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Construction

The miniature sledge-testing rig used in the study

In Egypt's tomb of Djehutihotep, a wall painting depicts someone pouring water into the sand in front of one of the sledges that hauled the blocks used in the construction of the pyramids. According to new research, they had a good reason for doing so – by wetting the sand, as little as half as much pulling force would have been required to move those sledges.  Read More

How a snake-like robot developed by Fraunhofer winds its way through the narrow openings i...

Although modern jet airliners may be at the cutting edge of technology, assembling them is, in many ways, still as much of a craft as 18th century shipbuilding, requiring loads of skill and manual labor to get the job done. The Fraunhofer Institute for Machine Tools and Forming Technology (IWU) in Chemnitz, Germany wants to bring airplane construction into the 21st century with a snake-like robot that can assemble airplane wings by reaching into narrow, hard to reach cavities.  Read More

Apparatus X is the work of a team of engineering and architecture students at Pennsylvania...

Inspired by a perceived lack of adequate services for victims of 2005's Hurricane Katrina, a team of engineering and architecture students at Pennsylvania State University have joined forces to create something that can help. The result, dubbed Apparatus X, is a work-in-progress concept that seeks to transform an aging RV into a flexible unit that can serve as an off-grid disaster relief vehicle, a micro-home, and a mobile design studio.  Read More

The framework construction made of a ceramic-polymer composite created at KIT (Picture: J....

Researchers in Germany have developed a lightweight, high-strength material inspired by the framework structure of bones and wood and the shell structure of bees' honeycombs. Created using 3D laser polymer printing combined with a ceramic coating, the material is less dense than water but, relative to its size, boasts strength comparable to high-performance steel or aluminum.  Read More

The Tsunamiball is the sole work of designer Chris Robinson (Photo: Chris Robinson)

Following the tsunami that hit Japan in March, 2011, designer Chris Robinson was inspired to create an escape pod to ensure he and his family could survive if such a disaster were to occur in his home city of Palo Alto, California. After some two years of painstaking design and construction, his floating off-grid shelter, dubbed Tsunamiball, is nearing completion.  Read More

The Pop-Up House, by Multipod Studio (Photo: Elisabeth Montagnier)

French architectural firm Multipod Studio recently unveiled a new sustainable house prototype that's lightweight, recyclable, and promises to be an inexpensive purchase and extremely efficient to run. The suitably-named Pop-Up House also boasts another notable selling-point: all that's required to assemble it is four day's patience and a standard electric screwdriver.  Read More

The Quiet Treehouse is currently installed at this year's Ideal Home Show in Earl's Court,...

Luxury treehouse manufacturer Blue Forest has teamed up with noise abatement specialist Quiet Mark and UK retailer John Lewis to produce the Quiet Treehouse. Constructed for this year's Ideal Home Show, the cosy retreat packed with noise-reduction technology and low-noise home appliances. Once the show is over, it will be installed in the Chestnut Tree House Children’s Hospice, West Sussex.  Read More

It's an exciting time to be alive if you are highly educated and capable of making a diffe...

Of all the technologies to have emerged from the digital renaissance, additive manufacturing (3D printing) has the potential to be the most disruptive. A perfect example of the way 3DP will change the way we make things will be displayed at the Geneva Motor Show this week when EDAG, the world’s largest independent engineering partner to the mobility industry, displays an example of a printed automobile. The Genesis is more a conceptual sculpture than an automobile, but it will give you a taste of what the world's leading manufacturers might be producing a decade or two from now.  Read More

Y:Cube is the result of a partnership between YMCA London South West and architectural fir...

Rising house prices and changes to the UK's housing benefits system have resulted in rent becoming too expensive for many London residents, leading to an increasing number of people living on the streets or in shared hostels. YMCA London South West and architectural firm Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners have joined forces to provide a potential solution to the burgeoning housing crisis. Dubbed the Y:Cube, the tiny home is built using mostly renewable materials, and offers residents independence and privacy that exceeds what can be offered in a shared hostel.  Read More

Casa Flotanta is located in Playa Santa Teresa, Costa Rica (Photo: Benjamin Garcia Saxe Ar...

Following the Gooden-Nahome family's decision to purchase a plot on a steep slope in Playa Santa Teresa, Costa Rica, they then tasked Benjamin Garcia Saxe Architecture with building a house upon it. The result is the recently-completed Casa Flotanta: a home which boasts an attractive design that both reduces the structure's impact on the local environment, and lends the appearance of it "floating" above the hillside.  Read More

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