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A team of researchers from the Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Lawrence Berkeley (Berkeley Lab)  and Lawrence Livermore (LLNL) national laboratories, as well as from the University of California at Davis, have developed the first-ever end-to-end simulation code to precisely capture the geology and physics of regional earthquakes, and how the shaking impacts buildings. The code will take advantage of exascale supercomputers, the future supercomputers that will be 50 times faster than the US’s most powerful system today. Their work is part of the DOE’s Exascale Computing Project (ECP), a collaborative effort between the DOE’s Office of Science and National Nuclear Security Agency and was recently published in the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Computer Society’s Computers in Science and Engineering. 

On Monday, November 20th, the Georgia Dome – an 80,000-capacity stadium that opened in 1992 and hosted events in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, was torn down. More than 2,000kg of explosives were used for the implosion, which took place at 7:30 a.m. , and was covered by the local media. The stadium, which was also the Falcons’ home for the past 25 years, was one of the country’s largest domed stadiums and its construction had cost $214m. It is now replaced by the adjacent, newly erected $1.6 billion Mercedes-Benz Stadium, which opened in August this year.

The Jacques Cartier Bridge, dating back to 1930,   is a steel truss cantilever structure over the St Lawrence River in Montreal, Quebec. Its illumination was the centerpiece of the city’s 375th and Canada’s 150th anniversaries, with 2,800 light fixtures that will light up the lively Old Port every night for the next ten years.  

Construction work in China is taking place at a frenzied pace the last few years, but since all that new infrastructure requires space, in many occasions buildings have to be torn down and residents to move in order to make room for new projects. There are however, dwellings that stand alone like a nail that refuses to be hammered down, the so-called ‘nail houses’, when owners resist dispossession of their land by developers or hold out for better compensations.

New York City, like other older urban communities, is largely serviced by a combined sewer system where storm water and wastewater are carried through a single sewer line to the city’s 14 treatment plants. These facilities can manage and treat all the wastewater produced in the city on a dry weather day (1.3 billion gallons on average) and also have the capacity to clean more than twice the dry weather flows on a rainy day. But during intense precipitation events, the storm water exceeds this capacity and overflows can be discharged into local waterways. In an effort to improve water quality, the city’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is building rain gardens, designed to absorb polluted storm water that would otherwise end up into the sewer system.

It was April 4, 2017, when the work of tunneling machine Bertha was complete, breaking through into her disassembly pit and marking the end of the 1.75-mile long State Route 99 (SR 99) tunnel beneath Seattle. Now, the Washington State Department of Transportation released a drone video that shows the ongoing construction work from end-to-end inside the tunnel.

Monday, 06 November 2017 01:00

40 years after Kelly Barnes dam failure

On this day in 1977, a small embankment dam located above Toccoa Falls Bible College in Georgia failed, releasing a wall of water that killed 39 people. This dam failure along with several others in the 1970s brought drastic changes in dam safety, such as the establishment of the National Dam Safety Program and many relevant state programs around the country. There are more than 90,000 dams in the US, out of which more than 15,000 are classified as high-hazard-potential structures, meaning that their failure would likely cause loss of life.

Its construction took 7 more years than originally planned and cost 10 times the initial budget, but it was worth it. Elbphilharmonie – Hamburg’s new concert hall that opened last January, is an architectural gem.

Last Tuesday, October 17th, the Netherlands inaugurated the world’s first 3D-printed concrete bridge, which is primarily meant to be used by cyclists. The bridge, which crosses a canalized river in the southeastern town of Gemert, is made of 800 layers of reinforced, pre-stressed concrete with a steel cable running through it to handle tensile stress. Constructed in Eindhoven by the Technical University of Eindhoven and the Dutch construction company BAM, it is 8 meters long by 3.5 meters wide and it took around three months to put together, while its life cycle is estimated at 30 years at least. “The bridge is not very big, but it was rolled out by a printer, which makes it unique,” Theo Salet, from the Eindhoven University of Technology. The new bridge is part of the Noord-Om project, a new section of ring road around the village of Gemert linking the existing routes N605 and N272, and hundreds of cyclists are expected to ride over it every day.

The Treetop Experience, an elevated walk through Glisselfeld Kloster in Haslev, one of Denmark's preserved forests, is scheduled to open next year. The 600-metre-long treetop walkway, together with a 45-meter-tall observation tower, promises breathtaking 360° views over the forest canopy. 

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