180 Construction Firms Have Expressed Interest in Building US/Mexico Border Wall

In what has and will continue to be one of the more controversial construction projects in American history, the US/Mexico border wall appears to be moving forward and there are many construction firms across the country that are very interested in the $20 billion project.

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Microsoft is Testing 2 New Construction Technologies for Hololens

Augmented reality on construction job sites has been a focus of several technology companies in recent years.  As of now the clear leaders in the category have been the DAQRI smart helmet and glasses and the MIcrosoft Hololens.  Early this year, DAQRI introduced their new smart glasses, which are the lighter and more mobile version of their fully protective smart hard hat.  The new DAQRI product is a clear competitor for Microsoft’s Hololens, which is also a smart headset product. Backed by the powerful construction technology company Trimble and in a partnership with the University of Cambridge, the Hololens is getting tested with 2 new concepts specifically for the construction industry: Automated Progress Monitoring and Automated Bridge Damage Detection.

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The FBI Is Investigating the Construction of a Minor League Baseball Stadium

OSHA inspectors and city building officials are usually the people that can make life pretty uncomfortable for construction companies, but it’s a whole different story when the FBI comes calling. A new stadium for the Double-A minor league baseball team, the Hartford Yard Goats, was supposed to open before the 2016 season, but delays and cost overruns have pushed that opening well into 2017.  Now, the FBI is investigating, according to the Hartford Courant.

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New Hard Hat Attachment Senses When Workers Are Fatigued

Construction workers work long hours in some pretty rough exterior conditions a lot of the time and there’s no doubt that fatigue is a major factor in job site accidents.  In recent years, we’ve seen a few technological advances that will either reduce worker fatigue or sense it, including robotic attachments, lighter and less vibratory power tools, and camera systems on CAT machines that sense when drivers are closing their eyes too much. Recently, a company out of Australia has been developing a smart hard hat that sensors when mental fatigue has set in.

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Interactive Map Shows all of the Structurally Deficient Bridges Across America

The phrase “America’s crumbling infrastructure” has been said over and over again the past few years.  It’s why we’ve seen such a large uptick in bridge demolitions, a rise in innovative processes to reduce the time it takes to replace bridges, and the reason for President Trump’s emphasis on spending $1 trillion over the next 10 years to fix them.

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NIOSH Releases Sound Level Meter App for Smartphone

NIOSH

NIOSH

Occupational hearing loss is talked about a lot in the construction industry, but noise levels have always been difficult to quantify for the everyday worker.  A company may have a professional sound level meter or noise dosimeter, but how often are they actually used?  With the advancement of smartphones, the power to avoid the lasting effects of hearing loss is being given back to individuals.

The lack of available technology or general lack of concern has most likely been the major contributing factors for the 23,000 people who suffered from occupational hearing loss 2007 (the last year this data was published by NIOSH). That same year, 14% of occupational illnesses were the result of hearing loss.

For iOS users, NIOSH has just released a free new smartphone app, called NIOSH SLM, to measure sound levels on the job site.  The app underwent extensive laboratory testing in order to meet the approved criteria for sound measurement, within 2dB of a type 1 sound meter). If used with a calibrated external microphone, the app has proven to work within 1dB of the type 1 sound meter. NIOSH states that the key benefits of the app are: raised worker awareness, helps workers make informed decisions about potential hazards, serves as a research tool to collect noise exposure data, and it promotes better hearing health and prevention measures.

In November of 2016, NIOSH also updated their evaluation of almost 200 different sound level meter apps available on both Android and iOS.  Of the 130 iOS apps researched, only 10 passed within the testing limits.  Of the 62 Android apps researched, only 4 apps passed. The study suggests that the Android apps were not nearly as reliable as the iOS apps and did not have many fo the same functions.  But since NIOSH has not released an Android app themselves, users will have to choose between the four listed in the study, which are: SPL Meter by AudioControl (free), deciBel Pro by BSB Mobile Solutions ($3.60), dB Sound Meter by Darren Gates ($0.99), and Noise Meter by JINASYS (free).

World’s First 3D Printed Bridge Officially Opens

3D printed construction has been on top of the news the past few years, but we have yet to truly see many real world applications of the process. Last year, Dubai unveiled a completed 3D printed office building, which they say was built in only 19 days, but news has been pretty slow until the world’s first 3D printed bridge was completed recently.

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MIT Researchers Design A Material 10 Times the Strength of Steel

As consistent and strong as wood, concrete, and steel have been for the past centuries, researchers and scientists are continually trying to improve them or create a better replacement product.  Many have tried, but none have yet to succeed on a large scale.  The latest scientific breakthrough takes a look at the geometry of a structure, rather than simply the material itself.

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[VIDEO] Crane Suspending Skid Steer During Demolition is a Bad Idea

Since Construction Junkie was conceived in 2015, we’ve seen a lot of construction equipment flip for some really stupid reasons.  Like this crane, this other crane, and this third crane dropping a bulldozer.  Those are just some of the ones caught on video and they should be enough to convince you not to go out of your way to do dangerous things with a crane. 

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