Daikin's New US Facility Breaks Records
Daikin's new £417m US manufacturing facility in Houston is already receiving recognition ahead of its scheduled opening later this year.
The 350,000m² facility, currently under construction and identified as the world's largest ever tilt-up concrete building, has been recognised by US magazine Business Facilities as the 2015 Economic Development Deal of the Year.
Plans for the new development, which has been dubbed the Daikin Comfortplex and the Goodman's Cypress Creek Campus, were first announced last year. The single, contiguous building will house distribution, manufacturing and R & D operations as well as offices, replacing current Daikin and Goodman facilities in Tennessee.
In all, the building will incorporate a 167,000m² distribution center, 158,000m² of manufacturing space (plus over 18,000m² of mezzanine), 21,500m² of lab space and 18,800m² of offices. At over 2km², the massive site will also feature parking for approximately 5,000 vehicles. It is expected to create 4,600 new jobs and a further 11,000+ indirect jobs.
Prior to opening, the Greater Houston Partnership, the economic development organisation, has won the Business Facilities magazine top Gold Award in its 2015 Economic Development Deal of the Year competition for its involvement in bringing Daikin to Houston. It beat Volvo's $500m South Carolina assembly plant - its first in the US - to the title.
The location for Daikin's new corporate campus is said to have sparked fierce competition between several Gulf Coast and US Southeast locations.
Largest tilt-wall building
Due to be completed mid-year, the new building has already been described as the largest tilt-wall industrial building in the world, second only to Boeing's aircraft assembly plant in Everett, Washington. Tilt-up is a form of construction in which the wall is precast horizontally on the ground adjacent to its permanent location and then lifted up into its vertical position.
Over 275,000m³ of concrete are expected to be used in its construction, along with nearly 6,000 tonnes of steel.
The building will include an energy management system, a brilliant white roof to reflect the Texas heat, and & LED lighting throughout.&
World's Second-Tallest Skyscraper- The Shanghai Tower
Following six years of construction, work was recently completed on the world's second-tallest skyscraper, the Shanghai Tower. Rising an impressive 632 m (2,073 ft) over Shanghai, China, the US$2.4 billion mixed-use project features an interesting design that twists 120 degrees from bottom to top, in order to mitigate the effects of wind on the structure.
Designed by international firm Gensler, the Shanghai Tower is officially recognized as the world's second-tallest building by the CTBUH (Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat), after Dubai's
Burj Khalifa. However, it is certain to slip to third position once the
Jedah Tower&is completed in 2020.
The size of the project boggles the mind. Located in the Lujiazui Financial Center in Shanghai, which was still farmland a mere two decades ago, the clay-based soil the tower rests upon required 1,079 concrete and steel piles to be driven into the ground for use as supports. Laying the foundation involved a fleet of trucks pouring concrete for 63 straight hours.
The tower features 128 floors and comprises 420,000 sq m (4,520,842 sq ft) of floorspace. Its highest occupied point is at 561.3 m (1,841 ft) and to get there, occupants make use of one of 106 Mitsubishi-designed elevators, which travel at a speed of 40 mph (64 km/h).
According to Gensler, the building's tapering form reduces wind loads by 24 percent. Furthermore, the reduction in materials that this allowed saved $58 million from the total budget of the project.
The interior of the building is mostly taken up by high-end office space, with some retail areas and hotel rooms, plus an observation point/cultural area at the top. It's also rated LEED Gold (a green building standard) and features some energy-saving design and technology.
A double-layered glass skin improves insulation and allows natural light to permeate inside, while the facade sports a total of 270 wind turbines that provide the power needed for external lighting. The building's funnel-shaped parapet channels rainwater into large tanks, which is used for air-conditioning and heating systems. A graywater system is also installed, but operable windows were decided against on account of the poor local air quality.
Bosco Verticale-The Best Tall Building Worldwide
During a ceremony in Chicago's Illinois Institute of Technology, the Council of Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) declared Italy's Stefano Boeri Architecti's greenery-clad Bosco Verticale the 2015 Best Tall Building Worldwide.
Completed in 2014, Bosco Verticale was shortlisted earlier this year during CBTUH's preliminary Best Tall Buildings awards and beat strong competition, including SOM's One World Trade Center.
We first reported on the Milan-based project, which translates as Vertical Forest, back in 2011. It comprises two greenery-clad residential towers which rise to a height of 382 ft (116 m) and 279 ft (85 m), respectively. The facade of both buildings features hundreds of trees and several thousand shrubs and plants housed in concrete planters. The architect says this living facade helps absorb CO2 and dust particles, produce oxygen, and reduce the effects of noise pollution.
"Yesterday I was giving a lecture here [at IIT], and it was very strange because the subject of the lecture was failures," said Boeri during a refreshingly frank acceptance speech. "I was trying to think about why architects are not used to talking about their failures - we prefer to hide, to remove our flubs, our fiascos, and our failures. Honestly, the reason we were able to do the Bosco Verticale was because we were able to learn from failures . . . and what I hope is that other attempts will learn from the mistakes we made with the Bosco Verticale."
