How will 3D printing affect the construction industry?

3D-printing – it’s being used to fabricate almost anything. Furniture, car parts, guns and even replacement organs.

So why not explore its use in the construction industry?

Firstly, 3D printing is considerably more eco-friendly than current traditional construction methods. The materials and processes used mean less waste during the build phase, and the ability to recycle + re-use them for new uses. The ink, made from construction waste such as concrete, fiberglass and sand, is also flexible, self-insulating, and resistant to strong earthquakes.

Then there’s the reduced build-time. Chinese company WinSun claims to have taken just 24 hours to produce 10 3D printed homes. Learn more at http://www.yhbm.com/index.php?siteid=3

Whilst wrapping your head around that, even more impressive is NASA’s plan to use 3D printing in it’s extra-terrestrial explorations.
http://www.nasa.gov/centers/marshall/news/news/releases/2015/piece-by-piece-nasa-team-moves-closer-to-building-a-3-d-printed-rocket-engine.html

And yet, like with any advancements made, there are always some potential disadvantages.

  • Will there be reduced employee numbers in the industry, since the 3D printer does most of the work?
  • Transportation – getting the printers for large in situ components to and from the site,
  • Storage of the printer on site,
  • Higher risks – any errors in the digital model can result in problematic issues on site during the printing/construction phase,
  • Would conventional product manufacturing companies and plant renting companies suffer, as their products are no longer required?

Regardless, construction sites will soon feature more technology. 3D-printing, robots and drones – that’s what’s heading our way soon. To build more economically. To build faster. To build with better quality.

Revolutionary and innovative. This is certainly exciting to think about and we will be investigating this more – stay tuned!

Find out more about how 3D-printing will affect your industry:
http://betterbusinesses.co.nz/how-will-3d-printing-change-your-workplace/

Conversation with Kieran Cripps, HazardCo

With new Health and Safety laws set to take effect from April 4 2016, HazardCo’s Kieran Cripps has some advice for ensuring health and safety in the construction workplace.

1.       Please introduce yourself.

Im Kieran Cripps I am a sales and service representative for HazardCo. We provide Health and Safety procedures and systems through Construction, Ag/Hort, Manufacturing and offices for you to implement within your business and address the requirement of the new legislation. I have been working for HazardCo for the past 7 years and seen a lot of changes to the health and safety act and great to see the culture around health and safety change within the different industries as well.

2.       How far do you feel new legislation will change the Construction industry?

I think the changes are going to be positive on the industry to not only create safer working environments but to also have shared responsibilities in a number of areas.As a PCBU you must communicate, coordinate, cooperate with other PCBU’s on your work site. For some businesses its going to be a big change if you don’t have an active Health and Safety system & procedures in place and some tweaks here and there for those who have system but maybe haven’t implemented it to its entirety. Its about changing the culture within your company to ensure the safety of workers and anyone coming into you place of work. Documentation and proof of procedures is an important part so you can show that you are taking all “Reasonably Practicable” steps to ensure information, training, communication, participation and monitor and reviewing of your place of work. These are some of the things you need to have in place.

3.       How soon will the changes come into effect?

The new legislation has been passed into law now but is going to be enforced as of the 4th April 2016.

4.       What is the best advice you would give to a civil or building contractor that hasn’t planned for the new law change?

The best advice i would give to a PCBU is if you know you have no Health and Safety procedures within your business you need to contact an company like ourselves (HazardCo) to come look at your systems and give you the advice and guidance if you don’t have the knowledge or understanding of what you need to be doing. If you do have an understanding or you have a system but it hasn’t been run correctly then look into it and start to implement your current system. A Worksafe slogan has been over the last few years “Doing nothing is not an option”. 

Q Who is responsible for workplace safety? EVERYONE 

1. The Business itself (PCBU). The business will have the primary duty under the new law to ensure the health and safety of workers and others affected by the work it carries out. That’s why the business may also need to consult with other businesses where it shares a worksite or are part of a contracting or supply chain, to make sure all workers are safe and healthy. (In other words, all businesses understand and are aware of any hazards that may be introduced to the workplace by all other businesses / people working in that workplace).  

 2. Officers includes directors and other people who make governance decisions that significantly affect a business. Officers have a duty of due diligence to ensure their business complies with its health and safety obligations. 

 3. Workers must take reasonable care to ensure the health and safety of themselves and others, and to comply with the business’s reasonable instructions and policies.

 4. Other people who come to the workplace, such as visitors or customers, also have some health and safety duties. It’s all about taking responsibility for what you can control. 

 Q What or who is a PCBU? 

A PCBU is a ‘person conducting a business or undertaking’. While a PCBU may be an individual person or an organisation, in most cases the PCBU will be an organisation (for example, a business entity such as a company). An individual, such as a sole trader, can also be a PCBU. 

 Q Who is not a PCBU? 

The following are not PCBUs: 

· volunteer associations,

· home occupiers who employ or engage someone to do work around the home,

· persons to the extent they are solely a worker or an officer in the business or undertaking. 

 Q What do businesses (PCBUs) need to do? 

