Concrete Is One of the Most Affordable Resources

laying-concreteThere’s a reason that concrete has been used in creating structures since the Romans poured the first aqueduct. Concrete is one of the strongest and most affordable resources available for buildings of all types – residential, public, and business. However, when it comes to architectural creativity, concrete usually has a pitfall. Complex structures are difficult with concrete, because an exact mold with a non-stick mold medium and a cleaning agent must be used. And one-of-a-kind, twisted pieces that require mold after mold to assemble can get expensive.

A group of graduate students from London’s Bartlett School of Architecture may have come up with a solution. The team has come up with a technique for pouring concrete that they’re calling “Augmented Skin.” It’s a fairly simple idea. The students are using sticks like cake dowels to hold the structures in place and then pouring concrete into fabric around them. The finished prototypes are skeletal in nature – knobby, twisted, and almost fragile. But these are concrete pieces, so the hypothesis is that the structures would not only survive harsh weather conditions, but also the test of time.

The fabric mold doesn’t require any scaffolding and the entire process happens rather quickly. This means that one of the major applications, beyond testing the boundaries of what is architecturally and artistically possible with concrete, is in relief housing after major catastrophes. The project harkens back to Binishells, invented in the 1960s by Dr. Dante N. Bini. Binishells were also supposed to be used as relief housing. They were produced by pouring concrete directly over an inflatable air bladder.

Bergen Mobile Concrete is always looking for new applications and innovations in the concrete world. Contact us today for your own concrete needs!

Source: http://www.wired.com/2014/12/experimental-building-technique-makes-concrete-look-like-skeletons/#slide-id-1667103

Nuclear Concrete

We love discussing the many modern applications that our society has found for concrete here on the Bergen Mobile Concrete blog. More than just a footpath surface, concrete technologies have the potential to help us live in an even more sustainable world. In the not-so-distant future, we may even be hailing concrete as a modern marvel capable of helping the world enjoy safer nuclear energy.

Across the world in Poland, researchers are busy developing a technology that can create concrete capable of providing better shields against ionizing radiation produced in nuclear power plants. As this article published by Product Design & Development describes, the technology could also help in oncology hospital, nuclear chemistry lab and radioactive waste repository applications.

The research into more protective concrete compositions is in part urged on by recent discoveries of concrete issues at other nuclear facilities. Nuclear power plants in Canada and Finland were found to have either damaged concrete components or defective ones that increased safety risks at those plants.

The testing process for the final product will be rigorous, so an effective solution likely won’t be developed for a couple of years yet. But this is just one more example of the many unexpected impacts concrete has had on our society. Just browse through our blog and you’ll find plenty of interesting stories about electric sidewalks, home furnishings and even audio speakers composed of concrete.

The concrete shields for nuclear radiation protection project will likely continue through 2016, plenty of time to implement these products safely in nuclear facilities. This could help unlock a completely new future for energy. Although nuclear energy has it’s risks, this kind of shielding technology can help towards ensuring that devastating events don’t happen.

Bergen Mobile Technology wants to be the first to stay on top of developing concrete technologies as they’re created. We hope you enjoy being surprised by the ever-growing world of concrete.

New Concrete Laying Technique

In Arizona, the new East Wetlands multiuse pathway has been surprising locals, visitors and just about anyone who has taken a stroll down it. Beginning under the Ocean-to-Ocean Highway Bridge, this 1.5 mile path extends to the Avenue 2E trailhead. Whether you choose to bilk, walk or jog down the path, you can expect to see more than 400 acres of the surrounding wetland, offering a great view of the area. Whether you are looking for a relaxing place to jog or you want to bird watch, this path is the ideal spot for both.

One of the main things that visitors have been noticing is how smooth the path is to walk on. This smooth surface is due to new technology that was used to lay concrete along the path. Although this technology has been used in other places, this is the first place in Yuma that has benefited from this new concrete laying technique. Specifically, the path makes use of roller-compacted concrete. This is a special mix of concrete applied using a standard asphalt paving device. Afterwards, it is smoothed out by running rollers over it.

