Elon Musk reveals boring tunnels are for Hyperloop

May 23, 2017 by  
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Cleantech pioneer Elon Musk wants you to drive a Tesla electric car or truck, power your home with SolarCity solar panels and store renewable electricity with Tesla Powerwall battery packs. Oh yeah, he also wants to zip you from DC to NYC in less than 30 minutes via Hyperloop pods that can reach speeds of more than 600 miles per hour racing through evacuated tubes. Now Musk has revealed that part of the reason he started The Boring Company , besides finding a solution for LA’s “soul-destroying traffic,” is to launch and test Hyperloop by using his new Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) to dig underneath the City of Angels . “Fast to dig, low cost tunnels would also make Hyperloop adoption viable and enable rapid transit across densely populated regions, enabling travel from New York to Washington DC in less than 30 minutes,” the company’s new FAQ page states regarding its specific goals, adding that “the electric skate can transport automobiles, goods, and/or people. And if one adds a vacuum shell, it is now a Hyperloop Pod which can travel at 600+ miles per hour.” Related: Elon Musk’s Boring Company video envisions underground LA as a crazy slot car race The FAQ page mentions that The Boring Company aims to fix congestion in major cities by building an underground network of road tunnels “many levels deep” with the ability to keep adding levels. The key to making this work would be “increasing tunneling speed and dropping costs by a factor of 10 or more.” Costs would be mitigated by reducing the tunnel diameter, which the site claims can be accomplished by placing vehicles on a “stabilized electric sled.” Speeding up tunneling is another way to reduce costs, with the stated goal for the TBM to defeat the snail in a race. Hyperloop One has already built a full-scale test track at the company’s development site in Nevada. Countries from India to South Korea  to the United Arab Emirates  to Russia  have expressed interest in Hyperloop technology. It is clear that the race to build the first Hyperloop rapid transit system is underway and similar to his other ventures, Musk is eager to take the lead. + The Boring Company + Hyperloop One Via Archinect Images via The Boring Company

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Elon Musk reveals boring tunnels are for Hyperloop

Nations largest cross-laminated timber academic building is an icon of sustainability

May 23, 2017 by  
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The first and largest cross-laminated timber (CLT) academic building in the U.S. has opened at the University of Massachusetts (UMass) Amherst. Designed by Leers Weinzapfel Associates , the multidisciplinary Design Building brings together 500 students and 50 faculty across four departments into a light-filled 87,000-square-foot space. As a beacon of sustainability, the building features energy-saving elements, such as chilled beams and radiant flooring, and targets LEED Gold certification. Cross-laminated timber has long been praised for its durability, lightness, and speed of construction, however, has been slow to catch on in the U.S. relative to Europe and Canada. As the largest installation of wood-concrete composites in North America, the UMass Design Building paves the way in a growing trend of “mass timber” buildings. Cast-in-place concrete and CLT make up the Design Building’s floor slabs, while glue-laminated timber was used for the posts, beams, shear wall cores, and “zipper” trusses. To reference the colors and patterns of the nearby forests, the four-story building is wrapped in a durable envelope of copper-colored anodized aluminum panels punctuated with vertical windows. The glazing and skylights maximize daylight to the interior to reduce reliance on artificial lighting. Stormwater is managed onsite with bioswales and timber dams that filter and redirect runoff back to the Connecticut River. Related: Taiwan’s first CLT building paves way to greener alternatives to concrete and steel “To create a center space of collaboration, a coiling and rising band of studios, faculty offices and classrooms surrounds a skylit Commons for gathering and presentations,” write the architects. “The building also forms a green roof terrace, a contemplative space shared by the studios and faculty and a potential experimental space for the landscape department. The slope of the site creates a tall four-story façade on the west facing the mall, and the rising structure invites the community into the building and reveals the activities within.” + Leers Weinzapfel Associates Via Dezeen Images via Leers Weinzapfel Associates

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Nations largest cross-laminated timber academic building is an icon of sustainability

