Breaking News Sun, 20 Jan 2019 17:17:47 +0000 Joomla! - Open Source Content Management en-gb The Pencil Building: An impressive achievement in Chicago  The Pencil Building Chicago

Constructed on an abandoned site in Chicago, the 150 North Riverside or the so-called Pencil Building, is an engineering achievement.

The 54-story building is located on the west bank of the Chicago River's south branch in a major area of the city, where each of the three branches of the river intersect, known as the Confluence.

The name of the building derives from its unique shape. If viewed from the north or south side, its figure represents a pencil that barely touches the surface of the ground. The fact that this small base can support the mass of such a structure is the amazing feature of the construction. The determination of the contractors to accomplish this attempt, against the odds, impressed the judges of the Building Team Awards that honored the Pencil Building with the 2017 only Platinum Award.

John O'Donnell, CEO of Riverside Investment & Development, acquired the holding about 7 years ago. The site was confined on its east and west side and moreover, the city seized a 9 meter slice to support the growing Chicago Riverwalk. That left O'Donnell with a 12-meter-wide zone to host a 587 m2 base. 

The construction of the building was very challenging. In order to gain space, the team built a deck over the tracks of Chicago's railway. Normally, the deck would have been supported by belled caissons. However, this method was not efficient. Caissons require a large drill and, in this particular area, digging produces a lot of spoils that must be removed. Moreover, pile driving could be conducted during a limited time frame in the night. Therefore, this solution was excluded and a "micropile" foundation system was approved. This method included the utilization of more than a hundred 24-cm diameter piles that produced no spoils. The micropiles, with a bearing capacity of about 2700kN, are the strongest piles even installed between the tracks of Chicago. The foundation of the tower included the construction of 16 caissons, 3 meter in diameter, that were drilled 1,80 meters into the ground.

The Building Team, led by Clark Construction Group, architect Goettsch Partners, and structural engineer Magnusson Klemencic Associates (MKA), in consultation with geotechnical consultant GEI, utilized their knowledge on narrow foundations to create a 4-story steel base to support the 8530 m2 floors of the tower. In order to achieve the attempt, the team decided to use the river as a floating base for the large crane that was needed. "We decided to view the river not as a liability, but as an asset. We said, let's put the crane on the river, and let's make it the biggest crane possible," said Clark Construction's Project Executive, Chris Phares.

The construction is designed to resist strong winds and address oscillation issues, especially in higher levels. Building's core was reinforced with high-strength ad high-stiffness concrete. Another feature that the team introduced is a system of 12 tanks filled with water, separated in groups of 3, that act as a liquid-sloshing damper. When the building was complete, MKA estimated that the most effective height of the water was slightly less than designed. "Now the tanks are really in tune with how the building behaves in the wind," said MKA's Robert Chmielowski.



  • USA
  • Chicago
  • Pencil Building
  • 150 North Riverside
  • Pioneering construction
  • Foundation
  • Micropiles
  • Caissons
  • Space issue
    ]]> ( News on Projects / Industry Wed, 16 Jan 2019 01:00:00 +0000
    Geopier SRT® System in action Geopier SRT® System in action

    The Geopier SRT® system is the most efficient and cost-effective solution to stabilize slides up to 12 feet deep.

    Heavy rainfall on un-vegetated slopes can create the need for emergency slope repair, and Geopier has a proven solution that is fast, effective, and proven. 

    The patented Plate Pile™ method provides slope stabilization using an array of rigid steel piles driven into the slope in a staggered array of uniformly spaced rows. It is well suited to rapidly stabilize steep slopes to create more buildable space for developments or to stabilize landslides that occur on sites that have difficult access and/or require minimized environmental disturbance.

    The patented SRT Plate Pile™ method is well suited to stabilize slides or steep slopes that do not meet required stability criteria, such as slope inclination between 17 degrees (3:1) to 45 degrees (1:1), slides up to 15 feet thick, all soil types (with the exception of very loose to loose sand) overlying an underlying competent layer into which the Plate Piles penetrate and Plate Piles may be installed into soft rock.

    Watch the Geopier SRT® system in action in the video below.

    Source: Geopier 

    • Geopier
    • SRT
    • System
    • StabilizeSlides
      ]]> ( News on Projects / Industry Mon, 14 Jan 2019 15:57:47 +0000
      High-strength and ductile alloys developed in China Extremely strong and ductile multicomponent alloys

      Researchers at the City University of Hong Kong (CityU) have developed an extremely strong but still ductile and flexible multicomponent alloys.

