Construction

Reinforcing waste-based concrete: Plastic fibers improve mechanical properties of cement–glass composite

By Lisa McDonald / February 16, 2021

Substituting waste materials for cement in concrete helps lower the concrete industry’s carbon emissions and keeps waste materials out of landfills. However, large amounts of glass cullet in concrete will decrease the concrete’s mechanical properties. Researchers in Poland investigated reinforcing the cement–glass composite using plastic fibers.

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Repurpose waste concrete through additive manufacturing

By Lisa McDonald / December 1, 2020

To date, recycling of building rubble into new construction products is limited because the material does not meet strict building regulations. A new £6 million project led by Manchester Metropolitan University and partners across Europe aims to overcome this limitation using additive manufacturing because products produced this way are not subject to the same building restrictions.

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Weak concrete, heavy trucks—understanding reasons for sewer line failure

By Lisa McDonald / August 7, 2020

Numerous factors contribute to failure of concrete sewer pipes. Researchers at The Ohio State University used a surrogate model to identify which factors play the largest role in these failures, isolating critical areas for improvement.

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Sand—a critical material resource with a complicated story and no simple solution

By April Gocha / July 7, 2020

Humans’ voracious sand consumption for infrastructure activities threatens global supply of this critical natural resource. But do we even know how much sand we are consuming worldwide? New research shows that we’ve been calculating the basic unit all wrong.

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Video: Brick trends of 2020

By Lisa McDonald / June 17, 2020

Though fiber cement is gaining ground, brick continues to be a popular material for exterior house walls. The Brick Industry Association put together a video highlighting some of the brick trends for 2020 in home and commercial exteriors and interiors.

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Moisture managed—atomic layer deposition offers advantages for preserving lumber

By Lisa McDonald / February 25, 2020

Pressure treatment is a method to prevent wood rot, but it does have its downsides. Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology explored treating wood using atomic layer deposition and found they could manage moisture content, mold growth, and thermal conductivity.

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A creeping suspicion—modified concrete creep model considers drying-induced damage

By Lisa McDonald / February 21, 2020

Existing creep damage models for concrete assume compressive and tensile creep are identical, but recent experimental evidence suggests otherwise. Researchers from the United Kingdom and China propose a modified model that accounts for drying-induced damages and load eccentricity to more accurately model creep.

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Bacteria bind bricks to create sustainable living building material

By April Gocha / February 4, 2020

Researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder designed a living building material cemented together with cyanobacteria-secreted calcium carbonate—offering possibilities for construction in resource-limited settings.

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Video: 3D-printed homes for those in need

By Lisa McDonald / January 8, 2020

Texas-based construction company ICON built the first permitted 3D-printed house in 2018. Now, working with nonprofit organizations New Story and ÉCHALE, ICON completed the first two of 50 planned 3D-printed houses to help local communities in Mexico.

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Video: Effectively pour concrete in cold weather

By Lisa McDonald / December 18, 2019

Though construction season is mainly ended for the year, sometimes critical construction projects cannot wait until spring. Learn how to effectively pour concrete in cold weather.

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