The technique used to create the path also makes the cement laying process easier because there is no preparation required when it comes to the surface. It also takes a significantly shorter time to dry than standard cement. This technology combined with the sights and sounds offered on the path make for one of the best additions to the Yuma area in recent years!

Concrete makes the world a better place. For more information about all things cement, get in touch with the team at Bergen Mobile Concrete!

Source: http://www.yumasun.com/business/cemented-with-technology-company-brings-new-concrete-product-to-yuma/article_7b9e8f96-74d4-11e3-a80f-0019bb30f31a.html

Concrete Barrels Full of Wine

Here at the Bergen Mobile Concrete blog, we love sharing new and interesting ways of looking at concrete, a subject many people would think is pretty dull. However, a quick scroll through our various posts here will show you that nothing could be further from the truth. Today, we’re taking a quick look at a new way concrete is being used in winemaking to make the process much closer to historic traditions.

Stainless steel, and not oak barrels, has been the container of choice for winemakers that make large quantities of wine for commercial sale. Aging containers made of steel are cleaner and predictable to use, but many business are interested in returning to more time-honored traditions. For these companies, concrete makes a much more suitable holding tank material.

Ancient techniques of winemaking would rely on clay or stone containers for the fermentation of wine. Like clay and stone, concrete is not an inert material and can actually house an ecosystem of tiny living organisms within its many tiny nooks and crannies. This is actually beneficial for the wine and can create wines that more closely resemble those from the Mediterranean, according to this article published by CBC News.

Yeast is one substance that can build up in the sides of the unlined concrete containers between batches of wine. This yeast can enhance the wine that ages within the container as it builds up, improving the fermentation process. For smaller winemakers, that means making a brand of wine that has more of a unique taste, helping set it apart from all the other wines that taste the same coming from stainless steel.

Using concrete to craft wines that closely resemble the vineyard classics of ancient Greece or Italy is a very intriguing new use for this material. The growing applications for concrete never fail to astound us here at Bergen Mobile Concrete. Make sure to visit back often for more intriguing news from the industry.

Creative Uses of Concrete

Concrete is an amazingly useful construction material that can be fabricated into many facades and fixtures. Some of these creations even have practical applications, while others are stunning works of art that belies the usual industrial nature of this material. A quick browse around the Internet can help anyone find interesting ideas for concrete renovations that can add elegance and even color to any space.

Bookcases, audio speakers and board games are just a few of the examples of innovative concrete designs collected in this article found on ConcreteNetwork.com. Israeli designer Shmuel Linski is responsible for a pair of 123-pound speakers formed entirely out of concrete. These speakers get their acoustic quality from a forced air driver that sends sound through a concrete pipe and out from a horn-shaped opening.

One French concrete company even got the unique idea to fashion business cards composed out of concrete. Murmure’s business cards come with an embossed logo on one side and typed contact information on the other side. The result may not be convenient for wallets, but certainly leaves an impression on anyone.

Homeowners can also use concrete as a great canvas for chalks, paints and other applications that can create a vibrant burst of color in a space. Concrete floor tiles can provide superior protection as well as a bright rainbow splash to any room. In the spirit of the season, another article from ConcreteNetwork.com provides a number of interesting Halloween designs made from concrete etchings, stainings and more.

Concrete can be a lot more than just a simple heavy surface for basements and walls. The application of this construction material can lead any homeowner or business down an exciting new path in aesthetic design. Bergen Mobile Concrete is always staying aware of exciting new developments in the field of concrete. Follow our blog to find out more about concrete’s growing applications in our sustainable world.

*Image courtesy of Rawan Hussein

Hearing a Heartbeat through the Concrete

In a natural or manmade disaster, the collapse of buildings can often lead to numerous casualties by trapping innocent bystanders underneath. One of the first jobs of emergency responders is to search the wreckage and look for any survivors that may be found.

Even with specialized equipment, it’s a very difficult job to locate survivors perfectly. Radar equipment and other tools that search for signs of life often have their signals blocked or scattered by the piles of concrete and steel between those who are trapped and their rescuers. One new technology is currently being developed, however, that promises to give emergency responders a greater ability to detect life underneath rubble.