      The research focuses on high-entropy alloys (HEAs), new type of materials that are produced by 5 or more metals. HEAs are currently very popular in material science due to their desirable mechanical properties for structural engineering. However, as common metals, they face the strength-ductility trade-off dilemma, a conventional approach that improving strength of an alloy results in loss of ductility (the ability of a material to undergo plastic deformation before rupture).

      According to authors, the study addresses the significant problems derived from the strength-ductility trade-off dilemma by creating alloys both strong and ductile through massive precipitation of nanoscale particles.
      "Most conventional alloys contain one or two major elements, such as nickel and iron to manufacture. However, by adding additional elements of aluminium and titanium to form massive precipitates in the FeCoNi-based alloy, we have found both the strength and ductility have significantly increased, solving the critical issue of the trade-off dilemma for structural materials," Professor Liu Chain Tsuan, University Distinguished Professor of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at CityU, stated. "We are able to make a new high-entropy alloy called Al7Ti7 ((FeCoNi)86-Al7Ti7) with a superior strength of 1.5 gigapascals and ductility as high as 50% in tension at ambient temperature. Strengthened by nanoparticles, this new alloy is five times stronger than that of the iron-cobalt-nickel (FeCoNi)-based alloy," he added.

      Strong alloys develop another deformation instability, known as the necking problem. When such a material experiences high stress, its behavior may become unstable and lead to local deformation (necking). The team found that by adding "multicomponent intermetallic nanoparticles" made of different element atoms, this phenomenon could be mitigated. Those complex nanoparticles consist of nickel, cobalt, iron, titanium and aluminium atoms and measure 30-50 nanometers.

      According to Professor Liu, those alloys can function in temperatures from -200°C to 1000°C and therefore they can be utilized in other fields of engineering such as mechanical engineering, aeronautic systems and cryogenic devices.



      • China
      • City University of Hong Kong
      • Multicomponent alloy
      • Strengthductility tradeoff dilemma
      • Metals
      • Nanoparticles
      • Material engineering
      • Necking problem
        ]]> ( News on Research / Academia Mon, 14 Jan 2019 01:00:00 +0000
        India's new advanced rail-road bridge opened India's new advanced rail-road bridge opened

        India's longest rail-road bridge, that crosses the Brahmaputra River, was officially opened on December 25, 2018.

        The Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, launched the first train route from Tinsukia to Naharlagun. 

        The bridge was constructed to connect strategic locations by crossing the Brahmaputra River. The railway distance between Dibrugarh and Itanagar will be reduced by 705 km. while the correspondent road distance by 150 km. The bridge will also provide an alternative route from Dibrugarh through north bank of Brahmaputra to Delhi and Kolkata.

        The project that used a unique incremental launching technique is the world's longest incrementally launched steel bridge and India's first fully welded warren truss girder type steel bridge. It comprises of 39 spans of 125 m. and 2 spans of 33 m. It is designed to resist earthquakes of more than M 7.0. Moreover, a sophisticated material protects its framework from humidity.

        The construction was approved in 1997 and was supposed to last for 6 years. However, the project began a decade later and was recently accomplished due to delays and economic loss with the final cost being more than 3 times larger than estimated.

        The bridge will provide a link between north and south banks of river Brahmaputra in the eastern region of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh reinforcing the national security of east India.



        • India
        • Brahmaputra River
        • National security
        • Infrastructure
        • Advanced construction
        • Unique incremental launching technique
 ( News on Projects / Industry Fri, 11 Jan 2019 01:00:00 +0000
          Mario M. Cuomo bridge: Corruption investigation due to bolts failure Mario M. Cuomo Bridge

          Steel bolts utilized in the new Mario M. Cuomo Bridge, New York City, failed during construction phase, according to reports.

          The 5-km twin span cable-stayed bridge links Rockland County with Westchester County over the Hudson River. It is the largest single bridge in New York that was built using 6,000 steel-reinforced precast-concrete panels. Its construction began in October 2013.

          A safety inspector revealed that workers were replacing the bolts the night before inspections. When he was asked why the failures were not immediately reported to the State Thruway Authority, he claimed that this would shut down the whole project. The issue is now under investigation by the state attorney. Engineers suggest that there is no safety concern for now. However, those facts have raised questions about how many of the bolts have been replaced and which of them might need to be replaced.

