Bridging the Gap With Technology
Over the course of the years there have been a multitude of changes to every aspect of personal and professional lives due to technology, particularly since the development of computers. The reach of technology is seemingly endless in its scope and what it can accomplish, hindered only by the imaginations and determination of people.
The engineering and construction industry is no exception to this, with new ways to perform tasks, calculations, and simulations coming out all of the time. Almost every one of these changes are beneficial and have led to a wealth of new opportunities. Either making existing methods of practice faster and more cost effective, or opening up entirely new methods of approach.
That is why it’s important to stay informed and up-to-date with all of the latest technological developments, regardless of age, profession and location. So now we’d like to talk about a piece of new 3D printing technology that is being refined, and some of the benefits we see that it has the potential to offer.
3D printing technologies in themselves are not a particularly new idea. The ability to do so has been around for a few years now, but until recently the materials that you could print with were fairly limited and results have been widely varied in terms of their quality. However, for some time now there have been forays into designing and implementing new ways to print with a plethora of materials. Focusing not only on the type of materials used for the printing, but also the quality and consistency of the print.
One exciting example of this can be found in the impressive work done by a Dutch company by the name of MX3D, who have created the world’s first 3D printed steel bridge. Over the course of 6 months, with the help of 4 specially designed robots, and using approximately 1100km of steel wire; the company created an impressive otherworldly structure spanning a little over 12m in length, 6m wide and weighing 4,500kg. The excitement and wonder of the bridge they have constructed though, pales in comparison to the technology behind it.
Utilising and developing this and similar methods, could provide numerous benefits. Such as:
Although, in its current state there are a lot of obstacles to overcome, this bridge and other similar works are just a glimpse at some of what is to come. For more details on MX3D’s bridge, as well as some other projects they are working on, you can find it on their website.
As for us at BellMont, we’re looking forward to what the future holds and what opportunities are on our horizon.
Let us know what you think about this emerging technology and leave a comment, and to keep up to date with all the latest with BellMont, join our newsletter and follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn.
What to Expect When Inspecting
One of the many tasks we commonly undertake at BellMont Façade Engineering, is remedial and diagnostic inspections. You may be wondering ‘but what does that actually mean?’ In short, it is an in depth investigation on defects present within a building/site, where we will then consult on potential solutions to the problem. But there’s a bit more to the process then it would first seem. So we’d like to take this opportunity to let you know what you should expect when an engineer is inspecting.
Firstly, you should expect us to actually be there onsite, so it’s important to make sure that occupants are also available to provide access. It may seem like an obvious one, but it’s important to remember, that access arrangements are followed through on.
After we’re there, you can expect us to undertake our initial investigations of the building/site. This initial inspection will involve us assessing what potential defects are present. During this time we will be liaising with whomever is in charge, asking questions such as the buildings age, for structural drawings, when was it last inspected, etc. It’s important for an engineer to gather as much information about a building as they can, as this will allow for a comprehensive analysis of the situation, therefore leading to better directions on remediation.
After we have conducted our inspection of the project, we’ll return to our offices and look over our site notes, assess all of the data we have at our disposal and write an analytical report. This report will contain a detailed list of defects present, our opinions on the cause(s) of them, as well as suggested actions for remediating the identified issues. Some defects can be dangerous and need to be attended to before others, we will also mark these out clearly for clients to see, so they know what needs attention the quickest.
During our assessment of defects, we also have to determine not just a theoretical solution to the issues at hand, but one can be implemented practically and successfully. This involves us running simulations and calculations on wide number of potential materials to do the job. The results of these simulations and calculations will dictate the final solution, whereon a technical specification will be supplied as part of the solution.
During the construction phase of the project, we would also supervise the project with regular inspections, also reviewing and considering payment claims and variations from contractors.
At the end of a project, we will also issue a certificate of practical completion, assuming all work has been satisfactorily completed to specifications.
Some suggestions we have in order to be properly prepared, is to:
If you have need for an inspection to be performed, contact us and talk to BellMont Facade Engineering about how we can assist you.
In Australia there are a number of historical buildings and locations, often referred to as ‘heritage sites’ or ‘heritage listings’, with systems put in place that govern how they are protected and maintained; such as the Burra Charter. The specifics for how something becomes a heritage site differs from state to state, but in general, an application must be made to the relevant governing bodies who will then determine whether the site in question will be listed as heritage.
Heritage listed sites are often quite old, usually built with materials that are no longer in production. This can make the maintenance on heritage listings fairly intricate and challenging, but there are a number of reasons why it is important to do so. If you don't keep on top of everything that needs doing, problems will pile up and often escalate, leading to more expensive work requiring to be undertaken.
Originally introduced in 1979, the Burra Charter was adopted for the protection and preservation of the historical mining town, Burra in South Australia. Since the its inception, numerous people have collaborated and worked to update it, ensuring that the charter continues to be a source of not just relevant theoretical information concerning the maintenance of all heritage buildings, but also the practical. To date, in Australia, it remains to be the chief source of information regarding the proper procedures that should be followed when undertaking works on heritage sites.
One of the more tangible reasons to make sure a heritage site is looked after and doesn’t fall into a state of disrepair, is that they can be great for promoting financial growth in an area. This is mostly due to tourism, as people will come from far and wide to see a little piece of history. This is especially important in more remote and rural areas of the country.
Another reason for the protection of heritage listings, is the preservation of history and culture. Often times these sites offer a snap-shot into the time period of their development, which offers a unique insight into what it was like back then. Architecture and building technologies of a period have always lent a unique perspective otherwise unobtainable into what a society would have been like.
We would be remiss to not mention that another reason for their protection is for an artistic sake, so that future generations can appreciate the marvels of yesteryear. Photographs and videos can only do so much, and it is unlikely that actually visiting a site and seeing it with your own eyes will ever be beaten.
Although many of these sites can be tricky to maintain and prevent dilapidation, don’t worry. Here at BellMont we have the benefit of almost 20 years’ experience in the field and we’re ready to help.
So if you’re looking for an engineer to help you with a heritage project, contact us today.
Types of Concretes and Their Uses
It’s well known that concrete is one of the world’s most used building materials. Considering its extreme level of versatility in its use, portability and affordability; it makes sense. Coming in a variety of types, with most of them being largely comprised of similar substances, it can be hard to see why there are so many concretes on the market. However it’s those small and often subtle changes from formula to formula that make all the difference. At BellMont we believe it’s important that people stay as informed as they can about the products they’re using, so they can make better decisions towards achieving their goals.
That’s why we’re taking the time to talk about some of the most common kinds of concrete and the sort of work they are suited for.
That about covers our quick look into the most common kinds of concrete and their common applications. We hope that from now, you’ll have a little better understanding of some of the products that get used on your site, and you’re better equipped to make a decision.