Arup’s ‘living wall’ scaffolding will reduce noise and air pollution
Design, engineering and construction powerhouse Arup’s ‘living wall’ scaffolding system is currently being piloted at Mayfair in London, with the aim to reduce noise by 10 decibels and air pollution by approximately 20 percent.
Working in collaboration with development and management corporation Grosvenor Group, the project will make building sites look more appealing, whilst providing numerous advantages to reduce the impact on local communities and improve air quality at the site.
The ‘living wall’ incorporates flowers, fruits and grasses over 80sq metres and includes sensors to monitor the impact of the building work. Alistair Law, Façade Engineer and the Living Wall Lite’s developer at Arup, said, “Living Wall Lite has the potential to transform scaffolding and hoardings into much more than just a cover up. By introducing plants and flowers, we can create a more attractive and healthier environment for local residents, businesses and workers on site.”
Designed by Arup and manufactured by Swedish living wall specialist Green Fortune, Mark Tredwell, Development Director of Grosvenor’s London estate, said: “This is a great initiative and is in line with our long-term ambition to improve the environmental sustainability of the buildings across our London estate, reducing emissions by 50 percent by 2030.
“As the estate continues to adapt and evolve we want to ensure that the impact on the community is positive. As well as reducing air pollution, we hope the living wall will introduce a rich biodiversity to Mayfair and encourage people to linger in the area.”
The company are currently undertaking restoration and redevelopment work at St Marks Property, transforming the build into a modern communal space, incorporating a variety of retail outlets, due to complete in 2017.
Read the November 2016 issue of Construction Global magazine
SafeAI attracts $21m funding as SmartMix AI tool launches
SafeAI is driving the transformation of the mining and construction industries through connected, autonomous sites. With chronic labour shortages, unsafe working conditions and frequent project delays, these industries are in a unique position to benefit from autonomy.
Unlike on-road applications of the technology, autonomous heavy equipment operates in controlled environments, which means companies can create smarter, safer, more productive project sites today that create meaningful, near-term impact.
“We are at a tipping point for autonomous heavy equipment,” said Bibhrajit Halder, founder and CEO at SafeAI. “We’ve proven that autonomy makes work sites significantly safer and more productive; now, we are on the cusp of mass adoption. Together with our valued partners, customers and investors, we’re poised to deploy autonomy in off-road industries like construction and mining, at scale, to rethink the way heavy industry operates.”
Heavy industry is a large, growing global market, ripe for disruption. The construction equipment market alone is valued at $140 billion, and expected to increase to $175 billion by 2025; construction-related spending accounts for a staggering 13% of global GDP, or $11.5 trillion.
But there remains significant room for growth; in construction alone, higher productivity could create an estimated $1.6 trillion in additional value. With just 25% of the infrastructure needed by 2050 in existence today, autonomy can bridge this productivity gap with greater efficiency and 24/7 operations. SafeAI is at the forefront of this transformation.
“There’s a tremendous amount of excitement in the autonomy space today; but it’s clear the biggest opportunity for this technology is off-road,” said Mark Blackwell, General Partner at Builders VC. “With its industry-leading autonomous software, scalable retrofit approach and partner ecosystem, SafeAI is uniquely poised to capitalize on this opportunity. We’re proud to support the company in its next chapter of growth as demand for autonomous heavy equipment continues to skyrocket.”
New investors LTC, DG Ventures, MACA and Vimson Group, and existing investors Autotech Ventures, Brick and Mortar Ventures, Embark Ventures, Monta Vista Capital and Obayashi Corporation, also participated in the round. The funding comes on the heels of a year of rapid growth for SafeAI, including new partnerships with Obayashi, Goodyear and Macnica, and expansion into Australia’s booming mining market.
A pilot program with Obayashi Corporation last November saw a Caterpillar 725 articulated dump truck autonomously complete a vital on-site function and carry out load-haul-dump cycles.
Giatec debuts SmartMix AI tool
Giatec has debuted what it claims is the world's first concrete AI tool for producers, SmartMix. The web-based AI tool allows producers to optimise concrete ingredient proportions, reduce cement usage, and predict the performance of their mixes while still meeting project specifications.
Giatec believes this tool will lower Greenhouse Gas emissions resulting from concrete production by 400 million tons annually, the equivalent of taking 110 million cars off the road.
SmartMix builds on Giatec's first AI software program Roxi, which has collected millions of data points from the company's SmartRock wireless concrete sensors across 8,000 projects and 80 countries.
Giatec's head of research and development, Andrew Fahim, said the new technologies are going to pave the path forward for the industry to meet increasing infrastructure demands.