How 3-d Printing Is Remodeling The Construction Industry

3-D printing technology first started to gain mainstream attention several years back, and it has since disrupted (in a good way) various industries, including construction.

In March 2017, the audience at the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show was treated for a surprise. Aside from the blossoming displays and demonstration of skills by the countries’ leading landscape and floral designers, revealed during the five-day event was a 3-D-printed treehouse that exhibited the potential of mankind’s ability to full-scale houses and other structures in the future.


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Even before the show in Australia, 3-D printing in the construction industry had already been experimented on in other countries. In China, 3-D-printed concrete houses have been built. In Dubai, fully-functioning offices have been erected using 3-D printing. Even in California, contour-crafted buildings have already been designed using the technology.

While it may be years away from seeing 3-D-printed homes and buildings on the ground, the technology has been useful in the industry for various reasons.


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It has boosted efficiency in structural designs because creating prototypes is much easier now. Translating drawings and sketches from software into a physical model can be done more quickly. Even prefabrication of components used in construction projects has become more cost-effective, thanks to 3-D printing technology.

Reddy Kancharla has more than 25 years of experience in the fields of civil construction, geotechnical consultation, and construction quality assurance. See more discussions on the industry by following this Twitter page.


Both Art And Construction Marvel: The Eiffel Tower

It used to be condemned by artists as a hulking monstrosity, a blight over the pristine city of Paris, but Gustav Eiffel’s creation has stood the test of time and proved itself a triumph of civil construction.

Today, it is one of the most photographed tourist monuments. It stands tall at 324 meters and is revered as the city’s tallest structure. Of course, it took a lot of climbing, technology-wise and from an engineering point of view, to get it to its iconic status.

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Eiffel, in fact, was heavily criticized for preferring artistry to sound construction principles during the tower’s creation. But it turned out he may have had his civil engineering principles pat. Eiffel then was more known for the bridges he built; perhaps he had just built a vertical bridge without knowing it.

His main concern, naturally, was wind resistance, so he compiled his experience and knowledge in building to do the math. The tower was meant to symbolize France’s newly minted status as an industrial country and to be showcased at the Universal Exhibition of 1889. Predictably, it took four months to lay its very foundations. Its square base would measure 125 meters on each side. Then it took another two years to get much iron to a height of 300 meters.

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The pieces of the tower were assembled in a factory in Levallois-Perret. Then another mass of workers labored onsite to put them together. One of the marvels of the Eiffel tower is the manner by which the design of the parts had been assiduously designed, calculated, and drafted, all 18,000 pieces of them.

The riveted metallic pieces were also a testament to the newest techniques of the day. Bolts held them together, and cooling techniques were used to tighten the rivets, ensuring the strength of the structure.

One can imagine the number of workers the completion of the project demanded. At least four workers tweaked the rivets. Multiply that manifold, and you get a picture of the Herculean labors that actually went into this marvel of architecture and engineering.

Reddy Kancharla holds a master’s degree in civil engineering from Texas Tech University at Lubbock. He has 25 years of experience in civil construction, geotechnical consultation, and construction QA/QC, and more than a decade in senior management for civil engineering firms. For similar reads, visit this blog.

Artificial intelligence: Does it have a role in the future of the construction industry?

As technology continues to evolve over time, so does artificial intelligence (AI). What were the stuff of sci-fi novels and movies a couple of years ago is becoming more and more a reality today. Various industries nowadays take advantage of the convenience and usefulness of AI. In the construction sector, those who use the technology have found their projects completed more efficiently and with increased safety and higher quality.

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Contrary to common belief, AI in the construction industry is not just limited to robotics in job sites replacing human-operated machineries such as bricklaying, concrete dispensing, welding, and more.

AI is roughly defined as a machine that mimics human cognitive functions, and these include problem-solving, recognition of patterns, and learning from data that it is fed with. Because of this, AI can be used in various applications, which can be categorized into four perspectives, namely, equipment, administrative, construction methodology, and post-construction.

There is also a widespread concern, however, on whether people will lose employment opportunities as construction tasks become more automated. This was like the apprehension people have when the first construction machines were developed. As time has proven, though, these machines have opened new doors of opportunities for specialists and jobseekers.

Furthermore, construction companies see AI as the solution to the current labor shortage in the construction industry, particularly in the U.S.

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Reddy Kancharla is a civil engineer who has had more than 25 years of experience in various construction projects and senior management. Read more about him here.

Recent Noteworthy Trends In Civil Engineering

As innovations in technology continue to affect our daily lives, civil engineering adapts to the rapid changes and develops more ways to improve quality of life. From the construction of high rises to sturdy structures for drainage and disaster prevention, civil engineering is shaping our modern world.
Recent developments point to an increased interdisciplinarity, as the field marries traditional engineering methods with the other sciences. The idea is to promote sustainable and resilient infrastructure. In the traditional sense, civil engineering is turning its attention to so-called “smart” materials like recycled rubber pellets, geopolymers, fly ash, and concrete reinforced with fiber.
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Energy efficiency is the current direction, and progress in nanotechnology has led to enhanced materials geared toward energy conservation. Shape Memory Alloys, previously used only in aircraft and automobiles, are now being deployed for such enhancements, as they have high damping and fatigue resistance capacities.
Computers are now being heavily used to understand the structural health and resiliency of structures. Vision-based techniques are now being maximized for civil engineering work like oil explorations, corrosion detection, and construction progress monitoring.
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Pretty soon, sensing techniques in roads and bridges that study crack propagation and structural vibration will intertwine with advances in data interpretation and the growing fields of virtual/augmented reality and robotics.
Reddy Kancharla has more than 25 years of experience in projects involving civil construction, geotechnical consultation, and construction QA/QC. He has extensive knowledge of budgeting principles relating to both civil construction projects and building management. For similar reads, visit this blog.

