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The smart materials revolution is here-Elsevier

Many of us had our first lesson in materials innovation as children when we heard the story of The Three Little Pigs...

Woman killed when large steel cylinder escapes construction site-WPXI

A woman was killed in a construction accident near Petersen Events Center in Pittsburgh’s Oakland neighborhood. A woman...

Frank Lloyd Wright Spring Green Restaurant Achieves Landmark Status-BNN

The Spring Green Restaurant at Riverview Terrace, a design by the legendary architect Frank Lloyd Wright, has been...

Appleton construction company switches from hard hats to helmets-NBC26

When you’re on the job site, safety is everything. In years past, you would start with a hard hat. But, not these guys....

UWM project will document work of Wisconsin’s first Black architect

Researchers and architectural historians from UWM’s Cultural Resource Management program are documenting the work of...

Grafton native is National AIA Young Architect of 2023-News Graphic

Cedarburg High School alumnus and Grafton native Matthew Clapper has been honored by the American Institute of...

This bench at Newark Int Airport by HNTB won a design award-NYPR

The American Institute of Architects New York gave out its annual design awards Monday night. The awards are granted...

The cost of these 5 construction materials grew the most in 2023-MP

After three years of intense growth, costs for some construction materials have begun to normalize — but other...

NYC construction bosses cleared of charges in crane collapse-NYP

Two New York City construction bosses accused of recklessly using a crane that toppled over in a near-fatal accident at...

Canon places fifth in US patent rankings-top five for 37 years running

Canon Inc. (Canon-CNA.com) ranked fifth for the number of U.S. patents awarded in 2022, becoming the only company in...

The smart materials revolution is here-Elsevier

Posted by Tom Taubenheim on May 22, 2024 8:03:00 AM CDT

Many of us had our first lesson in materials innovation as children when we heard the story of The Three Little Pigs and learned that while straw and sticks couldn’t survive the onslaught of the Big Bad Wolf, a house made of bricks stood firm. Since the time that tale was written, materials like concrete, steel and glass came to represent innovation in the form of soaring skyscrapers and sprawling industrial facilities. 

But today, those stalwarts are seen as “traditional,” while newer, innovative materials are pushing the boundaries of what’s possible.

Materials are usually thought of as inert substances that we manipulate to make or augment things. But what if the materials can be reactive? What if they’re “smart”? 

The stuff of science fiction is rapidly coming to life as the chemical and materials industries are evolving and innovating. Increasingly, researchers and manufacturers are discovering how to integrate digital and smart characteristics into materials, enhancing critical functionalities like heat resistance, tensile strength and corrosion resistance. 

Better materials are in the making
In the chemicals industry, there is always a need to devise better protective materials, especially coatings that can prevent corrosion and other types of degradation. Protective coatings are especially important for steel, which is used so widely given its relatively low cost and high performance. Yet unfortunately, this mighty alloy is easily subject to corrosion.

A paper in Nature recently revealed the development of a bio-inspired, self-healing and anti-corrosion waterborne polyurethane (WPU) coating that boasts enhanced tensile strength, damage resistance and anti-corrosion performance. Most impressive, perhaps, are its “self-healing” properties. The paper’s authors explain that “Importantly, due to the reversibility of the hydrogen bonding array, the fractured WPU can easily heal and restore its original mechanical properties when subjected to heating at 50 °C.” 

They go on to note that the coating “presents a revolutionary solution for creating multi-functional, high-performance smart material in harsh
..Read More Here

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Topics: Building Materials

Woman killed when large steel cylinder escapes construction site-WPXI

Posted by Tom Taubenheim on May 15, 2024 8:05:00 AM CDT

A woman was killed in a construction accident near Petersen Events Center in Pittsburgh’s Oakland neighborhood.

A woman was found to have catastrophic injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene minutes after medics arrived.

The initial investigation indicates that a large metal drum escaped a nearby construction site, rolled down the hill, broke through fencing and hit the woman on the sidewalk.

