Thursday, September 19, 2013

World’s First Invisible Skyscraper to Be Built in South Korea

Designed by architectural firm GDS Architects, Tower Infinity in South Korea will be the world’s first ‘invisible’ skyscraper. Equipped with an LED facade system with optical cameras, the building will create a reflective skin to display the background behind it on its exterior—allowing it to blend in with the skyline. Developers of Tower Infinity were recently granted construction permits to begin building the skyscraper on the outskirts of Seoul, near the city’s airport.

At a height of 1,467-feet, the building will be used for entertainment and leisure purposes, and will include a 4D Theater, restaurants, a water park, landscaped gardens, and the third-highest observation deck in the world.

“Instead of symbolizing prominence as another of the world’s tallest and best towers, our solution aims to provide the World’s first invisible tower, showcasing innovative Korean technology while encouraging a more Global narrative in the process,” said the company.

Check out the photos for a sneak preview at the world’s first ‘invisible’ skyscraper:

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

What the New York City Skyline Will Look Like In 2020

If current building proposals are any indication, New York's skyline is going to keep getting taller and taller. In the next few years, the skyline will boast 10 new towers. The 1,250-foot Empire State Building, currently the tallest completed skyscraper in the city, will rank third behind 1 World Trade Center and 432 Park Avenue. For an idea of what the city will look like a few years from now, check out renderings of the city that incorporate current construction projects.

Midtown, looking south towards downtown Manhattan:

The Far West Side will look a bit different once Hudson Yards is added:

Monday, September 16, 2013

Lighting Science Group Receives $20 Million Investment

Lighting Science Group Corp. recently announced it closed a $20 million preferred stock financing plan led by affiliates of Pegasus Capital Advisors, L.P., with participation from Riverwood Capital Partners, L.P. These companies are LSCG's two largest shareholders. Lighting Science Group received $17.4 million of the funds at the closing of the financing and has received a commitment to fund the balance of $2.6 million. The funding will be used to finance the company's growth, with a strong focus on technology platforms and product innovations.

Click to visit website

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Robots on Jobsites? Not So Far Fetched

MIT research scientists insist that the future of home building lies in technology which includes smart machines that can perform construction functions. A professor at USC has invented a fabrication process that operates on the principles of 3D printing. Software able to read blueprints guides a large mechanical arm suspended from a mobile scaffold. The arm extrudes liquefied concrete in patterns that form exterior and interior walls into any shape and height. Electrical, plumbing, flooring, and other finish work can be installed during the process, which operates nonstop until the structure is completed.

In the not so distant future, more and more activities will be operated by software. Instead of Teamsters, there will be robotic trucks. Where there had once been miners, there will be mining robots. Instead of factories, there will be 3D printers in your home.

But, robots on jobsites?

"Yes," says Dr. Khoshnevis, an engineering professor at the University of Southern California, who is betting on home building becoming part of that continuum.

Since 2002, he has been perfecting "Contour Crafting,” a fabrication process that operates on the principles of 3D printing.

Details like cutting window and door openings still are being refined. Khoshnevis has been soliciting investment capital for a startup company to sell the technology. He sees Contour Crafting as being suited for constructing affordable housing in areas where supply is short or where houses have been destroyed by natural disasters. He predicts the technology would reduce jobsite injuries, leave a smaller carbon footprint, and be cost-competitive with stick-built or modular construction after equipment and cycle times are amortized.

His invention might have residual benefits, too. Khoshnevis is working with NASA on a robotic system that could build structures on the moon and Mars using indigenous raw materials such as volcanic sand, which is common on the moon. That’s gotten the state of Hawaii—where volcanic sand abounds—interested in the process for producing cement.

How many years away do you think this technology is to being on jobsites?