- International Construction Firm Balfour Beatty Considering Drone Workers (Technology Advice, Nov 8, 2013):
Most people associate drones with military and counter-terrorism programs, but Balfour Beatty CIO Danny Reeves wants to use them for a rather different purpose. Speaking at the Fujitsu Forum, he told Techworld that unmanned aerial vehicles could be used to build walls, and improve project efficiency.Balfour Beatty is a international construction and engineering firm that specializes in large-scale projects and building management. Their revenue for 2012 was approximately $17 billion, with an operating income of just under $500 million, so presumably they have the resources to commission a fleet of construction drones. Reeves also spoke of the potential for drones to monitor sprawling project sites, hopefully reducing communication errors and wasted labor on large sites.
- To improve today’s concrete, do as the Romans did (UC Berkeley, June 4, 2013):
BERKELEY – In a quest to make concrete more durable and sustainable, an international team of geologists and engineers has found inspiration in the ancient Romans, whose massive concrete structures have withstood the elements for more than 2,000 years.Using the Advanced Light Source at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), a research team from the University of California, Berkeley, examined the fine-scale structure of Roman concrete. It described for the first time how the extraordinarily stable compound – calcium-aluminum-silicate-hydrate (C-A-S-H) – binds the material used to build some of the most enduring structures in Western civilization.The discovery could help improve the durability of modern concrete, which within 50 years often shows signs of degradation, particularly in ocean environments.
- Greek Economy Grinds To A Halt As New Construction Implodes By 66.6% (ZeroHedge, Feb 12, 2013):
Some time ago we used to joke that the Greek economy, and by implication society, is literally falling apart due to its sacrifice at the altar of preserving the European, and thus global, status quo. It is no longer a joke, and the latest confirmation of the absolute halt in the Greek economy, which is now way beyond the liqudity trap and is now in a liquidity (and everything else) tiger cage is data on Greece Construction activity which according to data released on Tuesday by the Hellenic Statistical Authority is in complete freefall. From Kathimerini “In November 2012, total activity dropped 66.6 percent year-on-year in terms of building permits, 63.3 percent in terms of surface area and 65.4 percent in terms of volume.” Just 1,156 permits were issued across the country, corresponding to 197,000 square meters and 706,900 cubic meters. In the first 11 months of last year construction activity shrank by 36.4 percent in terms of permits, 30.3 percent in surface area and 28.7 percent in volume, compared with the same period in 2011. The statistics observed in private construction activity are virtually the same as the above, as activity in the public sector has effectively ground to a halt.
YouTube Added: 23.04.2012
TV producer and Internet-video personality Kirsten Dirksen invites us on her journey into the tiny homes of people searching for simplicity, self-sufficiency, minimalism and happiness by creating shelter in caves, converted garages, trailers, tool sheds, river boats and former pigeon coops.
Continue reading »
- China Will Build the Tallest Building In the World in Just 90 Days (Updated) (GIZMODO, Nov 20, 2012):
According to its engineers, this will be the tallest skyscraper in the world by the end of March of 2013. Its name is Sky City, and its 2,749 feet (838 meters) distributed in 220 floors will grow in just 90 days in Changsha city, by the Xiangjiang river. Ninety days!
It’s not a joke. According to the construction company, the skyscraper will be built in just 90 days at the unbelievable rate of five floors per day.
- 214,200 Bq/Kg of Radioactive Cesium from Crushed Stones from Namie-machi, Fukushima (EX-SKF, Feb. 15, 2012):
Remember the radioactive apartment complex in Nihonmatsu City, Fukushima, where the concrete foundation contained the supposed “radioactive” crushed stone from the stone pit in Namie-machi, bordering the “no-entry” zone?
Fukushima Prefecture finally released the data on the radioactivity of the stones, and it was indeed high. The survey by the Fukushima prefectural government and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry is still ongoing, in an effort to identify the elevated radiation levels coming off the concrete that used these crushed stones. Good luck.
