There’s no shortage of company’s trying to improve the world’s roadways. Asphalt and concrete each have their own disadvantages, especially when maintenance environmental factors are taken into consideration. Plastic is a major problem for landfills, as well, as it can take an estimated 500 years to fully decompose. One UK company believes they can solve both maintenance and environmental problems through the use of recycled plastic.
MacRebur was founded by Toby McCartney, who was inspired after helping a charity in Southern India sort through a landfill to find reusable items. Some of the plastics found were placed into pot holes around India and lit on fire to help patch the hole. Knowing that lighting plastic on fire was not a viable solution in many areas, McCartney teamed up with two of his friends to develop a product now known as MR6.
MR6 is an asphalt additive that not only reduces the amount of bitumen needed in the mix, but also increases the tensile strength the pavement. Made from 100% waste materials, MR6 comes in pellet form to make it easy to mix into the asphalt. Company states that, besides increasing the tensile strength, it also improves cohesion/adhesion, improves fuel resistance, helps to resist deformation and rutting, increases resistance to cracking and fatigue failure, and lengthens the lifespan of the road. Initial tests have shown that this additive can outperform standard British asphalt by 60%.
The product was the winner of billionaire Richard Branson’s Virgin Voom 2016, a prestigious small business competition, winning the company about $65,000 (50,000 British pounds). MacRebur also raised over $1.7 million (1,316,120 pounds) on the crowdfunding site, Seedrs. They have also secured agreements with international asphalt producers Tarmac, Cemex, and Aggregate Industries.
The team has been working with city councils across the UK to trial their additive in new roads. In November of 2016, MR6 was used to resurface a runway at Carlisle City Airport in Cumbria, England.
Check out the video below for more information on the pavement:
You may have been sitting in your house or office one day and noticed the distinct sound of a bird hitting the window. It’s pretty common, as it’s estimated that as many as 988 million birds die in the US each year by colliding into glass. The new arena that will house the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks has incorporated some design elements that will reduce the amount of birds killed by the massive structure, allowing it to be dubbed the “World’s Most Bird Friendly Sports Arena.”
Dubai has been on the bleeding edge of pushing the boundaries of construction for over a decade. The famous Burj Khalifa, the current World’s Tallest Building, but the United Arab Emirates on the map. Since then, the country has poured money and resources into the construction industry and have sets their sights on a new challenge: 3D construction printing.
Across the United States, any mass timber building designed to be taller than six stories high has to receive special approval from the building codes department. After a recent addendum was added to the Oregon’s building code, the state has become the first in the country to allow high rise mass timber buildings without receiving any special considerations.
Last summer, Tesla announced that the first of their solar roof tiles had been installed on test houses. However, as has become customary with many Tesla products, the company is experiencing significant manufacturing delays.
Since the dawn of green buildings, these projects have always been synonymous with LEED certification. The process of obtaining that LEED certification has not always been an easy one for contractors; there is a ton of paperwork and documentation that needs to take place in order to prove all LEED credits have been rightfully earned. A new construction standard, called BREEAM, is hoping to disrupt the United States’ green building certification world with its impending New Construction Standard Release in 2019.
One of the biggest hassles of site work in construction is the hauling away of spoils. It’s costly and time consuming to bring in truck after truck to take unneeded soil off to an unknown dump site. When Elon Musk and his team, The Boring Company, started digging a tunnel for a HyperLoop system in Los Angeles, they knew there had to be a better way to handle to soil than to haul it away.
The following is a guest post written by Laurence Banville, Esq.
With much talk about climate change both politically and socially, citizens and the business world have started to calculate the way in which climate change will alter how we live and work. In the past, the construction industry has made a number of speculations about how it would change as the planet gets warmer, however, changes have only started coming in light of the rising temperatures and their effects on the industry.
The USGBC recently released their 2017 data for the Top 10 US States for LEED construction, which is sorted by Gross Square Footage per Capita. That ranking system allows them to get a fair comparison of states, despite differences in population and number of buildings.
As the world not only becomes more familiar with green products, but also starts demanding them, researchers and contractors alike need to be ready to embrace the ever-changing world and meet their customer’s demands. Each year, new products are released that hoping to reduce waste or harness renewable energy sources, but only some of them reach the mass market.
Below are 8 green products, processes, and stories that we found most interesting in 2017:
Wood construction has typically been used for purely residential products in the past few decades and especially after fire protection standards became more stringent. Besides fire rating, concrete and metal has several other benefits over wood, including overall strength, resistance to insects, and resistance to rot. Wood, however, does have some advantages over concrete and steel, like its relative light weight and it’s much less harmful to the environment.