India could have its own Hyperloop system within 38 months

February 27, 2017 by  
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Past and present modes of transportation simply do not compare to the impressive abilities of  Hyperloop  technology. This efficient, low-cost vision of the future could be making its way to India in the next few years, according to Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HTT) co-founder Bibop Gresta. He argues a system of high speed tubes that transport people and cargo could help ease the challenges associated with extreme population density and a dearth of infrastructure. Hyperloop technology involves a series of tubes with an interior vacuum-like environment, through which pods can zip from point A to point B at nearly the speed of sound. Forbes India interviewed HTT co-founder Gresta about his vision for the country – one he thinks could become reality in as little as three years. Related: BIG releases video sneak peek of Hyperloop designed to connect Abu Dhabi & Dubai “The Hyperloop is based on efficiency,” Gresta said. “The cost of creating it can sometimes be one-fourth the cost of a high speed rail, and the cost of operations can be one-fifth.” He also argues that construction and operation costs, as well as projected passenger rates of $20-$60, are based on American pricing and that these costs in India would be smaller. He has already met with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the chief ministers of several states which his Hyperloop proposal would affect, and said the response was a positive one. Gresta said the country could have a functional Hyperloop system in place within just 38 months, once the project is approved. “We are ready with the technology and we can bring the money,” he explained. “We just need land and a commitment from the government of India.” A similar Hyperloop project is already underway in the capital of the UAE, where feasibility studies are being done to run the system between Abu Dhabi and the city of Al Ain. + Hyperloop Transportation Technologies Via Forbes India Images via Wikimedia , Getty Images

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India could have its own Hyperloop system within 38 months

South Korea unveils plan for near-supersonic hyper-tube train

January 19, 2017 by  
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Transportation that moves close to the speed of sound could be a reality in South Korea before too long. The country’s government-run Korea Railroad Research Institute (KRRI) is working on their own super-speedy Hyperloop -esque train that could travel as fast as 1,000 kilometers per hour, or around 621 miles per hour, and they say it will be ready in the “not-too-distant future.” South Korea’s near-supersonic train could rocket travelers between Seoul and Busan, a trip that currently takes about 50 minutes by plane or over five hours on public transportation, in a snappy half hour. A KRRI spokesperson said, “We hope to create an ultra-fast train, which will travel inside a state-of-the-art low-pressure tube at lighting speeds, in the not-too-distant future. To that end, we will cooperate with associated institutes as well as Hanyang University to check the viability of various related technologies called the hyper-tube format over the next three years.” Related: The U.S. Air Force just smashed the world record for maglev speed The Korea Times notes that “hyper-tube” technology is akin to the Hyperloop technology first proposed by Elon Musk and currently under development by a couple competing companies. They say the pods rocketing through tubes can fly so fast because there isn’t any friction, that tricky little force slowing regular trains and other traditional forms of transportation. Maglev trains are free of the annoyance of friction, but they still have to battle air resistance. KRRI said it would work with other institutions to solve drawbacks the Hyperloop currently faces, such as threats from terrorism or natural disasters. “Many countries such as the United States, Canada, and China are competing to take the lead in this futuristic technology and we will also try to preempt our global rivals,” said the spokesperson. Via The Korea Times Images via Korea Railroad Research Institute and Wikimedia Commons

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South Korea unveils plan for near-supersonic hyper-tube train

Cramped historic palace in Spain renovated as a light-filled community center

January 19, 2017 by  
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The new Cultural Center Casal Balaguer in Spain’s Palma de Mallorca is a wonderful example of how historic buildings can be adapted into today’s society. Barcelona-based Flores & Prats Architects and local Palma firm Duch-Pizá teamed up to convert the privately-owned 14th century palace into a thriving, light-filled community center. Using the sprawling layout to guide the design, the team created a building plan that would focus on maintaining some of the structure’s original character while injecting some modern-day features. Although the building had undergone various renovations over the years, the architects were determined to maintain as much of its “accumulated” character as possible. Related: Plush green-roofed cultural center replaces 2004 Olympic Games facilities in Athens Due to the cramped location of the palace, the architects had to get creative when it came to renovating the space for public use. Specifically, the rooftop had an especially significant role in the design because the structure is surrounded by narrow alleyways, reducing the possibilities of using large exterior windows to let in natural light. This limitation led the architects to use the roof as a principal design feature , interspersing sloping zinc panels into the typical Spanish ceramic tiles. The asymmetrical style of the roof outline comprised a strategic decision to filter in as much daylight as possible. Keeping in mind the building’s new use as a public space, opening up the interior space and creating clear circulation routes though the building was a priority. Once the rooms were open and spaces defined, various skylights were installed to bring in even more natural light , helping to reduce the building’s energy usage. Unfortunately, the original ceilings were in very bad shape and had to be replaced with exposed wooden beams . The large inverted wooden ceilings enhance the original arched doorways found throughout the gallery spaces and in the library. Inside, a monolithic concrete staircase leads up to the building’s rooftop terrace, letting visitors experience the building in its entirety. + Flores & Prats Architects + Duch-Pizá Via Archdaily Photography by Adrià Goula

