Construction

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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Video: How to create a float for Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

By Lisa McDonald / November 27, 2019

Have you ever wondered what it takes to create a float for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade? Find out the steps involved in the design process and take a look at the five new floats that will debut this Thanksgiving!

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Porcelain enamel in history: The all-ceramic homes of World War II

By April Gocha / November 26, 2019

Porcelain enamel is found in various products, places, and applications in modern homes, but at one point in history, it looked like houses would be made entirely of this material. Learn the history of the Lustron homes that served as a quick and low-cost solution to the post-World War II housing crisis.

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Power over Ethernet: The wire(not)less future of smart buildings

By Lisa McDonald / November 22, 2019

Many companies tout wireless devices as key to the Internet of Things. In the case of smart buildings, though, Ethernet cables may be the best way to achieve IoT. Learn what Power over Ethernet (PoE) offers smart buildings and take a look at a new hotel that uses PoE.

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