It’s been some year for the Construction industry. Designs and dreams are bigger than ever and technology is increasing at such a rate that the wildest fantasies of even the most eccentric architects are becoming a reality. The shift to the East has continued, with China planning bigger, better and more bizarre buildings all the time; India too has come of age as its economy remains booming. South America is catching up, and infrastructure projects of unprecedented size are garnering a lot of attention in Brazil.
It’s not all bad news for the West; The Shard has cut an elegant new figure in London’s skyline, and 1 World Trade Centre has zoomed up in New York. Materials and technology advances have been the biggest difference in 2012, and will continue to be in 2013. Solar energy producing films around new homes, energy efficient concrete production and self-raising flood barriers are already a reality. Before we shut the book (or iPad) on 2012, Construction Digital looks back to a year well built:
10: Women in Brazilian Construction - The Project Mão na Massa uses Civil Construction to transform the lives of women in situations of economic and social vulnerability. Written by Tara Johnson, this article explores the increasingly large role women are playing in Brazil's construction boom.
9:Self-raising Flood Barriers - UK Flood Barriers has snared another contract with its originative flood defence design, but the implications are grand for the company who has ambitions to re-write the rulebook for one of humanity's oldest troubles
7: Data Driven cities - By 2050, nearly 70 percent of the world’s population will be living in cities – meaning that much of the world’s resources will be consumed in urban environments. Intelligent infrastructure can, must and is shaping urban landscapes, writes Jon Walton
6: Company Report - Holcim Argentina - From the beginning, Holcim has become one of the most important cement companies in Argentina and worldwide for its production and advanced technology. In all its operations it offers innovative solutions to meet the demands in the construction industry. Nowhere is this more important than Argentina, as writes Kristina Soares in the pick of this year's Company Reports
5: Brazil's stadiums take shape - We've collected a group of images that show what Brazil's soccer stadiums look like now, and what they will look like when they are complete.
4: London's new master - Elegant, evocative and truly enormous; The Shard, London's new Master, is the glittering cloud-poking pinnacle of exogenous investment on British shores, but is there a point behind the sky-pricking? Asks Editor Stanley Jackson in September's lead feature.
3: China: hitting new heights - China's new wave of sustainable, cost-effective, stunning buildings has imbued the Asian superpower with a fresh jolt of architectural sophistication with a typically oriental tint
2: Seeing red; going green - We were lucky to have a contribution this year from the team at banahCEM, who are pioneering a new product which could revolutionise many forms of commercial and public construction. Concrete is widely used, in fact, after water it's the second most widely used resource in the world. Wouldn't it be good if it was a little more sustainable?
1: U.S. Construction plots a new path - Drum roll please; it's Construction Digital's most anticipated article of the year. The USA is and has been an economic leader for many decades.
Despite a dip, it remains far and away the world's largest economy. Globally praised for its industry innovation and colossal construction projects, it is high time America reclaimed the envy of the world. In this article, which was our November lead, we predict the next step for American industry. Barack Obama, in his first term,
presided over a $750 billion economic stimulus, much of which went towards green energy and green construction projects. The experts agree that a dedication to sustainable construction has been a boost for the industry. What comes next, only time will tell