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Construction

A new lightweight hoisting line known as UltraRope could double the current maximum height...

As architects continue to design taller and taller buildings, a certain limitation of elevators is going to become more of a problem – using traditional steel lifting cables, they can’t go farther than 500 meters (1,640 ft) in one vertical run. Any higher, and the weight of all the cable required is simply too much. Currently in the world's few buildings that are over 500 meters tall, passengers must transfer from one elevator line to another, part way up. Thanks to a new lightweight material known as UltraRope, however, elevators should now be able to travel up to one kilometer (3,281 ft) continuously.  Read More

The current WoodSkin product is a sandwich of plywood triangular tiles with a textile mesh...

These days it seems software and technology can take design beyond feasible construction in the real world through its increasing ability to create fantastical projects and shapes in a virtual domain. Interdisciplinary design studio MammaFotogramma hope to go someway towards bridging this virtual to reality design gap through the development of a flexible wood surfacing material named WoodSkin. This wood and mesh composite product can be applied to static structures whilst facilitating movement and maintaining some form of visual appeal.  Read More

SEED Collaborative's SEEDclassroom

SEED Collaborative has teamed up with Method Homes for the construction of what it hopes will become the first modular building to pass the Living Building Challenge. The SEEDclassroom is designed to be a portable teaching space available at short notice, and yet one which meets its own energy and water needs.  Read More

The sleek rows of windows in the building's recessed oblong front combine with the wood fi...

You'd expect, or at least hope, that members of the solar industry walk the walk when it comes to designing environmentally friendly offices and factories of their own. And though we don't know much about Sputnik Engineering's office and production building at Biel, Switzerland, its designer, Burckhardt+Partner, claims the building's electricity is provided entirely by renewable energy.  Read More

All of the house's external walls have been insulated with wool from the farm (Photo: Mark...

Say you were the third generation of a farming family in the southwest of Scotland, and you intended to build a new farmhouse that made a statement about resource consumption. Building an environmentally conscious house in this climate requires insulation up to the ears. Now let's say this was a sheep farm you were running … well, you would, wouldn't you?  Read More

Hyundai Heavy Industries tests out its new miniature robotic welding arm

Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI), which lays claim to being the largest shipbuilding company in the world, says it has developed a miniature welding robot that can be easily transported by a worker and affixed to a ship using magnets. The small, portable robot is expected to increase worker productivity two to threefold.  Read More

The Klik building system is designed for residential projects of all sizes (Image: Elenber...

With Klik, Australian companies Elenberg Fraser and Unitised Building have come up with a prefabricated modular building system they claim is equally suited to knocking up a quick skyscraper as it is a modern, designer house. It makes sense, then, that the product is pitched at developers, architects and would-be homeowners, and that the multiple choice procurement procedure is identical for each. If you can tick a box, you can design a Klik building, more or less.  Read More

Sunflower seed husks seem to be a viable aggregate for certain uses (Photo: Phil Hawkswort...

Ordinarily seen as a waste product, the husks of sunflower seeds could be used to make concrete, according to research out of Turkey. Not only are the husks a sustainable source of aggregate, it's claimed that the resulting concrete is more resistant to cracking during post-freeze thaws.  Read More

The new screen will feature steel umbrellas that can be individually opened and closed and...

Architecture studio 3Gatti has taken inspiration from colorful parasols carried during Shanghai’s hot summer months to design a new facade for the 2010 Shanghai Expo’s Madrid Pavilion. The new screen for the re-purposed office and retail block will feature steel umbrellas that can be individually opened and closed and used to manage interior light levels.  Read More

A New Norris House: perhaps the most modest building in the AIA's top ten (Photo: Ken McCo...

The American Institute of Architects announced its top ten green buildings in the US for 2013 on Monday (Earth Day, uncoincidentally). It's a diverse list, containing a cheese factory, senior citizens' apartments, school buildings, and a smattering of LEED certificates. There's only one net zero building on the list, though it's worth remembering that it's much easier to build a net zero home than it is a net zero office or factory. Step inside for a short profile of each of the buildings, or head straight to the gallery for the architectural eye candy.  Read More

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