Materials

Ready to Reduce Your Construction Emissions? Use the Embodied Carbon Calculator

It’s no secret that the construction industry is one of the biggest contributors to greenhouse-gas emissions. The numbers are staggering: Embodied carbon currently makes up 11% or more of global emissions; by comparison, that’s more than five times higher than the 2% of global emissions produced by the entire aviation industry.

With a projected 2.5 trillion square feet of new buildings being constructed around the world by 2060—equal to adding a New York City to the planet every 34 days for the next four decades—emissions associated with embodied carbon will skyrocket if left unchecked.

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

Photo Credit: The Port of Seattle was an initial pilot partner of the Embodied Carbon in Construction Calculator (EC3). The EC3 tool helps the Port adhere to sustainability goals for capital projects, such as the North Satellite Modernization Project at the Seattle-...

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Prefab Construction’s Benefits Grow With Design for Manufacture and Assembly

A growing movement in the construction industry—called design for manufacture and assembly (DfMA)—takes traditional design and grafts two important goals onto it: that the products will be easy to manufacture and that those manufactured products will be easy to assemble into a larger construction.

Not coincidentally, the construction industry stands to benefit greatly from an uptick in DfMA, whose principles contribute to making construction projects faster to complete, safer for workers, and environmentally friendlier.

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/design-for-manufacture-and-assembly/.

Photo Credit: H.T. Lyons manufactured this 23-by-72-foot, more than 55-ton utility “super skid” at its Allentown, PA., prefab shop. Courtesy of H.T. Lyons.

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Massive Hybrid Manufacturing Machine in Europe Pushes Boundaries of 3D Printing

When toy-scale 3D printers began popping up at Maker Faires about a decade ago, the idea of printing an entire house seemed a long way off. But by late 2019, builders were already producing entire neighborhoods of small printed-concrete dwellings. Clearly, 3D printing can work on a grown-up scale. But can it generate large, complex, engineered components for urban architecture or manufacturing? A consortium of corporations, universities, and nonprofits is determined to prove that it can.

Industry has focused commercial-scale additive manufacturing on products with complex geometries for which traditional milling, casting, or grinding methods—especially objects needed in small numbers, on short notice—are impractical or expensive. Generally, they’ve been fairly small objects. But Foster + Partners, a global studio for architecture, urbanism, and design, has pushed the boundaries of scale for additive manufacturing by designing and planning a 5-meter-long (16.4-foot-long) additive-steel building truss, which it produced in sections.

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/hybrid-manufacturing/.

Photo Credit: The Large-scale Additive Subtractive Integrated Modular Machine (LASIMM) is a massive hybrid-manufacturing machine with metal additive and subtractive capabilities. Courtesy of LASIMM.

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This Firm Ditched Shrink-Wrap to Aid Sustainable Agriculture Practices in Myanmar

Supporting the world’s farmers in meaningful ways would make a big difference to the income and lives of people in developing economies. It would lead to less dependence on imports and stronger local-food production at a time when food provenance is a growing concern.

But how can this vision be realized? There are many problems to mitigate—for example, the chemicals used in pesticides and fertilizers and their impact on soil and ecosystems, including erosion and biodiversity loss. To support agriculture industries across the world, creating sustainable agriculture practices needs to be a central concern.

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-agriculture-practices/.

Photo Credit: Proximity Designs’ founders believe deeply in living among those whom they serve, so they moved to Myanmar in 2004 to address the neglected needs of rural farmers. Photo by Rita Khin, courtesy of Proximity Designs....

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Curves and CO2 Reduction Coexist in Chicago’s Colossal Concrete Installation

Musing on the spiritual and formal predilections of the building materials he used so masterfully, architect Louis Kahn once famously said: “You say to brick, ‘What do you want, brick?’ And brick says to you, ‘I like an arch.’ And you say to brick, ‘Look, I want one, too, but arches are expensive, and I can use a concrete lintel.’”

The Stereoform Slab pavilion, designed and fabricated for the 2019 Chicago Architecture Biennial, is a meditation on the ideal forms of a different material: concrete. The spirit of the installation directly addresses Kahn’s concession to material efficacy, combining arches with sculpted concrete while also demonstrating a more sustainable approach to using the material.

