3-D printers can make airplanes and their parts, food and more — why not entire buildings? A professor at the University of Southern California aims to print out whole houses, using layers of concrete and adding plumbing, electrical wiring and other guts as it moves upward.
Saudi Arabia knows how to keep up with the Joneses. The Burj Khalifa in Dubai has officially been the world's tallest building since its opening early last year, but by 2016-ish Saudi Arabia plans to let the UAE know exactly who the big brother is on the Arabian Peninsula. The Saudis have inked a deal between the Kingdom's holdings company and a certain Bin Laden Group to build the world's tallest building, an elegant yet extreme tower that will rise 3,281 feet above the streets of Jeddah.
Need to take down some infrastructure? Turn to the new F-16, a demolition robot that can easily break down stairwells, concrete slabs and walls. For a full spectrum of destructive power, it uses shears, breakers, grapples, a drop hammer, buckets and a concrete-pulverizing claw.
Dublin's newly opened (and creatively named) Convention Centre Dublin is the first officially recognized carbon-neutral convention center in the world (even ahead of the dice-house). It's a feat accomplished with the help of one very sophisticated central brain, which monitors environmental conditions and adjusts energy use accordingly--in real-time.
In addition to its sensitivity, human skin is remarkably responsive, adapting to changing conditions almost as fast as you can say “exfoliation.” It protects us against disease, water loss and radiation, and it constantly renews itself.
What if buildings had adaptable skins? They, too, would be able to respond to heat, humidity and light, saving energy.
A new Japanese office building that opened earlier this month in Osaka is home to two dozen ginormous window-view elevators, the largest in Japan.
Each can hold 80 passengers and are 12 feet wide, 9 feet long and 8.5 feet high, with a floor space of about 102 square feet.
For the last five years, eVolo Magazine has hosted a futuristic skyscraper design competition. Usually, the entrants imagine giant buildings taller than anything under construction today. However, the most impressive entry in this year's competition goes the opposite route, by dropping the building straight into the sea. This floating building would generate its own electricity and food, house thousands, and plunge deep beneath the waves.
SWAT teams and rescue workers may soon take advantage of wireless networks to locate people moving around inside buildings.
We previously examined this nifty wireless concept that uses off-the-shelf technology to locate humans to within 3 feet on the other side of walls. Now the researchers have released a couple of awesome videos showing the person-tracking tech in action.
We here at PopSci enjoy our green dreams for future buildings as much as any other geek. So imagine the excitement when Beijing-based MAD Ltd. unveiled its solar eco-skin design for the Taichung Convention Center in Taiwan.
The landmark building design aims to meld future tech with natural shapes that evoke mountains dotted with crater-like openings. We can only hope that a recovering post-apocalyptic landscape would look so pleasing.