Carbon Fibre-Reinforced Concrete Offers Innovative Solutions for Civil Engineering
Illuminated pavilions on campus demonstrate the use of curved shell structures made of carbon fibre-reinforced concrete, a project of the Lightweight Construction Research Group at the TU Chemnitz.
Concrete which is reinforced with textiles instead of steel combines many advantages: it saves raw materials, has high potential for lightweight construction, and can thus be used in innovative ways. Reinforcing fabrics such as carbon do not rust and thus have a longer lifespan. They make it possible to design lighter concrete layers and more delicate construction components.
"In order to use fabric-reinforced concrete slabs as thin, load-bearing structures - for example as curved shells - we needed new solutions as far as composition and manufacturing were concerned," says Dr Sandra Gelbrich, head of the research group "Lightweight Constructions in Civil Engineering" in the Department for Lightweight Structures and Polymer Technology at the Technische Universität Chemnitz.
The scientists at the TU Chemnitz have developed fibre-reinforced concrete shells, containing high-strength fine-grained concrete and carbon reinforcement. The results are free-formed prototype buildings in shell construction.
The researchers have manufactured the thin-walled carbon fibre-reinforced concrete shells by means of a flexible formwork system made of glass-fibre reinforced plastic (GFRP). Therefore they firstly coated and preformed the textile reinforcement structures with resin and afterwards concreted the shells with integrated fibres.
"GFRP formwork systems allow not only an efficient production of curved textile-reinforced concrete elements, but also the processing of excellent concrete qualities," says Dr Gelbrich and adds: "We have developed new polymer-based positioning instruments in order to integrate the textile reinforcement in a way that it can optimally cope with the load."
As prototype buildings the scientists have erected research pavilions made of carbon fibre-reinforced concrete on the campus of the TU Chemnitz. "A highlight there is the integrated LED lighting, which is controlled by sewn touch sensors in the shape of a hand," emphasizes Gelbrich.
Research and development related to the composite made of carbon fibres and high-performance concrete are being pursued: scientific associations and companies aim at long-living, resource-saving, and aesthetically appealing construction work. More than 130 partners, including the TU Chemnitz, are part of the research consortium "C3 - Carbon Concrete Composite" in order to implement this vision.
Their purpose is a building material that replaces steel reinforcement, which is susceptible to corrosion, by a combination of carbon fibres, textile structures, and concrete, which is less often in need of repair.
"Additionally, new properties such as thermal and electrical conductivity allow the heating of the components and the system-integration of sensors. The new material is intended to be more mouldable, solid, smart, and recyclable. Furthermore, it should contain less harmful substances," summarizes Gelbrich and highlights: "We expect completely new possibilities in civil engineering, first and foremost in the construction of bridges and roads."
At the end of November 2015, the C3 consortium received the German sustainability award "Deutscher Nachhaltigkeitspreis" in the research category from the Federal Minister for Education and Research, Professor Dr Johanna Wanka at an award ceremony in Düsseldorf.
In its commentary on the reason for the award, the selection committee stated that the research and development of the new building material offers "a promising approach towards a paradigm shift in civil engineering and therefore in urban design".
The C3 project would accomplish an important contribution to open a new chapter in the history of construction. The C3 consortium is coordinated by the Technische Universität Dresden and funded by the Federal Ministry for Education and Research.
For further information, contact Dr Sandra Gelbrich, Department for Lightweight Structures and Polymer Technology, Telephone 0371 531-32192, email email@example.com.
New Construction Robot Lays Bricks 3 Times as Fast as Human Workers
A new construction worker has been lending high-efficiency help to job sites, laying bricks at almost three times the speed of a human worker. SAM (short for Semi-Automated Mason) is a robotic bricklayer that handles the repetitive tasks of basic brick laying, MIT Technology Review reports. While SAM handles picking up bricks, applying mortar and placing them at designated locations, its human partner handles worksite setup, laying bricks in specific areas (e.g. corners) and improving the aesthetic quality of the masonry.
Despite its role in completing repetitive tasks, SAM can adapt to real jobsite conditions, including differentiating between theoretical drawings and the conditions of the actual building site. It is also capable of minor detailing, such as emblazoning a logo by following a pixel map of the image, and adding texture to the wall face by bumping bricks by half an inch.
"In construction, your design will say that a window is located exactly 30 feet from the corner of a building, and in reality when you get to the building, nothing is ever where it says it's supposed to be," said Scott Peters, cofounder of the company that designed SAM - Construction Robotics, in an interview with MIT Technology Review. "Masons know how to adapt to that, so we had to design a robot that knows how to do that, too."
A human mason can lay between 300 to 500 bricks a day - SAM can lay 800 to 1200. Even so, Peters says that SAM's purpose is to improve overall efficiency, not replace humans - there will always be jobs that a robot can't do. One human working with one SAM equals roughly four or more masons on a single job.