You've probably seen this triangle before: Fast, Cheap, Good -- Pick Two. Here's a new bridge-building technique from Austria that seems to allow the customer to get a bridge that's faster, cheaper, better than traditional bridges.
From Popular Mechanics:
The umbrella method is a completely new way to construct a static final bridge. This TU Wien team first worked on the idea in 2006, and it’s been experimenting and fine tuning since then. Instead of traditional kinds of bridge building—i.e. putting up long-term scaffolding as rebar is laid and concrete is filled into structures—this mechanism is built like a “closed” umbrella and then unfolded into its final position. From there, its hollow girders are filled with concrete and the rest of the structural elements are completed.
“Erecting bridges using scaffolding usually takes months,” designer Johann Kollegger said in a statement. “The elements for the balanced lowering method, on the other hand, can be set up in two to three days, and the lowering process takes around three hours.” But this process, he says, is less invasive for bridges through protected or uneven terrain. The team's sample bridge over the Lafnitz River touches a nature preserve.
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No, they aren't wearing any harnesses. But some of them are sporting rather dashing chapeaus. From Speed Graphic Film and Video:
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New York's Chrysler Building, one of the city's most iconic skyscrapers, was built in a remarkably short time--foundation work began in November 1928, and the building officially opened in May 1930. Even more remarkably, the steelwork went up in just six months in the summer of 1929 at an average rate of four floors a week.
Fox Movietone's sound cameras visited the construction site several times in 1929 and 1930, staging a number of shots to maximize viewers' sense of the spectacular heights. Movietone almost never put somebody in front of a camera without giving them something to say, so a number of scenes include some staged dialogue.
Where there's a will... It took just 8 days for China to build a large new hospital in Wuhan specifically to care for coronavirus patients. Another one is under construction. From The Guardian:
Construction work started on the Huoshenshan hospital on 23 January and finished eight days later, a day short of breaking their own record time set in 2003... The new hospital has 1,000 beds and is expected to begin admitting patients from Monday
And here is a tour of the interior! Read the rest
The finale is fantastic but they could have intensified the build-up with just a few well-timed acrobats.
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Controlled Demolition, Inc. (CDI) of Phoenix, Maryland, USA (acting as Implosion Subcontractor to Main Demolition Contractor, Clauss Construction Company of Lakeside, California) performs the successful explosives felling of the 188’ tall, 286,440 square foot, 16-story, reinforced concrete CMU hotel structure in Las Vegas, Nevada at 2:30 AM on Tuesday, November 13, 2007. Per the request of the Property Owner/Developer, Fireworks by Grucci of Bellport, New York, choreographed a 7-minute long, combination aerial/on-building pyrotechnic display in concert with the implosion to commemorate the event.
University of Cape Town researchers created the world's first "bio-bricks" made from sand, bacteria, and human urine collected from special toilets in the engineering school's bathrooms. From The Guardian
Bio-bricks are created through a natural process called microbial carbonate precipitation, said (project supervisor and water quality engineering lecturer Dyllon) Randall, similar to the way seashells are formed. Loose sand, which has been colonised with bacteria that produces urease, is mixed with the urine. Urease breaks down the urea in the urine, producing calcium carbonate, which cements the sand into shape.
While regular bricks are kiln-fired at temperatures of 1,400C and produce large amounts of carbon dioxide, the bio-bricks do not require heat.
“If a client wanted a brick stronger than a 40% limestone brick, you would allow the bacteria to make the solid stronger by ‘growing’ it for longer,” said Randall...
Randall described urine as liquid gold. By volume, urine accounts for less than 1% of domestic waste water, but it contains 80% of the nitrogen, 56% of the phosphorus and 63% of the potassium found in waste water.
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Michael Young's an industrial designer. After over six years of tinkering, he came up with this frigging masterpiece of a prototype: a framing hammer that dispenses nails. If it ever makes it to market, having mashed my digits setting up a nail to be driven into boards an untold number of times, I will be the fist in line to buy this thing. Read the rest
From one of my favorite blogs, Nag on the Lake, a post about how workers in Tokyo moved section of train line underground in the course of an evening in 2013.
When the Shibuya Station Toyoko Line above-ground train shut down for good it was replaced with a new section of subway track connecting Shibuya Station and the nearby Daikanyama Station. The conversion of the line from above-ground to underground required 1,200 engineers and countless man-hours.
But this mammoth construction was virtually unnoticeable, because it all occurred during the train line’s off-hours… over the course of one single night.
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In the north of Burgandy, France, a group of history buffs are hard at work building a castle, from scratch, using traditional building methods and materials--and they've been at it for TWENTY YEARS. The project is supported entirely on the backs of donations and hard, dedicated, manual labor.
Incredible. Read the rest
Given the crushing strength of this machine and the way large chunks of concrete balance atop distressed rebar, this worker might want to consider goggles and not turning his back on the machine. Read the rest
Ever drive over a manhole that was not flush with the pavement? This is how they fix them.
Via Mr. Manhole:
In 2002, we recognized that there had to be a better way to remove manhole frames from the road, and came up with the Mr. Manhole system, a state-of-the-art set of tools, and a repair method that makes manhole removal and repair easier and safer for your crew.
It looked like it was starting to snow a bit at one point. Let's hope Mr. Manhole has the number for Mr. Plow.
• Mr. Manhole Full Process - How it works (YouTube / Mr Manhole) Read the rest
Husqvarna's remote-controlled demolition robots remind me of the machine art performances that Survival Research Laboratories has staged since 1977.
Husqvarna bills its machines as "remote workmates ready to tackle your heaviest, most challenging jobs."
Compare that to what Survival Research Laboratories founder Mark Pauline told me in a 1993 interview:
"The real message of machines isn't that they're helpful workmates," Pauline said. "Like any extension of the human psyche, machines are scary things," he says. When you take the scary human psyche and magnify it hundreds or thousands of times with technology, it's really nightmarish."
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Saturation divers are specialized workers doing construction or demolition hundreds of feet below the water's surface. This detailed report gives a sense of what it's like to have a grueling routine where a tiny mistake could mean a quick and painful death. Read the rest
If you like sweary Canadians with lots of knowledge about building materials and construction, Arduino versus Evil has the most interesting armchair analysis of what caused the Florida International University bridge collapse. Read the rest
This truck supports pieces of a tunnel arch as they are lowered from a crane. The body of the truck is covered with rollers so it can drive out of the tunnel and let the pieces fall into place.
Zipper Truck - Vault Assembly System from mechanical_gifs
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On a reporting trip in the mid-1990s, I visited the headquarters of a major Japanese construction company. I was there to talk about their plans (unrealized, thus far) to build hotels on the moon. During the tour, they took me underneath the building to show me their state-of-the-art (at the time) seismic base isolators to manage the vibration caused by huge earthquakes. The entire huge building was built on big rubber bearings that sway and sliding mechanisms that move smoothly back and forth. I felt quite safe. I was reminded of that technology when watching this in-building seismic isolation technology doing its job in a Sendai building's server room during the March 11, 2011 Tōhokue earthquake.
Of course Boing Boing is impervious to such natural disasters as our private data facility is located in stable orbit at the fifth Lagrange point.
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To celebrate 2017, Matthew Roberts flew a drone over the Apple Campus 2 site under construction. Interesting to compare to when Pesco posted this back in 2015. Read the rest
Four parts hemp hurd, one part lime binder, and one part water is all you need to make hempcrete, a durable building material similar to pressboard or adobe. Just fill up the form with hempcrete, tamp it down, and once it's set, you're set! Read the rest