Cement has been around for a long time, historically since the Ancient Babylonians and Assyrians, whom used bitumen to bind materials together. In modern times, Portland cement has been the leader in the cement industry since it was created in Britain in the mid-1700s. Annually, Portland cement manufactures roughly 76.7 million metric tons of cement in the United States alone. There’s no telling how much they’ve manufactured for China, who has used more concrete in the past 3 years than the US did in the entire 20th Century!
Throughout history, many of the world’s most popular inventions were created by accident, including Sticky Notes, The Pacemaker, and Penicillin. David Stone, who accidentally created his cement alternative as a student at the University of Arizona in 2000, hopes Ferrock will become another example. The cleverly named Ferrock uses “steel dust” left behind by the manufacturing of steel to create an ultra strong binder. Fe is the elemental symbol of Iron, which is in steel. Initial tests of the substance have determined that concrete made with Ferrock has 5 times the compressive strength as concrete and several times the tensile strength. Needless to say, with strength that impressive, the size of concrete columns and beams will be considerably smaller in any building using Ferrock. It could also mean a large reduction in the amount and size of steel rebar necessary, as rebar adds tensile strength to the concrete to keep it from separating and cracking.
While the strength increase alone is quite impressive, even more impressive is the lack of environmental impact. Unlike cement, which creates a ton of C02 per ton of cement manufactured, Ferrock actually sucks up and traps CO2 and uses it to harden the concrete.
The cost and viability of Ferrock is still yet to be determined. A change away from Portland cement would have a huge impact of the economy and the construction industry and Ferrock still needs to prove how it well it can scale its manufacturing.
For more information on this promising product, check out this PBS Newshour special
We have featured Priestly Demolition Inc. (PDI) on Construction Junkie many times, because of one simple fact: they produce high quality and informative videos about their craft. That’s not something many other companies in the construction industry can say – and now it’s paid off for them in the form of a television show.
As part of Autodesk’s late 2018 construction technology acquisition spree, the software giant gobbled up both PlanGrid and BuildingConnected. The two acquired companies now form a large part of Autodesk’s Construction Solutions branch – and are now integrated with each other for a seamless document transition from the pre-construction phase to the construction phase.
Last year at Groundbreak, Procore’s annual technology conference, the company teased a new platform they have been working on for BIM users. At that point referred to as “Design Coordination,” it now has a formal name – and an upcoming release date.
Last fall, OSHA announced its intentions to explore updating the 2016 silica dust regulations that seemingly took the construction by storm. Their intent was to gain feedback on additional dust control methods that would be suitable for hazard control, as well as on additional tasks and equipment not currently covered by Table 1 in 29 CFR 1926.1153. Last week, they announced the next step they’re taking towards revisions.
Almost 18 months ago, an under construction pedestrian bridge on Florida International University’s (FIU) campus collapsed, killing 6 people and injuring another 8. While many investigations have closed, including OSHA’s scathing report, families of victims and survivors have been awaiting the results of civil lawsuits filed against the companies in charge of the projects.
There’s no doubt that building rectangles in construction is much easier than making round objects, which is why building a 366 foot tall sphere in the middle of Las Vegas really caught our eye.
One of the key components of BIM is the ability to detect clashes, which are design coordination issues that result in the inability to construct a building as drawn. The use of 3-dimensional drawings allows contractors –and software- to detect if key building components are intersecting before it’s about to be installed in the field. Autodesk BIM 360 has recently updated its clash detection abilities within its Model Coordination module more easily and efficiently within its platform.
Hot off of the acquisition of Honest Buildings, a project management software aimed at owners and developers, Procore has announced they have acquired yet another tech company to help bolster their offerings.
According to the most recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, women only account for 9.9% of the workforce in the United States construction industry. To help drive gender diversity in construction and empower women, a new conference will be making its US debut in September, called Women in Construction USA 2019.
For years, Milwaukee has made it very clear that they will continue to keep their M18 platform as their core system. Cordless tool users spend a ton of money into batteries these days, and the company’s goal is to not force them into investing into a new cordless system. That means that Milwaukee has to come up with innovative ways to provide the tools users want while being limited to 18 volts.