Construction

Video: Self-healing concrete uses fungal spores to fix cracks with calcium carbonate

By April Gocha / January 24, 2018

Using a fungus called Trichoderma reesei, researchers at Binghamton University in New York are developing a self-healing concrete formulation that incorporates fungal spores that remain dormant until a crack forms.

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Aerobricks combine aerogel with brick to form energy-saving, super insulating building material

By April Gocha / January 23, 2018

Researchers at Empa, the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology, have developed better insulating building materials called “Aerobricks”—bricks with internal cavities filled with aerogel granules.

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Video: Solidia Technologies cement cuts emissions and enables concrete that soaks up carbon dioxide too

By April Gocha / January 10, 2018

Solidia Technologies is founded on the concept of using eco-friendly processing techniques to drastically lower the carbon footprint of concrete—watch this video to see how the company makes its carbon-dioxide-absorbing concrete blocks.

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Video: Solar glass blocks generate electricity while insulating buildings

By Faye Oney / January 3, 2018

A collaboration between University of Exeter scientists and a local business has resulted in a glass block product that harnesses the power of the sun. Solar Squared glass blocks can generate electricity while providing thermal insulation to a building.

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Centimeters-thick concrete roof uses steel cables and fabric layer to support unique structures

By April Gocha / October 17, 2017

ETH Zurich researchers have used computational modeling to design an ultrathin concrete roof for that optimizes strength while eliminating extra material and weight.

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Video: This is the first 3-D printed reinforced concrete bridge in the world

By Faye Oney / October 11, 2017

Researchers at Eindhoven University of Technology, in collaboration with BAM Infra, recently completed construction of the world’s first 3-D printed reinforced concrete bridge. The steel cables, added during printing, help prestress the concrete to support loads beyond its weight.

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Looming threat of sand scarcity is masked by mirage of a nearly limitless natural resource

By April Gocha / October 3, 2017

There’s a looming sand scarcity that’s being hidden by the mirage of endless sand supply, according to the authors of a new perspective article published in Science. According to their research, sand scarcity is such an imminent threat that we now need to develop a global sand governance strategy.

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Video: 3-D printed concrete research brings us closer to construction applications

By Faye Oney / September 13, 2017

A mechanical engineering student recently participated in a NIST summer project involving 3-D printed concrete—watch this video to see how the project team tested various cement paste samples to measure viscosity, yield stress, and printing defects.

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cigarette butts

Cigarette butts mixed with asphalt create new pavement material

By Faye Oney / August 25, 2017

A research team may have solved the cigarette butt litter problem. By mixing discarded cigarette butts with asphalt concrete, they produced a material that can handle heavy traffic and reduce the urban heat island effect.

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Video: Pedestrians’ footsteps generate power to light street lamps

By Faye Oney / August 2, 2017

Can our footsteps generate enough power to light up the streets? A London company has installed energy-harvesting tiles that can generate electricity from pedestrians’ footsteps to power street lamps and air purifiers.

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