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Cramped historic palace in Spain renovated as a light-filled community center

Future of hyper-fast pod travel unveiled in BIGs Hyperloop One

November 9, 2016 by  
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fze5spdN3nU First proposed by Elon Musk , the revolutionary Hyperloop transport system is envisioned as the future of affordable, high-tech, and hyper-fast travel. “Together with BIG, we have worked on a seamless experience that starts the moment you think about being somewhere – not going somewhere,” said Josh Giegel, President of Engineering, Hyperloop One. “We don’t sell cars, boats, trains, or planes. We sell time.” Related: BIG releases video sneak peek of Hyperloop designed to connect Abu Dhabi & Dubai The futuristic system doesn’t just aim to dramatically shorten commutes, but also “vastly simplifies the experience of getting from front-door to final destination.” To eliminate waiting from the passenger experience, travelers will be able to refer to a smartphone app that identifies the closest Hyperportal (Hyperloop’s name for their circular stations) and departure gate for on-demand travel. At the gate, passengers board a six-seater cuboid Hyperpod (each designed with different seating arrangements) that can move autonomously onto roads to pick up or drop off passengers. Four cuboid pods are loaded onto a ‘transporter,’ a pressurized vessel attached to a chassis for levitation and propulsion, which can accelerate to 1,100 kilometers per hour and “hyperjump” through a tube track to another portal, where the individual pods are discharged and move onto the street to drop passengers off at their final destination. Hyperloop One just signed an agreement with Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority to further explore the futuristic transit system with more details to follow. + BIG + Hyperloop One Images via BIG

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The world’s first levitating pneumatic Hyperloop system will be tested next week

October 27, 2016 by  
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The Waterloop team is focusing on reducing the weight of its futuristic vehicle in order to boost speed . Currently, the team is aiming for 340 miles per hour (550 km/h). While that is only around half the speed that theoretical Hyperloop pods can travel, it will be an impressive accomplishment for an actual prototype. The GOOSE I pod, backed in part by crowdfunding efforts, is the team’s half-scale, functional prototype vehicle pod. Related: Is it real? Redditor claims to show first glimpse of futuristic Hyperloop test track After unveiling the initial Hyperloop concept in 2013, SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk moved quickly to share the technology by making it open source. In doing so, he fired a starting gun of sorts, kicking off a global innovation race. Although Musk is not directly involved with any of the teams working toward a working Hyperloop system, SpaceX launched the Hyperloop Pod Competition I in 2015, which invites Hyperloop teams from around the world to test their human-scale pods on the mile-long test track built adjacent to SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, California. The competition is scheduled for the weekend of January 27-29, 2017. Team Waterloop, the only Hyperloop competition team from Canada, is looking forward to unleashing their creation at that event. + Team Waterloop Images via Team Waterloop

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The world’s first levitating pneumatic Hyperloop system will be tested next week

BIG releases video sneak peek of Hyperloop designed to connect Abu Dhabi & Dubai

October 24, 2016 by  
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Dutch architecture firm Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) has released a teaser video showing off its design of a Hyperloop project that promises to link Abu Dhabi and Dubai . The ultra high-speed capsule transport aims to turn the 93-mile trip between the two busy cities into a minutes-long commute, offering an efficient means of moving both people and cargo. Jakob Lange, a partner and head of BIG Ideas (the design firm’s tech division), leads the video sneak peek ahead of the Hyperloop design’s November 7 unveiling. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ypab90bc1Yw BIG ’s design is the result of a partnership with Hyperloop One (formerly Hyperloop Technologies), which is one of the two companies racing to build the first working Hyperloop track in the United States. Hyperloop One recently tapped BIG to aid in the design of its Hyperloop plans for the United Arab Emirates, with architecture and engineering firms AECOM and Arup on board to translate the technology into actual infrastructure. Related: Hyperloop One raises $50M and hires former Uber CFO as an advisor “We are in a new time now where you can develop a new transportation system in very few years and change the world,” said Lange in the video. “We’re not waiting for new technology like carbon nanofibers or anything in order to do this. We have everything we need to do it.” BIG’s design involves Y-shaped supports that elevate the Hyperloop itself, a track that carries high-speed passenger pods from one stop to the next at speeds over 700 miles per hour. The technology behind Hyperloop One’s UAE project may not be that different from tests of its propulsion system in the Nevada desert, where the proof-of-concept prototype reached 116mph in a staggering 1.1 seconds this past May. Still, there is a lot we don’t know about how the UAE track will be built, when construction might begin or end, and how much the project will cost. BIG’s teaser video offers an early peek at the design, with more coming on November 7, but even that could change in response to the demands of the still-emerging technology. Via Dezeen Images via BIG

