Technology and BIM change face of infrastructure 
Many large infrastructure projects are starting to integrate building information modeling and geographic information systems into the process. Laser scanning is used to collect some of the data. The applications are said to help improve safety, quality, costs, planning and sustainability as well as manage data through various stages of the project. LiDAR News (1/29)
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Get Creative: 10 Ways to Think Outside the Box
No matter your business, smart solutions come from out-of-the-box thinking. We all know creativity is king, but are you doing all you can to inspire and encourage creativity in your staff? Read the article and learn 10 ways to inspire creativity at your office.

BIM in the News Sponsored By
BIM seen as limited only by developing skills, standards 
Much can be accomplished with building information modeling, which is limited only by a lack of knowledge and differing conceptions of what BIM can do, according to Imram Mohammad of the Arab Engineering Bureau in Qatar. Others in Qatar's construction industry agree. The implementation of BIM across the country's burgeoning construction environment varies widely among users as skill sets and standards are being developed. Construction Week (2/3)
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BIM helps tackle construction waste 
Construction debris
(Punit Paranjpe / AFP / Getty Images)
Building information modeling and prefabrication can play a role in reducing the amount of construction waste created, contends Marc Howe. Thirty percent of the world's raw materials are used to construct buildings, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, and the creation of building materials often has a negative environmental impact. Howe looks at how Australia is trying to minimize this through reducing and recycling the waste and working on cutting energy consumption. Sourceable(2/3)
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Smart building is an evolving definition 
Building information modeling has been one of the big game changers in the evolution of smart buildings and smart cities, writes Jim Sinopoli of Smart Buildings LLC. And that record of change will continue as the world redefines what constitutes a smart or green building. In this piece, Sinopoli explores how automation ties in to energy, water distribution, public safety and more. (2/2015)
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Advanced Construction Methods
"Mass-timber" structures could become more common 
"Mass-timber" structures, somewhat common in European cities, use prefabricated engineered wood components in place of the more typical steel and concrete in commercial construction, and could become more common in wood-rich Canada. A recent event there focused on building with the "glue-laminated timbers and cross-laminated panels, manufactured out of regular lumber." Liam Dewar, director of the construction firm Eurban, said that manufacturing the components offsite "is considered a good way of delivering quality onsite." The Vancouver Sun (British Columbia) (2/3)
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Quake solution also an architectural opening 
Cast-steel connectors designed to absorb energy and keep buildings intact in earthquakes are also expanding the creative scope of architecture. The casting method developed by Cast Connex replaces welds in structural engineering. "It's attractive because of its potential for free-form geometries, meaning you can construct nontraditional designs and unlikely angles," said Michael Gray, a University of Toronto engineering alumnus who helped develop the method. Sourceable (2/6)
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Construction Technology in Focus
Topcon unveils products at conference 
Topcon introduced several products for surveying at the World of Concrete Conference. Among them is a laser transmitter designed to work with GPS and give accurate elevation information. It also has a 20% better battery life. Topcon's sister company, Sokkia, introduced a lightweight receiver. (2/6)
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IBM's new cloud-based asset-management utility 
New cloud-based technology from IBM analyzes a wide range of factors to help manage infrastructure assets that can be particularly beneficial for energy and utility companies. The data collected can aid better and more efficient decision making. Among other things, the system allows companies to shift from routine to predictive maintenance. Forbes (2/3)
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Google 3D scanner tech could be used for smartphone apps 
(Susanty Bong / flickr Editorial / Getty Images)
Google has been experimenting with a 3D scanner technology that could eventually become a technology for smartphone applications. The Project Tango Development Kit could help augmented reality developers create apps that aid someone moving around in a new building, mapping spaces, placing furniture and more. The Independent (London) (tiered subscription model) (2/2)
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Navy robot uses LiDAR, hose to fight fires 
The U.S. Navy has unveiled a prototype for a humanoid Shipboard Autonomous Firefighting Robot, or SAFFiR, that has a LiDAR rotating laser and can use a hose to fight small fires. The robot can "walk over a very uneven floor ... orient itself to the fire ... autonomously handle the hose, operate the hose, aim the hose and suppress the fire," said Tom McKenna, with the Office of Naval Research. Gizmag (2/4), Defense One (2/4)
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Working Together
Pa. students team with businesses for robotics program 
Some Pennsylvania high schools are collaborating with area businesses for a robotics program that trains students and provides companies with a pipeline to young, skilled workers. The students, who design and construct robots, experiment with different materials under the supervision of their sponsoring manufacturers, apply computer-aided design and budgeting skills, and participate in regional and national competitions. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (2/5)