Construction Technologies That Help Buildings Resist Earthquakes

The not-so-good news is that the world is even more inclined today to suffer the effects of earthquakes than in the past. This is primarily because a lot of people have moved to the cities, to modern environments with many structures like elevated superhighways, bridges, and buildings. But there’s no need to fret, as architects and civil engineers are continuously working on innovations to make our living and working spaces more earthquake-resistant. Here are some technologies of note.

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Base isolation

The concept is to separate a building’s substructure from its superstructure. A building can then “float” above its foundation, using lead-rubber bearings with a solid lead core wrapped in layers of rubber and steel. These bearings are attached to the structure with steel plates, allowing the base to move during an earthquake without shaking the structure above. Japanese civil engineers are even using cushions of air to expand on the idea, with seismic sensors that prompt a compressor that pumps air into the base, allowing the building to be temporarily lifted.


This innovation is taken from the automobile industry. In principle, it acts like a car’s shock absorber, slowing down and reducing vibrations by transforming kinetic energy into heat. This damping process then dissipates the heat using hydraulic fluid. Engineers now put dampers at each level of a building, with the ends connected to a column and a beam, respectively. These absorbers are made up of pistons in cylinders filled with silicone oil. During an earthquake, the pistons push against the oil and diminish the shaking.

Rocking core-wall

Core-wall construction means placing a reinforced concrete at the middle of the building, surrounding its elevator banks. This technology is often used in modern high-rise structures to deal with seismic activities at a lower cost. However, the core-wall concept is ideally applied in conjunction with base isolation lead-rubber bearings, as rocking core-walls tend to leave walls deformed after significant seismic activities.

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Reddy Kancharla has 25 years of experience in civil construction, geotechnical consultation, and construction QA/QC, and more than a decade in senior management for civil engineering firms. For similar reads, drop by this blog.

A Historical Ballpark: Fun Facts About The Yankees Stadium

The Yankees Stadium has become a landmark in New York. As one of the structures that people from different generations have come to appreciate, the famed ballpark has gone through changes and significant events. Here are some interesting facts about the Yankees Stadium:


1. The old Yankees Stadium that was built in 1923 was nicknamed “The house that Ruth built.” The project cost $2.4 million and was financed by owner Jacob Ruppert.

2. During the Second World War, Yankees president Ed Barrow offered the use of the old Yankees Stadium to the Civil Defense as a place for evacuation in case of a bomb attack.

3. Aside from sports events, the old Yankees stadium became the venue for some conventions of Jehovah’s Witnesses. When Pope Paul VI visited the U.S. for the first time, he celebrated mass with 80,000 devotees at the stadium.

4. The new stadium was opened to the public on April 2, 2009. The new stadium was meant to look like the original one, including the dimensions of the playing field during the old stadium’s last reconstruction.

5. The new Yankees Stadium is believed to be the most expensive sports stadium built and took three years to be completed. Construction started in summer of 2006 and ended spring of 2009. Aside from being the home of the New York Yankees, it is also the home of New York City FC.


The Yankees and its homes are considered to be a part of the New York culture. For many sports fans, these stadiums are the site of many memories. Despite the changes the stadiums have undergone, sports fans still gather and flock to the site to watch their favorite teams play.

Reddy Kancharla has worked on projects such as the USTA National Tennis Center, Yankee Stadium, the Giants/Jets Stadium, and Terminals 1, 4, 5 and 7 of the John Fitzgerald Kennedy Airport. In his many years of service, he has acquired extensive knowledge of engineering theories, principles, and practical solutions to engineering problems relating to civil engineering and the construction industry. For more civil engineering updates, follow this page.

Beyond Aesthetics: Engineering Strength Through Geometry

Geometry is fundamental to all aspects of engineering. Basic geometric principles play a key role in planning and estimating construction projects. An understanding of the perimeter is vital to calculating the amount of material, while an understanding volume and area is a crucial factor in the design of the project.

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Indeed, advances in our understanding of geometry have often led to significant innovations in engineering and the related fields of construction and architecture. The advent of fractal geometry, for instance, allows modern civil engineers to understand the effects of soil porosity and material clumping, which would need to be factored in when creating a building.

The geometry employed in the structural supports of a building is perhaps the most familiar to the layperson. Different shapes accommodate and distribute the weight of an object differently. A few shapes, such as triangles, squares, and semicircular arcs, for instance, have all been found to be effective distributors of weight, thus lending to their ubiquity in many engineering projects.

The semicircular arch, for instance, distributes the pressure and weight in its center to its sides, which serve to strengthen the curve structure. The familiar vaulted ceilings, arched colonnades, flying buttresses, and elegantly curved domes of buildings in the past were not only easy on the eye but also structurally sound.

Geometric knowledge can also help engineers design structural systems to allow builders to think out of the box. The unique and daring shapes of many contemporary buildings and bridges were made possible due to the engineer’s understanding of the role of geometry in maintaining structural integrity, creating a mesmerizing marriage of form and function.

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Currently based in Briarcliff Manor, Reddy Kancharla obtained his bachelor’s in civil engineering from Osmania University in Hyderabad, India, and his master’s from Texas Tech University at Lubbock. Visit this page for more updates on engineering technology.