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
Managing careers in construction is something that both employees and employers struggle with. For employers, trying to balance overhead costs and keeping talent is an age old challenge. For many employees, there are a ton of uncertainties, like consistency of work and finding the right company for their skills and interests. To help those in the construction industry to make better career decisions, CONEXPO-CON/AGG and the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) have released an e-book titled The Ultimate Construction Career Guide.
If you’re like me, you get excited when a character on TV show or movie works in the construction industry. With all of the characters that I’ve met in the industry over the years, you’d think there would be more of them blessing the screen. Nevertheless, I’ve compiled my list of favorite construction workers from TV or movies.
After a round of nominations, the stage has been set for the 5th annual Best Construction Podcast Competition presented by Construction Junkie. This year we have several familiar faces, as well as a couple new ones.
Even with the comprehensive collaborative environment that project management software, like Procore, provide, email is still a necessary evil for even the most technologically advanced contractor. Recently Procore announced new integrations with one of the biggest email providers, Microsoft Outlook, to help reduce redundancies and get all your information into one place.
The lockout/tagout (LOTO) procedure has been one of the critical elements of electrical safety training on construction sites for a decade. Generally, it’s pretty simple: if you need to work on an energized circuit or piece of equipment, shut down the breaker, put a lock on it so no one can turn it back on, and place a tag on it with your information. OSHA is considering updating the standard now and is currently requesting information from interested parties.
[sponsored] In a world where construction is desperately seeking young people to fill the gaps of an aging workforce, it seems pretty obvious that someone should have come up with a way to incorporate video games into the construction process. Well, thanks to Buildfore’s CtrlWiz, someone finally has, and it allows users to manipulate 3D models within Navisworks with an Xbox controller.
As the United States just recently suffered another tragic and deadly construction incident involving civilians after a crane collapsed in Seattle over the weekend, we’re reminded that the bridge collapse on FIU’s campus in Miami in early 2018 still has many unanswered questions.
There’s no doubt that pop culture shapes the way people think, especially when it comes to interest in certain activities. The narrative for the past few years in the construction industry has been that there is a workforce shortage…that young people aren’t interested in working in construction. It’s no secret that kids love cartoons, though.
On Thursday, April 18th, the New York City Council passed what they are calling “NYC’s Green New Deal,” which legislators hope will greatly reduce the city’s greenhouse gas emissions. In order to achieve those results, several mandates included in the legislation will have major effects on the construction and real estate industries.
One of the most highly used and versatile pieces of equipment on any construction site is a compact loader, also known as a skid steer, or by the name of one of its common manufacturers, “Bobcat.”