FINDER, which stands for Finding Individuals for Disaster Emergency Response, is a radar-based technology that is being jointly developed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and NASA. This radar system is capable of detecting a human heartbeat behind 20 feet of solid concrete, or 30 feet of crushed material. In an open field, this system can detect a heartbeat 100 feet away.

A human heartbeat provides an incredibly weak signal when compared to other electrical network that could obscure other emergency response technology signals. However, FINDER is capable of being able to not only detect the electric signal given off by a heartbeat, but also can discern between human and animal heartbeats. The microwave-based radar technology would give emergency personnel a much quicker response time for locating survivors, which will go a long way in reducing death tolls in these tragedies.

As our society continues to look for sustainable methods of building construction that are structurally sound, concrete will likely have a growing role in our world. No one can predict a tragedy, but being better protected against one can help us go about our lives a little easier. Bergen Mobile Concrete is always staying on top of innovations related to concrete to bring the best available technology to each of our jobs.

*Image courtesy of Golkin Oleg

Reconstructing the Boardwalk at Rockaway Beach

Natural disasters have left an indelible mark on America over the past few years. From recent flooding in Colorado to the massive tornado in Moore, OK, earlier this year, Mother Nature has wrought a path of destruction that has left millions of dollars worth of damage in her wake. Although rebuilding from these events can take years, concrete has been widely used to quickly return ravaged areas to their original appearance and even improve building security in the face of future storms.

Hurricane Sandy was one such major weather event that rocked the Northeastern shoreline late in 2012. Miles upon miles of beachfront properties were wiped clear off the map as flooding from the hurricane caused major destruction far further inland than normal. Many of these properties were very costly, and rebuilding estimates are astronomical in certain areas. For example, the Boardwalk at Rockaway Beach, a five-mile long coastal summer attraction in Queens, was obliterated and will require about $200 million to rebuild, according to this piece by The New York Times.

The project to reconstruct the Boardwalk at Rockaway Beach will require some massive manual labor, with 4.7 miles of new decking and another 50,000 feet of railing planned for reinstallation. However, where most of the original construction of the boardwalk was made from wood, engineers are planning the construction of the new boardwalk primarily in concrete. Many feel that this will be a cost-effective measure that protects the area in case of another hurricane.

“We think in terms of making a big investment for the long term, concrete is a much better choice,” said Liam Kavanagh, New York City’s parks department’s first deputy commissioner, as quoted in the New York Times article. “It’s stronger than wood and lasts twice as long.” He and others pointed out that the concrete sections of the boardwalk fared much better against Sandy than the wooden areas.

Residents have suggested some interesting ideas for concrete installations that may also go a long way in improving the appearance of the rebuilt boardwalk. For instance, concrete embedded with sea glass or seashells could provide an interesting appearance for a coastal building foundation. Improved storm defenses and other amenities, like bike lanes or dog runs, have also been proposed.

Residents of northern New Jersey are well acquainted with the destructive nature of this and other hurricanes that have struck our region in recent years. Our concrete services can help you build a solid foundation for a structure to last years, whatever the weather throws at you. Rockaway Beach is an American landmark, an institution. Just listen to the song below!

Construction research advances in cities and regions across the globe

All over the world, eco-friendly concrete applications are being sought by companies who are realizing that respecting the environment can actually result in a number of financial benefits. Not only are steel-reinforced concrete structures costly to build, they leave behind a lot of unsalvageable materials when they get pulverized for deconstruction. However, an exciting new reinforcement method for concrete is being developed that can build strong structures while replacing steel with plant materials.

Recently, a collaborative partnership was announced between Trinity College, an Irish institution operating as a part of the University of Dublin, and India’s Vellore Institute of Technology (VIT). Trinity College has been involved with research into eco-friendly concrete reinforcements, and timber-reinforced concrete homes make up about 30 percent of local residences. The VIT will work with Trinity College to understand whether or not bamboo, a widely available local plant, can be used to reinforce concrete instead of steel.

Bamboo is an incredibly sturdy material that occurs naturally, especially in the rural areas of India. Applying the use of bamboo as a concrete reinforcement can greatly cut down on the region’s overall carbon footprint. Obviously, bamboo isn’t native to the European island nation of Ireland, but Trinity College has pledged to share its expertise in using natural concrete reinforcements with VIT and its researchers.

