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The Future of Infrastructure Design

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Dr. N. Subramanian
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Joined: 21 Feb 2008
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2012 7:09 pm    Post subject: The Future of Infrastructure Design Reply with quote

Architectural Design       

        The Future of Infrastructure Design             The impending infrastructure crisis provides a unique opportunity to bring infrastructure into the 21st century     
ross the globe, and particularly in the United States, growing city populations are placing unprecedented stresses on transportation, energy, water, and communication networks, many of which are quickly deteriorating. The coming infrastructure crises have been gaining presence in the media and in government policy as the implications of the impending economic constraints begin to set in.
     Finally, public and private investors are beginning to pour billions of dollars into infrastructural renewal and expansion projects. But with rapidly changing technologies and innovations, what will these projects look like? This month, we take a look at emerging trends in the field.
     Advances in materials are opening up new possibilities for roadways, transforming these inert tracks of concrete into productive sources of power and water. Porous concrete has been gaining attention as cities look to not only manage runoff but simultaneously help curb water shortages. Permeable concrete surfaces allow rainwater to seep through its surface and down into waiting ducts able to carry the water to treatment plants and introduce the would-be runoff into the city’s supply. Eliminating sitting water will also reduce accidents and flooding, and stronger variants of concrete and other materials will ensure new roadways handle the heaviest traffic while allowing for maximal drainage.

     Another possibility for roadways is to incorporate solar power elements directly into the infrastructure, enabling long stretches of pavement to essentially become part-time power plants. Whether with incorporated solar paneling, newly developed solar ‘paint,’ or a variety of other innovations in the solar power market, roadways provide a near ideal medium to tap into the power of the sun.
     The future of transportation infrastructure is not all centered around vehicular traffic, though. Urban renewal projects, such as the High Line in New York City, show the potential of unused or derelict bridges, roadways, and other infrastructure to become public parks, bike paths or pedestrian walkways in urban environments. A little creativity, and a green sensibility, can go a long way.

Read more at: http://www.constructiondigital.com/architectural_design/the-future-of-infrastructure-design
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