A PCBU needs to proactively identify and manage its health and safety risks, make sure information about health and safety is shared with workers, and ensure that workers are actively engaged in all matters that could affect their health and safety. 

Use these tips to get your health and safety processes on the right track: 

· Identify health and safety hazards and risks, and take steps to prevent these from happening.

· Make sure health and safety in your business is led from the top, has involved workers, is understood by your workers, and is reviewed regularly. 

· Hold regular training on health and safety matters. 

· Engage workers in health and safety matters that affect them. 

· Support all officers to get up to date with health and safety issues and key risk factors. 

· Report and monitor health and safety goals. 

· Regularly review any incidents. 

· Carry out frequent health and safety audits. 

These processes must be documented and records kept.

Streets Ahead: making roads out of recycled plastic

We’re all well aware of the almost taboo consumption of plastic. But whilst we dutifully take the bottles, tubs, and packaging out to be collected each week, how many of us put thought into our recyclable waste’s journey from there on?

According to recyling.co.nz, “NZ is way behind the rest of the western world in waste management. … It is likely that only 50% of what you think is being recycled is actually recycled.
“Compared to other developed countries, NZ has a vague and scattered approach to achieving zero-waste status.”

So what can be done to combat our waste plastic problems?
One interesting innovation making waves in the past year has been the concept of plastic roads. Dutch firm VolkerWessels has unveiled plans to repurpose used plastic by fabricating roading.
As well as the obvious positive environmental impact this would have, there are other benefits:

  • better withstand extreme temperature
  • prefabrication, essentially meaning less construction time
  • can allow for better drainage as well as better configuration for electrical wires
  • lessen reliance on carbon-intensive asphalt production

Whilst only a concept at this stage, Rotterdam, Holland is considering a trial.

I was truly shocked when reading the statistics on New Zealand’s plastic waste. In 2006, we sent 3.156 million tonnes of waste to landfills (Ministry for the Environment (MFE, 2007)). Whilst there has been some improvements to reduce this amount, projections show that the annual amount of waste disposed to landfills will reach 3 million tonnes of waste within the next 10 years.

It’s time we marry the ‘number 8 wire’ mentality with our ‘clean green’ image and consider innovative ways of reusing our plastics. With increased infrastructure construction a big part of NZ’s future, repurposing plastics into roading achieves just that.

 

If you would like to learn more about where your recycling waste goes, or tips on how to reduce such waste, visit www.recycle.co.nz

http://en.volkerwessels.com/en/projects/detail/plasticroad

$50 million gondola proposal for Queenstown

A $50 million proposal has been made for the Queenstown-Remarkables alpine area, made by development company Porter Group Ltd.

The 9.8km long gondola would operate year-round; comprising of 140 eight-person cabins, with a vertical climb of 1270 metres.

“In winter the proposed gondola will give skiers, boarders and sightseers easy access to NZSki’s facilities. It will further boost Queenstown’s world-class visitor experience, and has the potential to deliver immeasurable economic benefits to the resort town’s many businesses,” says leading New Zealand tourism consultant Stephen Hamilton.

Submissions have been lodged with the Queenstown Lakes District Council, and a resource consent application will be lodged early next year. The gondola is estimated to take up to 18 months to build.

Read more: http://www.3news.co.nz/nznews/queenstown-gondola-proposal-links-downtown-to-the-remarkables-ski-field-2015111914#ixzz3vZPAGLab

Wynyard Quarter a winner in world waterfront awards

It’s great to see New Zealand projects continuing to win awards on the global stage.

Recently, Panuku Development Auckland won Excellence for the urban renewal of the Wynyard Quarter, at the Waterfront Awards in Washington, D.C.

Construction is underway on 500 apartments, townhouses and 48,000 sqm of commercial space.

Panuku Development Auckland chief executive John Dalzell has explained the huge honour the award is, as the entry was competing against some waterfront development projects in Europe, Asia and North America.

http://www.wynyard-quarter.co.nz/news/waterfront-plans-win-award

A tale of two cities – AECOM survey results

The latest AECOM nationwide construction industry sentiment survey has found New Zealand’s infrastructure and building industry is defined by two contrasting poles – Auckland and Christchurch.

AECOM has explained results show that four years on from the Christchurch earthquake disaster, recognition of a longer, slower rebuild rather than a peak is broadening. This is shown by a dip in confidence – by 27% over the past 18 months – and easing workload expectations.

Importantly, though, while sentiment has moderated for the region, it does remain strong overall and more in line with a long-term outlook. There is a slowing of residential construction as the rebuild moves into the commercial phase.

Comparatively, positive sentiment was strong for the upper North Island, with 97% of survey respondents anticipating continuing growth in the industry, while skills and materials shortages remain one of the industry’s most significant and persistent challenges. New Zealand faces ongoing difficulties in increasing the volume of workers with technical capabilities and creating a more productive, skilled workforce.

“Of note, [the survey] highlights a continued disconnect between those involved in the respective investment and delivery sides of the infrastructure market…

“As an industry, we are continually challenged to do ‘more-for-less’. Lifting productivity in an environment of financial constraint means we need to invest in innovation and technology to achieve these competitive advantages,” said John Bridgman, AECOM Managing Director – New Zealand.”

