3D-printed concrete forest pavilion proposed for Dubais Expo 2020

December 31, 2019 by  
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United Arab Emirates-based design practice MEAN* (Middle East Architecture Network) has proposed a sculptural 3D-printed pavilion for a prominent traffic roundabout to welcome visitors to the upcoming 2020 Expo in Dubai. Designed as a “spatial forest,” the interactive installation comprises a series of palm tree-like concrete elements and branching LEDs. The “Expo 2020 Landmark” proposal is also powered with solar energy and can be programmed to light up at night with a variety of lighting modes.  Towering at a height of over 26 feet, the domed Expo 2020 Landmark was inspired by the Expo 2020 logo and UAE’s iconic palm trees. As a symbol for innovative construction, the installation would be built from 3D-printed shell components that can be cast on-site with Ultra High Performance Concrete, a material selected for its durability and resilience to Dubai’s harsh desert climate. Related: Energy-producing pavilion proposal for Expo 2020 mimics Brazil’s biomes “Robotically 3D-printed concrete construction has been lauded for saving on material waste by reducing the amount of formwork involved in the process of casting, as well as providing a cleaner construction site, all while allowing for a higher degree of complexity in design,” the architects said in a project statement. “We believe that Expo 2020 would be a fantastic platform to showcase the possibilities of this emerging construction technology to the world.” The Expo 2020 Landmark can be enjoyed by motorists traveling in the roundabout as well as pedestrians, who would be invited to enter the pavilion and explore the spaces between the 3D-printed , palm tree-inspired elements. Solar panels installed on the structure would be strategically tilted for maximum solar exposure and to deter sand buildup. + MEAN* Images via MEAN*

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3D-printed concrete forest pavilion proposed for Dubais Expo 2020

World’s largest 3D-printed building opens in Dubai after 2 weeks of construction

December 17, 2019 by  
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Quickly gaining popularity as an affordable and sustainable way to build, 3D printing is becoming a go-to construction choice for architects around the world. In fact, one Boston-based company, Apis Cor , well-known for its 3D-printed architecture, has just completed construction on the world’s largest 3D printed building. Located in Dubai, the 6,998-square-foot building was completed in just two weeks. Working under its motto, “we print buildings,” Apis Cor has become a prominent leader in the world of 3D-printed architecture. From a tiny home in Moscow to affordable housing developments in California and Louisiana, its state-of-the-art techniques have been used for various types of projects. Related: New 3D house printer cranks out 1,000 square feet a day Although the company is accustomed to building in various parts of the world, Dubai ‘s harsh conditions put its standard methods of printing to the test. Dubai is known for its severe climate, in which the temperatures rise and drop suddenly. As such, the materials used in the printing process for this particular building had to be able to withstand extreme heat and cold . “The Dubai climate is very harsh — temperature and humidity change significantly even within a day,” said Nikita Cheniuntai, founder and CEO of Apis Cor. “The material has to behave the same way all the time, despite the changing environmental conditions.” Working on such a large project presented additional challenges. The construction site spanned approximately 7,000 square feet, which, under normal building circumstances, would require assembly of ample scaffolding. However, because the company’s custom, car-sized 3D printer is mobile, the building was constructed directly onsite faster and more efficiently than a traditional construction project. Along with three workers and a single construction crane, the machine printed out the structure section by section using Apis Cor’s gypsum-based mixture. Later, traditional constructions methods were used to install the windows and roof, and rebar supports were added to reinforce the walls. The resulting building, which will house administrative offices for the Dubai Municipality, has a white facade that reflects the sun rays. The concrete and gypsum printing materials created by Apis Cor also provide the building with a naturally insulated envelope, keeping the interior at a pleasant temperature year-round. + Apis Cor Via Dwell Images via Apis Cor

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World’s largest 3D-printed building opens in Dubai after 2 weeks of construction

