The Ingenious Way The Ancient Egyptians Should Have Built The Pyramids

Thousands of years ago, a minority of ancient Egyptians set a majority to work building some of the oldest human-made structures in the world. It seems like we’ve been debating about how they did it ever since: Water? Animal labour? Magic? A team of researchers thinks they have found the best explanation yet.

7 New Materials That Could Change How Our Buildings Act

The gap between material science and actual construction is very far and very wide. It can take decades to move a breakthrough in engineering from a lab to a building site. But as architects and engineers face bigger challenges — from earthquakes to dwindling resources to sheer cost — a new generation of smart materials is emerging.

These New Smart Bricks Are Like Lego For Real Buildings

If these lumps of concrete look familiar, that’s because they take some of their inspiration from Lego — but there’s more to them than child’s play. Created by a company called Kite Bricks, the blocks are actually referred to as Smart Brick, or S-Bricks to their chums.

These Tiny Robots Are Designed To 3D-Print Whole Buildings

By now, large-scale 3D printing has been around for a few years. (Crazy, right?) But there’s always been one big problem with existing technology: The printers need to be larger than the structures themselves. That’s a problem that a team of researchers say they can solve with swarms of tiny robots.

China Is Literally Moving Mountains To Build New Cities

China is on a giant building spree and nothing is going to stop it — not even mountains. Entire mountaintops are being razed to fill in valleys, paving the way for future cities. The problem is that no one really knows what they’re doing. “[E]arth-moving on this scale without scientific support is folly,” warn three Chinese engineering professors in Nature.

3D-Printed Steel Structures Are As Efficient As They Are Awesome-Looking

No matter how many times you hear about a new breakthrough, 3D printing is amazing, transformative technology. Now, a new method for 3D printing steel joints stands to revolutionise the construction industry. It looks pretty badass too.

Watch This 8400-Tonne Oil Platform Launch In Under A Minute

This video of an 8400-tonne steel structure — part of an oil platform — shows how it was launched in the Danish North Sea in under a minute, after a hell of a lot of preparation. It is 93m long by 60m wide, so about the size of a football pitch.

A Bleak Look At The Life Of Migrant Workers Building Qatar's World Cup

Workers sleeping 12 to a room without access to clean water. Young men dying from heart attacks due to the extreme heat. One man who has been trying to leave for five years, except his passport was taken by his boss, who has disappeared. It’s the latest and most heartbreaking news on the highly controversial World Cup planned for Qatar in 2022.

Flying 3D Printers Could Help Seal Off Nuclear Waste

A quadcopter outfitted with an on-board 3D printer could be used to seal off and transport nuclear waste, or even to build structures in the middle of nowhere, according to its inventor, Mirko Kovac of University College, London. “In effect, it’s the world’s first flying 3D printer,” New Scientist writes. “One day such drones might work together to help remove waste from nuclear sites or help patch up damaged buildings.”

Advanced Concrete Could Last More Than A Century Without Maintenance

A new water-repellant concrete impregnated with tiny superstrong fibres promises to leave roads and bridges free of major cracks for up to 120 years.

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