Construction Techniques and Materials
Innovations in construction materials and techniques have helped improve public and worker safety and enhance sustainability.
Building and construction fundamentals have remained much the same over centuries, but the techniques and materials have changed exponentially. Roads are a perfect example of this. The Roman technique of layer stratification is still used today, but we now employ techniques and materials to improve driver safety. One example of this are frictionless banked turns and asphalt that helps tires grip the road in any weather or that contain reflective elements to help drivers navigate safely.
Tunneling is another area of construction that has improved efficiency and safety thanks to new technology. Tunnel boring machines are an example of this. Thanks to their precision engineering, we can now tunnel deeper, faster, and safer than ever before.
Even concrete continues to evolve. As more and more people flock to urban areas and suburbs continue to grow, municipalities struggle to manage stormwater runoff. The impact that runoff taxes aging sewer infrastructure. Permeable or porous concrete allows rainwater to seep into the ground and release slowly at a rate the sewer system can better manage.
The balanced cantilever method of bridge construction allows us to build bridges that span distances never before imagined. An example of this would be the Los Tilos valley bridge, which spans 255 meters.
Much of the innovation in construction we are seeing used today or in development is thanks to investments in research and development and a push for innovation (R&D&I). This is of particular importance to us as we are always looking for ways to improve durability, safety, resilience, and minimize adverse environmental impact. Sometimes we can do this by improving the techniques and materials we use, while others an entirely new solution is required
Some examples of the R&D&I techniques we use are seen in the areas of acoustic and vibration engineering, in which we seek for ways to reduce health risks and noise, and discover mechanisms that can help minimize the impact on roads and works in progress.