It’s been an interesting couple of weeks for construction-related technology taking some significant steps forward.
First up, Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HTT) signed an agreement this week with Abu Dhabi-based Aldar Properties to build the first commercial Hyperloop.
The proposed system will be 10 km in length and run between Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
For those in need of a reminder, the Hyperloop concept involves low-pressure tubes propelling pods – containing passengers or freight – at very high speeds of up to 700 mph, at least on paper.
The deal with the Middle Eastern developer also involves the construction of a Hyperloop innovation centre and visitor facility.
The brainchild of Tesla’s Elon Musk, HTT was founded in 2013 and has been working to prove the viability of the concept since.
It has research and development centres in nine countries, more than 800 engineers and 40 corporate and university partners working on the concept.
And in further Hyperloop news, HTT last week started construction of its first “full-scale” passenger and freight system.
The company took receipt of the first set of tubes for the project at its development centre in Toulouse, France. With an interior diameter of 4 m, the tubes are large enough to transport passenger capsules and shipping containers.
HTT’s first phase of development involves building a closed 320 m system that will be operational this year. This will be followed by a full-scale 1 km system, which will sit atop 5.8 m-high pylons and be completed in 2019.
“The capsule will be assembled and optimised in Toulouse, prior to use in the Emirates,” HTT said in a statement.
And in 3D printing…
Elsewhere, further strides have been taken in Spain and Italy with two more 3D-printed homes.
Spanish company Be More 3D last week unveiled a 3D-printed bungalow.
The company was founded at the Technical University of Valencia in 2014, and its printing method appears to have an edge on global competitors in terms of time taken to print a structure, with the 70 sq m bungalow completed in just 12 hours.
Be More CEO Vicente Ramírez said he believed this could be cut down even further to eight hours.
Meanwhile, Arup has fully unveiled its own 3D-printed home this week.
The company released some initial images and details of its 100 sq m home last month, which was designed with circular economy principles in mind, as it was constructed entirely out of reusable components – meaning its constituent parts can be easily repurposed.
The possibility of cities connected by Hyperloops and filled with 3D-printed properties certainly seems less outlandish by the week.