Current Construction News and Events

Current Construction News and Events, Construction News Articles.
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Shale gas development in PA increases exposure of some to air pollutants
Air pollution levels may have exceeded air quality standards during the development of some Marcellus Shale natural gas wells in Pennsylvania, potentially impacting more than 36,000 people in one year alone during the drilling boom, according to Penn State scientists. (2021-02-18)

Self-healing concrete for regions with high moisture and seismic activity
Preparing regular concrete scientists replaced ordinary water with water concentrate of bacteria Bacillus cohnii, which survived in the pores of cement stone. The cured concrete was tested for compression until it cracked, then researchers observed how the bacteria fixed the gaps restoring the strength of the concrete. The engineers of the Polytechnic Institute of Far Eastern Federal University (FEFU), together with colleagues from Russia, India and Saudi Arabia, reported the results in Sustainability journal. (2021-02-17)

A groundbreaking solution? Polymers can protect buildings from large fault ruptures
University of Technology Sydney researchers have developed a solution to protect buildings sitting on deep foundations from earthquakes resulting in surface fault ruptures. Their findings show a composite foundation system using inexpensive polymer materials can significantly improve the safety of infrastructure and substantially decrease fatality and damage due to large ground deformations. (2021-02-15)

Emerging robotics technology may lead to better buildings in less time
Emerging robotics technology may soon help construction companies and contractors create buildings in less time at higher quality and at lower costs. Purdue University innovators developed and are testing a novel construction robotic system that uses an innovative mechanical design with advances in computer vision sensing technology to work in a construction setting. (2021-02-10)

Ancient Amazonian farmers fortified valuable land they had spent years making fertile to protect it
Ancient Amazonian communities fortified valuable land they had spent years making fertile to protect it from conflict, excavations show. (2021-02-09)

Recycling face masks into roads to tackle COVID-generated waste
Researchers have developed a new road-making material that mixes shredded single-use face masks with processed building rubble. Their analysis shows making just 1km of a 2-lane road with the material would enable 3 million face masks to be recycled and kept out of landfill. (2021-02-02)

Wood formation can now be followed in real-time -- and possibly serve the climate of tomorrow
A genetic engineering method makes it possible to observe how woody cell walls are built in plants. The new research in wood formation, conducted by the University of Copenhagen and others, opens up the possibility of developing sturdier construction materials and perhaps more climate efficient trees. (2021-01-28)

Bio-inspired: How lobsters can help make stronger 3D printed concrete
New research addresses some of the technical issues that still need to be solved for 3D printed concrete to be strong enough for use in more free-form structures. Researchers found lobster-inspired printing patterns can make 3DCP stronger and help direct the strength where it's needed. And combining the patterns with a concrete mix enhanced with steel fibres can deliver a material that's stronger than traditionally-made concrete. (2021-01-19)

A new tool to facilitate quicker, error-free software design
The tool permits the early detection of errors at any point during the modelling process, not just on completion, as is the case now (2021-01-15)

Buildings-related CO2 emissions hit record high: UN
Emissions from the operation of buildings hit their highest-ever level in 2019, moving the sector further away from fulfilling its huge potential to slow climate change and contribute significantly to the goals of the Paris Agreement, according to a new UN-backed report. The 2020 Global Status Report for Buildings and Construction found that building construction emissions and operational emissions combined now represent 38% of the world's total CO2 emissions. (2020-12-16)

"The machine as extension of the body"
Combining neuroscience and robotic research has gained impressive results in the rehabilitation of paraplegic patients. A research team led by Prof. Gordon Cheng from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) was able to show that exoskeleton training not only helped patients to walk, but also stimulated their healing process. With these findings in mind, Prof. Cheng wants to take the fusion of robotics and neuroscience to the next level. (2020-12-11)

Bend, don't break: new tool enables economic glass design
Computer scientists develop a design tool that opens up the use of a cost-efficient technology for curved glass panels. The tool is based on a deep neural network and allows for the free-form design of beautiful glass façades. (2020-12-07)

Mass incarceration results in significant increases in industrial emissions, study finds
Mass incarceration is as much an environmental problem as it is a social one, according to a new Portland State University study that finds increases in incarceration are significantly associated with increases in industrial emissions. (2020-12-04)

Proverbial wolf can't blow down modern timber high-rises, says UBCO researcher
With an increasing demand for a more sustainable alternative for high-rise construction, new research from UBC Okanagan, in collaboration with Western University and FPInnovations, points to timber as a sustainable and effective way to make tall, high-density, and renewable buildings. (2020-12-03)

