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Four New and Innovative Construction Technology Advances in 2015

Posted on December 22nd, 2015

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Nation’s First 3D Printed Estate in 2017

Architect Adam Kushner is set to build the first 3-D printed house in the U.S. Partnering with James Wolff and Enrico Dini of the Italian firm D-shape, the house will feature a carport and a 2,400 square-foot pool area with a Jacuzzi – all located on a five-acre plot in upstate New York. D-shape is providing the large printer that will mix sand, dust and gravel to produce a material with the consistency of marble, which will be used as building blocks for the estate.

This project is estimated to be completed in late 2017; however it is not the first 3-D printed house to be created. Previously, the Netherlands and China demonstrated the ability of 3-D printing to complete construction projects faster with lead Chinese firm WinSun reporting it had built 10 houses in 24 hours with one printer.

Concrete That Drinks Water

With record-breaking precipitation in Texas, Lafarge Tarmac has found a potential solution to the extensive damage to roads caused by storm-water runoff. Their new product, Topmix Permeable allows more than 1,000 gallons of water a minute to soak through and then diverted elsewhere through a series of underground pipes. Through this method, the risk of water damage to the gravel or concrete underneath will be minimal since surface contact with rain water is reduced, and as a result, decreasing the number of repairs needed to maintain driver safety and comfort. Although the product proved effective in parking lot tests, more rigorous applications have yet to be tested, such as heavy-traffic highways or intersections.

Self-Driving Crash Trucks for Work Zones

Crash trucks, vehicles that serve as a decoy to divert traffic from hitting exposed road workers, will soon drive automated. Royal Truck & Equipment Inc. in Coopersburg has demonstrated driverless trucks that use lead trucks as guidance on how it should drive. The test included the crash truck following a lead truck around a parking lot, which the driverless truck perfectly matched the movements, speed, and braking of the lead. By successfully implementing this technology, Royal hopes to save lives by removing the driver component of trucks that are, as Robert Roy, president of Royal Truck & Equipment Inc., says, “literally waiting to be struck”.

Cable-less Elevators Driven by Magnets

ThyssenKrupp Elevator, a company based in Germany, has developed a cable-free elevator that uses magnetic forces to transport the elevator from floor to floor called MULTI. Since traditional elevators can’t support their weight above 2,000 feet, this new elevator will open doors to much taller skyscrapers as current designs calls for two sets of elevators to reach the top of some tall buildings.

Although the company has no date when testing will be complete, a 761-foot concrete test tower in Rottweil, Germany will be completed by the end of 2016. This tower will allow extensive testing of MULTI and ensure safety is prioritized at all times.


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