, George Keck, envisioned would be a household staple in the future.
The building structure itself was also extremely forward thinking. According to Indiana Landmarks, the House of Tomorrow was one of the first ever residential buildings to use a glass curtain wall structure and also one of the first to incorporate passive solar energy techniques.
After the futuristic house was transported to Beverly Shores, Indiana, its condition has slowly deteriorated and is in need of major repair. The building was recently names a National Treasure, the first in the state of Indiana, which Indiana Landmarks says will help in fundraising efforts. Representatives of Indiana Landmarks hope that enough money will be raised to begin the restoration in the spring of 2017.
The restoration will be completed by the National Trust’s H.O.P.E crew, which is an incredible organization that trains and teaches young people in the art of preservation techniques. H.O.P.E., which stands for “Hands On Preservation Experience,” employs preservation experts to train crewmembers on tasks, such as repointing, carpentry, and window restoration. It’s a fantastic looking organization, which will give kids tangible skills to take with them to their adulthood, while also exposing them to the construction industry. 27,000 kids participate on the crew, annually, providing 13.5 million hours of service.
Tool box safety talks are super important, but sometimes they can be pretty dry. In order to keep people engaged and committed to jobsite safety, sometimes you have to mix it up a little bit. A construction company in New Zealand has an aspiring rapper on their team and they decided to enlist his help for a safety talk and it’s pretty entertaining. This company isn’t the first company to use rap music to send a message, as Caterpillar also released a rap about their bulldozers.
When construction companies initially started to adopt mobile technologies like tablets and smartphones, there was a race between many construction technology companies to be the future leader in the area. As the years rolled on, it became less and less likely that one app was going to be the end-all-be-all, like AutoCAD became in the architectural design world. There’s not one app out there right now that provides every single function that a construction company needs, because each company is very unique. The solution? Integration.
[guest post] A punch list is a vital part of a construction project’s contract. It helps ensure that the contractor has completed the project in a satisfying manner and that all issues, such as damage to any structures as well as incomplete or incorrect installations, are taken care of before being paid.
If this video of construction worker’s chasing down an alleged tool thief and hanging onto the hood of his car wasn’t enough to convince you to not mess with construction worker’s things, then maybe this new video will be. Construction worker’s tools and trucks are their livelihoods, and they don’t take too kindly to people who don’t understand that.
Communication is key to a safe and productive construction environment. One of the biggest challenges of effective communication on job sites is the complexity and size of the project, which inhibits being able to contact the correct people in a timely manner. Tracking devices have been a hot button issue in construction news for the last few years. Some examples include RFID tag sensors in hard hats, such as the one being used on certain job sites in Washington DC and time sheet applications, which allow employers to track their employee’s locations using the GPS on their phone’s or tablets.
In March of this year, Elon Musk announced that Tesla would begin taking orders on their Solar Roof Shingle concept. Tesla Solar Roof is a solar power roof system that eliminates the need for bulky solar panels installed over top of traditional roof materials. Instead, the shingles themselves, which come in a variety of different styles, are the solar panels.
At the company’s second quarter earnings report, Tesla announced that the first solar roof installations have been completed.
Directional boring, or horizontal directional drilling, is a common method for installing underground pipe and conduits, among others. Its main benefit is that it minimally disturbs the areas around where your pipe or cable needs to be installed. Instead of cutting concrete, asphalt, or ripping up landscaping, the boring machine digs a tunnel underground and the installing material slides in after it’s complete.
That’s what it’s SUPPOSED to do anyway.
[guest post] The progress of construction sites is usually captured by taking still photos of different areas that have been subject to change. Documenting a full construction site requires a lot of pictures (usually more than ten per room), and even then not every corner of a room can be captured.
Construction crews in Parma, Idaho were busy working onmulti-story onion shed, when the under construction structure collapsed, sending some that were on the roof down with it. 14 crew members were either on the structure or around it at the time of collapse, but 6 of them were transported to the hospital. First responders on the scene explained that it was lucky that only 6 were injured.
For decades, hard hats have been synonymous with construction job site safety. Their one major flaw, however, is that if workers fall, the hard hat rarely stays on their head, exposing them to possible head injuries resulting from the fall. According to Bloomberg News, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) launched research campaign to determine their effectiveness in protecting against head and neck injuries. Their findings have not yet been released, but companies have begun to seek out new products, in hopes of reducing injuries.