Recycled concrete could be a sustainable way to keep rubble out of landfi
Results of a new five-year study of recycled concrete show that it performs as well, and in several cases even better, than conventional concrete. Researchers at UBC Okanagan's School of Engineering conducted side-by-side comparisons of recycled and conventional concrete within two common applications--a building foundation and a municipal sidewalk. They found that the recycled concrete had comparable strength and durability after five years of being in service. (2020-11-30)

Insulators in Alberta at higher risk of chest infections, COPD: study
Construction workers in Alberta, Canada who work with hazardous insulation materials are much more likely to be affected by repeated chest infections and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), according to new research published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. (2020-11-26)

Enriching research in ecology and evolution through nine 'flavors' of history
In a recent article in The Quarterly Review of Biology, ''Beyond Equilibria: The Neglected Role of History in Ecology and Evolution,'' author Hamish G. Spencer argues for a revitalized view of history. This historical view is a response to current research in the field of ecology and evolution, which is dominated by an ahistorical view of dynamic systems. (2020-11-23)

Prehistoric shark hid its largest teeth
Some, if not all, early sharks that lived 300 to 400 million years ago not only dropped their lower jaws downward but rotated them outwards when opening their mouths. This enabled them to make the best of their largest, sharpest and inward-facing teeth when catching prey, paleontologists at the Universities of Zurich and Chicago have now shown using CT scanning and 3D printing. (2020-11-18)

Study identifies reasons for soaring nuclear plant cost overruns in the US
MIT researchers have analyzed the causes of many cost overruns on new nuclear power plants in the US, which have soared in the past 50 years. The findings may help designers of new plants build in resilience to prevent such added costs. (2020-11-18)

The unique hydraulics in the Barbegal water mills, the world's first industrial plant
The Barbegal watermills in southern France are a unique complex dating back to the 2nd century AD. The construction with 16 waterwheels is, as far as is known, the first attempt in Europe to build a machine complex on an industrial scale. A team of scientists has now gained new knowledge about the construction and principle of the water supply to the mills in Barbegal. (2020-11-13)

RUDN University chemists developed cheap and eco-friendly surfactants
An international team including chemists from RUDN University suggested an economically feasible and environmentally friendly method to synthesize surfactants. The new compounds can become an eco-friendly alternative to traditional chemicals used in oil production, skincare products manufacture, and in the pharmaceutical industry to transport drugs to diseased body tissues. (2020-11-12)

Building cities with wood would store half of cement industry's current carbon emissions
A new study has found that shifting to wood as a building construction material would significantly reduce the environmental impact of building construction. If 80% of new residential buildings in Europe were made of wood, and wood was used in the structures, cladding, surfaces, and furnishings of houses, the buildings would store 55 million tons of carbon dioxide a year. That is equivalent to about 47% of the annual emissions of Europe's cement industry. (2020-11-02)

Beetle larvae think with a brain 'under construction'
In human brains, hundreds of billions of nerve cells are interconnected in the most complicated way. This is no different for insects, although their brains 'only' have up to one million nerve cells. To a large extent, the brain develops in the embryo, but in many animals it is completed only after birth. Biologists from Göttingen University found that beetle larvae start using their brains, although still 'under construction'. Results were published in PLOS Biology. (2020-11-01)

Curbing COVID-19 hospitalizations requires attention to construction workers
Construction workers, who are disproportionately Hispanic or Latino, have a much higher risk of becoming hospitalized with the novel coronavirus than non-construction workers, according to a new study in JAMA Network Open. (2020-10-29)

Tracing the source of illicit sand--can it be done?
If you've visited the beach recently, you might think sand is ubiquitous. But in construction uses, the perfect sand and gravel is not always an easy resource to come by. ''Not all sand is equal in terms of what it can be used for,'' notes Zack Sickman, coauthor of a new study to be presented on Thursday at the Geological Society of America annual meeting. (2020-10-28)

Concrete structure's lifespan extended by a carbon textile
The Korea Institute of Civil Engineering and Building Technology (KICT) has announced the development of an effective structural strengthening method using a noncombustible carbon textile grid and cement mortar, which can double the load-bearing capacities of structurally deficient concrete structures and increase their usable lifespan by threefold. (2020-10-26)

Trees prefer the big city life
A new study examines how trees respond to different urban intensities by comparing tree size and age, foliage nitrogen signature, nutrient and heavy metal content and other factors in forests in Newark, Del., and Philadelphia, Pa. Not only were the trees acclimated to urban conditions in the higher density Philadelphia forests, but the red maples there were actually healthier and more productive compared to those surrounded by less urbanization in Newark. (2020-10-16)

Unknown details identified in the Lions' Courtyard at the Alhambra
A novel methodology was followed based on three complementary graphic analyses: first, outstanding images from the seventeenth to the twentieth centuries were reviewed; then new computer drawings were made of their muqarnas, following the theoretical principles of their geometrical grouping; and finally, a three-dimensional scan was made to ascertain their precise current state from the point cloud obtained. (2020-09-17)