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BIG releases video sneak peek of Hyperloop designed to connect Abu Dhabi & Dubai

Hyperloop One opens the world’s first Hyperloop factory

August 2, 2016 by  
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Two Hyperloop companies are dueling it out to see who will be the first to build the futuristic high-speed transportation concept, and one company just took a major stride ahead. Hyperloop One , formerly Hyperloop Technologies, just opened their Hyperloop One Metalworks factory in North Las Vegas, Nevada . It’s the first Hyperloop factory to open, and is about as big as two football fields. At Hyperloop One Metalworks, engineers, welders, machinists, and technicians will work on pieces for the Devloop, Hyperloop One’s full-system prototype. The massive factory houses fancy new equipment, prompting the company to refer to Metalworks as ” a maker playground .” The company will be creating many new jobs at the factory, where workers will use tools like “Flow waterjet cutters.” The factory also includes a “state-of-the-art metrology room” where Hyperloop components and materials can be measured. Related: Hyperloop One hits 116 mph in 1.1 seconds on first public test run According to Hyperloop One, they are the “only company in the world building a complete system right now.” Huge steel tubes outside their industrial factory hint at what they are building inside. In a company blog post co-founder Josh Giegel said, “The facility is essential as we continue testing and is an incredible asset as we continue on the path towards making Hyperloop a reality. The equipment housed at Metalworks gives us the flexibility and freedom to build rapidly and develop the Hyperloop in real-time.” The company believes having their own factory will allow them to research ways to slash the costs of delivering the technology . The company had another big success in May, earlier this year; they ran a ” full-scale test ” that saw their test sled hit 116 miles per hour in a mere 1.1 seconds. If all goes well as Hyperloop One builds Devloop, testing of the revolutionary prototype could occur as early as next year. + Hyperloop One Images via Hyperloop One Facebook

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Hyperloop One opens the world’s first Hyperloop factory

Russia wants to build a hyperloop trackif China helps pay for it

June 27, 2016 by  
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Strange things are afoot in Russia. The government wants to build a 70-kilometer (44-mile) hyperloop line along the country’s Pacific Coast, which would link Russia’s port of Zarubino with China’s Jilin province . There’s just one small catch, of course. Russia wants the Chinese government to help pay for the $500-million project since the high-speed transportation line would theoretically benefit both countries. Can Russia convince the Chinese government to help build a 600 mile per hour rail line? The Russian hyperloop project, reported by Global Construction Review , is part of the country’s largest scheme to improve transportation infrastructure and create corridors between its Primorye region and northeast China. China announced earlier this year it would spend upwards of $1 billion on its Silk Road plan, which involves re-establishing trade routes over both land and sea, so Russian officials are hoping leaders in China will see a great opportunity in the joint hyperloop project. Related: China unveils a wacky idea to build an 8,000-mile high speed underwater railway line to America Maksim Sokolov, Russia’s transport minister, commented on the plan on the sidelines of the Saint Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) earlier this month. “I have already held talks with hyperloop company,” he said without specifying which company. “We have suggested the investors consider the construction project of the zone within the international transport corridor Primorye-2.” The ultra high speed rail concept, initially dreamed up by Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk , is a hot topic in the United States, where two separate companies are racing to build hyperloop test tracks in Nevada and California. Each project has its own strengths and weaknesses, and only time will tell which team becomes the first to successfully open a working hyperloop. As for the Russian-Chinese venture, things look a little shaky. Although trade between the two countries is strong and Beijing recently indicated an interest in lending money toward another high-speed rail project (between Moscow and Kazan), Chinese support for a hyperloop is low. GCR reports that Yury Trutnev, a deputy prime minister and presidential envoy for the Far East, said Chinese investors were not ready to invest in projects to develop the Primorye-1 and Primorye-2 corridors “due to the lack of economic appeal.” Via Archinect Images via Hyperloop Transportation Technologies , VOA , and Wikimapia

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