Industrialized Construction News 8/2022

Here are picks from the August 2002 Industrialized Construction issue of the AEC Business Newsletter.


5-Million-Pound Bridge Moved Slowly Into Place in Detroit (Video)

A new 5-million-pound bridge that will be the first of its kind in Michigan has been moved into place over the I-94 freeway in Detroit, thanks to special machinery known as self-propelled modular transporters.

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Juno Aims to Upend Housing Design and Construction

A modular, componentized system, largely of mass timber, results in better quality, shortened construction schedules, and lower costs than traditional methods.

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Code updates, sustainability spur mass timber’s US adoption

Nordic Structures’ David Croteau said demand for CLT is growing as companies like Google, Microsoft and Facebook seek to reduce their carbon footprints.

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Construction Robots Come in Many Flavors

Construction Robotics categories

While authoring the e-learning course on construction robotics, I explored the various types of robots that are currently available. To get a grasp of the field, I created this illustration. It classifies robots based on the construction workflows that they support.

Construction robots have been around since the 1960s. In the 1970s and 1980s, Japanese companies such as the Shimizu, Obayashi, and Takenaka Corporations built robots and remote-controlled machines. They used those for excavating, material handling, concrete placing, finishing, fireproofing, earthworks, rebar placing, and other tasks. However, the overall robotization of the industry has been slow.

How soon will we see robots take off in our industry?

I did not expect grocery delivery robots to be a part of our everyday lives as they’ve become here in Espoo. That happened really quickly. The Starship autonomous robots first appeared this spring, and now they are delivering food regularly to homes in the region.

Why did this happen? The Starship robots are simple; they make life easier and are non-threatening. All you need to use them is an intuitive shopping list app.

Perhaps there’s a lesson to learn here…

Aarni Heiskanen, Construction Innovation Agent

Intelligent City raises $22M for sustainable prefab homes

The Vancouver-based firm aims to achieve the dual lofty goals of combatting climate change and housing affordability with its Platforms for Life. It combines robotics and in-house software to build homes based on Passive House principles.

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Innovating the construction industry through modules

Samsung C&T Engineering and Construction Group recently completed its first modular building project that is also its first “smart turnkey” project.

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How can factory-built homes cut carbon?

Modular construction is playing a vital role in the construction sector’s battle to cut carbon emissions with factory-built homes, says Nick Hillard, ESG lead at Tide Construction.

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Bill Gates’ Breakthrough Energy backs Terabase’s robot-built solar farms

Breakthrough Energy Ventures, a climate-focused VC firm linked to some of Earth’s wealthiest individuals, has joined a $44 million bet on solar startup Terabase Energy. Terabase aims to rapidly build new solar farms “at the terawatt scale.”

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Modular startup raises $38M, says it’s “the opposite of Katerra”

Assembly OSM compares method to Ikea-style construction. The startup has now raised more than $60 million.

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Modular Design and Construction Transform Building Processes

Dassault Systèmes’ 3D EXPERIENCE platform, a collaborative, cloud-based environment that enables data sharing, is aiding the modularization of numerous AEC projects. It can incorporate data from multiple sources and software providers.

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This Gates-Backed Startup Builds Modular Homes Out of Energy-Efficient Panels

Vantem Global has already helped construct a total of over 3 m square feet of living space in six different countries. It now has closed a Series A funding round co-led by Breakthrough Energy Ventures.

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