30,000 recycled water bottles make up this 3D-printed pavilion

December 16, 2019 by  
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Dubai-based design studio MEAN Design has unveiled an eye-catching pavilion in the front esplanade of the Dubai International Financial Center. Not only is the bulbous structure with multicolored “teeth” visibly stunning, but the unique pavilion, called Deciduous, was constructed entirely with 3D printing technology that turned 30,000 discarded water bottles into a plastic polymer to use as the base material. The Deciduous pavilion is a stunning example of how 3D printing is not only a viable and affordable construction method of the future but also a revolutionary system that can help reduce plastic waste . According to MEAN Design, the structure was printed using a polymer filament that was made from 30,000 recycled water bottles. The bottles were recycled into the filament and then used to print interlocking parts. The base is also made from 3D-printed concrete, hybridized with the polymer parts. Related: Croatia Pavilion’s Cloud Pergola is one of the world’s largest 3D-printed structures Unveiled at this year’s ‘Art Nights’ event at the Dubai International Financial Center, the pavilion ‘s concept was inspired by autumn. Its name, Deciduous, refers to trees that seasonally shed leaves in the autumn months. The innovative, 3D printing system, which was conceived using computer modeling, allowed the parts to be easily prefabricated off-site and then assembled onsite with little construction materials. In fact, all of the parts of the pavilion were mechanically joined without the need for heavy machinery. As for the design itself, the unique pavilion is a labyrinth-like, white volume with multicolored spokes rising out of the base, resulting in a bulbous, organic figure. The designers invite visitors to enter into the pavilion’s “abstracted botanical form” to explore their relationship with nature . + MEAN Design Photography by NAARO via MEAN Design

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30,000 recycled water bottles make up this 3D-printed pavilion

Hyperloop TT plans to build working line in the UAE next year

April 18, 2018 by  
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It’s been a busy week for Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HyperloopTT): they began building a test track in France , and now they’ve just announced the signing of an agreement with Aldar Properties , a Abu Dhabi real estate developer, for what HyperloopTT described as “the first commercial Hyperloop system in the UAE .” Hyperloop plans to start construction next year, with the first section open by 2020. ? Aldar Properties and HyperloopTT signed a memorandum of understanding for a commercial Hyperloop system, including a Hyperloop Visitor Center and HyperloopTT’s XO Square Innovation Center. This agreement will allow the California-based company to start building an around six-mile Hyperloop system. The site is near the border between Abu Dhabi and Dubai , near the Al Maktoum International Airport and the location for Expo 2020 . In fact, HyperloopTT chairman Bibop Gresta said with regulatory support, they aim to have the first Hyperloop section operational in time for the expo. Related: HyperloopTT is building the world’s third Hyperloop test track in France Aldar Properties CEO Talal Al Dhiyebi said in the statement, “We believe that Hyperloop technology can have a major positive impact on the lives of all those living within our communities, and we look forward to this possibility becoming a reality.” HyperloopTT said they would build the Hyperloop system in several phases, and although this agreement covers a six-mile system, they ultimately aim to construct a commercial network throughout the UAE. They said they’ve been working in the country since 2016, and have finished a comprehensive feasibility study, working with Abu Dhabi’s Department of Transportation. HyperloopTT CEO Dirk Ahlborn said, “With this historic agreement in Abu Dhabi, we take a big step towards the world’s first commercial system.” This isn’t the first time cities in the United Arab Emirates have shown an interest in Hyperloop technology; in 2016, Hyperloop One (now Virgin Hyperloop One ) signed an agreement with Dubai’s Roads and Transit Authority to evaluate a Hyperloop system in the area. Earlier this year, Virgin Hyperloop One and Dubai’s Roads and Transit Authority unveiled a commuter pod prototype . + Hyperloop Transportation Technologies + Aldar Properties Images via Hyperloop Transportation Technologies

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Hyperloop TT plans to build working line in the UAE next year