Jiji Tsushin (2/15/2012) reports:
…Fukushima Prefecture also announced the result of the survey at the stone pit [in Namie-machi] conducted on January 20. The crushed stones for concrete stored in the open without a roof were found with the maximum 120,200 becquerels/kg of radioactive cesium, while the crushed stones used as subbase course materials were found with 214,200 becquerels/kg.
(At least) 7 tonnes of stones (for building exterior) from Fukushima Prefecture were sold in Tokyo last year, as I reported in my post on January 22, 2012. I haven’t heard news of whatever happened to them.
- #Radioactive Construction Sites: 1,000 Sites May Have Used “Contaminated” Crushed Stones in Fukushima (EX-SKF, Jan. 18, 2012):
From Kyodo News (1/18/2012):
1,000 sites may have used the contaminated crushed stones. The Ministry of Economy having trouble identifying the buyers
Concerning the crushed stones from the stone pit in Namie-machi in Fukushima suspected to have been contaminated by radioactive materials and which were used in the construction of the apartment [in Nihonmatsu City] and other buildings, it was revealed on January 18 in the interview with the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry officials that 1,000 construction sites in Fukushima Prefecture may have used the crushed stones or the concrete with the crush stones from this stone pit.
- Actual Fukushima worker talks: water purifying system has never worked (Fukushima Diary, Dec. 6, 2011):
Following up this article 220 tons of highly radioactive water leaked and a part of it leaked to the sea
The water purifying system has never worked properly.
It was urgently constructed, the whole system can’t stand anymore.
These are the tweets of actual Fukushima worker Happy20790.
He explains how it is on the sight.
The contaminated water leaks a lot recently. This time, it went out of the “building” so it was reported but actually it happens frequently.
I called it “a building”, but it’s actually a temporary tent on a temporary concrete basement. It leaked from the first operation, so they made a tiny dam in it. Maybe it’s only 20cm high.
I don’t get into the tent recently because it’s too radioactive, but I used to pump up leaked contaminated water. The contaminated water emits a lot of beta ray, so you need to be careful.
This time, Tepco’s spokesman said it was 110 mSv/h, but it is higher at some points.
The concrete basement was constructed really urgently. They built the tent even before the concrete dried so it got cracked already. Other tent may have the same problems too.
Unlike our ordinary contract, makers only set the facility, they don’t take responsibility of handing or maintenance.
As I tweeted before, this water purifying system is not a long-lasting system. It is a temporary system without proper planning process. In order to release cooling water to the sea, we must install more proper facility.
Now the gutter is directly connected to the sea. They must be shut down or a dam must be made. Currently every time it rains, radiation on the ground and radiation stuck to the plants flow into the sea directly.
Makers and workers are already withdrawing from Fukushima plants, but Tepco has no long term plan. They need to predict the future risk and prevent it from happening in advance. Continue reading »
More structures here:
- WTF – Why Is China Building These Gigantic Structures In the Middle of the Desert? (GIZMODO, Nov 13, 2011):
This is crazy. New photos have appeared in Google Maps showing unidentified titanic structures in the middle of the Chinese desert. The first one is an intricate network of what appears to be huge metallic stripes. Is this a military experiment?
Update: readers are finding more weird stuff.
They seem to be wide lines drawn with some white material. Or maybe the dust have been dug by machinery.
It’s located in Dunhuang, Jiuquan, Gansu, north of the Shule River, which crosses the Tibetan Plateau to the west into the Kumtag Desert. It covers an area approximately one mile long by more than 3,000 feet wide.
The tracks are perfectly executed, and they seem to be designed to be seen from orbit.
Perhaps it’s some kind of targeting or calibrating grid for Chinese spy satellites? Maybe it’s a QR code for aliens? Nobody really knows.
You can check it out yourself in Google Maps here.
Repeat after us – there is no Chinese bubble </sarc>.
Although none is needed, here is some commentary:
As the United States and China battle over the finer points of currency manipulation at the G-20 summit, American negotiators may want to take note of this startling testimonial to the productivity of Chinese workers: A construction crew in the south-central Chinese city of Changsha has completed a 15-story hotel in just six days. If nothing else, this remarkable achievement will stoke further complaints from American economic pundits that China’s economy is far more accomplished than ours in tending to such basics as construction.