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!
As smartphones and tablets are slowly becoming one of the most prominent and powerful tools on construction site, construction technology companies are still largely focusing on construction management firms and general contractors. What’s lost on many is the fact that there are dozens of subcontractors on every jobsite that also need to manage their projects.
Late last year, CAT Phones released their first ever smartphone on a US carrier network, the S48c. The phone is currently available on both the Sprint and Verizon Networks and I was recently able to test out the phone to get some better insight into how it operates. Overall, it offers the toughness to hold up to a jobsite at a reasonable price, but continue reading to hear about all of the details.
Tracking progress on any construction progress is an extremely vital step. Artificial intelligence is gaining popularity in the industry, as it can make sense of thousands of images or videos and place them into context. Before the AI can work its magic, though, all of those pictures and videos must be collected. That’s where robotics masters Boston Dynamics thinks they can step in with a robot they’ve been developing for years.
Fatigue on the jobsite is real, so much so that many technology companies have developed products to reduce fatigue and also sense when a worker is experiencing fatigue. There are other wearable devices, like exoskeletons, that can enhance a workers strength and stamina, but when you need to add more than a little punch, Construction Robotic’s MULE 135 may do the trick.
For over 3 years now, Trimble has been teaming up with Microsoft to make the mixed reality headset, the Microsoft HoloLens, a viable and useful tool for the construction industry. With Microsoft’s recent announcement of their next-gen headset, the HoloLens 2, Trimble also made an announcement about the impending release of a new wearable hard hat compatible device featuring the HoloLens 2.
Falls continue to be the number one leading cause of death on construction sites across the country, accounting for around 40% each year. Even if you can convince your construction crew to wear personal fall arrest systems each time they’re required, proper training is required to select the correct type of fall protection and the anchor points, as well as performing proper inspections of the equipment. An app called Harness Hero is trying to help solve the latter problem.
[guest post] Construction project owners are facing a big problem: paper based progress reports and invoices are making it nearly impossible to quickly find and address errors. The tool kit of the past included a magnifying glass, a pencil (and eraser) and a calculator. Armed with endless human resources, project owners would diligently review paper based documentation for discrepancies. This MO is no longer feasible in the modern construction environment.
JBKnowledge, a construction technology and consultancy company, has been producing their annual Construction Technology Report since 2012. Now in its 7th year, it is far and away the most comprehensive collection of survey results in the construction technology sector.
I’m a strong proponent of reducing the amount of pen and paper used on construction jobsites. Handwriting notes is great for personal use, but as soon as you need to get those notes or reports to someone else, you either spend time duplicating your work on a computer or never get around to communicating, because your notes were misplaced, destroyed, or illegible. Fieldwire, a field software for collaborating on plans, punch lists, and scheduling, among others, has recently announced the release of a custom form building tool to reduce the need for paper on your jobsite.
As much as we like to push for the digitization of the construction jobsite on Construction Junkie, there’s no doubt that there are many within the construction workforce that are still apprehensive to go fully electronic. There’s something to be said for feeling and manipulating something with your hands, as opposed to pointing and clicking. SlatPlanner is a new way that construction companies can electronically build a project schedule, while maintaining a hands-on approach.