The GCC’s first commercial vertical farm launches in Dubai

March 6, 2018 by  
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Cultivating crops in Dubai’s harsh climate isn’t easy — but indoor vertical farms could offer a solution. The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)’s first such facility, Badia Farms , recently launched in the glitzy emirate . The energy efficient farm system uses 90 percent less water than traditional farming , a real boon for the water-scarce region. Food imports travel around 3,000 miles on average to make it to restaurant plates in Dubai, according to the Emirates News Agency . Badia Farms could offer produce with a vastly reduced carbon footprint with their indoor hydroponic farm . Microgreens, lettuces, and herbs flourish with no sunlight, soil, or pesticides required. The greens grow in coconut husks instead, and according to The National , the produce is even safer because many potential food-borne diseases stem from dirt. Badia Farms is the very first commercial vertical farm in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), which includes the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait, and Qatar. Related: The “most technologically-sophisticated commercial indoor farm in the world” will grow 30X more produce Badia Farms gets their name from the Arabic word for ‘oasis,’ according to their website. They described Dubai as “one of the world’s most dynamic yet agriculturally challenged cities” and said they’re the first company to provide greens to restaurants the same day they were harvested. Founder and CEO Omar Al Jundi said, “We set up Badia Farms in the UAE with a vision to provide a sustainable solution for food and to reduce the region’s reliance on imports. Growing crops in the region has always been a challenge due to the hostile climate, and that is where Badia Farms offers a viable solution…This is our way to give back to the UAE and start the new wave of farming in Dubai.” The Emirates News Agency said the indoor farm commenced production in December 2017. + Badia Farms Via The National and Emirates News Agency Images via Dubai Media Office Twitter

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300 artificial islands in Dubai, ‘The World,’ may get another chance

February 16, 2018 by  
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The World , an archipelago of 300 islands in Dubai , has sat largely vacant for around 10 years. But construction is underway once again. The Guardian’s Oliver Wainwright reported , “After a decade in limbo, The World is back – with more ambitious plans than ever before.” The World was dreamed up in 2003, with Nakheel as the master developer, and 320 million cubic meters of sand and 25 million metric tons of rock were put into place, according to The Guardian. Workers laid the last rock in the breakwater in January 2008. The development sprawls across over 5,000 hectares and stands, in the words of Wainwright, as a “mind-boggling monument to the spectacular hubris of a moment in time when anything seemed possible.” Related: Dubai’s World of Islands is Sinking Into the Sea But construction is beginning again. Josef Kleindienst, of real estate company Kleindienst , talked to The Guardian about his plans for The Heart of Europe , saying he wants to make it snow there throughout the entire year. The Kleindienst website describes The Heart of Europe as “a first of its kind, breathtaking hospitality development, spanning six of the islands on The World in Dubai, with each island taking inspiration from some of Europe’s most captivating locations.” Swiss chalets, Austrian castles, and Russian palaces are among the plans. Kleindienst told The Guardian the development will be finished in time for Expo 2020 in Dubai. Other island owners seem to have been inspired by Kleindienst, according to The Guardian. Emirati developer Seven Tides aims to finish a 100-villa resort on one of the 10 islands they own in the South America portion by the end of this year. And actress Lindsay Lohan said she’s designing an island in The World. It remains to be seen whether or not the projects will ultimately come to life. Via The Guardian Images via Wikimedia Commons ( 1 , 2 ) and The Heart of Europe

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300 artificial islands in Dubai, ‘The World,’ may get another chance