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/concrete-co2/.

Photo Credit: The Stereoform Slab illustrates the potential for sustainable concrete-sculpting methods. Courtesy of Dave Burk/SOM.

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Bogotá, Colombia’s Atrio Complex Is a Marvel of Coordinated Construction

Atrio is on the fast track to becoming the new “heart of Bogotá.” The major mixed-use development, currently in its first phase of construction, aims to help regenerate Centro Internacional, a former commercial district in Colombia’s capital city.

The project comprises two towers (44 and 67 stories, respectively) that will provide office space, a hotel, residences, public services, and retail on Avenida Caracas. The complex will also feature a large new public space—a transportation-adjacent pedestrian area expected to be used by 72,000 people every day.

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/atrio-bogota/.

Photo Credit: Bogotá’s new 107,600-square-foot Atrio complex aims to help revive the capital city’s downtown. Courtesy of ARPRO Ellisdon JV.

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Manufacturing “Living Metals” With Cold-Spray Technology Is Rocket Science

The promise of metal additive manufacturing hasn’t quite matched its initial hype. Costs are still high, and the tech remains best suited to fabricating low-volume, high-complexity parts. In short, it hasn’t been the anticipated boon to industrial manufacturing yet—so using a rocket engine to spray and bond metal particles onto existing machine parts might seem a little like overkill.

A Bay Area trio with a unique start-up idea may be changing all that. Co-founder engineers Deepak Atyam, Alex Finch, and Jesse Lang of Tri-D Dynamics have developed what they call “cold metal fusion,” which combines powder-based metallurgy with rocket science—and perhaps will open an untapped market in the process.

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/cold-spray-technology/.

Photo Credit: The Tri-D Dynamics TerraForma machine uses a small rocket engine and heated nitrogen to project metal powder at supersonic speeds. Courtesy of Tri-D Dynamics.

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A Robot-Made Habitat for Mars Could Bring Sustainable Building Down to Earth

According to a 2018 report by the International Energy Agency and UN Environment, the global construction industry is responsible for 39% of energy-related carbon-dioxide emissions. That is a huge, scary number—but one that comes with an equally large opportunity to mitigate climate change. The 2015 Paris climate talks revealed that by using existing technology, construction could cut global carbon emissions by up to a third.

Such a reduction requires finding a new way for the industry to move forward, or as CEO and chief architect of New York–based AI SpaceFactory David Malott puts it, “a high-tech way of going backward.”

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/mars-habitat/.

Photo Credit: A hypothetical Martian neighborhood of Marsha dwellings. Rendering courtesy of AI SpaceFactory and Plomp.

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99% Invisible Podcast: Why Sand Scarcity Threatens the Building Industry

If you’re a fan of the popular 99% Invisible podcast and the kinds of stories published on Redshift, then you’re in the right place. Autodesk and Redshift partnered with 99% Invisible host Roman Mars and his crew for six podcasts tied to the show’s mission of uncovering the fascinating—yet inconspicuous—ways that architecture and design shape the planet.

In this second episode in the partnership series, Mars explores sand scarcity in construction. The notion that the planet is running out of sand might come as a shock. After all, it’s the most abundant resource next to water and air. But it’s also a major ingredient in concrete, asphalt, and glass, and since reinforced concrete became a building material of choice in the 20th century, the demand for sand has increased exponentially.

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/sand-scarcity/.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of National Park Service (NPS.gov)

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5 Ways Industrial-Manufacturing “Dinosaur” Claudius Peters Staves Off Extinction

Claudius Peters is hardly a household name. The huge manufacturer of materials handling and processing systems for cement, gypsum, steel, and aluminum plants won’t challenge Amazon’s or Tesla’s news-cycle dominance. But Thomas Nagel, the company’s chief digital officer and operations director, is establishing Claudius Peters as a global leader in—of all things—digital innovation.

Founded in 1906 and headquartered in Buxtehude, Germany, near Hamburg, Claudius Peters and is an international company with a dozen offices worldwide. Scale and longevity are reassuring. “But 100 years of operation also means that we are a dinosaur,” Nagel says. That presents a fundamental challenge: How does a “dinosaur” avoid extinction?

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/claudius-peters/.

Photo Credit: Courtesy Claudius Peters

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