Public safety officials said the piece of metal weighs at least one ton.

A massive construction cylinder is seen in the middle of the road resting against a pickup truck.

Initial reports indicate the woman was a staff member at one of the local hospitals and was with one or two coworkers when she was hit, Public safety officials said.

Subcontractor Costa Contracting released the following statement:

With heavy hearts, Costa Contracting wishes to extend their deepest condolences to the family of the woman who lost her life today. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family during this profoundly difficult time.

Costa Contracting is committed to a full investigation to determine the factors that led to this event. Safety remains our paramount concern and we are working with OSHA and local authorities to understand precisely what occurred.

At this time, we respect the privacy of the family and ask that others do the same.

Further updates will be provided as more information becomes available.

UPMC issued the following statement to Channel 11:

UPMC is aware of this tragedy and our immediate concern is the safety and well-being of our employees, patients and visitors. While this was not a UPMC construction site, we know this tragedy will impact our campuses. At this time, we have no further information to share.

The University of Pittsburgh’s Counseling Center released the following statement:

“Earlier today, a pedestrian was fatally injured near a construction site in the vicinity of DeSoto Street and Terrace Street. The individual is not a current student or employee of the University of Pittsburgh. No other
..Read More Here

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Frank Lloyd Wright Spring Green Restaurant Achieves Landmark Status-BNN

Posted by Tom Taubenheim on March 27, 2024 8:05:00 AM CDT

The Spring Green Restaurant at Riverview Terrace, a design by the legendary architect Frank Lloyd Wright, has been officially added to the National Register of Historic Places. This recognition not only celebrates Wright's innovative design but also marks the site as a pivotal community gathering space within the Spring Green area.

Historic Designation and Community Impact

Carrie Rodamaker, the executive director of the Taliesin Preservation, highlighted the unique architectural features of the Spring Green Restaurant, including its geometric red chairs, panoramic views of the Wisconsin River through expansive windows, and a midcentury modern arched vaulted ceiling with skylights. These design elements underscore Wright's belief in the harmony between natural light and architectural space. The designation by the Wisconsin Historical Society as a landmark enables the Taliesin Preservation to undertake necessary repairs, particularly to the roof and foundation of the iconic structure.

Wright's Vision and the Restaurant's Evolution

Frank Lloyd Wright envisioned the space as a welcoming area for the community and a gateway to his 800-acre estate, Taliesin. Although construction began in 1956, it was halted upon Wright's death in 1959. The project was revived in 1966 by the Wisconsin River Development Corp., with slight modifications to Wright's original design. The restaurant, formally dedicated as the Spring Green Restaurant in 1967, operated independently for 25 years before becoming the Frank Lloyd Wright Visitor Center, featuring a café and gift shop.

Future Prospects and Preservation Efforts

The historic designation not only honors Wright's architectural legacy but also aids in the preservation of his vision for community engagement through design. The Taliesin Preservation, with its team of 16 year-round employees, continues to offer public tours from May through October, fostering a deeper appreciation for Wright's contributions to architecture and community planning. The landmark status promises to enhance these efforts, ensuring the Spring Green Restaurant remains a vibrant part of the community for generations to come..Read More Here

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Topics: Design, Frank Lloyd Wright

Appleton construction company switches from hard hats to helmets-NBC26

Posted by Tom Taubenheim on March 20, 2024 8:08:00 AM CDT

When you’re on the job site, safety is everything. In years past, you would start with a hard hat.

But, not these guys.

The Boldt Company did away with hard hats in favor of safety helmets. While unsure at first, workers have adapted to the changes.

“We switched to safety helmets here at the Boldt company," says Safety Operations Manager Kristin Clements.
This is in light of research that shows construction workers receive more traumatic brain injuries than other industries in the United States.

Clements helped lead the change.

“We recognize the advancing technologies and protection out there for the employees,” said Clements.

They are no longer using hard hats. Instead, safety helmets are now the new head protection gear of choice for Boldt.