Dubai announces plans for world’s biggest waste-to-energy facility

February 1, 2018 by  
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Dubai plans to deal with their garbage in a bold new way: with the largest waste-to-energy plant in the world. Gulf News and New Atlas reported the government announced plans for a facility that will handle as much as two million tons of solid waste yearly. That’s around 60 percent of the trash Dubai produces in a year. With a 185 megawatt (MW) capacity, the plant will generate power for around 120,000 homes. Dubai’s launching an ambitious effort to turn junk into energy . The waste-to-energy plant will treat around 5,000 metric tons every single day, and will generate as much power as 2,000 skyscrapers as big as the Burj Khalifa could consume – roughly two percent of Dubai’s annual electricity consumption, according to the Government of Dubai Media Office . Related: World’s largest waste-to-energy plant in China will be topped with green roofs and photovoltaics Dubai will raise the waste-to-energy plant on five acres of land, and will partner with Switzerland-based waste-to-energy technology company Hitachi Zosen Inova and Belgian construction company BESIX on the project. HV 132kV cables will connect the plant to the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA)’s grid. DEWA CEO Saeed Mohammad Al Tayer told Gulf News, “This will be a new source of [power] supply for Dubai. This will improve security of supply.” Construction will commence in a few months, according to Dubai Municipality director general Hussain Nasser Lootah, and the plant should be operating before World Expo 2020 . There is another waste-to-energy plant in progress vying for the title of world’s largest planned for Shenzhen , China; Inhabitat covered its green design here . Both could be finished in 2020. New Atlas reported the Shenzhen plant is still on track to claim the prize, but if the Dubai project reaches its goals, it could snag the title, with an output around 20 MW greater than the Shenzhen plant. Via New Atlas and Government of Dubai Media Office via Gulf News Images via BESIX

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‘Worlds Largest Picture Frame’ opens in Dubai

January 4, 2018 by  
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The city of Dubai is home to some of the most innovative architecture in the world, but its latest skyscraper is certainly one of the most “picturesque” we’ve ever seen. The  Dubai Frame , otherwise known as the “World’s Largest Picture Frame”, is a 150-meter-high rectangular structure whose unique shape frames stunning views of the city’s growing skyline, including the iconic Burj Khalifa . It is the latest design to take its place among the city’s prestigious architectural portfolio, but the project has been mired in controversy from the start, with one architect saying the city stole his design. Opening today Dubaï Frame #dubaiframe #uae #gold #lights #bridge #architecture #monument #monumentoftheday #arts #tower #towerbridge #theplacetobe #picoftheday #dubaiskyscrapers #new #dubaifrenchie #surreal #surrealpicture #surrealism #exclusiveshot #quotidien #incredible #incrediblearchitecture #impressive #dubai #uae #instaday #2018 #thebest A post shared by @ linvraisemblableordinaire on Jan 2, 2018 at 5:10am PST The Dubai Frame is located in the city’s beloved Zabeel Park, and at a staggering height of nearly 500-feet (150 meters), provides visitors with stellar panoramic views of the skyline from its 300-foot (93-meter)-long viewing bridge. The unique  skyscraper is expected to attract nearly 2 million tourists annually, and with an entry fee of 50 dirhams (approx. $14.00), will definitely bring some income to the city. Related: Dubai’s craziest tower yet is the world’s largest picture frame Dubai Frame | The New thing of Dubai @dubailifestyle #dubailifestyle #dubai #dubaiframe #dubailife Photo @khaled_a_hassan_1 A post shared by Dubai (@dubailifestyle) on Dec 10, 2017 at 3:46am PST Inside the golden framed-building, visitors are led to the glass-floored walkway where they can enjoy views of the old city of Deira to the north and the towering buildings lined along the famed Sheikh Zayed Road to the south. On the ground floor museum, visitors will have the chance to take in an innovative augmented reality display that follows Dubai’s transformation from a remote fishing village to a bustling metropolis. However, the story of the city will most likely gloss over the controversial beginnings of the Dubai Frame design itself. In 2008, the Dubai Municipality and ThyssenKrupp Elevators hosted an international design competition searching for the city’s next amazing skyscraper. Architect Fernando Donis’s  design was chosen as the winner of the competition. However, when it came time to collaborate on the construction of the project, the architect and the city failed to agree on contractual terms. Nonetheless, the city went on with the project, breaking ground in 2014, which resulted in Donis filing an Intellectual Property claim against the city for copyright infringement. + Fernando Donis Via Archdaily Images via Donis Architecture and The Dubai Frame

