History of Innovation

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Archive for the ‘Construction’ Category

2008: Masdar City – Masdar, United Arab Emirates

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Innovation:  Masdar City (first/only zero-carbon zero-waste city)
Location: Masdar, UAE
Year:  2008-2025
Architect: Foster and Partners

Masdar is a planned city located in Abu Dhabi, UAE, targeted to rely entirely on renewable energy sources with a sustainable zero carbon zero waste ecology [1]. The city consists of 2.3 square miles of homes and businesses for 50,000 residents with 60,000 daily commuters budgeted at US$19.8 billion. The intent for the city was to become a central location for cleantech companies and model of inspiration for a future energy conscience world. Masdar will accomplish its energy goals through the use of one of the first 40-60 megawatt solar power plant (Conergy), rooftop solar panels, wind farms, waste incineration, and hydrogen power plant [2]. A solar powered desalination plant supplies the water needs, recycling approximately 80% of water. Masdar City was designed and operated to provide the highest (healthiest) quality of life with the lowest environmental footprint. It is a global center of future energy. [3]  `

Web links: 123
Video: Masdar City


Written by Charys Clay

October 8, 2008 at 11:29 pm

2007: Global Warming Recognized

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Discovery:  Global Warming Recognized
Year:  2007
By:  United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

Global warming is the increase of average temperature in Earth’s atmosphere occurring since the late 19th century.  In 2007 the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the Fourth Assessment Report acknowledging that global warming is occurring.  The report summarized a climate model consisting of a predicted increased global surface temperature of 1.1 to 6.4 degrees Celsius by the 21st century, depending on the release of greenhouse gas emissions. Consequences of global warming have included increase in sea level, broadening of subtropical deserts, and change in precipitation. UNFCCC was formed to propose policy changes to reduce the release of greenhouse gases.

Currently nonprofit organizations such as Architecture 2030 exist to establish a response to this phenomenon by setting goals to reduce climate changing release of greenhouse gases by the Building Sector through the development process of planning designing and construction [1]. In addition, market driven programs such as LEED provide owners with a framework for creating green building designs, construction, and operations. These organizations help lower operating costs and increase asset value, reduce landfill waste, conserve energy and water, reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions, etc [2]. Because The building sector accounts for almost half of all greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S, it is now considered vital that buildings be made efficiently [3]. [4]. `

Web links to more info about global warming’s impact on the building sector: 123, 4
Video: President Obama on Climate Change
Introduction to LEED Certification
Energy Effiecient Building

Written by Charys Clay

October 8, 2007 at 10:06 pm

2006: Revit MEP

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Innovation:  Revit Mechanical
Location: Cambridge, MA
Year:  2006
By: Autodesk

In 1987 AutoCAD AEC mechanical was released and acquired by Autodesk in 1990 [2]. This was one of few products with the capability of designing plumbing and HVAC in buildings. Revit was acquired by Autodesk Mechanical Division in 2002 for $133 million, and Revit MEP was released in 2006.

Today, the software is mandated by GSA and is a distinct platform in Building Solutions Division. Data from building systems can be compiled into a central file within the LAN to detect possible space interferences of mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems, therefore deterring expensive consequences upon construction. Revit provides engineers with a central form of communication in design, ultimately implementing easier collaboration. Designers spend more time designing and less time drafting. In addition, Autodesk Revit MEP tools help produce energy efficient building systems designs [3].

Web links: 1, 2, 3
autocad mechanical vs revit mep
Video: Getting Started with Revit MEP

2005: Cowboys Stadium – Arlington, Texas

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Building: Cowboys Stadium
Location: Arlington, Texas
Construction years: 2005-2009
Owner: City of Arlington
Architect: HKS, Inc.
Structural Engineer: Walter P Moore and Campbell & Associates
General Contractor: Manhattan Construction