          The incident has triggered reactions concerning the reliability of such projects' construction procedures. "When I hear about false certification of documents it causes me great concern. Not that there is a real technical problem. There is a corruption problem," Thomas Eagar, leading engineering expert at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), said.

          Experts from State Thruway said that they were aware about few bolt failures in 2016 and the corruption allegations in 2017. They initiated a series of repeated tests to make sure that the construction is stable. "Well over a year ago, the Thruway Authority hired independent experts to check the safety of the bolts on the new bridge. After a thorough review, and before the first span of the new bridge opened to traffic, the independent experts concluded that the actual bolts and the bridge are safe. Public safety is our highest priority and the bridge is completely safe for the traveling public," said spokeswoman Jennifer Givner.



          • USA
          • New York City
          • Mario M Cuomo Bridge
          • Steel bolts failure
          • Corruption
          • Safety
   ( News on Natural Disasters / Failures Wed, 09 Jan 2019 01:00:00 +0000
            Opal Tower in Sydney evacuated: Fear of collapse Opal Tower Sydney Olympic Park

            The 36-story Opal Tower, located in Sydney's Olympic Park, was evacuated on Christmas Eve after reports for severe cracking.

            More than 3,000 people living in or near the facility had to abandon their homes. Residents reported hearing intense sounds deriving from the cracking during the morning. Most noises were heard on the 10th floor.

            Emergency crews, including firefighters and engineers, inspected the building to evaluate the risk of a collapse. Sensitive monitoring equipment was utilized to find that the building has moved by 1-2 millimeters since August. 

            A resident of the building reported cracks on the 12th and 13th floor. "A few days ago the doors looked different, like they couldn't close properly. And you do feel (movement) sometimes when there's strong wind," he stated.

            Some hours after the investigation, the building, except for 51 units, was re-opened. People, escorted by rescue teams, were able to return and recover necessary stuff. However, on Thursday, December 27, 2018, ICON, the construction company announced that all residents must leave the construction in order to perform another detailed investigation. People will stay at a hotel for about 10 days. 

            Mark Hoffman, University of NSW dean of engineering and John Carter, former University of Newcastle dean of engineering, will lead the investigation to determine the causes of the cracking. A public report that will include suggestions to ensure the safety of the building will be issued.



            • Australia
            • Sydney
            • Opal Tower
            • Olympic Park
            • Cracking
            • Potential collapse
            • Evacuation
            • Engineering investigation
     ( News on Natural Disasters / Failures Tue, 08 Jan 2019 01:00:00 +0000
              Apartment building collapse in Russia: 39 people dead Russian building partial collapse

              An apartment building in the city of Magnitogorsk, located 1400 km southeast of Moscow, partially collapsed causing 39 fatalities.

              The failure of the 10-story building occurred on New Year's Eve. Out of the 100 apartments, 48 were damaged. Rescue teams worked very hard in search of survivors in a cold and hostile environment. The overnight forecast called for temperatures to drop as low as -24°C or -11 °F. Officials utilized heaters in an effort to raise the temperature in the area in order to mitigate the risk of hypothermia.

              The Investigative Committee of Russia stated that the collapse was apparently caused due to a gas leak but the incident will be further investigated. Some people reported that they could smell gas in the area. Gas explosions are very common in Russia due to old infrastructure and inadequate safety standards.

              The President of Russia, Vladimir Putin, visited the local hospital that accommodated injured residents. "You will get well soon, you are a fighter," he told to a 13-year old boy that suffered from head injuries and a frostbite.

              Miraculously, a 10-month-old child was rescued from the debris about 35 hours after the incident. "Hundreds of people were waiting for the appearance of the injured child from under the rubble like a miracle. And the miracle happened... Tears drew in the eyes of the weather-beaten rescuers," officials stated. The child suffered severe freezer burn and a head injury. Fortunately, his mother had also survived the blast.



              • Russia
              • Magnitogorsk
              • Building Collapse
              • Gas explosion
              • Fatalities
              • Low temperatures
              • Rescue efforts
              • Gas leak
       ( News on Natural Disasters / Failures Mon, 07 Jan 2019 01:00:00 +0000
                Internal collapse of 5-story building in Manhattan Internal collapse of 5-story building in Manhattan

                An uninhabited 5-story building internally collapsed on December 21, 2018.

