Fast and furious: Girder-Slab erects Troy Boston at speedy pace

Located next to a major interstate, Troy Boston’s rapid rise hasn’t exactly been a Trojan horse. The luxury apartment complex along the Southeast Expressway in Boston’s trendy South End topped out with its final steel beam approximately four months after breaking ground last March.

So how exactly did the 19-story tower and 11-story midrise emerge so quickly and save $2 million in the process? The answer is simple: Girder-Slab Technologies.


Girder-Slab’s signature D-Beam Girders install flush with precast hollow core planks to hide steel beams that would otherwise hang below the concrete slabs. Grout is poured between the open webs in the beam and the precast planks to glue the two together. Image courtesy of Girder-Slab Technologies.

“It’s a fast system,” Girder-Slab Vice President of Business Development Dan Fisher, Jr. told us. “All projects are different but that type of speed is pretty typical.”

The prefabricated Girder-Slab system not only sends projects into hyper drive because it is easily erected onsite, but it also saves money because its thin concrete slabs allow more floors to be built with less wasted space and without raising the height of the building.

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HoloLens and Trimble collaboration transforming construction technology

The following is the second post in our series on augmented reality in the AEC industry. Check out Part 1 here.

While the release date of Microsoft’s holographic headset HoloLens is hotly anticipated, we were excited to get a first-hand rundown of Trimble’s new applications for the head-mounted computer earlier this month.

During a videoconference Trimble’s Mixed Reality Program Director, Aviad Almagor, was kind enough to walk us through the ins and outs of Trimble’s collaboration with Microsoft on the HoloLens project. While Trimble is known for its GPS receivers, laser rangefinders and unmanned aerial vehicles, it has gradually ramped up its Building Information Modeling (BIM) portfolio since buying the 3D modeling software package SketchUp from Google in 2012. Now Trimble’s newest generation of tools for the AEC industry, including SketchUp, Trimble® Connect and Trimble V10 Imaging Rover are being developed in lockstep with HoloLens.

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AEC Hackathon trends abroad

After launching at Facebook’s Silicon Valley headquarters in 2013, the AEC Hackathon has become so popular that its first-ever event held outside the United States in London over the weekend trended on Twitter.

“Wrap up of #AECHackathon London was the #2 trending hashtag in the UK Sunday behind British Open Golf Championship,” event co-founder Paul Doherty tweeted.

Check out the full Twitter stream here.

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For those unfamiliar with Hackathons, they are basically events where computer programmers, software and hardware developers, graphic designers interface designers, project managers and others gather to solve complicated problems within a specific industry or theme. The gatherings are intensive sessions that draw on cutting-edge technologies such as augmented and virtual reality and often lead to new ideas and technology solutions. Sponsors usually provide cash and software prizes to the winning teams.

Registration is now open for the 10th AEC Hackathon at the University of Washington in Seattle in September. New York will host in October and check out this group trying to bring an AEC Hackathon to Boston.

Until then, congrats to all the London winners:

  • Best Overall Project: Team Ghost BIM Squad
  • Best Open Source Project: Team Optioneers
  • Innovate UK Hack Challenge – Mind the Gap: Team Gapathon
  • Autodesk Challenge: Team Ghost BIM Squad
  • National BIM Service Challenge: Team Massive
  • Future Cities Catapult Challenge: Team Gapathon
  • Energy Savings Trust Challenge: Team Gapathon

World Architecture Festival unveils finalists

There’s nothing we love more than a good piece of architectural eye candy and there’s no better lens than the annual World Architecture Festival — which just revealed the finalists for its 2015 Awards. While the winners won’t be announced until the three-day festival commences in Singapore this November, you can click here to choose your favorites. Let us know your choices in our comment section at the end of this post and why you like them.

Check back in November to find out who won each of the 31 categories as well as the title of “World Building of the Year 2015.” In the meantime, please peruse our own favorites below. We accounted for both form and function, but mostly just looked for the “wow” factor.  Continue Reading ›

It’s a building, it’s a city, it’s a “super building”

Imagine leaving your apartment one Friday morning to get in some shopping at the mall before your doctor’s appointment at the local hospital. Then, you decide to take a long stroll on your favorite nature trail through the park with plenty of time to pick up the kids from school. Later, with the kids and their friends in tow, you take public transit to the movie theater to celebrate the start of the weekend. After your busy afternoon, you drop off the kids’ friends at their apartments and you head home to tuck your children into bed.

Now, imagine you did all that without ever stepping foot outside your building. The year is 2050 and you live in a “super building.”

Like today’s major cities, super buildings will consist of millions of inhabitants and their own infrastructure with shopping, recreation, medical facilities, theaters, schools and even parks. The major difference is that the entire “vertical city” will be concentrated under one roof within a single massive structure. Super buildings could stretch miles into the sky and consume entire city blocks. They could recycle their own water and generate more energy than they consume. Sound like something straight out of the Jetsons or Interstellar? Maybe. But the truth is that super buildings could be closer to becoming a reality than you think because there are developers and architects among us who believe these enormous structures may be our best option for dealing with the rapid demographic and environmental changes that are affecting our planet.

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