March’s top news stories

2 April 2018 (Last Updated April 3rd, 2018 16:23)

Arabtec secures $115m Damac contract, Catalyst and Galliard JV begins redevelopment works on Wimbledon stadium and 3D printing used to produce metallic glass alloys. Designbuild-Network.com wraps up key stories from March.

Arabtec secures $115m Damac contract to build 916 villas

UAE-based Arabtec Construction secured an AED424m ($115m) contract from Damac Properties to build 916 villas in the Akoya Oxygen Master Development.

For the project, mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) works will be carried out by  Emirates Falcon Electromechanical (EFECO).

Both Arabtec Construction and EFECO are subsidiaries of Arabtec Holdings.


Catalyst and Galliard JV begins redevelopment of Wimbledon stadium

UK-based property developers Catalyst and Galliard Homes formed a 50:50 joint venture (JV) partnership to develop private residential apartments, 604 new homes and a new 11,000-seater stadium for AFC Wimbledon stadium on Plough Lane, London.

In addition to the construction of both private residential and shared ownership apartments, the project also includes nearly 18,000ft² of commercial space, as part of the redevelopment of the former Wimbledon dog track.

The JV will include the construction of the residential units and the public facility by both Catalyst and Galliard Homes.


BAM to restart work on One Chamberlain Square in Birmingham, UK

Construction on One Chamberlain Square at Paradise Birmingham, UK, resumed with the appointment of BAM Construction as its new main contractor.

Work on the project stopped on 15 January when the original contractor, UK-based construction company Carillion, went into liquidation.

Under the terms of the current deal, BAM Construction will now be responsible for managing the completion of One Chamberlain Square and the existing building supply chain.

The company is currently building Two Chamberlain Square.


3D printing used to produce metallic glass alloys

Scientists 3D-printed amorphous metal, also known as metallic glass, which has the potential to be used in lightweight structures, wear-resistant materials and higher strength constructions.

The team from North Carolina State University published the results in the paper ‘Additive manufacturing of an iron-based bulk metallic glass larger than the critical casting thickness’ in the journal Applied Materials Today.

The technique involves printing structures by applying a laser to a layer of metal powder, which melts the powder into a solid layer that is only 20 microns thick. The platform on which the layer is built then descends 20 microns, more powder is spread onto the surface, and the process repeats itself, eventually forming a solid, metallic glass object.


Merko begins construction of Rand residential project in Estonia

Estonian construction firm Merko Ehitus Eesti, a unit of Merko Ehitus group, initiated the construction of a residential development project Rand.

Located between the streets of Suur-Patarei and Kalaranna in Tallinn, Estonia, the residential project includes three new residential buildings and revamp of a historical building in the courtyard.

Slated to be completed next year, the residential building will comprise a total of 31 flats and six commercial establishments.


Kier to develop 828-bedroom facility in University of Warwick

The UK’s University of Warwick appointed construction firm Kier to develop an 828-bedroom facility as part of the redevelopment of Cryfield Student Village.

This is the second project that Kier is developing with the university.

As part of the project, five accommodation blocks that form the Redfern halls of residence will be demolished and replaced with 12 new buildings to create a miniature village on campus.


Piccolo unveils Vision Assistant smart technology

Technology company Piccolo launched its Vision Assistant product, which aims to support existing voice assistant technology with smart cameras that track the movements of people inside a home, enabling them to control smart devices with gestures.

The company’s founders, Marlon Misra and Neil Raina, worked on machine learning and artificial intelligence at Udacity’s self-driving vehicle programme in 2016 and are looking to introduce those technologies into the home.

Cameras use a process known as skeletal tracking to monitor the movement of people within a room and assess the positions of their bodies and arms, and movements of their arms and hands, to control smart devices around the home.


Scientists develop cheap and 3D-printable smart glass prototype

Engineers from the University of Delaware developed a smart glass prototype that costs a fraction of the price of existing smart glass structures and can be 3D-printed.

Keith Goossen, an associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, and Daniel Wolfe, who earned a doctoral degree at the university last year, unveiled their prototype at the SPIE Smart Materials and Nondestructive Evaluation for Energy Systems IV conference in Denver.

“It performed better than we thought it would be based on our theoretical understanding,” said Goossen.

“There is a lot of interest in the capability this might represent.”