Thursday, September 19, 2013

World’s First Invisible Skyscraper to Be Built in South Korea

Designed by architectural firm GDS Architects, Tower Infinity in South Korea will be the world’s first ‘invisible’ skyscraper. Equipped with an LED facade system with optical cameras, the building will create a reflective skin to display the background behind it on its exterior—allowing it to blend in with the skyline. Developers of Tower Infinity were recently granted construction permits to begin building the skyscraper on the outskirts of Seoul, near the city’s airport.

At a height of 1,467-feet, the building will be used for entertainment and leisure purposes, and will include a 4D Theater, restaurants, a water park, landscaped gardens, and the third-highest observation deck in the world.

“Instead of symbolizing prominence as another of the world’s tallest and best towers, our solution aims to provide the World’s first invisible tower, showcasing innovative Korean technology while encouraging a more Global narrative in the process,” said the company.

Check out the photos for a sneak preview at the world’s first ‘invisible’ skyscraper:

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

What the New York City Skyline Will Look Like In 2020

If current building proposals are any indication, New York's skyline is going to keep getting taller and taller. In the next few years, the skyline will boast 10 new towers. The 1,250-foot Empire State Building, currently the tallest completed skyscraper in the city, will rank third behind 1 World Trade Center and 432 Park Avenue. For an idea of what the city will look like a few years from now, check out renderings of the city that incorporate current construction projects.

Midtown, looking south towards downtown Manhattan:

The Far West Side will look a bit different once Hudson Yards is added:

Monday, September 16, 2013

Lighting Science Group Receives $20 Million Investment

Lighting Science Group Corp. recently announced it closed a $20 million preferred stock financing plan led by affiliates of Pegasus Capital Advisors, L.P., with participation from Riverwood Capital Partners, L.P. These companies are LSCG's two largest shareholders. Lighting Science Group received $17.4 million of the funds at the closing of the financing and has received a commitment to fund the balance of $2.6 million. The funding will be used to finance the company's growth, with a strong focus on technology platforms and product innovations.

Click to visit website

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

NJ Gov to Back $1B PATH Train Extension to Newark Airport

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie plans to endorse a $1 billion extension of PATH service to Newark Liberty International Airport, according to several sources familiar with the governor's plan. The approval of extending PATH service to Newark Liberty International Airport would mean the money is almost certain to be allocated in the Port Authority's upcoming capital plan. It is not yet clear when Mr. Christie will publicly announce his support for the project.

Governor Christie's backing would almost certainly assure that the extension project, which has been mulled over by transit officials for more than a year, would be included in the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey's roughly $30 billion capital plan, which is expected to be released to the public in the coming months.

The extension would be of special benefit to lower Manhattan PATH riders, who would be able to take direct service from the World Trade Center complex all the way to Newark Airport and transfer to the Air Train to travel to the airport's terminals.

The extension also would offer airport riders a more direct service to Newark-Penn Station on the NEC, a major transfer point to New Jersey Transit rail, light rail, and bus services.

Downtown PATH service currently ends at Newark Penn Station, and the most common approach for riders coming from Manhattan now is to take New Jersey Transit from Penn Station in Manhattan to the Air Train, a route that requires downtown riders to first head to midtown.

Air Train Newark, the three-mile monorail line, opened in 1996 and was extended to the Northeast Corridor in 2000 with the opening of Newark Airport/Rail Station. The station is served by Amtrak and New Jersey Transit.

Airport advocates hailed the decision.

"A one-seat PATH ride from lower Manhattan directly to Newark Airport Air Train is a major step forward," said Joseph Sitt, founder of the Global Gateway Alliance to encourage improvements in the New York City-area airports.

Advocates note those working on airport grounds would also benefit from the improved access to airport terminals.

They also note that PATH's passenger capacity far exceeds that of connecting monorail service, setting up a potential passenger bottleneck for those transferring at Newark Airport/Rail Station.

The project would generate more than $1 billion in design and construction work while adding permanent jobs for the link's operation. The Port Authority has yet to release a start or estimated completion date for the project.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Robots on Jobsites? Not So Far Fetched

MIT research scientists insist that the future of home building lies in technology which includes smart machines that can perform construction functions. A professor at USC has invented a fabrication process that operates on the principles of 3D printing. Software able to read blueprints guides a large mechanical arm suspended from a mobile scaffold. The arm extrudes liquefied concrete in patterns that form exterior and interior walls into any shape and height. Electrical, plumbing, flooring, and other finish work can be installed during the process, which operates nonstop until the structure is completed.

In the not so distant future, more and more activities will be operated by software. Instead of Teamsters, there will be robotic trucks. Where there had once been miners, there will be mining robots. Instead of factories, there will be 3D printers in your home.

But, robots on jobsites?

"Yes," says Dr. Khoshnevis, an engineering professor at the University of Southern California, who is betting on home building becoming part of that continuum.

Since 2002, he has been perfecting "Contour Crafting,” a fabrication process that operates on the principles of 3D printing.

Details like cutting window and door openings still are being refined. Khoshnevis has been soliciting investment capital for a startup company to sell the technology. He sees Contour Crafting as being suited for constructing affordable housing in areas where supply is short or where houses have been destroyed by natural disasters. He predicts the technology would reduce jobsite injuries, leave a smaller carbon footprint, and be cost-competitive with stick-built or modular construction after equipment and cycle times are amortized.

His invention might have residual benefits, too. Khoshnevis is working with NASA on a robotic system that could build structures on the moon and Mars using indigenous raw materials such as volcanic sand, which is common on the moon. That’s gotten the state of Hawaii—where volcanic sand abounds—interested in the process for producing cement.

How many years away do you think this technology is to being on jobsites?