UCF researchers are developing models to predict storm surges
Storm surges sometimes can increase coastal sea levels 10 feet or more, jeopardizing communities and businesses along the water, but new research from the University of Central Florida shows there may be a way to predict periods when it's more likely that such events occur. In a study published recently in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, researchers developed models to predict extreme changes in sea level by linking storm surges to large-scale climate variability. (2020-09-08)

Quantum algorithm proposed to solve Dyck language problems
In the paper, Khadiev and his colleagues demonstrated an algorithm that can solve the problem in 40 seconds and also proved that it cannot be solved in less than 10 second on a quantum computer. (2020-09-04)

Swedish workers among Europe's best-paid in late 1800s
In 19th-century Sweden, workers' wages rose faster than in other European countries. By 1900, they were among the highest in Europe, and the steepest rise of all had been for those who earned least. This is shown by new research at Uppsala University: a study published in The Journal of Economic History. (2020-09-01)

Humans' construction 'footprint' on ocean quantified for first time
In a world-first, the extent of human development in oceans has been mapped. An area totalling approximately 30,000 square kilometres - the equivalent of 0.008 percent of the ocean - has been modified by human construction, a study led by Dr Ana Bugnot from the University of Sydney School of Life and Environmental Sciences and the Sydney Institute of Marine Science has found. (2020-08-31)

3D printing 'greener' buildings using local soil
The construction industry is currently facing two major challenges: the demand for sustainable infrastructure and the need to repair deteriorating buildings, bridges and roads. Concrete has a large carbon footprint, resulting in high waste and energy expenditure. Today, scientists report progress toward a sustainable building material made from local soil, using a 3D printer. The researchers will present their results at the American Chemical Society Fall 2020 Virtual Meeting & Expo. (2020-08-20)

Superfast o-phthalaldehyde/N-nucleophile cross-linking strategy for biomedical hydrogels
Recently, Prof. Xuesi Chen and colleagues at the Changchun Institute of Applied Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, proposed a new crosslinking strategy based on the condensation reaction between o-phthalaldehyde (OPA) and N-nucleophiles for hydrogel formation. (2020-08-20)

Increase in immigration has little impact on the wages of US citizens
A new study in Review of Economic Studies suggests that a large increase in the stock of immigrants to the United States would have little impact on the wages of native US citizens. Allowing for more high-skill immigration could be detrimental to some highly skilled workers in the country, but disproportionately beneficial to low skilled workers. (2020-08-05)

How to mix old tires and building rubble to make sustainable roads
A recycled blend developed by Australian researchers brings together construction and tyre waste, to deliver both environmental and engineering benefits. The material offers a zero-waste solution to a massive environmental challenge - construction, renovation and demolition account for about 50% of the waste produced annually worldwide, while around 1 billion scrap tyres are generated globally each year. (2020-07-29)

Designing DNA from scratch: Engineering the functions of micrometer-sized DNA droplets
Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) have constructed ''DNA droplets'' comprising designed DNA nanostructures. The droplets exhibit dynamic functions such as fusion, fission, Janus-shape formation, and protein capture. Their technique is expected to be applicable to a wide variety of biomaterials, opening doors to many promising applications in materials design, drug delivery, and even artificial cell-like molecular systems. (2020-07-15)

Construction: How to turn 36 seconds into USD 5.4 billion
A team of researchers from Aarhus University have, for the first time ever, linked 40 years of productivity data from the construction industry with the actual work done. The results show that productivity in the construction industry has been declining since the 1970s. The results also explain the decline and how to achieve far more efficient construction in North America and Europe. The study has just been published in the scientific journal Construction Engineering and Management. (2020-07-10)

Trust me if you can
Each year, wind turbines are responsible for the death of hundreds of thousands of airborne animals such as bats. To find a constructive way out of this ''green-green'' dilemma, companies building and running wind turbines might have to work together with environmental experts and conservationists. Yet lack of trust between them can hinder effective collaboration. Scientists of the Leibniz-IZW show: shared values are not sufficient to build trust, as beliefs and emotions have stronger influence. (2020-07-09)

Numerous jobs linked to increased risk of knee reconstruction
A major review of knee osteoarthritis (OA), which can lead to knee surgery, pain and loss of mobility, reveals widespread risk of OA, demonstrating a need for prevention outside of traditional workplaces. It the biggest meta-analysis and systematic review of the potentially debilitating knee OA and the first systematic review into the association between job 'titles' and knee OA - finding Increased risk in farmers, construction workers, miners, service workers, houseworkers (i.e. housewives) and cleaners. (2020-07-08)

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