 

However, workers like weld shop foreman William F. Cummings had to adapt to the changes at first.

"It was something that for guys that I’ve worked with in construction for 20-25 years that have used the same hardhat," Cummings noted. "Then, the new ones got launched out and right away there was, you know, confusion and a lot didn’t like to switch right away.

Boldt's safety helmet was launched back in 2022. Now, workers like Cummings say they like the helmets better than hardhats.

“Being able to switch out the face shields, welding helmets they’re a lot more breathable," Cummings said, giving credit to the design. "They are a lot more comfortable.”..
Read More Here

 

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Topics: Construction Safety, Construction

UWM project will document work of Wisconsin’s first Black architect

Posted by Tom Taubenheim on March 14, 2024 8:03:00 AM CDT

Researchers and architectural historians from UWM’s Cultural Resource Management program are documenting the work of Alonzo Robinson Jr., the first registered Black architect in Wisconsin.

Robinson’s career spanned over four decades and included public buildings, churches and projects for members of Milwaukee’s African American community. Several notable buildings include Mr. Perkins Restaurant at Atkinson Drive and North 20th St.; the Kosciuszko Park Community Center; and the downtown Milwaukee Fire Department headquarters at 7th and Wells, which was renamed in 2021 to honor Alonzo Robinson’s role as designer of the building.

The UWM team is partnering with the Robinson family, the Wisconsin Black Historical Society, and Docomomo Wisconsin, a nonprofit dedicated to modern architecture and design. The team will unveil a website this summer dedicated to Robinson’s life and architectural projects.

“Robinson’s buildings are unmistakably modern while also remaining sensitive to the scale and appearance of their surroundings,” said Justin Miller, UWM architectural historian. “We’re excited and honored to help share these buildings and the stories they tell about African American achievement and resilience.”

The project is funded by a grant from the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund, a program from the National Trust for Historic Preservation. UWM is one of 40 organizations to receive a total of $3.8 million in grant funding to advance ongoing preservation activities for historic places that represent African American cultural heritage. With more than $91 million in funding, the Action Fund is the largest U.S. resource dedicated to the preservation of African American historic places. Since 2018, the Action Fund has supported 242 projects through its investment of $20 million.

“The Action Fund’s investment in and celebration of 40 historic African American places illustrates our belief that historic preservation plays an important role in American society,” said Brent Leggs, executive director of the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund and..Read More Here

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Topics: Architect

Grafton native is National AIA Young Architect of 2023-News Graphic

Posted by Tom Taubenheim on March 6, 2024 8:05:00 AM CST

Cedarburg High School alumnus and Grafton native Matthew Clapper has been honored by the American Institute of Architects with the National AIA Young Architect of 2023 award. The award is given to individuals who, in an early stage of their architectural career, have shown exceptional leadership and made significant contributions to the profession and community at large.

Clapper was selected due to his efforts expanding the AIA Small Firm Exchange (SFx) to be more inclusive in regard to gender and race and to represent all 50 states so small firm architects could readily share information and find support, according to the AIA.

Clapper was National SFx Chair in 2021, increasing membership through Zoom meetings during COVID and supplying support to small firms struggling during a trying time. His volunteer efforts included directing the Wilson Underline, a marketplace beneath the L elevated train in Chicago. Clapper is also a mentor to aspiring architects/students in the Wing program.

Clapper is principal and founder of Modern Architecture & Development (MAD) based in Milwaukee since 2013 with an extension in Chicago. He grew up in Grafton, where he owns a farm and is president of Country View Development, a residential subdivision selling 1-acre lots that share a pond and trail through the woods off Lakefield Road.

He believes being multifaceted can provide a balance between social good and financial aspects, according to AIA.

"Rather than tract housing squeezing into every foot of land, each quality home must be of a different design and has space to encompass the true country view of sunsets beyond fields," according to the AIA award. He personally oversees all aspects of the development from wetland studies, engineering drawings, to contracts while pushing the architecture profession forward. Clapper also received the state AIA Wisconsin Young Architect Award in 2022.