It’s becoming obvious to many just how strong an environmental impact can be felt through the use of alternative concrete design. The use of sturdy plant materials to construct buildings not only preserves precious natural resources for later use but also cuts down on the amount of pollution created during construction and demolition.

As construction research advances in cities and regions across the globe, American concrete providers need to work harder to make sure they stay ahead of the curve. Those in northern New Jersey can take advantage of the expertise of Bergen Mobile Concrete. We stay on top of the most exciting advances in concrete technology from all over the world to better serve your business or residential needs.

Source:

http://newindianexpress.com/states/tamil_nadu/VIT-and-Trinity-College-plan-research-on-concrete-technology/2013/09/18/article1790192.ece

Is crushed concrete good for the environment?

Concrete may seem like a wasteful product to many. It’s great as a construction material, but if a building is demolished, all we see is a wrecking ball tearing into a wall and pulverizing the concrete into tiny bits. It may seem like there’s not a lot of reuse for this garbage, but researchers at the University of Southern Denmark are flipping this perception upside-down.

Since March 2013, researchers in that school’s biology department have been testing the ability of used, crushed concrete to remove phosphorus runoff from water. Phosphorus is used heavily in fertilizers across America. Rainwater can pull this phosphorus away from the soil and into waterways, where it can feed the growth of algae. Too much algae can deplete the oxygen in an aquatic environment, reducing the amount of life that can thrive underwater.

What those from the University of Southern Denmark have found is that when water containing phosphorus is sent through a filter of crushed concrete, the chemicals in the filter bind up the phosphorus and remove it from the water. Cement, a major component of concrete, contains calcium, aluminum and iron, each of which easily binds with phosphorus. Finely crushed concrete is capable of removing up to 90 percent of phosphorus from water running through it.

The experiments in Denmark have only been going on for about half a year, but researchers believe that a crushed concrete water filter can last for a period of several years. One issue is the high alkalinity of water once it passes through the concrete. Once the water has been cleaned, the pH balance rises to a level where it is unsafe for aquatic life. However, adding some acidity to the water to even out the pH level is possible, and it’s usually only required for the first six months of filter service. Once the filter has used up its binding capability, it can then be used for filler in road paving projects.

There is no such thing as wasted concrete. BergenMobile Concrete understands that the future of the concrete industry has big implications for the future of a sustainable world.

Source: http://phys.org/news/2013-08-concrete-nature.html

Is concrete going green?

Going green has been the cool thing to do in recent years for companies in all industries. Sustainability has been a growing discussion topic all over the world as we try to figure out new ways of adapting to limited resources. Although a lot of focus is placed on gasoline, electricity and carbon-based fuels, advances in construction materials have been going a long way to promote the interests of energy conservation.

 

The University of Calgary recently opened a brand new facility, the Energy Environment Experiential Learning (EEEL) building, one of North America’s most sustainable laboratory facilities. This building has the honor of being presented with a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum certification, one of the highest distinctions in green building technologies.

 

Much of this design success can be directly attributed to the advanced concrete technologies used to construct the building. Constructors used concrete formulated with an advanced treatment called Penetron Admix, which waterproofs the concrete. This is especially important in a laboratory facility, where managers do not want dangerous chemicals to stain the floor if spilled. Most of the EEEL building is constructed using this concrete formula.

 

Concrete also helps conserve energy in many ways through the EEEL, which uses up about 78 percent less energy than a laboratory facility of a similar size would. Underground tubes composed of the Penetron concrete help move air into the building for heating and cooling. The waterproof concrete also provides for cleaner storage of rainwater and recycled water used throughout the building’s plumbing.

 

Waterproof building materials have seemed like strange ideas in the past, but the benefits are undeniable. Concrete can allow for plenty of technological applications that can be mixed into the formula, making it a great choice as a superior building material for the future. With our finger on the pulse of the industry, Bergen Mobile Concrete can make sure to provide the latest in high-quality concrete for construction projects all over northern New Jersey.

 

*Image courtesy of Rathachai Namman