Construction

Do Legacy Construction Companies Have the Inside Track on Modular Building?

Fresh-faced, tech-oriented startups get most of the attention in the modular-building world, but despite their “it” factor, they’re still start-ups. Is there a market share in modular just waiting for companies with the approach and know-how that come with legacy experience?

Chicago-based legacy construction company Skender has been researching modular construction for years and is now getting in the game. In late November 2018, it invited a gaggle of reporters and industry representatives to its 106,000-square-foot factory space on Chicago’s southwest side for a look at its prototype modular apartment. When the new venture is up and running, the company pledges to employ 100 people to produce 2,500 modules per year, at a rate 30% to 40% faster and at a cost 10% to 20% less than traditional construction.

This article originally appeared on Autodesk’s Redshift, a site dedicated to inspiring designers, engineers, builders, and makers. Continue reading the article: https://www.autodesk.com/redshift/modular-construction-companies/.

Photo Credit: Skender’s prototype of a modular apartment building it is constructing in Chicago. Courtesy of Skender.

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High-Tech Construction Tools Earn a Checkered Flag in Modern Racetrack Design

In October 1970, Hollywood star Steve McQueen won the 17-lap Winter Sprint race in Avondale, Arizona, on a track built in 1964 to be the “Indianapolis of the West.” This is just one entry in the storied history of Arizona’s ISM Raceway (formerly Phoenix International Raceway), which remains a venerable institution in the racing world.

The racetrack started out as a 2.5-mile road course and evolved its design to keep up with racing trends; it’s now a one-mile, low-banked, tri-oval racetrack optimized for NASCAR and IndyCar events. In 2017, Raceway owners embarked on a massive, $178 million renovation that would move the start and finish lines for better visibility and add 45,000 seats to the existing grandstand, two new gate entrances, and 16 new buildings in the center of the track, including concessions, restrooms, luxury suites, elevators, escalators, and a media building.

This article originally appeared on Autodesk’s Redshift, a site dedicated to inspiring designers, engineers, builders, and makers. Continue reading the article: https://www.autodesk.com/redshift/racetrack-design/.

Photo Credit: Okland Construction used BIM, 4D construction management, and virtual and mixed reality to renovate Arizona’s ISM Raceway. Courtesy Aaron Kes/ISM Raceway.

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UNHCR Site Architects Use Technology to Help Rohingya Refugees in Bangladesh

As Rohingya refugees flood into Bangladesh, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees works tirelessly to provide safe shelter, quickly. In this video, meet site architect Phoebe Goodwin and learn how she uses technology to make the most of the land provided for the settlement. From navigating dramatic land undulations to considering migration patterns of endangered elephants, the challenges of Goodwin’s job are varied, and she explains how she is able to tackle them all through software.

This article originally appeared on Autodesk’s Redshift, a site dedicated to inspiring designers, engineers, builders, and makers. Continue reading the article: https://www.autodesk.com/redshift/rohingya-refugees-in-bangladesh/.
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“The Great Good Place” Uses Sustainable Innovation to Connect Bangkok Residents

Bangkok, Thailand, is a vibrant metropolis. This colorful capital city, one of the most visited in the world, offers amazing food and culture, tourist-friendly floating markets, golden palaces, great shopping, and booming nightlife. But—as is true of life in other big cities—its residents also deal with issues of social isolation, lack of access to green spaces, and other urban woes.

Magnolia Quality Development Corporation, Ltd. (MQDC), a Thailand-based real-estate developer, recognizes that potential home buyers might want more than just a building complex and created an integrated 17-acre campus called WHIZDOM 101. The venture is called The Great Good Place, after sociologist Ray Oldenburg’s 1989 book, which posits that to live well, a balance between home life, the workplace, and sociable “third places” to build community is crucial. WHIZDOM 101 is a sustainable smart city within a large metropolis designed to help residents lead more efficient, healthier, and more fulfilling lives through innovation and technology.

This article originally appeared on Autodesk’s Redshift, a site dedicated to inspiring designers, engineers, builders, and makers. Continue reading the article: https://www.autodesk.com/redshift/sustainable-innovation/.

Photo Credit: Sustainability and community inform Bangkok‘s WHIZDOM 101 housing concept, which integrates work, home, and a common “third place.” Courtesy MQDC.

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Want to Change the World Through Innovation in Engineering? Use a Proven System

As someone who has worked in Silicon Valley for 20-plus years, you might expect me to tout the computer as the greatest engineering innovation of all time. But even after decades working in the cradle of one of the most significant inventions in history, I still often jump back several centuries when asked what I consider to be the greatest innovation of all time: the printing press.

The printing press was instrumental in democratizing and dispersing literacy and knowledge throughout Europe and around the globe. The Gutenberg Bible, created using some of the earliest printing presses, changed the structure of politics and religion around Europe. It was revolutionary. It changed the world. That’s the power of innovation—or, at least, the possibility.