Clapper received his Master of Science in Architecture and Urban Design from Columbia University in New York City, his Advanced Professional Certificate in Real Estate Development from NYU and his original Master of Architecture from
..Read More Here

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Topics: Architect, AIA, Award

This bench at Newark Int Airport by HNTB won a design award-NYPR

Posted by Tom Taubenheim on February 7, 2024 8:04:00 AM CST

The American Institute of Architects New York gave out its annual design awards Monday night. The awards are granted for “outstanding architectural design” in New York City, or by NYC-based architects.

Many winners are the type you’d expect to receive an architecture award — this year’s top honors included glitzy, high-profile projects like the new Perelman Performing Arts Center in Lower Manhattan

Others are less obvious. The top honor in the “projects” category, for example, went to a series of new benches, just past security, at Newark Airport’s Terminal C.

“Design excellence is the purpose of this program,” said Jesse Lazar, the executive director of AIANY, who was not on the independent jury that chose the awards.

“Design is of course about making something beautiful, but it’s also about solving problems," Lazar said.

Founded in New York in 1857, the American Institute of Architects organized into local chapters 10 years later — AIA New York remains the oldest and largest in the country.

The jury described the Terminal C benches, by the Missouri-based firm HNTB, as solving a problem that anyone who flies will understand — getting past security with your shoes off, things strewn about, and finding nowhere to sit and get it all together.

“It’s not a huge social problem,” Lazar said. “But it’s a problem people experience in space, and the jury felt this project addressed it in a way that was sensitive, beautiful, attentive to detail, and effective. Sometimes it’s as simple as that.”

The jury also appreciated the design of the bench base, which rhymes visually with the columns of the new terminal itself.

“What comes across as simplistic unpacks a lot of richness to it,” the jury said.

Other honorees at this year’s event reflect how the field’s focus is widening beyond big-budget “starchitecture.”

Bedford Green House I, an affordable housing project in the Northwest Bronx by the Manhattan firm ESKW/Architects, won a “merit” award in the..Read More Here

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Topics: Design Awards

The cost of these 5 construction materials grew the most in 2023-MP

Posted by Tom Taubenheim on January 31, 2024 8:06:00 AM CST

After three years of intense growth, costs for some construction materials have begun to normalize — but other materials and equipment are becoming more expensive.

Machinery Partner used Bureau of Labor Statistics data to identify which construction materials underwent the steepest price increases over the past year. The analysis considered 30 products from the BLS Producer Price Index.

The COVID-19 pandemic caused a 39.6% spike in overall input construction costs since February 2020, according to an Associated Builders and Contractors analysis of BLS PPI data. Work stoppages, raw materials shortages, and transportation issues at the height of the pandemic caused supply chain collapses that drove up prices for builders.

As some supply issues have improved, prices have cooled. Nonresidential construction input prices fell 1.1% over the past year, according to an ABC analysis. However, many individual commodities are increasing in price, particularly heavy materials that are more expensive to transport, according to construction cost data provider Gordian

High construction prices, higher mortgage interest rates, and higher labor costs have led to a 17% drop in the construction of new single-family homes despite consistent demand.

Construction projects centered on infrastructure are better positioned as government money from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act comes online. However, the law's "Build America, Buy America" clause requires builders to use American-made iron, steel, and other construction materials for these infrastructure projects. Certain experts and contractor groups fear these infrastructure rules may cause prices to increase even more. The transition to greener buildings also creates more demand — and therefore increases prices — for materials used in more energy-efficient construction.

Inflation has contributed to increased prices for many construction materials, including clay products, per LBM Journal. More megaprojects, including two manufacturing plants in Georgia totaling $6.7 billion, also create more demand, causing price increases.

Higher transportation costs aren't the only element plaguing concrete prices. Its production is a big culprit in..Read More Here

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Topics: Building Materials

NYC construction bosses cleared of charges in crane collapse-NYP

Posted by Tom Taubenheim on January 24, 2024 8:07:00 AM CST

Two New York City construction bosses accused of recklessly using a crane that toppled over in a near-fatal accident at a Manhattan job site were acquitted by a Manhattan Supreme Court judge Thursday.

