10 Design reveals masterplan for $1bn technology

10 Design reveals masterplan for $1bn technology and sports neighbourhood in North Carolina

The “City of Oaks” project, for local developer Kane Realty, will be built on a 13ha site in south-central Raleigh. It will include office, residential, retail and leisure areas, as well as a 20,000-seat American football stadium and virtual reality centre.

The flats and offices will be contained in a series of mid-rise buildings along a central pedestrian walkway interspersed with pocket parks. 10 Design said this “mirrors the organic patterns of trees and retains most of the vegetation on site, supporting the city’s large network of parks”.

“Raleigh represents an important milestone for 10 Design, as it is our first major project in North America,” said Givens, who hails from Raleigh. “It is particularly special to me, as it allowed me to transfer a lot of the learnings I gathered from many years working abroad in Asia and around the world, to my hometown in North Carolina. The design for Raleigh provides a mix of simple buildings that merge with the natural landscape and iconic pieces that activate the masterplan.”

Majority owned by French construction and engineering group, Egis, 10 Design was founded in 2010 as a design and masterplanning practice. It has offices in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Edinburgh, Dubai, Miami, London, Shenzhen and Singapore. Since its founding, it has won more than 80 international awards and major design competitions.

Skanska invests in office building

Swedish contractor Skanska has won a construction contract worth $64m and will invest $129m in an office development project in Arlington, Virginia.

The nine-floor building will contain 19,000 sq m of space, a rooftop deck, conference centre, ground floor fitness centre, shop, public plaza and a 250-space parking garage.

Skanska says the building will meet green criteria such as LEED and WiredScore Gold certifications.

Construction is due to begin in September 2021 and be completed by 2023.

Skanska says that since 2009 it has invested $3.2bn in US commercial and residential developments.

China begins research into building megastructures in space

The National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) is to fund a study into the possibility of building spacecraft with dimensions measured in kilometres.

The project is listed in the foundation’s five-year plan for scientific research, which discusses the “urgent need” to develop technologies that could be use to build megastructures in space.

One use for an ultra-large spaceship would be an expedition to Mars. In June, the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology unveiled a somewhat speculative roadmap to a sustained presence on Mars.

Space-based solar power stations would be placed in geostationary orbit and would turn light energy into microwaves, which would then be beamed down to collecting stations on Earth.

The research is just a first step on a massive research programme that is likely to last decades. However, it will build on work already undertaken by the Chinese Academy of Sciences into an orbiting telescope, called the “Ultra-Large Aperture In-Orbit Assembly Project”.

This is aimed at the automated assembly of a 10m telescope, and is being carried out with the Changchun Institute of Optics and the University of Surrey in the UK. This would be significantly larger than the 2.4m Hubble orbiting telescope.

The solar power option will be based on work undertaken by the China Academy of Space Technology (CAST), which is building test facilities in Chongqing. The aim here is to put a megawatt-lever system in orbit by  2030.

Balfour Beatty to start extending Jacksonville’s Skyway people

A Balfour Beatty-led consortium has been picked for a $44m project to begin extending Jacksonville, Florida’s Skyway from 2.5 miles in length to 10 miles.

First opened in 1989, the Skyway is an automated people mover running on an elevated monorail. The extended system will have sections at street level.

The Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA) has dubbed the three-phase project the “Ultimate Urban Circulator”, or U2C.

“We are confident the Balfour Beatty team and its partners will deliver a world-class project on behalf of the taxpayers of Jacksonville, placing our community at the forefront of innovation,” said Nathaniel P. Ford Sr., chief executive of the JTA.

John Harris, senior vice president of Balfour Beatty’s Buildings operations in Florida, called the U2C project “an opportunity of a lifetime” and said the consortium would be a “relentless ally” to JTA.

Rebar-tying robot set loose on big Florida

A robot that can tie up to 1,100 rebar intersections an hour is being used on the $598m Gateway Expressway Project in Clearwater, Florida

The project entails adding two new, four-lane elevated tolled roadways and connections, BIM+ reports.

The brainchild of a US civil engineering company boss who struggled with labour shortages, the ‘TyBot’ uses a robotic arm rigged to a gantry crane to find rebar junctions and attach a tie before a concrete pour, saving many hours of back-breaking labour on road, bridge and other projects.

Boring robot

TyBot developer ACR was created in 2017 by Stephen Muck, owner and chief executive of Brayman Construction Corporation, a national civil contractor headquartered in Pittsburgh, a global hub for robotics research.

With labour shortages causing Brayman pain in road and bridge jobs, and with rebar tying being the most labour-intensive part of those jobs, Muck got the idea for the TyBot during a presentation on the latest robotics technology. He set up ACR with experts in motion control, artificial intelligence, electrical, mechanical and hydraulics engineering to develop a prototype.

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