Home » Archive

Articles tagged with: concrete

EARTH, WATER »

[27 Dec 2011 | No Comment | 17,593 views]
Not Quite Coral: A New Type of Cement Made from CO2 and Water

 
When I was a small and intensely young person, my parents would drive me down the California coastline to a town called Carmel near Monterrey Bay, where we would hang out on the beach and frolic amongst the slowly rotting kelp and aggressive sea gulls, eat burgers at Flaherty’s Seafood Restaurant (which specializes in seafood, not land food – I was five), and weave in and out of various art galleries until we were tired enough to return to our hotel and fall asleep.

Image courtesy citi-data.com
One time down in Carmel …

EARTH, WATER »

[29 Nov 2011 | No Comment | 9,499 views]
Solid Poetry: Patterns Revealed in Concrete When Wet

 
The grass is always greener – except when it doesn’t rain appreciably for three straight months, as was the case this summer where I live in Texas. Here, the grass was golden brown, parched, dessicated and crunchy like a stale sugar cookie or gauze belonging to a dried out ancient Egyptian mummy. As summer wore on, I found myself desperately squinting up at the blazing blue sky, searching in vain for the faintest hint of cloud formation. We were facing the kind of heat that makes standing on black pavement …

EARTH »

[21 Jun 2011 | One Comment | 10,087 views]
TAKTL: Ultra High Performance Concrete

When the Romans were messing around with chemicals and rocks, looking for something that would allow them to construct barrel vaults and the odd aqueduct, I doubt they imagined that unreinforced concrete could one day achieve a level of refinement that would make the supremely elegant (late) Princess Grace look like a bit of a pig.

Image courtesy newcritic.com
But yes, the day has dawned: TAKTL is a new ultra high performance concrete (UHPC) with seemingly “unlimited potential in the architecture, landscape and product design industries” (Source: TAKTL).  This new material is similar to GFRC (Glass Fiber …

EARTH, FIRE »

[3 Jun 2011 | One Comment | 6,374 views]
Glowcrete: Luminescent Concrete by Vergelabs

There’s something magic about things that glow – they’re suprising and delightful.  Think of that moment at the aquarium when you turn a corner and encounter a darkened tank illuminated by a school of luminous fish darting hither and yon, or nights spent staring up at a bedroom ceiling covered with constellations of glowing stick-on stars.
VergeLabs, an architecture and design practice based in the United Arab Emirates founded as a partnership between Ginger Krieg Dosier and Michael Dosier, brought some of that magic to concrete with their development of Glowcrete.

Image courtesy Vergelabs
The researchers used phosphorescent …

EARTH, FIRE »

[9 Feb 2011 | One Comment | 6,995 views]
FibreC: Thin Slab Concrete Siding that May Settle the Wood vs. Brick Debate

I grew up in Northern California, and I suppose I like the look of structures clad in wood because they’re comfortable and familiar. Wood works wonderfully in that earthquake-riddled part of the country because it’s flexible and can handle the forces imparted by the occasional seismic event better than a brick facade.  Brick is great, but it can’t be denied that it will undergo a complete nervous breakdown when placed under unusual stress. More often than not, wood faced with lateral forces takes a deep breath, squares its shoulders, and carries on with the vital business of protecting building interiors …

EARTH »

[1 Dec 2010 | 4 Comments | 5,839 views]
BacillaFilla: Bacteria that Repair Cracked and Damaged Concrete

 
Joints are like an after-school program for cracks in concrete. If we fail to provide a place for cracks to occur safely, under supervision, and in aesthetically pleasing configurations, we as a society will be faced with complete anarchy in our walls and slabs.  This horrifying chaos could lead to unwed, underage cracks begetting more cracks and, possibly even more alarming, cracks on crack.
Sometimes, despite the provision of joints and reinforcing in concrete to resist tension, construction goes horribly wrong. Say the mix is off, or the wrong strength is used by mistake, or perhaps …

EARTH »

[25 Jun 2010 | 2 Comments | 7,603 views]
Carbon Cast Concrete

Carbon fiber is one of those futuristic-sounding, expensive materials that I associate with supersonic airplanes, fancy road race bicycles, and $400,000 dining tables.  So imagine my surprise when I found out that, back in 2003, a group of precast concrete companies banded together with carbon fiber grid provider Chomarat to form AltusGroup, who manufacture a product called Carbon Cast Concrete.  “AltusGroup members use Chomarat’s C-GRID®, as the carbon fiber epoxy based reinforcing in several precast building system products to enhance the strength and reduce the weight of precast concrete” (Drabestott).  Reinforcing humble precast concrete with …

EARTH, FIRE »

[3 Feb 2010 | No Comment | 8,014 views]
Get Lit: Lucem and Litracon

Light-transmitting concrete is kind of endearingly creepy looking – it reminds me of one of those tiny hypoallergenic dogs with no fur except in pale tufts on its oversized head.  I’m jarred by the fact that light can shine through something designed to be massive and essentially made out of rocks.  Glass fibers are embedded in the concrete in parallel, so that light is transmitted from one side of a block of the concrete to the other.  The technology is not brand new;  I saw light-transmitting concrete featured at the National Building Museum some …

EARTH, FEATURED, WATER »

[2 Feb 2010 | One Comment | 10,059 views]
Concrete Cloth

It’s probably not a good idea for another architect to be spreading the word about a “building in a bag” developed by architects and Concrete Canvas co-founders Peter Brewin and William Crawford, but it’s just such a clever and useful concept that I can’t keep it to myself.  Besides, they’re not very pretty (the buildings – I haven’t laid eyes on Peter Brewin or William Crawford) so I don’t think we’ll be officing or living in Concrete Canvas Shelters except under the most extreme circumstances:  the local design review board starts experimenting with peyote for example, or suddenly people only …

EARTH »

[26 Jan 2010 | 2 Comments | 6,072 views]
Integrity Block

Concrete Masonry Units, also affectionately called “CMU,” provide those fortunate enough to be able to lay hands on them with an easy, fire-resistant, low maintenance, cheap way to throw a wall together in a hurry.  All that’s needed is a foundation, the aforementioned CMU, reinforcement, mortar, concrete to fill the voids in the blocks where necessary, and somebody with a strong back to put it all together.  Convince your somebody to stack these ingredients evenly in neat rows – and voila!  You have a wall.  You can even cover up CMU with something else if they look ugly.  So where’s …

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...