One of the most challenging issues with modular construction, of any kind, is the sheer size and weight of many of the components that need to be transported and lifted in place once onsite. That presents a specifically tough situation for jobsites that are not easy to get to. Arup, a design, engineering, and consulting team in the United Kingdom, has developed and successfully implemented what they say is the “world’s first modular glass-fiber, reinforced polymer bridge.” You may remember Arup from their testing of a “living wall” scaffolding cover that we wrote about last year.
Though the modular plastic bridge is designed by Arup, Mabey has become the first licensed distribution partner of the system. The first bridge was installed in Oxford, England, for Network Rail at a Site of Special Interest (SSSI) for pedestrian traffic. SSSIs are “protected by law because they contain the core of Britain’s natural heritage,” according to Network Rail.
Because of the relatively low weight of the bridge sections, they were able to be transported by an articulated tractor/trailer, as the site was not conducive to large cranes and other heavy machinery. Arup says that the plastic components are 70% lighter than steel and can be moved by a pallet truck or forklift.
The sections were then assembled on site with bolted shear connectors and post-tensioned. Each section is over 3 feet (1m) in length and the system has a maximum span of almost 100 feet (30m). Mabey is marketing the bridge under the brand name Pedesta.
A few technology companies have been trying to wedge augmented reality into construction for a few years now, boasting benefits of overlaying BIM models onto the real life site you’re working on, as well as interactive collaboration with remote workers. One of those companies that we thought was going to make a pretty big impact is apparently closing its doors in the near future.
As much as I like my smartphone, it’s undeniable that they can be a huge distraction on the job site or in a vehicle. The construction industry is dangerous enough without these added distractions, so at least one US contractor has decided to proactively manage their employee’s smartphone usage.
With temperatures globally trending warmer each year, that heat can take quite a toll on professions that rely heavily on exterior labor, like the construction industry. There are many products available currently to help keep you cool on the jobsite, but the best may still be yet to come.
Drones have been heavily used by the construction industry in recent years for anything from progress photos, to employee tracking, or calculating the volume of on-site stockpiles. Now, a report from EHS Today says that OSHA plans to employ more drones to conduct site inspections of employer facilities.
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.
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.
Construction Management software company, Procore, initially launched their annual technology conference, Groundbreak, back in 2015. Originally hosted at their headquarters in California, the event has grown exponentially from that first year and this year may be its biggest yet.
In 2015, Milwaukee announced the release of their digital tool tracking platform: ONE-KEY. The company has since released dozens of ONE-KEY enabled tools to manage them using Bluetooth, an inventory management system, and tool reporting functionality. Yesterday, the company announced several enhancements to the platforms inventory and reporting interfaces.