‘Engineering in the form of functional art’

Sitting down at the prodigious architectural cast-in-place concrete kitchen island of his newest feat, Christopher Parker, P.E. observes, “I build functional art. And this is my masterpiece.” The principal of Parker Construction Group, Wilmington, N.C. enlightened local agent, Landmark Sotheby’s International Realty, on the attention to detail, engineering and craftsmanship behind the 8,200-sq.-ft. home.

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Hydro project powers on, cold be dammed

Renewable electricity has started being produced at the Keeyask Generating Station in Manitoba, Canada, six-months ahead of the project’s control schedule. A lesson in extreme cold weather concreting, the milestone was achieved through innovative logistics measures and tools employed by the joint venture team of Bechtel Canada, Montana-based Barnard Construction Co. and Canadian contractor EllisDon.

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No substitute for a smooth slab when clocking Porche EV under roof

The Guinness World Records title for the fastest speed by a vehicle indoors stood at 86 mph until earlier this year, when racer Leh Keen cleared one of the most expansive concrete slabs in a U.S. public venue. The record speed attempt required starting and finishing at a standstill, all within the Ernst M. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans.…

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Paving the way to excellence

The Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute recognized 18 winning and 17 honorable mention projects at its 2020 Hardscape North America Awards ceremony held last month during a special virtual event. The annual awards program honors leading residential and commercial hardscape designs for walkways, patios, pool decks, outdoor living kitchens and living spaces, and driveways as well as commercial plazas and streets.

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Rising to the occasion of substation flood protection

FirstEnergy Corp. subsidiary Jersey Central Power and Light (JCP&L) has completed specially designed, 4-ft. flood walls to protect the Sussex and Canoe Brook substations in Sussex and Essex counties, N.J. The structures are engineered to help curtail power outages by preventing water from reaching substation property and equipment.

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Lofty expressions

Coral Gables, Fla.-based Cosentino, a leader in the production and distribution of innovative resin or cementitious material-bound quartz surfaces, has unveiled the industrial motif-laden Silestone Loft Series, where colors capture the essence of neighborhoods celebrated for their raw, purely urban essence. Loft likewise marks the debut of an HybridQ+, a renewable energy-powered production process that combines reused raw materials, along…

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New era, new home for HeidelbergCement

HeidelbergCement has ushered in a new era with the opening of its revamped headquarters in Heidelberg, Germany after three years of construction. Designed by Frankfurt-based Albert Speer + Partner, the building is considered a sample project for sustainability that demonstrates the versatility of concrete.

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Sandwich panels sustain Passive House specs

The 276-unit Second + Delaware apartment complex in Kansas City, Mo., is touted as the world’s largest Passive House structure. One of the key design elements to help the project garner the designation are custom 16-in. thick sandwich panel-style precast walls. General contractor Crossland Construction of Columbus, Kan. manufactured the precast panels at its in-house fabrication plant (Crossland Prefab). The…

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Pollinators’ pour

Red square, blue circle, yellow triangle: The sequence can be traced back to the color and shape theory of the Bauhaus artist Wassily Kandinsky. Grellroth, a novelty concrete producer in Krefeld, Germany, adopts the artist’s style in the design of bee hotels it casts from self-consolidating concrete mixes, dosed with weather-stable Lanxess inorganic pigments.

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