Do you remember the days when you built the tallest building in the world it would hold the record for longer than one month? Well it seems in this new "Global Economy" that every country needs a super tall statement. Japan has joined the conversation with the newly proposed mile-high skyscraper that is set to reach a height of 5,577ft (read: one mile). If you are new to the super tall skyscraper game, you may not know that the announced height of 5,577 feet is like a "ASPR" (the Architects Suggested Project Height) kind of like an MSRP for the consumer industry, because there are always multiple projects in the works to be the tallest. These final heights are a closely guarded secret that is often not reviled until the final months of the project.
We recently wrote a story about Dr. Ian Pearson's prediction for what the construction industry could look like 30 years in the future. In his paper, Dr. Pearson predicts that London could have an 18 mile high building with a space pod on top of it by 2045. This isn't quite there yet, but it is over twice as tall as the current reigning champ of World's tallest building, the Burj Khalifa (2,722 ft, 829.8 m).
KPF (Kohn Pedersen Fox), the architect of the project, has a portfolio of super tall buildings the size of a New York Phone Book. The have built massive structures all over the world and they don't appear to be slowing down. They designed the Shanghai World Financial Center (1,614 ft, 492 m), the International Commerce Centre in Hong Kong (1,587 ft, 484 m), the Ping An Financial Centre in Shenzhen, China (1,969 ft, 600 m), the One Vanderbilt in New York, New York (1,501 ft, 458 m), among many others.
This Mile-High project in Tokyo, dubbed Next Tokyo 2045, is mostly an exercise in research and development for sustainability in the future. The building, with a total square footage of 14.8 milloon (1.375 millon square meters) is designed to host up to 55,000 people and use a water collection system that would allow the upper floors to use reclaimed water rather than pumping water one mile vertical from the ground. The project even comes with a series of man-made hexagonal islands. The islands are designed to protect the mainland from flooding and act as a foundation for homes for around a half million people. This project is gearing up to be a modern engineering marvel.
We will keep an eye on this one for 30 more years to come!
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.
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.
[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.
Standard vertical elevators have had it too good, for too long. After the first cable dependent elevator was unveiled in 1857, not much has changed in the elevator industry. They’re still using cable systems and still only going up and down. But not anymore. ThyssenKrupp has officially made a multi-directional elevator a reality.
Caterpillar is not resting on what made it successful in the past anymore and probably for good reason. The equipment manufacturing giant recently bought Yard Club, a heavy construction equipment sharing company, looking to take advantage of the recently popularized sharing economy. Earlier this month, Caterpillar invested $2 million in Fastbrick Robotics, an Australian robotic technology company.
Augmented and Virtual Reality has always been designated for large headsets. Even with recent developments in the construction industry, like Microsoft Hololens and the DAQRI Smart Helmet, if you want to experience AR, you have to get used to wearing something you’re not used to around a job site. As cool as both of those technologies are, it seems that the ole trusty smartphones and tablets have been overlooked. A Danish BIM company has developed a smartphone and tablet application that leaves the headsets behind.
It’s pretty amazing all of the things that smartphones can do right now. While some wish phones would go back to “just making dang blasted phone calls, like the good ole days,” it’s clear that phone’s will always be more than that moving forward. Through apps and other attachments, phones can now turn into a thermal imagine camera, an x-ray vision scanner to see what’s behind walls, a laser measure, and now an augmented reality tape measure.
For many construction superintendents and project managers across the world, tablets are becoming one of the most important tools on the job site. They’re great for looking at plans, taking pictures, making notes, and running your favorite construction apps. Carrying a tablet does take up at least one of your hands, however, so it can be a hindrance if you need to help a co-worker lift material or climb a ladder.
Fiskars was first founded as a Finnish Ironworks company in 1649, making it one of the oldest companies I have heard of that is still going strong. Recently – relatively speaking - in 1967, Fiskars made a name for themselves with their orange handled scissors. Noted for their build quality, sharpness, and durability, these scissors quickly became an industry standard and a leader in the category. Since then, Fiskars has expanded into other areas of the home and outdoors. You may also recognize the name Gerber, as this is one of the brands Fiskars sells under.