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Building and Construction

York Minster (Image: Andy Barrett/Wikipedia)

York Minster is one of the largest Gothic cathedrals in Northern Europe and one of the great monuments of medieval architecture. Built in the city of York, UK between 1220 and 1472, it has suffered looting, vandalism, arson and a devastating fire after a lightning strike in 1984. Despite decades of restoration costing millions of pounds, the Minster still faces an implacable enemy, the air itself. In hopes of protecting the Minster from rotting away due to air pollution, Dr. Karen Wilson and Prof. Adam Lee of the Cardiff School of Chemistry, Cardiff University along with researchers at the University of Iowa have discovered that the key to saving the church may lie in olive oil.  Read More

Sisma Calce being applied to a building exterior

Changing building codes to ensure that new structures are less vulnerable to earthquakes is all well and good, but what about older buildings? If someone told you that the answer was wallpaper, you’d think they were crazy, but a team from Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) in Karlsruhe, Germany has developed a fabric to reinforce older walls. Marketed as “Sisma Calce,” the low-cost seismic fabric is designed to be plastered on walls to reduce earthquake damage or to at least give survivors a better chance of escape from falling debris.  Read More

The challenge for the designers is for staff to feel like they are sitting on a park bench...

The PNC Financial Services Group hopes to exceed LEED Platinum requirements along with promoting a healthy indoor workplace with its latest development – the Tower at PNC Plaza. Located in downtown Pittsburgh on the corner of Fifth and Wood Streets, the building will be approximately 800,00 gross sq.ft (74,322 sq.mt) in size with a construction budget of approximately US$240 million. The "breathing" design created by architecture firm Gensler moves away from the traditional closed air-conditioned environment and has the lofty aim of becoming the greenest skyscraper in the world.  Read More

B2, located at the intersection of Dean Street and Flatbush Avenue, is the first residenti...

Ground has been broken on the residential component of the $4.9 billion Atlantic Yards project in Brooklyn, New York. The first of three residential towers to be constructed on the 22 acre (89,000 sq.mt) site, the B2 building will be 32 floors high and contain 363 units constructed using innovative prefabrication methods, making it the world’s tallest modular building.  Read More

A length of the paper-based bricks being extruded

Paper waste has already been used to create things like foam and batteries – now, a team of researchers from Spain’s University of Jaen are making bricks out of the stuff. Although the finished products still need a little tweaking before they're ready for prime time, they could ultimately give traditional bricks a run for their money.  Read More

The National Sports Stadium will be the centerpiece of the Singapore Sports Hub (Image: © ...

Due to a few hiccups thanks to the global financial crisis, the initial planned completion date of 2011 for the Singapore Sports Hub has come and gone. However, after construction finally got underway in 2011, the 35-hectare sports complex is on track to open its doors in 2014. The centerpiece of the development in Kallang is the new National Stadium that, upon completion, will boast the largest dome roof in the world.  Read More

Cooled Conservatories at Gardens by the Bay, Singapore, World Building of the Year: design...

Cooled Conservatories at Gardens by the Bay, Singapore, has won the overall World Building of the Year Award at the prestigious World Architecture Festival (WAF) Awards 2012. Designed by Wilkinson Eyre, Grant Associates, Atelier One and Atelier Ten, the 101 hectare (250 acre) project comprises three distinct waterfront gardens and plays a key part in the government’s vision of transforming Singapore into a "City in a Garden."  Read More

The 'Blood Bricks' created by British architecture school graduate Jack Munro

How could cattle become any more useful? Their hide is already used to produce leather, their milk is used for cheese butter and, well, milk, they taste great in a burger and continue to serve as draft animals in many parts of the world. British architecture school graduate Jack Munro has found a way to make a building material using one of the few materials from cattle that currently largely goes to waste – blood.  Read More

GTRI's prototype automatic pavement crack detection and repair system

They say an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, but when it comes to road maintenance, an ounce of prevention is worth several tons of tarmac. A tiny crack in the asphalt may not seem like much, but once it lets in rain and frost, it’s a ticket to potholes and a very expensive resurfacing. The problem is that crack repair is time consuming and labor intensive, so the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) has come up with an automatic pavement crack detection and repair system that operates at comparable speeds to conventional methods, but with fewer people and less exposure to hazardous fumes.  Read More

The Al Bahar Towers at night

Each year, the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH), a non-profit group based at the Illinois Institute of Technology, selects structures from around the world which represent a blend of sustainability, technical innovation and appealing design. This year's winners, each impressive in its own right, hail from Australia, Canada, Italy and Qatar along with one from Abu Dhabi that took the organization's first-ever Innovation Award. An international panel of jurors made the picks which will be formally recognized at an awards ceremony in Chicago this October.  Read More

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