Credit: http://www.aecom.com/co/press/aecoms-bi-annual-new-zealand-construction-market-sentiment-survey-now-available/

Video interviewing on the rise

Sometimes called “MeVs”, video CVs (video interviewing) have the capacity to convey a greater depth of information than a traditional paper CV. Recent insight from AAGE has shown that 83% of employers believe paper CVs fail to adequately convey some crucial traits.

Employers look for far more than qualifications or relevant experience. Obviously communication skills and ‘team-fit’ are also important. MeV-appropriate industries will adopt this practice more and more as part of their recruitment process.

Hawkins Construction has been vocal about their use of video technology in recruitment and in meeting candidates. They also, like many companies, utilise a video channel to inform the public about their projects.

One big benefit of video interviewing will mean a quicker turnaround during the recruitment process.

It will also be interesting to see how video-interviewing either exacerbates or mitigates bias. Whilst providing the ability to judge a candidate based on appearance and other factors, it might also lessen bias that occurs when certain characteristics are read from a CV without first meeting that person.

Another aspect to consider should be the use of video interviewing ‘clients’ or workplaces. Turn the spotlight around on them; why should someone apply to work at their organisation? Do they come across as an appealing workplace to their ideal candidates?

We at JDT Recruitment see this as an exciting avenue developing for the recruitment industry.

More on video interviewing:
http://goo.gl/m2Nu3v
http://www.aage.com.au/employer-survey
http://www.employmenttoday.co.nz/databases/modus/hrmag/etmagazine/toc?tid=504877826

‘Solar city’ living

A 4,000-dwelling development planned for Canberra is being called Australia’s first mandated solar community, as there is a minimum solar energy requirement for each dwelling.

Each residence in Capital Estate Developments’ project will be required to have a solar system capable of producing enough energy to cover half the average Australian annual household consumption.

Capital Estate estimates this will reduce the carbon footprint of the entire ‘suburb’ by a third.

Many countries around the world are setting targets, introducing polices for promoting renewable energy and reducing emissions, with Australia and USA leading the front on developing these so-called ‘solar cities’. Interestingly, India is also making great progress on the issue.

Essentially, through a combination of enhancing supply from renewable energy sources in the city and utilising energy efficiency measures, this really should be a minimum requirement for city-planning for all countries developing for the future.

A great read on harnessing solar power in NZ:
“Germany, on average, gets as much sunshine as Alaska yet last summer it harnessed 80% of its electricity from solar panels. Here’s why Auckland needs to seriously consider solar as a mainstream source of energy given the city produces more carbon emissions than New York and London. ”
http://www.solarcity.co.nz/blog/new-zealand-solar-news/kiwis-can-show-the-world-how-to-run-a-city-on-solar-power/

http://www.therealestateconversation.com.au/news/2015/10/22/the-first-solar-suburb/1445511600

Largest playground in NZ opens

The Margaret Mahy Family Playground is a positive outcome of the Christchurch rebuild and has finally opened. The $20 million playground sits on a 1 hectare block in the central city.

Project development director Rob Kerr has explained the key concepts came from 8 & 9 year-olds – who wanted ‘lots of water’, flying foxes, tunnels and slides. As such, the playground has a high climbing tower, ‘mega-slide’, swings, spider climbing nets, a splash pad with water cannons, jets and sprinklers, among other amenities.

Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) chief executive John Ombler said the playground was believed to be one of the largest in the southern hemisphere.

The design of the playground was led by Opus, with the job heading to Australian company PlayRope and a total site budget of $13 million.

Getting it Done: Utilising Womens’ Skills in the Workforce

Getting it Done: Utilising Womens’ Skills in the Workforce is a shared learning tool for employers, industry groups and training organisations to tackle the under-utilisation of women in trades.

In 2013 the Ministry for Women surveyed 500 Canterbury women about the construction industry. It found over half of respondents would consider employment in the industry, but were often put-off as jobs were viewed as ‘for men only’.

However, especially since the Christchurch earthquake, employers and recruiters alike are growing in appreciating the need to overtly call for women in employment advertising. A factor in this has been advances in health and safety issues; there is now less of a perception women are physically unable to ‘do the job’.

As the pressure for skilled staff continues to grow alongside a growing industry, so too grows the need to recruit all demographics. Any industry is always supported through diversity. The Stronger Christchurch Infrastructure Rebuild Team Women in Construction group was formed to raise the visibility of women working in the construction industry.

Even more exciting is a New Zealand female QS winning two high-profile Australian construction industry awards. Christchurch’s Lucy Eng, a project and cost manager with AECOM, won the Australian Institute of Quantity Surveyors Infinite Value Women in Construction and Professional of the Year awards.

Credits:
http://www.constructionnews.co.nz/top-stories/engaging-women-beyond-the-rebuild-by-iain-macintyre
http://architecturenow.co.nz/articles/kiwi-wins-australian-construction-awards/