Britain’s construction sector stages recovery



  • A rise in house building activity and commercial work has helped drag Britain’s construction sector back from a seven-month low.
  • However, the report cautioned that the overall rate of expansion remained slightly weaker than seen on average over this period.
  • The survey noted that UK construction firms had ended 2015 with a “robust” level of overall business activity, adding that commercial building increased on the back of improving UK economic conditions, leading to new orders.
  • Housing activity also showed strong growth, picking up from a 29-month low in November.
  • IHS Global Insight economist Howard Archer said it was a “reassuring survey”.


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AMD Soon to Announce Highly Efficient Polaris Architecture



  • We were promised more information will be revealed as we get closer to the release of Polaris graphics products.
  • Getting finny AMD says Polaris chips have been designed specifically for fabrication with FinFETs.
  • These two changes combined promise to offer the biggest improvement in performance per watt, generation to generation, in AMD’s history.
  • During a press briefing, AMD product marketing manager Adam Kozack boasted that Polaris is a “historic leap in performance per watt” (via GamesBeat).
  • The Polaris card drew just 83W, while the GTX 950 drew 140W. But Raja Koduri, who runs the new Radeon Technologies Group, said it’s not unlike the situation ATI faced in 2001.


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Pictures depict progress on the new Forth bridge (From Herald Scotland)



  • Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure Keith Brown said: “It seems a long time since 2011 when construction work on the bridge began.
  • “During 2015 the progress in building the new bridge has been much more noticeable to passers-by the higher above the water the bridge has grown.
  • Now entering its final year of construction, Scotland’s latest engineering wonder has been taking shape over the Firth of Forth.
  • The Frame the Bridge campaign also launched in 2015, with people being encouraged to send in pictures of themselves or family and friends with the bridge works in the background.
  • “It’s very clear the progress that is being made as we look forward to 2016 and the final year of construction.”


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Puzzles Architecture adds rusted steel extension to Belgian barn



  • Puzzles Architecture designed this weathering-steel extension for a barn in Belgium, converting it into an annex for the adjacent 18th-century farmhouse (+ slideshow).
  • Belgian architects Thomas Gillet and Mathieu Henquet added a single-storey extension made from Corten steel to the rear facade of the barn and converted it into a self-contained two-bedroom annex.
  • The pre-rusted steel cladding is intended to homogenise the extension with the grey, brown and red tones found in the existing stonework.
  • “The tonality of colours are perfect and match the existing regional stone,” said the architects.
  • Tall ceilings and an open stairwell help to open up views between the different levels of the barn, while a wooden frame distinguishes the kitchen from the rest of the living space.


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HOIST magazine



  • For example, in South Australia and Tasmania a number of energy infrastructure construction projects are going ahead.
  • This solid performance is a consequence of high levels of investment in oil and gas and energy infrastructure projects.
  • Notwithstanding the aforementioned power station, it’s largely a different story in the energy and utilities construction sector, however.
  • However, it isn’t stalling altogether and there are still some ongoing construction projects, including in Queensland.
  • Meanwhile, a project to develop the rail infrastructure in Melbourne is continuing with an upgrade of the Cranbourne-Pakenham rail corridor.


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Orange Bowl to be played on a construction site



  • Two of the best quarterbacks in the nation will lead their teams into the Orange Bowl with the victor advancing to play for the national championship.
  • I think that loss itself helped us improve as a program and how to prepare for a bowl game.
  • Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said this year’s team is one of his best.
  • With Dalton on the sidelines, the Sooners struggled to an 8-5 record last season – including a 40-6 loss to Clemson, their Orange Bowl opponent this year, in the Russell Athletic Bowl – but Dalton said he knew brighter days were ahead.
  • OU will counter with running backs , who have combined for more than 2,000 rushing yards and 22 rushing touchdowns.


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Famed architect Shigeru Ban builds quake-proof homes from rubble in Nepal



  • After the quakes hit Nepal, Ban said Nepali students in Tokyo and his friends around the world hastened to raise funds for his project.
  • Construction workers make the final touches to a prototype house of the Nepal House Project designed by Japanese architect Shigeru Ban in Kathmandu October 15, 2015.
  • Renowned Japanese architect Shigeru Ban – who helped bring global attention to humanitarian architecture and continues to influence fellow architects and disaster-relief workers – devised a solution.
  • The prototype for his latest humanitarian housing project in Nepal consists of standard timber door frames joined together and reinforced with plywood.
  • His initial goal to build 30 homes in Phatakshila in the Sindhupalchok district in central Nepal in the coming months is moving forward.


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2016: A year of grand designs



  • The branding of 2016 as the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design, follows this 2015’s Year of Food and Drink status, and 2014’s Year of Homecoming.
  • VisitScotland’s involvement signals the belief that there’s a tourism buck to be made out of selling Scotland’s architecture – both historic and new – as an attraction.
  • WHEN fire tore through Glasgow School of Art’s Mackintosh building on 23 May, 2014, the shockwaves spread far beyond the confines of the creative community.
  • Turning the festival – and the entire Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design – into a financial success is the responsibility, ultimately, of the quango.
  • Contemporary structures add a new layer to our built environment, taking inspiration from and sometimes reacting against past achievements in design.


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Japan Picks New Olympic Stadium Design



  • Japan’s then-education and sports minister, Hakubun Shimomoura, offered to resign over the cancellation of the first stadium design.
  • Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has announced architect Kengo Kuma as the victor of a second design competition for the new Tokyo Olympic Stadium.
  • The previously finalized design had a lofty price tag of 252 billion yen ($2.1 billion), which came under heavy criticism.
  • A new plan was needed after the design by London-based Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid was called off due to ballooning costs of 265.1 billion yen.
  • Earlier this month, the Japan Sports Council released two new bids, initially kept anonymous but widely believed to be the work of Toyo Ito and Kengo Kuma, submitted in concert with leading Japanese construction firms.


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India readies plan to clean Delhi’s air, but won’t focus on vehicles



  • A traffic policeman wears a mask to protect himself from dust and air pollution as he signals to drivers in New Delhi, India, December 23, 2015.
  • To match INDIA-POLLUTION/

    A traffic policeman wears a mask to protect himself from dust and air pollution as he signals to drivers in New Delhi, India, December 23, 2015.

  • A traffic policeman wears a mask to protect himself from dust and air pollution as he stands on a road-divider in New Delhi, India, December 23, 2015.
  • The World Health Organisation said last year that 13 of the world’s 20 most polluted cities were in India, with New Delhi the worst.
  • Instead, the plan will call for enforcing bans on what some environmentalists regard as relatively minor sources of pollution, including burning of garbage and construction dust.


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