Timothy Braico, 46, and Terrence Edwards, 44, dodged second-degree assault and reckless endangerment charges in the eight-month long trial for the June 25, 2018 crane collapse at a luxury residential building in Harlem.

The case was argued at a non-jury trial before Judge Maxwell Wiley after nearly five years of pretrial litigation that followed the pair’s November 2018 indictment by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.

“We are grateful that justice was done and wish that Mr. Braico didn’t have to wait five years to be vindicated,” Dan Horwitz, Braico’s defense attorney, said in a statement.

Prosecutors argued that Braico, a senior branch manager, rented a Jekko mini crane without ensuring that it was properly set up, while having untrained workers use the equipment.

Edwards, a site supervisor, had allegedly instructed an untrained worker to use the crane — causing it to topple over, sending a heavy glass panel crashing to the ground on the day of the incident, prosecutors have said.

Dramatic video of the crash showed the boom strike two ironworkers on the third floor of the construction site on East 126th Street.

One of the workers suffered severe head trauma and the other’s mobility was impaired due to his injuries.

Defense attorneys had accused the DA’s Office of withholding evidence that involved disgraced former Assistant District Attorney Diana Florence, who testified in the case.

Florence, a former head of the office’s Construction Fraud Task Force, resigned amid allegations that she withheld evidence in several other major cases in 2020.

The one-time Manhattan DA hopeful was accused of devising a “scheme” to have a summons dismissed against crane operator Steven Lewis, whom the defense accused of..Read More Here

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Topics: Construction Safety, Construction Lawsuit, Construction Accident

Canon places fifth in US patent rankings-top five for 37 years running

Posted by Tom Taubenheim on January 17, 2024 8:07:00 AM CST

Canon Inc. (Canon-CNA.com) ranked fifth for the number of U.S. patents awarded in 2022, becoming the only company in the world to have ranked in the top five for 37 years running, according to the latest ranking of preliminary patent results issued by IFI CLAIMS Patent Services. What’s more, Canon ranked first among Japanese companies for 18 consecutive years.

Canon actively promotes the globalization of its business and places great value on obtaining patents overseas, carefully adhering to a patent-filing strategy that pursues patents in essential countries and regions while taking into consideration the business strategies and technology and product trends unique to each location. Among these, the United States, with its many high-tech companies and large market scale, represents a particularly important region in terms of business expansion and technology alliances.

Canon U.S. patent rankings 2013–2022Previous 10 years

Year

Overall

ranking

Ranking among

Japanese companies

No. of

patents

2022

5th

1st

2,694

2021

3rd

1st

3,021

2020

3rd

1st

3,225

2019

3rd

1st

3,548

2018

3rd

1st

3,051

2017

3rd

1st

3,284

2016

3rd

1st

3,662

2015

3rd

1st

4,127

2014

3rd

1st

4,048

2013

3rd

1st

3,820

Canon aims to create new technologies in its four business groups of printing, imaging, medical and industrial equipment. In addition to strengthening the competitiveness of each of its businesses, in recent years, the company has been focusing on development of fundamental technologies, such as video analysis, cutting-edge image sensors, volumetric video and healthcare AI, that can be applied and utilized for various purposes, as well as the acquisition of patent rights for such technologies. In keeping with the times, in order to encourage the core competency technologies that support its business, Canon promotes the acquisition and utilization of intellectual property rights which it uses to maintain a robust patent portfolio that ensures the competitiveness and freedom of its businesses.

Going forward, Canon will continue its intellectual property initiatives with the goal of supporting its businesses, providing products and services with added value, and contributing to a better society

A/E Graphics of Brookfield, Wisconsin was recognized as a Canon 2023 Large Format Top Performing Dealer in North America.. Read More Here

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Topics: Canon, Patent

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