Archives for Our Industry

Zaha Hadid Architects and ETH Zurich develop knitted concrete system

A double-curved concrete shell made with a 3D-knitted formwork in a collaboration between Zaha Hadid Architects and ETH Zurich has gone on display in Mexico City.

KnitCret is a new 3D-knitted textile system for creating curving concrete structures, without the need for expensive and time-consuming moulds.

The colourful pavilion is called KnitCandela in homage to the work of Spanish-Mexican architect and engineer Félix Candela, who created dramatic curved concrete shells in his buildings such as the Los Manantiales Restaurant in 1958.

Over two miles of yarn was knitted into four strips of between 15 and 26 metres in just 36 hours using a digital fabrication technique, then flown over from Switzerland to Mexico in suitcases.

Read more

World’s longest sea crossing bridge opens in China

The Hongkong-Zhuhai-Macoa bridge is now officially open. The bridge is 55-km long. It consists of a 22.9-km main bridge and a 6.7-km underground tunnel.  Surface area of the bridge is 700,000 square meters. It’s about the size of 98 standard football fields. Its main girders are made up of 420,000 tons of steel plates. The weight is equal to about 60 Eiffel Towers. It has the world’s longest immersed tube highway tunnel. The rubes reach a depth of up to 40 meters underwater. The bridge is curved as its piers are placed in the direction of water flow.

Read more

Car-free, more livable cities

Car-free, more livable cities

Here are 3 cities that have banned cars with amazing results.

  • Ljubljana, Slovenia – The streets in this city are filled with chatting pedestrians rather than traffic. If you live in the centre, you must park in a garage outside the car-free area. And if you’re elderly, disabled or a mother with children, you get free rides in electric taxis. Business and tourism have increased since the ban more than 10 years ago.
  • Pontevedra, Spain – This city banned cars 19 years ago. 70% of trips in the town are now on foot. And because the town is more livable, 12,000 people have moved into the centre. And air pollution has decreased by 61% since 2013.
  • Copenhagen – This city has over 96,000 square metres of car-free space. Two thirds of people commute by bike. And from 2019, it plans to ban new diesel cars to make its air even cleaner.

Our cities here in Australia should adapt this wonderful initiative. What do you reckon?

Read more

Water pipe turbines generating clean energy

American cities are putting turbines in water pipes to generate clean energy with zero environmental impact. In Portland, water mainly comes from the surrounding mountains. Gravity forces the water down the pipes, spinning the turbines and creating a source of clean energy under the ground. Because gravity is the force that moves the water, no extra energy needs to be used. Riverside, California is also installing turbines in water pipes. They generate enough energy during the day to power the water system itself and at night the turbines keep the street lights on.

Portland has installed turbines in 15 metres of pipes as a trial at a cost of 1.7 million dollars. They generate around 1,100 megawatt-hours of electricity every year. Enough to power about 150 homes and cut back on the use of polluting fossil fuels.

Should Australian cities install turbines in its water pipes too?

Read more

Top 10 tallest buildings in the world in 2020

In 2020, the 10 tallest buildings in the world will all be outside of the USA! China and the Middle East are taking over power in the world. These countries are showing their power by buildings skyscrapers and towers that dwarf the former tallest buildings in the world like the Empire State Building and the World Trade Center in New York City and Willis Tower in Chicago.

Read more

The Netherlands has built the world’s first bike path made from recycled plastic

Stretching a short 30 meters (100 feet) in the northeastern city of Zwolle, the two-lane bike path’s surface is paved with the equivalent of a half-million plastic bottle caps and promises to be two to three more times durable than run-of-the-mill asphalt. Although impervious to potholes and cracks, if the path is heavily damaged or falls into disrepair, it can easily be removed and recycled again.

It’s the first of a small handful of pilot projects from PlasticRoad, a nascent road-building technology venture spearheaded by Dutch civil engineering firm KWS in partnership with plastic pipe-maker Wavin and France-headquartered gas and oil mega-company Total.

Read more

The Ocean Cleanup

The ocean is big. Cleaning up the Great Pacific Garbage Patch using conventional methods – vessels and nets – would take thousands of years and tens of billions of dollars to complete. Our passive systems are estimated to remove half the Great Pacific Garbage patch in just five years, and at a fraction of the cost. Our first cleanup system will be deployed in the summer of 2018. This is how it works.

More information: https://www.theoceancleanup.com/technology/

Read more

Norway’s $47BN Coastal Highway

The Norwegian government are embarking on the largest infrastructure project in the country’s history.

The route runs from Kristiansand in the south to Trondheim in the north, and is approximately 1100 km long. The route runs through six counties, and the cities of Stavanger, Bergen, Ålesund and Molde. Travel time today is around 21 hours, and road users need to use seven different ferry connections.

The aim is to build an improved and continuous route without ferries, for the efficient transport of people and goods, both locally and regionally. This ties the region efficiently together and will also contribute to more efficient industry. The route will be almost 50 km shorter, and travel time will be cut in half. Reductions in travel time will be achieved by replacing ferries with bridges and tunnels, in addition to upgrading a number of road sections on land.

Read more

Smartflower: The world’s smartest solar solution

This solar flower provides clean energy for your home. The solar panel “blooms” to give you the most efficient energy. The system delivers 6,200 kwh per year. Each panel follows the sun at the optimal angle which generates 40% more energy. It also self-cleans everytime it folds and unfolds. And is designed to protect itself from extreme weather condition. It is 18 feet tall and it will cost around $27,000 (USD)

Read more

How cohousing can make us happier (and live longer)

Loneliness doesn’t always stem from being alone. For architect Grace Kim, loneliness is a function of how socially connected we feel to the people around us — and it’s often the result of the homes we live in. She shares an age-old antidote to isolation: cohousing, a way of living where people choose to share space with their neighbors, get to know them, and look after them. Rethink your home and how you live in it with this eye-opening talk.

Read more