The International Information Center for Structural Engineers

The interactive timeline below shows how the London skyline has changed over the past 50 years. London's skyline has been changing rapidly, especially over the last 15 years with skyscarpers like the Walkie-Talkie, Heron Tower and the Shard being completed. There are currently over 200 new buildings over 20 stories tall proposed in London ensuring that the skyline will continue to change in the future.

Australian real estate firm Modscape unveiled the plans for a dream house concept attached to the side of a cliff. The designs are meant to show potential buyers how Modscape can create homes located near some of Australia’s coastal areas, or in this case attached to the side of a cliff. Modscape specializes in custom built sustainable modular architecture. The house is made from prefabricated pieces and is attached to the cliff by steel pins. While some might be to scared to enter the home from fears of the house falling into the ocean, former president of the Royal Insitute of British Architects Maxwell Hutchinson believes that design is structurally safe.

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A new bridge project began last month in Fairfield, Vermont that uses new technology to reduce construction time, save money, and help the Vermont Transportation Agency start more projects that are backlogged across the state. The ‘Bridge in a Backpack’ technology is part of Vermont’s accelerated bridge program that incorporates quick building design and other innovations to speed up the bridge building process. The system was developed at the University of Maine Advanced Structures and Composites Center in response to Tropical Storm Irene that hit the region several years ago. Vermont engineers found themselves unable to quickly repair or replace the many bridges that were damaged by the storm. Rather than taking months to complete a bridge using conventional methods, the ‘Bridge in a Backpack’ technology allows a new bridge to be finished in weeks.

An earthquake-detection system developed by the University of California Berkeley’s Seismological Laboratory performed well during the recent earthquake that struck the Napa Valley region on August 24. The system was able to produce a warning message 10 seconds before the magnitude-6 temblor struck. "It was definitely a great proof-positive that the system works just like we'd hoped," says Jennifer Strauss, the lab's external relations officer. "One of the things the Napa quake did show us is you need to make sure there are enough sensors," says Strauss. One member of the lab even stated the warning could have gone out 2.5 seconds earlier had the lab received more funding to install more sensors in the area. California unanimously passed a bill last year that would create a state-wide early detection system. Funding for such project, however, has yet to be found.

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Wednesday, 03 September 2014 10:29

Work Stops on World’s Tallest Modular Tower

Skanska stopped work on the world’s tallest modular building last week over a dispute with the project’s developer Forest City Ratner. Skanska feels that the delays to the project have resulted from the modular designs for the buildings. They feel that Forest City Ratner should be held responsible for the cost overruns.  Richard Kennedy, co-chief operating officer of Skanska USA, told the Wall Street Journal, “it [the design] just doesn’t work the way it was sold to work. It was represented to be a complete and buildable modular design,” he said. “That simply was not the case and that’s what we’ve been struggling with.”  Forest City Ratner, however, stands by their design and believes the dispute is based on financial reasons. is pleased to announce the August issue #86 of the monthly newsletter !

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SURE Architecture unveiled plans this week for a futuristic skyscraper that could house thousands of people and have its own ecosystem. The Endless City proposal has already won the Skyscrapers and SuperSkyscrapers Competition. The firm believes the skyscraper would be a great space saver for densely populated cities because it will allow them to expand upward instead of outward. Although still in the planning stage and without any guarantees it will ever be built, SURE has earmarked a plot of land just north of the City of London to build the vertical city. If completed, the Endless city could be as tall as 300 meters, close to London’s tallest building the Shard, and take up an area of 165,000 square meters.