Is Climate Affecting The Construction Industry?

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.

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The Top 10 US States for LEED Certified Construction in 2017

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.

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The 8 Most Interesting Green Building Products That Debuted in 2017

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:

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America’s ‘Largest’ Mass Timber Building is Under Construction in Oregon

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.

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‘World’s First’ 3D Printed Concrete Bicycle Bridge Installed in Netherlands

The Netherlands has a ton of bridges, especially pedestrian and biking bridges, thanks to its abundant system of canals.  Perhaps because of that, they have become a leader in 3D printing technology when it comes to bridges. 

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Researchers Discover Additive to Help Concrete Withstand 9.0 Earthquakes

Concrete is an extremely strong building material, but has a notoriously weak tensile strength.  In order to resist tension, bending, and shear forces, steel rebar or other reinforcement materials are added either prior to the placement or into the mix.  Even with reinforcement, concrete is still extremely rigid and prone to cracking.  In the event of a major earthquake, the uneven and horizontal forces can cause structures to crack and, in the worst case, cause failure.

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New Technique Developed for Forming Ultra-thin Concrete Roofs

Concrete can adapt to any shape its formwork calls for while it’s being placed.  While it’s POSSIBLE to make intricate designs with the material, it’s not always easy or practical to do so.  Researchers from ETH Zurich have designed a new method of forming and placing an ultra-thin, curved concrete roof system that they plan on installing on a construction project next year.

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World’s Largest Battery Powered Dump Truck is Being Developed

As electric vehicles are becoming more and more popular around the world, researchers are trying to find ways to adapt the technology to heavier duty applications.  Due to the large size of projects and amount of money in the industry, the mining industry has seen its fair share of technological advancement. Several manufacturers, like Komatsu, have developed and released driverless dump trucks for mining operations in the past few years.  A team of companies in Switzerland is now working on a gigantic battery powered dump truck that will be tested for 10 years.

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Beijing, China to Place 4 Month Ban on Construction Projects to Reduce Pollution

Rapid growth and the industrialization are the major contributors to China’s noted air quality issues. 4 years ago, the Chinese government issued a “war on pollution” aiming to improve air quality and reduce other environmental hazards, such as land and water contamination.  Air quality is at its worst in the winter months across the country, due to households relying more on coal power to heat residents’ homes.

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