May 16, 2020

How 3d printing is changing the global construction industry forever

3D Printing
Innovative Construction
Construction Technolog
3D Printing
Admin
4 min
The future of construction lies in 3d printing.
The concept of 3D printing has been hovering around for some time now. The actual use of 3D printing and its adaption into the construction industry is...

The concept of 3D printing has been hovering around for some time now. The actual use of 3D printing and its adaption into the construction industry is now starting to become a reality. Architects and contractors around the world are beginning to build the first 3D residential structures including houses and apartment buildings.

What makes 3D printing different than current construction methods? The 3D printing is done using super-size printers which use a special concrete and composite mixture that is thicker than regular concrete, allowing it to be self-supporting as it sets, according to Via Technik. So 3D printed components do not have the same design constraints that may hinder current construction methods. In addition, curved concrete structures created through 3D printing can be hollow, using less material and creating space for building services inside the structural elements.

Not only could this revolutionize the construction industry, but the less expensive process could also affect housing affordability. Lower material usage and lower labor costs create a less expensive construction method which can in turn create lower-cost housing.

Chinese company Winsun has already claimed to have built 10 3D constructed houses in one day at a cost of just $5,000 per house. In addition to making housing more affordable, many architects also hope that 3D printing will increase their ability to customize homes and buildings. Earlier this year, Winsun took its 3D printing construction beyond single houses, building a five-story apartment building and an 11,840-square-foot villa. Winston used a large 3D printer that fabricates the building parts in large pieces at the company's facility. Winston then assembled the pieces on-site adding steel reinforcements and insulation.

According to an article from CNET, Winsun says the 3D process saves between 30 and 60 percent of construction waste, can reduce production times by 50 to 70 percent and reduce labor costs by 50 to 80 percent.

According to an article from Business Insider, 3D printers build structures layer by layer. However, USC Professor Behrokh Khoshnevis hopes to extend the fabrication process even further with contour crafting. "Contour Crafting technology has great potential for automating the construction of whole structures as well as sub-components."

The Business Insider article also says Khoshnevis hopes to develop a gigantic 3D printer that could print an entire house in a single run including the structure and all its conduits.The concept of 3D printing has been hovering around for some time now. The actual use of 3D printing and its adaption into the construction industry is now starting to become a reality. Architects and contractors around the world are beginning to build the first 3D residential structures including houses and apartment buildings.

What makes 3D printing different than current construction methods? The 3D printing is done using super-size printers which use a special concrete and composite mixture that is thicker than regular concrete, allowing it to be self-supporting as it sets, according to Via Technik. So 3D printed components do not have the same design constraints that may hinder current construction methods. In addition, curved concrete structures created through 3D printing can be hollow, using less material and creating space for building services inside the structural elements.

Not only could this revolutionize the construction industry, but the less expensive process could also affect housing affordability. Lower material usage and lower labor costs create a less expensive construction method which can in turn create lower-cost housing.

Chinese company Winsun has already claimed to have built 10 3D constructed houses in one day at a cost of just $5,000 per house. In addition to making housing more affordable, many architects also hope that 3D printing will increase their ability to customize homes and buildings. Earlier this year, Winsun took its 3D printing construction beyond single houses, building a five-story apartment building and an 11,840-square-foot villa. Winston used a large 3D printer that fabricates the building parts in large pieces at the company's facility. Winston then assembled the pieces on-site adding steel reinforcements and insulation.

According to an article from CNET, Winsun says the 3D process saves between 30 and 60 percent of construction waste, can reduce production times by 50 to 70 percent and reduce labor costs by 50 to 80 percent.

According to an article from Business Insider, 3D printers build structures layer by layer. However, USC Professor Behrokh Khoshnevis hopes to extend the fabrication process even further with contour crafting. "Contour Crafting technology has great potential for automating the construction of whole structures as well as sub-components."

The Business Insider article also says Khoshnevis hopes to develop a gigantic 3D printer that could print an entire house in a single run including the structure and all its conduits.

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Jul 29, 2021

Construction workers urged to down tools for mental health

LighthouseClub
construction
mentalhealth
physicalhealth
2 min
The ‘Stop. Make a Change.’(SMAC) campaign, backed by the Construction Leadership Council, is urging workers to seriously consider their mental wellbeing

The construction industry is being encouraged to stop all work for one hour to focus on the importance of physical and mental health. The plea is part of the ‘Stop. Make a Change.’ (SMAC) campaign which is asking construction organisations across the country t spend an hour thinking about physical health conditions, such as respiratory health, work-related stress, as well as mental health conditions including, but not limited to, depression, anxiety, OCD, and bipolar disorder. 

This year, the campaign, which takes place from 11 to 22 October, will focus on individual workers, placing particular emphasis on how they have been affected by the Coronavirus pandemic. In addition to encouraging workers to consider their health, safety, and wellbeing, they will also be asked how those areas can be improved

Andy Mitchell, co-chair of the Construction Leadership Council, said: “Our industry workforce is crucial to all of our future successes. We recognise the heroic efforts these workers have undertaken during the pandemic, and want to make sure that, as the industry hopefully emerges from COVID-19, we continue to look after everyone’s health, safety and wellbeing.”

Around 200,000 people took part in the campaign in 2019, which has been running since 2017. SMAC’s website also offers conversation starter kits to help encourage people to talk about their emotions and wellbeing, making it as natural as possible. 

Suicide rates in the construction industry are increasing

A study by Glasgow Caledonian University found suicide rates among construction workers had risen to 29 per 100,000 in 2019 from 25 in 2015. Suicide rates among labourers increased by more than 50% from 48 per 100,000 in 2015 to 73 per 100,000 in 2019. However, the rate in non-construction-related industries has fallen, with just under five people per 100,000 taking their own lives in 2019 in comparison to 7 people in 2015.

If you work in the construction industry and need help, The Lighthouse charity provides free 24-hour, seven-days-a-week emotional and wellbeing support for those in the industry through its helpline available on 0345 605 1956 in the UK, or 1800 939 122 in the Republic of Ireland.

Lighthouse also has a free app where workers can access information that can be downloaded from the App Store or Google Play.

 

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