Introducing the Gizmag Store

Building and Construction

The Aqua tower in Chicago

James McHugh Construction has officially completed construction on Aqua, the Chicago high-rise that was named 2009 Skyscraper of the Year by international building database Emporis. Aqua beat out over 300 competitors worldwide for the honor, thanks in no small part to its no-two-alike undulating concrete balconies. It turns out, however, that there’s more to the 82-story tower than just good looks.  Read More

Michelle Pelletier with her self-healing concrete

Self-healing “smart building materials” have the potential to reduce structure repair costs, lower cement-production carbon emissions and even save lives. One barrier that has kept these materials from being commercialized, however, is their potentially labor-intensive and thus expensive production process. Recently, an engineering student from the University of Rhode Island (URI) announced that she has developed a self-healing concrete that would be inexpensive to produce.  Read More

Mitsubishi Electric installs elevators to carry 80, possibly the world's largest

If you've ever been annoyed by the impatiently waiting for an office building elevator, this might just be the perfect building for you. Each of the new elevators installed by Mitsubishi Electric in Umeda Hankyu Building’s new office area in Osaka, Japan measures 11.2 x 9.2 feet in area by 8.5 feet high (3.4m wide, 2.8m long and 2.6m high), thus allowing for a whopping 80 person capacity.  Read More

The roll-n-cage (RNC) is an anti-vibration device that is designed to sit between the buil...

With the devastation in Haiti still fresh in our everyone’s minds a team at the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC) is working on a system to better protect buildings, infrastructure and sensitive equipment from seismic activity. The roll-n-cage (RNC) is an anti-vibration device that is positioned between the building and the ground so that when the ground moves, the supported building doesn’t.  Read More

The structure of sea shells has inspired scientists to create a new material with similar ...

Seashells have done an exemplary job of protecting their inhabitants for around a hundred million years, so perhaps it isn’t surprising that scientists and chemists have now replicated their unique structure in a manmade material. Taking inspiration from shells, researchers from the University of Manchester and the University of Leeds have successfully reinforced calcium carbonate, or chalk, with polystyrene particles such as those used in disposable drinking cups. Their achievement could lead to stronger building and bone replacement materials, or other practical applications.  Read More

The Vancouver Convention and Exhibition Center has a six acre 'living roof', the largest i...

When Vancouver won the competition to host the 2010 Olympic & Paralympic Winter Games thoughts immediately turned to construction, and one of the most awe-inspiring initiatives has to be the redesign of the Vancouver Convention and Exhibition Center (VCAEC). Currently hosting the international broadcasting and media hub for the Winter Olympics, this waterfront building is not only beautiful and functional but is environmentally sustainable, boasting a green electricity program, a seawater heating and cooling system and the largest "living roof" in Canada populated with 40,000 plants and grasses.  Read More

The Tower Skin concept covers outdated buildings in an eco-friendly cocoon

There’s no doubt fashion is fleeting. What might be the height of fashion today is almost certainly the fashion faux pas of tomorrow. Thankfully, clothes and hairstyles are easy to change and we’re not getting around in leg warmers and new romantic bouffants anymore – well most of us aren’t. Unfortunately, it’s not so easy to change the look of a building. What was the pinnacle of architectural design in the '60s is often the eyesore of the skyline today. The Laboratory for Visionary Architecture (LAVA) proposes a simple, cost effective, easily constructed skin that promises to transform dated structures into sustainable and stunning buildings.  Read More

The Integrated Concentrating (IC) Dynamic Solar Facade

In the age of green energy we are seeing interesting new developments that marry building materials with the capacity to harness renewable power sources. Building integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) or concentrating PV technologies aren't new, but the ability to concentrate and maximize the capture of energy by tracking sunlight from dawn to dusk is. The Center for Architectural Science and Ecology CASE has unveiled a new Integrated Concentrating (IC) Dynamic Solar Facade which does just that - and it looks great!  Read More

Archipod's Pod may be unusual to look at but it's an eco-friendly, energy-efficient garden...

Are you sick and tired of spending valuable time commuting to work and enduring peak-hour traffic and road rage? Well now that most people have access to mobile phones, email, video conferencing and the Internet - the dream of trading in an office job for working from home can become a reality. However, separating work from home life can sometimes be difficult. That’s where the Pod comes in – it might look like an enormous coconut has landed in your garden, but this is a unique garden office that is energy-efficient and environmentally friendly, plus it gives you a designated space in which to work.  Read More

Mitsubishi Electric has developed multi-elevator smart control technology that can reduce ...

In a world that largely relies on elevators to ferry people from one floor of a building to the next, it is remarkable how inefficient current systems are in terms of favoring passenger convenience over the increasingly important aspect of reducing energy consumption. Japanese manufacturer Mitsubishi Electric looks set to buck the trend with the announcement of its development of multi–elevator smart control technology that can not only reduce energy use by up to ten percent, but do so while adding a mere few seconds to passenger waiting times.  Read More

Looking for something? Search our 26,534 articles