This article originally appeared on Autodesk’s Redshift, a site dedicated to inspiring designers, engineers, builders, and makers. Continue reading the article: https://www.autodesk.com/redshift/engineering-innovation/.
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The Time Is Now to Inspire a New Generation of Women in Construction

The history of construction—to the best of anyone’s knowledge—goes back to the Stone Age, when stones essentially served as proto-hammers. Hard stones were used to break softer stones, blacksmithing surfaced, metal nails appeared, and stuff got built. Roughly two million years later, the hammer handle was invented, followed by forging, ironwork, and the Industrial Revolution, thus giving birth to construction as we know it—which has largely remained a male-dominated industry.

While construction still evokes images of sweaty men in hard hats, the notion that the industry is—and will always be—a boys’ club is fading fast. A significant disparity in the ratio of men to women in construction persists, but a big shift is underway.

This article originally appeared on Autodesk’s Redshift, a site dedicated to inspiring designers, engineers, builders, and makers. Continue reading the article: https://www.autodesk.com/redshift/women-in-construction/.

Photo Credit: Construction has long been a male-dominated industry—but a big shift is underway. Courtesy Miron Construction.

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8 Construction-Technology Innovations That Changed the Game in 2017

On November 17, the UK’s Institution of Structural Engineers announced its 2017 Structural Award winners. The globe-spanning projects included a billowy football stadium roof in Bilbao, Spain; an adaptable, easily transportable stage structure for Adele’s 25 tour; and an elegant and seismically robust Bahá’í temple in Chile. As diverse as the entries are, they have an inventive artistry in common, stretching the bounds of construction technology to realize previously unbuildable visions.

Technological innovations are spreading like wildfire in all sectors. If you make your living in architecture, engineering, or construction, chances are good that something is coming on the market soon that will improve the quality, aesthetics, and profitability of your projects, as we’ve seen in these eight emerging solutions that made an impact in 2017.

This article originally appeared on Autodesk’s Redshift, a site dedicated to inspiring designers, engineers, builders, and makers. Continue reading the article: https://www.autodesk.com/redshift/construction-technology-2017/.

Photo Credit: A Gaudí-inspired pedestrian footbridge in Madrid was constructed on-site using commercial 3D printers. Courtesy IAAC – Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia.

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What’s Your Rocket Fuel? Staying Motivated as an Engineer

What propels you from your bed each morning and into the office? What motivates you to work late to complete a task? What energizes you at work? In short, what’s your rocket fuel?

I am fascinated by what motivates people, especially engineers. This is more than a casual curiosity; as a leader, it is my job to understand what motivates my team. Given the diversity of Autodesk’s talented and dedicated employees, there is fertile ground to explore.

This article originally appeared on Autodesk’s Redshift, a site dedicated to inspiring designers, engineers, builders, and makers. Continue reading the article: https://www.autodesk.com/redshift/staying-motivated-as-an-engineer/.
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Why Adding Diversity in Artificial Intelligence Is Nonnegotiable

Remember those set-and-forget robot vacuum cleaners that were all the rage several years ago? In addition to being a fun (and useful) novelty, they unintentionally provided a vivid example of why diversity in artificial intelligence (AI) is essential.

One night in South Korea, where it’s common to sleep on the ground, a vacuum robot “ate” a woman’s hair while she slept. The robot had no malicious intent; it acted as it was programmed to do. But that’s just it: The implications of different cultures weren’t considered during the product-development process. Nobody asked, “Does everybody who will use this product sleep on a high bed, and what needs to be considered for those who don’t?”

This article originally appeared on Autodesk’s Redshift, a site dedicated to inspiring designers, engineers, builders, and makers. Continue reading the article: https://www.autodesk.com/redshift/diversity-in-artificial-intelligence/.
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With MR, VR, and AR, Humans and Machines Will Unite in the Workforce

Fears about artificial intelligence and robots replacing humans, from real-world worries about job displacement to dystopian visions of subjugation, are going strong. But as the world continues to flood with data, there’s no reason for designers or engineers to panic, and many reasons to get excited. Current trends in virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and mixed reality (MR) actually have the potential to create stronger connections between people and machines.

VR (immersing yourself in a completely artificial world), AR (overlaying a digital layer of contextual information into the built environment), and MR (an interactive mix of VR and AR) are quickly gathering speed. But we’re in the early days. A lot of today’s revolutionary devices will eventually look like the first mobile phones—big bricks with coiled cords, in bulky briefcases.

This article originally appeared on Autodesk’s Redshift, a site dedicated to inspiring designers, engineers, builders, and makers. Continue reading the article: https://www.autodesk.com/redshift/with-mr-vr-and-ar-humans-and-machines-....
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