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Chinese space station could plummet back to Earth in March

January 4, 2018 by  
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China lost control of their first space station Tiangong-1 in 2016 – and now pieces of it could come crashing back down to Earth. Research organization Aerospace Corporation recently predicted the station could re-enter our planet’s atmosphere sometime around the middle of March. Around 2,000 to 8,000 pounds of the almost 19,000-pound station could hit the surface. Tiangong-1, or Heavenly Palace, was the first station China built and launched. They sent it to space in 2011, and two manned missions to the station were completed. Tiangong-1 wasn’t supposed to last much past 2013, but China decided to lengthen its lifespan. Then they lost control in 2016. The station’s orbit has been gradually degrading, so its re-entry will ultimately be uncontrolled, according to The Verge . Related: ESA unveils magnetic space tug to corral broken satellites drifting in space All this may sound like really bad news. And it’s true that thousands of pounds of Tiangong-1 could make it back to Earth. But multiple space agencies have been tracking the station, and think it may crash down between 43 degrees North and 43 degrees South latitude – a region largely covered in ocean. Most of the land in that area is also unpopulated. In the Aerospace Corporation’s map shown above, there’s a zero probability of trash re-entry in blue areas; green areas have lower probability and yellow areas have a higher probability. But the organization said, “When considering the worse-case location (yellow regions of the map) the probability that a specific person (i.e., you) will be struck by Tiangong-1 debris is about one million times smaller than the odds of winning the Powerball jackpot.” This also won’t be the first time an object as big as Tiangong-1 – or even larger – has made an uncontrolled re-entry. Phobos-Grunt, an almost 30,000-pound Russian spacecraft intended for a trip to Mars failed and plummeted to Earth in 2012. And NASA’s almost 160,000-pound Skylab, their old space station, also made an uncontrolled re-entry, according to The Verge. Humanity has been launching rockets for around 50 years – and a single person is known to have perhaps been struck by space trash in all that time. In 1997, Lottie Williams was taking a walk in Tulsa, Oklahoma when metal fragment hit her shoulder , and according to Wired, NASA confirmed the time and place were consistent with the re-entry of a second-stage Delta rocket – although the shard wasn’t ever positively identified, and Williams wasn’t injured. Via The Verge , Business Insider , and Aerospace Corporation Images via CMSE via Phys.org , Aerospace Corporation , and copyright ESA – D. Ducros

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Oiio Oto transportation pods that climb buildings – the solution to LA traffic?

December 21, 2017 by  
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Oiio’s ingenous Oto pods are like nothing you’ve ever seen before. The bubble-like cabins sit on a swappable wheelbase that can follow roads or climb up buildings to help people get around Los Angeles . The see-through autonomous pods could someday be part of the solution to addressing the city’s notorious congestion and air pollution.   The idea behind the pod is that traditional cars take up too many resources for transporting one or two people. Unless your car is packed full, you are driving around with a trunk, excess engine capacity and rear seats that you don’t need. The Oto pod is bare bones transportation that eliminates the waste. The concept was conceived for the Automobility Designer/Developer Challenge at the LA Auto Show this year. The challenge asks designers to create concepts for the future of transportation. Each Oto pod is broken down into three components: a cabin, wheel base and shuttle. An individual could own the cabin, but the wheel base and shuttle would be shared and are interchangeable. The pods could affix to a track system that runs along roads or up walls. Related: Petal-shaped stations and rapid transport pods are an elegant green mobility solution for Dubai “It is possible that, in the future, LA people would be able to own only the cabin and, through AI centrally controlled circulation, they could create a temporary assembly-unit, an ephemeral design, which would serve their ‘exact’ needs on demand,” said Oiio. + Oiio Via Dezeen

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