Energy-efficient construction vehicles were on display at the recent bauma convention in Munich, including Wacker Neuson Group's DW15e electrically operated wheel dumper and two electric mini-excavators that are quieter than diesel counterparts. CIFA unveiled upgrades to its electric hybrid Energya 9 mixer, which also has reduced noise.
S-Squared 3D Printers built a 500-square-foot concrete home in Patchogue, N.Y., in less than 12 hours. The company, which just signed a contract to build 80 homes in Kansas, said the technology can reduce construction costs by up to 70% and uses the same amount of electricity as a typical hair dryer.
Sand or concrete may eventually provide a lower-cost alternative to batteries for storing electrical power. Jason Miller, engineering manager at Echogen Power Systems, is working on a way to transform electrical energy into heat that can be stored en masse in these common construction materials and then converted back into electricity as needed.
Seawalls can be made using rocks, vegetation or concrete forms, such as on a beach off one of the Cook Islands, to dissipate wave energy while allowing water through, and in Japan where concrete tetrapods are used.
With 12,000 wind turbines in the European Union estimated to be decommissioned in the next five years, various industry partners are investigating the use of recycled wind blade material as filler for cement. Blades can be ground onsite to eliminate shipping whole blades to a processing facility.
Carl Sorensen addresses some of the typical mistakes contractors make when developing their websites, including incompatibility with mobile devices, use of the wrong tags and low-quality images. Contractors should make sure their websites have a clear call to action and overview of service areas, Sorensen writes.
A foray into additional markets and a willingness to invest in technology are needed to keep construction companies afloat at a time of narrow profit margins, Kenny Ingram writes. Improved business models and technology such as software for building information modeling and enterprise resource planning can help.
Much talk but virtually no prospect of action on federal funding for infrastructure projects has left states to their own devices. Some states are considering alternatives to traditional motor vehicle fuel taxes, which some believe may be rendered obsolete as vehicles become more fuel-efficient.
Join us at The ACI Concrete Convention and Exposition this Fall in Cincinnati, Ohio. We will kick off the convention with the Opening Session and keynote speaker, Mark Bowden, on October 20, 2019. He will be presenting "Winning Body Language to Stand Out, Win Trust, and Gain Credibility."