construction workers on a work site, not social distancing

Artificial Intelligence developed to monitor social distancing on construction sites

With most Americans complying with nationwide stay-at-home orders enacted to reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus, a handful of states have nonetheless permitted construction sites to continue operations on “essential” projects. Site safety inspectors have therefore been left with the difficult task of ensuring that the workers they oversee are practicing all safety protocols

A white building with large lit letters reading ARTLAB.

Barkow Leibinger and Sasaki create a radiant, net-zero ArtLab for Harvard

The Berlin-based Barkow Leibinger, with the help of the Boston-based architect of record Sasaki, has created the adaptable, translucent ArtLab for Harvard. As the university expands across the river into Boston’s Allston neighborhood, they’ve been developing an ArtYard—a contemporary, arts-focused answer to the walled Harvard Yard in Cambridge. Barkow Leibinger’s brief was to create an adaptable,

A top-down photo of a snowy landscape with four two-story structures in different colors.

Alaska’s Cold Climate Housing Research Center is rethinking how the Circumpolar North builds

The Cold Climate Housing Research Center (CCHRC) describes itself as “an industry-based, nonprofit corporation created to facilitate the development, use, and testing of energy-efficient, durable, healthy, and cost-effective building technologies for people living in circumpolar regions around the globe.” Aaron Cooke, the architect who leads the Sustainable Northern Communities Program at the CCHRC in Fairbanks, Alaska, is

A yellow four-legged robot dog on a construction site, one of the Spot models from Boston Dynamics

Roaming robot dogs could streamline jobsite documentation

Reality capture has revolutionized construction by increasing job site efficiency and safety and allowing for quick responses to design and building challenges. However, save for the use of drones, often operated by humans, on-the-ground monitoring has required the relatively traditional (and labor-intensive) task of walking around and taking photos and collecting data to feed into

A drone on a lawn in front of a miniature roof on the ground.

University of Michigan researchers arm a drone with a nailgun

There have been many uses proposed for drones: photography and videography, certainly; package delivery, and aerial 3D mapping. Now, researchers at the University of Michigan have proposed yet another possibility for these scaled-down aircraft—as flying nailguns. While the FAA may have banned people from attaching flamethrowers to their octocopters, U of M researchers say the

A large curbed wooden structure made of interwoven planks.

A steampunk pavilion combines analog and digital technology

In Tallinn, Estonia, a knotted wooden structure that combines both new and old technology has won the Huts and Habitats award at the Tallinn Architecture Biennale. Curated by Yael Reisner under the theme “Beauty Matters,” the biennale seeks to celebrate the beauty in opposition to architectural environs that can often be isolating, alienating, and ecologically

A render of gray refugee housing in rows topped with solar panels.

Could flatpack refugee housing be safer, faster, and more durable?

While refugee camps are generally designed to be temporary, they often end up staying up for many years and become full, functioning cities in their own right, housing generations of people—Dheisheh camp, in Palestine, for example has been continuously occupied since 1949. However, because the materials they are built with—often just tents or tarps over

A wide angle shot of a concrete roof structure foregrounded with trees and with the city in the background.

SOM shows off the sustainable potentials of robotic fabrication

For the Chicago Architecture Biennial opening on September 19, SOM debuted a concrete pavilion called Stereoform Slab to showcase the latest in material and manufacturing technology. As much as 60 percent of a building’s carbon footprint can result from the creation of concrete slabs, according to SOM. By developing new fabrication methods and integrating robotic