The $145.5 million, 164-foot-tall San Francisco Public Utilities Commission Headquarters in California was designed as a lateral-load-resisting structure to reduce potential damage in an earthquake. "The concrete shear-wall core system relies on unbonded vertical post-tensioning (PT) in core walls" to combat lateral loads and help the building replumb itself. However, the viability of using post-tensioned systems to minimize earthquake damage remains to be seen as it hasn't been put to the test by a strong earthquake in the U.S.
London's 1,016-foot-tall Shard skyscraper is set to become Western Europe's tallest building, and it will be a "truly mixed-use building," with housing, office and public space. Building the tower is challenging due to space constraints, the fast-track construction schedule and the densely populated area. However, with "the right design and information," the construction process goes smoothly, said Robert Deatker, a project director.
The U.S. must adopt solutions that leverage new business models and funding, in scalable and sustainable ways, to address the country's infrastructure problems, former Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., former Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Jim Jones and Mark Gerencser of Booz Allen Hamilton write. "America must re-imagine its infrastructure to meet the needs of its citizens in a future that abounds with opportunities and competitive challenges," they argue. "To create jobs, compete globally and ensure national security, we must draw from our great American innovation and re-imagine our infrastructure for a new generation."
Those in the building industry could benefit from using social media because it can enhance communication among companies, project managers, stakeholders and others, writes Martin Brown, an improvement consultant for the built environment. It can also keep users up to date on the latest sustainable technologies and challenges that arise with building information management technology.
Fewer than 40% of students majoring in STEM fields graduate in those fields, according to a report by the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. If that were raised to 50%, the country would gain an additional 750,000 STEM grads over the next 10 years. To accomplish this, the council suggests improving the first two years of college by changing the way teachers are trained and creating hands-on classes instead of lectures. It also suggests overhauling math education on a variety of levels.