The stadium of NFL’s Dallas Cowboys is the largest dome in the world.  The roof has an area of 660,800 square feet with the highest point at nearly 300 feet above the field.  The stadium is centered about two main steel arch box trusses, anchored to the ground on each end lying 1,225 feet apart.  Two of the large panels connecting these trusses are retractable, creating an opening of 104,960 square feet in twelve minutes.  The world’s largest operable glass doors are located at each end zone of the stadium, spanning 180 feet wide and 120 feet high.  The main exterior shell of the building is fritted glass curtain wall with aluminum mullions.  This curtain wall is supported by vertical, rectangular steel tubes placed every 8 feet along the perimeter.  The arena seating is supported by over 700 concrete piers that are drilled 20 to 80 feet into the ground.  Combining these elements has made an aesthetically pleasing building that well serves its function. [1]  `

More information: 1, 2, 3

Written by Krista Seaman

October 4, 2005 at 9:45 pm

2004: Release of Revit Architecture

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Image Source and More Revit Architecture Features

Innovation:  Revit Architecture
Location: United States
Year:  2004
By: Autodesk

Revit Architecture is Building Information Modeling (BIM) software produced by Autodesk.  Revit was first released by Revit Technology Corporation in 2000.  At this time, its main competitors were ArchiCAD by Graphisoft and Microstation by Bentley Systems.  Revit was bought out by Autodesk in 2002.  The 2004 release was the first truly comprehensive BIM software, named Revit Building.  The name was changed to Revit Architecture after the 2006 release.  This software was the first of its kind, fully incorporating BIM into the 3D modeling program.  Rather than building with lines, Revit operates using members; for example, a door or window is all one piece, the designer simply specifies the material and dimensions.  Further, the creation of Revit Architecture allowed architects and building designers to create a task schedule directly linked to the respective parts, to easily identify collisions within the design, to link the members to specific products that will be purchased, to determine the occupancy level and ventilation loads for spaces, and overall to capture every aspect of a building in one database. [1] [2] `

Written by Krista Seaman

October 4, 2004 at 4:35 pm

2004: Burj Khalifa- Dubai, UAE

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Image Credits: [1] [2]

Innovation: Burj Khalifa (tallest building in the world)
Location: Dubai, UAE
Architect/Structural Engineering: Skidmore, Owings, & Merrill (SOM)
Construction timeline: January 2004- January 2010

The tallest building in the world at 2,717 feet, the Burj Khalifa represents a collaboration between engineers, architects, specialists, and contractors from around the world at a magnitude never before seen.  More than 30 contractors from around the world had 12,000 workers on site per day that represented over 100 nationalities. Specialists from China worked on a cladding system that can withstand intense summer heat and significant wind load. Chicago-based firm SOM provided the architectural and structural design for the structure.

A reinforced concrete foundation containing 192 reinforced concrete piles buried 164 feet supports the tower, which is centered around a buttressed hexagonal concrete core with 26 helical levels that decrease in cross section higher in elevation. The setback structure of the building eliminates abrupt transfers in load and eliminates wind vortices by varying building shape at different heights. The core itself resists torsional movement while corridor walls resist wind shear and moments. Vertical columns in the wall system resist both lateral loads and gravity, making the Burj Khalifa an efficient structure. A spire made of 4,000 tons of structural steel tops the structure and had to be constructed inside the tower and raised with a hydraulic pump. Every 30 stories, an entire floor is devoted to MEP equipment and the tower holds the record for world’s tallest service elevators. `

Construction timeline and innovative construction techniques
Burj Khalifa facts and figures

Written by Meagan Wilkes

January 1, 2004 at 7:36 pm

1997 – International Building Code

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Innovation: International Building Code
Location: United States
Year: 1997
By: International Code Council

Throughout the 20th century, the east coast, west coast, and southeast each had their own regional building codes that specified building regulations.  By the early nineties, it became evident that the nation needed a uniform standard for building regulations; the International Code Council was established in 1994, and after years of research, developed the International Building Code in 1997, which provided the first set of building regulations that had no regional limitations.  The development of the IBC provided uniformity to the design and construction processes of buildings, which ultimately ensured a greater sense of safety for buildings’ occupants.  `

More Info: [1]

Written by Charles Lander

October 9, 1997 at 4:48 pm