                The building is located in Lower Manhattan, New York. The roof of the structure fell apart causing the floors beneath to collapse. Thankfully there were no victims. The incident caused debris to spread through nearby scaffolding. An apartment building was evacuated and nearby streets were closed. Due to the collapse, a decision for immediate demolition was made. Workers will utilize hand tools during the demolition as a precaution.

                Frank Leeb, Fire Department Deputy Chief of New York, stated that all the floors of the building collapsed, "from the roof all the way to the first floor, in a pancake, which is a straight down fashion. There is no visual sign from outside, so just from looking at it out here, you will only see minor damage to the building."

                According to Leeb, rain and wind might have contributed to the collapse, however, the cause of the failure remains unknown.

                The building was under renovation since September 2018. The owner, Tom Grainger, stated that minor construction work was conducted including the removal of few debris. Now, the main focus of the owner is the safety of the construction.



                • New York
                • Manhattan
                • Building Collapse
                • Evacuation
                • Demolition
                • Renovation
                • Debris
         ( News on Natural Disasters / Failures Fri, 04 Jan 2019 01:00:00 +0000
                  Geopier Ground Improvement Solution with GeoConcrete® Column System Geopier Ground Improvement Solution with GeoConcrete® Column System

                  Geopier’s GeoConcrete® Column (GCC) rigid inclusion system provided significant cost savings and schedule advantages while limiting vibrations and reducing risk to nearby structures, including a historic granite fl ood wall.

                  The subsurface soil conditions at the project site consist of about 25 feet of undocumented fi ll (very loose to very dense sand with varying amounts of silt, gravel, ash, and debris), underlain by up to 14 feet of compressible Alluvial deposits, followed by Glacial Outwash (dense to very dense sand, gravel, and silt). Site access was limited and foundation elements were installed from two diff erent site grades: the fi rst was approximately 10 feet below surrounding grades and existing structures (including a brick building approximately 4 feet away from the proposed building footprint). The second was from atop an H-pile supported boardwalk constructed along the historic granite block fl ood wall.

                  In order to expedite construction and minimize impacts to the construction schedule, Geopier® GeoConcrete Column rigid inclusions were used for foundation support. By pre-augering through the debris-laden fill, high capacity elements could be installed down to glacial till with limited vibrations impacting the adjacent brick building and granite flood wall. Over 200 GCC elements were installed in 3 days. The cost savings associated with GCCs were greater than $500,000 (as compared to pressure injected footings (PIFs) and/or H-piles). The savings were a result of less expensive foundation installation, the ability to construct spread footings versus pile caps, and an expedited construction schedule.

                  Watch below the Geopier GeoConcrete® Column On-Site Installation and Animation.

                  This is part of Geopier Latest Newsletter. 


                  Source: Geopier


                  • Geopier
                  • GeoConcrete
                  • Column
                  • System
           (Structural Administrator) News on Products & Services Fri, 21 Dec 2018 13:04:41 +0000
                    Asphalt made of used tires When rubber is in the road-Source:Asphalt Magazine

                    A German company utilizes used tires to produce high quality asphalt.

                    Evonik is implementing an alternative method for durable roads. The team of experts manipulates a chemical additive to produce rubber powder from used tires to make asphalt. The recycled material has proven to enhance the mixtures and to improve the road's durability. "Reusing recycled tires secures valuable resources. tires are not classified as waste, but are considered a valuable material, which may not, for example, be disposed of in landfills. This use eliminates the disposal question: Instead of incinerating the tires, they have another life stage in road traffic – not as part of an engine-powered vehicle, but in the form of an elastomer or rubber powder in the road surface," Thomas Engenhorst, sustainability strategy manager in the Resource Efficiency Segment of Evonik stated.

                    Road industry has become a demanding business. New, better roadways that can endure the rising traffic and meet the current standards are demanded. However, as the need for better quality constantly increases so does the cost of the raw materials. Therefore, contractors have to pursue an equilibrium between performance and cost of a project.

                    The addition of such methods in industry is vital as it provides a cost-effective approach that can extend the lifetime of roadways. "The positive properties are obvious since the material significantly reduces cracking, ruts and potholes in the road surface, which in turn extends road service life," rank Lindner, senior business manager for the additive said.



                    • Asphalt
                    • recycled tyres
                    • Chemical additive
                    • Chemical engineering
                    • Innovation
                    • road infrastructure
             ( News on Products & Services Thu, 20 Dec 2018 00:00:47 +0000