Thornton Tomasetti buys MFD Security Consulting
The entity was previously affiliated with MFD International, which was acquired by Thornton Tomasetti in 2018.
With the transaction, which was undisclosed, Heng Jiang Cheng, former director of MFD Security Consulting, joins Thornton Tomasetti as associate director and security services lead for the region.
Specializing in physical, operational and technical security services for the built environment, MFD has designed counter-terrorist measures for a number of high-profile, high-risk facilities throughout Australia.
These include the development of hostile vehicle mitigation programs at Melbourne’s Flinders Street Station (pictured), Federation Square and the Melbourne and Olympic Parks, blast assessment for the Sydney Metro project, and security design for crowded and public spaces in Brisbane and Queensland’s Gold Coast.
"In teaming up with Thornton Tomasetti, our clients will now have a single point of contact for specialty security services and a range of engineering disciplines for addressing their needs at any stage in a structure’s lifecycle," said Cheng. "MFD’s expertise, along with an extensive background in crash and blast testing, fits in especially well with Thornton Tomasetti’s capabilities in physical security analysis, advice and design.”
Thornton Tomasetti’s European and Australia Region Leader Phillip Thompson described MFD’s experience in managing the design and implementation of highly effective security solutions, combined with Thornton Tomasetti’s pedigree in the defence and security space, as "a compelling offering".
The acquisition extends Thornton Tomasetti’s reach in the Australian market by capitalizing on MFD’s previous exposure to UK government-funded vehicle crash testing and research programs.
The firm’s experience in the region also includes protective design services for the Sydney Opera House, Australian Federal Parliament, Parliament of New South Wales and Victoria and official residences of heads of state in Australia and Southeast Asia.
ReCreate project reuses concrete 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.