Researchers Show that Adding Cigarette Butts to Asphalt Reduces Heat Island Effect, Pollution

Asphalt is one of the world’s most popular pavement materials.  Because of that, researchers and scientists are constantly looking for ways to improve upon it.  Additives have been included in some asphalt mixes for years to improve strength, but recently researchers have been getting pretty clever with the types of additives they’re testing.

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Los Angeles is Painting Asphalt Lighter Color to Reduce Heat Island Effect

As great as a product as asphalt is, there’s no doubt that there is room for improvement. Scientists all over the world are trying to solve its most common issues, such as potholes, cracking, ice build-up, and storm water drainage. Los Angeles is now tackling another issue with the material: heat island effect.

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First Tesla Solar Roofs Have Been Installed

In March of this year, Elon Musk announced that Tesla would begin taking orders on their Solar Roof Shingle concept.  Tesla Solar Roof is a solar power roof system that eliminates the need for bulky solar panels installed over top of traditional roof materials.  Instead, the shingles themselves, which come in a variety of different styles, are the solar panels.

At the company’s second quarter earnings report, Tesla announced that the first solar roof installations have been completed.

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[VIDEO] World’s First Sideways- Moving Elevator Unveiled in Germany

Standard vertical elevators have had it too good, for too long.  After the first cable dependent elevator was unveiled in 1857, not much has changed in the elevator industry.  They’re still using cable systems and still only going up and down. But not anymore.  ThyssenKrupp has officially made a multi-directional elevator a reality.

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Plastic Roads Could Reduce Pot Holes, Reduce Landfill Waste

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.

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[VIDEO] MIT Shows Off 3D Printer That Can Print a Structure in 14 Hours

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is constantly researching ways to improve construction process and materials, like this material 10 times the strength of steel, or this solar cell that’s lighter than a soap bubble, or this “reversible concrete.” This time the Institute is showing off its autonomous robot that can spit out building structures on site within hours.

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World’s First Modular Plastic Bridge Debuts in UK

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.

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America’s First Full Scale Heated Concrete Slabs Being Tested at Iowa Airport

Snow causes all kinds of travel nightmares and not just on the roads.  Snow and ice can cause major airline delays and flight cancellations.  Because of these issues (and the large amounts of money to be gained by solving them) several different groups of researchers have been hard at work figuring out ways to reduce and remove snow and ice from pavement without the need for chemicals and snow plows. The first technology to get a full scale test slab installed at an American airport, however, came from Iowa State University professor Halil Ceylan.

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Beer Company is Recycling Glass Bottles into a Sand Substitute for Construction Projects

Maybe I’ve had my head in the sand for a while (forgive the pun right out of the gate), but I've recently found out that the world is suffering from a shortage of sand.  The New York Times reports that the increasing demand of sand from manufacturing and construction in combination with rising sea levels and human development of shores is reaching crisis levels.  Sand is used in plenty of construction activities, from mortar to concrete to brick and asphalt.  We use a LOT of it.  In fact, concrete production takes a whopping 80 percent of all the sand that is mined. So what can we do?  One company says the answer is to drink more beer.

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Tesla to Begin Taking Orders for Solar Roof Shingles in April, Install Later This Year

Solar roofs are an obviously popular choice for those interested in conserving energy, but traditional panels are extremely clunky and expensive.  Tesla and CEO Elon Musk announced last year that they have solved that issue, which the impending release of Tesla Solar Roof, which look like a traditional roof shingle.

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