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5 Incredible Modern Marvels of Civil Engineering

5 Incredible Modern Marvels of Civil Engineering

Spectacular feats of engineering are always impressive, but when it comes to civil engineering marvels, the sheer scale of the feat can be difficult at times to truly comprehend. Some projects are singular, elegant, and record-breaking efforts, as is the case of the Millau Viaduct in Millau, France, the tallest bridge in the world. Others were the accumulation of several smaller projects that together transformed an entire region the way the Tennessee Valley Authority did in the Tennessee Valley in the United States, building a dozen hydroelectric dams and completely electrifying several US states at the height of the Great Depression. Whatever the project, the scale of these civil engineeri... »

Rust-proof reinforcement promises maintenance-free concrete

Rust-proof reinforcement promises maintenance-free concrete

A team of engineers at Australia’s Deakin University has developed a form of concrete reinforcement that may dramatically reduce the need to maintain structures such as bridges. The academics, led by Mahbube Subhani and Kazem Ghabraie, lecturers in civil engineering, have developed a rebar that uses carbon and plastic rather than steel, and will shortly test it on a pedestrian bridge near Deakin’s home in the city of Geelong. Subhani commented: “We have replaced the steel reinforcing bar with more durable carbon and glass-fibre reinforced polymer. “Structures made with steel reinforced concrete require maintenance about every five years and major maintenance or rehabilitation every 20 years.... »

There is a need for a dialogue between Health and Built Environment Professionals

There is a need for a dialogue between Health and Built Environment Professionals

The need to prevent disease is well recognised globally. However, prevention efforts often largely focus onhealthcare systems. We need to look beyond disease and individual sector silos and take into account the potential of the social and built environment to both prevent disease, but also contribute to it. This has been demonstrated recently by the ongoing inquest into the asthma-related death of a young girl in London, which it has been suggested may have been associated with unlawful levels of air pollution. Urban governance and town planning processes need to ensure that policies avoid toxic decisions which have a negative impact on the health of urban populations. Healthcare and Built ... »

Glass skyscrapers: An environmental boon to the built environment

Glass skyscrapers: An environmental boon to the built environment

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio has declared that skyscrapers made of glass and steel “have no place in our city or our Earth anymore”. He argued that their energy inefficient design contributes to global warming and insisted that his administration would restrict glassy high-rise developments in the city. Glass has always been an unlikely material for large buildings, because of how difficult it becomes to control temperature and glare indoors. In fact, the use of fully glazed exteriors only became possible with advances in air conditioning technology and access to cheap and abundant energy, which came about in the mid-20th century. And studies suggest that on average, carbon emissions from a... »

What construction can learn from the gaming industry?

What construction can learn from the gaming industry?

Remember Mario – the computer game character who bounced on toadstools and rescued Princess Peach? While Mario hasn’t changed with time, the games industry has – primarily through the introduction of new tech. What can the construction industry learn from how games developers have adapted to, and commercialised, these changes? The gaming industry is as susceptible to change as any other. In the 1990s, there were various games systems in the market such as Nintendo’s SNES and the Sega Megadrive. The business model was to sell consoles and games and success would be based on a combination of hardware performance, the number of games available and the gameplay experience. Some companies failed.... »

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