May 16, 2020

Amazon’s Jeff Bezos to back construction of 10,000 year clock

Amazon
Jeff Bezos
Clock
Texas
Sophie Chapman
2 min
10,000 year long clock to be build in Texas
The CEO of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, has backed a construction project for a clock that can run for 10,000 years without human intervention.

Bezos has financ...

The CEO of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, has backed a construction project for a clock that can run for 10,000 years without human intervention.

Bezos has financed $42mn into the construction project, making him the largest investor.

The 10,000 Year Clock will be built under a mountain in the Texan desert on a piece of land owned by the Chief Executive.

The project will be run by Long Now Foundation, which aims to make “long-term thinking more common”, the BBC reports.

The non-profit organisation has begun construction on the 500ft tall time-teller, of which no completion date has been released.

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The clock will run off energy captured from temperature changes, however it will require vistors to turn a wheel to enable more energy storage.

The clock was designed by Danny Hills, an investor from the US, who plans for one hand of the clock to tick annually, and the other to move per century.

The devices cuckoo will appear once every thousand years.

“It's a special Clock, designed to be a symbol, an icon for long-term thinking,” Bezos writes in a blog post.

“Building a Clock inside a remote mountain is a big task. Construction is under way, and we're making progress every day,” he adds.

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May 25, 2021

ReCreate project reuses concrete in new buildings

Concrete
Recycling
Sustainability
Dominic Ellis
3 min
Universities and companies in Finland, Sweden, the Netherlands and Germany are deconstructing precast concrete intact and reusing them in new buildings

Reconciling the carbon conundrum in construction will not be a quick fix but researchers at Finland's Tampere University may have hit on a way of deconstructing concrete elements and reusing them in new buildings.

Its four-year ReCreate project, which has received €12.5 million of funding under the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme, involves universities and regional company clusters in  Finland, Sweden, the Netherlands, and Germany. All the country clusters will carry out their own pilot projects where they deconstruct precast concrete elements intact and reuse them in a new building.

“By reusing concrete elements, we can save an enormous amount of energy and raw materials,” says Satu Huuhka, adjunct professor at the Faculty of Built Environment at Tampere University, who leads the ReCreate project. “We are specifically looking to reuse the concrete elements as a whole, not as a raw material for something new."

Researchers at the Faculty of Built Environment have been carrying out ground-breaking research into the circular economy in the construction sector for a decade.

Long-term research on renovation and the lifecycle engineering of structures provides a solid foundation for the development of quality assurance procedures that will ensure the safety and integrity of the reused elements. This time, the researchers are set to explore not only the technical implementation of the solutions but also the business perspective.

Huuhka acknowledges there are many unanswerered questions, from assessing structural integrity to building code requirements - and ultimately how to turn ReCreate into a viable business. "We must also consider the social aspects: does the process require new skills or new ways of working?” he adds.

Tampere University researchers will also bring to the project their specialist expertise in circular economy business models, building regulations and law, and occupational sociology. The Finnish country cluster comprises Tampere University, Skanska, demolition company Umacon, precast concrete company Consolis Parma, engineering and consultancy company Ramboll, architecture firm Liike Oy Arkkitehtistudio and the City of Tampere. The communications partner is the Croatia Green Building Council.

Buildings generate nearly 40% of GHG emissions and the rising pace of construction - up to 2 trillion square feet could be added by 2060 - means finding a sustainable concrete solution is essential. 

Graphene concrete on firm foundations, CarbonCure accelerates growth and Nexii expands in US

Nationwide Engineering is claiming a world first today as it lays the world's first graphene concrete slab engineered for sustainability in a commercial setting. The new material is strengthened by around 30% compared to standard concrete and so significantly cutting material use

It has partnered with the University of Manchester's Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre and structural engineers HBPW Consulting; graphene is an allotrope of carbon and the resulting mix with concrete produces a substance that area for area, is stronger than steel, it claims.

CarbonCure manufactures a technology for the concrete industry that introduces recycled CO₂ into fresh concrete to reduce its carbon footprint without compromising performance. It was named one of two winners in the US$20 million NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE and the money will be used to accelerate its mission of reducing 500 million tonnes of carbon emissions annually by 2030. Carbon Cure believes the use of CO2 in concrete is expected to become a US$400 billion market opportunity.

Nexii designs and manufactures high-performance buildings and green building products that are sustainable, cost-efficient and resilient in the face of climate change. It recently teamed up with actor and Pittsburgh native Michael Keaton, who will have an ownership stake and play an active role in Nexii’s upcoming manufacturing plant, which will be its second in the United States and sixth overall.

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