Aug 25, 2020

New York’s Brooklyn Bridge Forest project has been revealed

New York
Dan Weatherley
3 min
The Reimagining the Brooklyn Bridge competition has been won by a team led by Pilot Projects Design Collective...

The Reimagining the Brooklyn Bridge competition has been won by a team led by Pilot Projects Design Collective, companies within the team include Wildlife Conservation Society, Cities4Forests, Grimshaw Architects and Silman.

A total of 200 submissions across 37 countries were sent to the Van Alen Institute and New York City Council with the Brooklyn Bridge Forest concept being given the winning vote by Van Alen Institute.

The entry completely reimagines the bridge with numerous new features including improved pedestrian wooden walkways, a dedicated cycle path and many areas of vegetation at both ends of the bridge. The plan also triples the capacity of the bridge for pedestrians and cyclists.

In addition to this, more space will be dedicated to the public which will include areas for pop-up market stalls for independent and local vendors. Neighbourhood services will also be available at these stalls.

New York City Council speaker, Corey Johnson, said: “Congratulations to the well-deserved winners of the Reimagining Brooklyn Bridge competition. I’m encouraged by all the bold ideas we received on how to re-envision this world-famous walkway, which has become difficult for pedestrians, cyclists, and tourists to navigate over the years.”

About Pilot Projects Design Collective

With a vision to 'co-create a better world', Pilot Projects Design Collective LLC is a design and systems thinking firm which strongly believes that even the most trivial things that are designed well can make a huge difference. The company has worked on the design of numerous projects but primarily focuses on urban streetscapes, public spaces and new buildings.

The company uses a tool called SANDBOX which enables more collaboration during the design process, which overall makes for much improved designs. Learn more about SANDBOX here. Pilot Projects Design Collective's team members have worked with some of the world's most recognised companies including CBS, Google, Disney, ABC News and Deloitte.

About Grimshaw Architects

Founded in 1980, Grimshaw Architects is a London-based architecture company founded by Sir Nicholas Grimshaw. Grimshaw is considered as one of the pioneers of high-tech architecture and has designed some recognisable and important projects including Cornwall’s Eden Project, Paddington Station and terminals of many popular airports including Heathrow and Zurich Airport.

The company has won countless awards with four being won in 2019 and fourteen the year before. The company focuses on innovative design across many different types of buildings and structures including bridges, university buildings, rail structures such as stations, offices and industry-based designs. In addition to all of this, several mixed-use and housing developments have been designed by Grimshaw Architects, including Harbour Mill Apartments in Sydney and Via Verde located in The Bronx.

About Silman

Based in New York, Silman is known for supporting some of the best architecture, partnering with only the best architecture firms whilst supporting smaller companies along the way. So far, the company has consulted on over 23,000 projects.

The company was founded by Bob Silman in 1966 and was a one-man company. Now, it has over 160 staff members across four different locations in major cities in the United States. A quote by Silman states: "Work on the best projects. Support great architecture. Provide the highest level of technical excellence. Find joy in what we do."

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May 25, 2021

ReCreate project reuses concrete in new buildings

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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