UT Engineering Building Construction Progress

LandTech prepared a topographic survey for the new engineering building on the University of Tennessee campus, adjacent to Neyland Stadium and Estabrook Hall.

The area within the construction site has change significantly since we surveyed there in 2016.

Here is a link to a time lapse camera of the construction site: https://app.oxblue.com/open/utk/newenginneringcomplex

Below are before and after photos from the construction site:

JUNE 1, 2018:

NOVEMBER 1, 2018:

LandTech Provides Aerial Mapping Services for Quarry

LandTech recently provided aerial mapping services for the Loyston Quarry located in Union Co, TN to assist with documenting the limits of the quarry operations for permitting.

The services provided by LandTech included setting ground control points, collecting aerial photographs using our quadcopter small unmanned aircraft system (sUAS, or drone), processing the imagery using our photogrammetry software, preparing a digital photo ortho-rectified to the Tennessee State Plane Coordinate System, and preparing a CAD file with boundary information.

Below is the digital orthophoto prepared for the project.

Construction Surveying at KUB WWTP

We just started a new project providing construction surveying services to The Lane Construction Corporation at KUB’s Kuwahee Wastewater Treatment Plant in Knoxville.

LandTech will assist Lane Construction by providing survey control points, surveying the locations of basin foundation points encountered during ground penetrating radar (GPR) investigations, and mapping located basin foundation points.

Robots Being Developed for the Construction Industry

There’s been a lot of news lately about the worker shortage in the construction industry. The manufacturing industry has used robots for decades, and it looks like the construction industry may starting using them as well.

The website Interesting Engineering has an article and video showing a robot installing drywall.


Japan’s National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) has released a video that is bound to have all other robotic firms worrying. This slightly creepy yet super handy humanoid machine may just be the most helpful robot yet!

Called HRP-5P, this robot installs drywall completely autonomously and as well, maybe even better, than a human. This video clearly shows HRP-5P pick up a sheet of drywall, bring it over to a wall and then, last but most definitely not least, use a cordless screwdriver all alone to put it in place.

Before you panic about this agile robot taking over human jobs, it should be noted that HRP-5P is a bit slow and does struggle with properly using the screwdriver once. Still, it seems very close to actually getting a machine that could do the job perfectly without any human supervision.

Engineered Sand Treats Stormwater

Typically, stormwater is collected and treated to reduce pollutants before discharging downstream.

Researchers at the University of California Berkeley have developed a sand material that can treat storm runoff used for drinking water.

“When it rains heavily, even in arid places where water is scarce, the stormwater typically just runs off the streets and down the sewer drains. Thanks to a new “engineered sand,” though, that road-polluted liquid could soon be cleaned up and used for drinking water.

Developed at the University of California Berkeley, the material is actually just regular sand that’s been mixed with two types of naturally-occurring manganese. These react with one another to become manganese oxide, which is harmless to humans and the environment.

When water contaminated with organic pollutants such as herbicides, pesticides and bisphenol-A (BPA) is run through the sand, those chemicals bind with the manganese oxide. As a result, they’re either removed from the water, or they’re broken down into smaller pieces which are less toxic and more biodegradable – a secondary purification system, used in tandem with the sand, could then likely take care of them.

Although the effectiveness of the manganese oxide does diminish over time, it can be completely “recharged” by running weakly-chlorinated water through the sand. It is estimated that a half-meter-deep (1.6-ft) layer of the sand could be revitalized by running such water through it for about two days, at a chlorine concentration of 25 parts per million.”

Source: https://newatlas.com/mineral-sand-stormwater/56154/

Wind Resistant Home Construction

There has been a lot of information in the news about Hurricane Florence, which is expected to hit the east coast as we speak. Although the hurricane has been downgraded, there are still wind speeds expected in excess of 100 mph.

I recently saw a video from the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS), demonstrating wind loading on a standard home and one built to “Fortified” standards. “IBHS created the FORTIFIED Home™ program to help strengthen homes from hurricanes, high winds, hail, and severe thunderstorms.


According to the IBHS website (https://disastersafety.org/about/)

The Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) is an independent, nonprofit, scientific research and communications organization supported solely by property insurers and reinsurers. IBHS’ building safety research leads to real-world solutions for home and business owners, helping to create more resilient communities.

Built in 2010, the IBHS Research Center is a state-of-the-art research facility located on a 90 acre parcel of land in Chester County, South Carolina (approximately 45 minutes south of the Charlotte airport). This unique facility will significantly advance building science by enabling researchers to more fully and accurately evaluate various residential and commercial construction materials and systems.”

Hopefully there are homes within the path of Hurricane Florence that are built to withstand hurricane forces.

Demolition of Estabrook Hall on UTK Campus

LandTech provided utility location, topographic surveying, planimetric surveying and mapping for the New Engineering Complex project on the University of Tennessee campus in Knoxville.

Construction for the project has already begun, beginning with demolition of the 120-year old Estabrook Hall (1898-2018). Below is a video posted by the University of Tennessee Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) showing demolition of Estabrook Hall, and a time laps video of the demolition posted on the New Engineering Complex Website.

For more information on the new Engineering Complex, visit the website here: New Engineering Complex Website


Dallas-Fort Worth Takes Step Towards Hyperloop Travel

According to a recent article in the Dallas Business Journal

The Dallas-Fort Worth Regional Transportation Council has thrown its support behind hyperloop technology that would zip passengers and cargo throughout the region and state at 700 miles per hour and green-lighted environmental and feasibility studies for the new transportation mode.

Hyperloop allows vehicles to travel at very high speeds with minimal aerodynamic resistance by operating in a low-pressure environment using magnetic levitation.

Below is a video from the manufacturer Virgin Hyperloop One. Very interesting technology.



Self-healing Concrete

Despite our best efforts, concrete will crack, requiring costly maintenance.

I found an article on self-healing concrete containing bacteria.  https://www.epo.org/learning-events/european-inventor/finalists/2015/jonkers.html

“As solid and reliable as concrete structures may seem, they share one common enemy: tension. Over time, concrete will crack and deteriorate. An invention by Delft University microbiologist Hendrik Jonkers offers an innovative approach to creating more stable concrete by adding limestone-producing bacteria to the mix. This self-healing bioconcrete aims to provide a cheap and sustainable solution, markedly improving the lifespan of buildings, bridges and roads.”

Below is a video about this unique concrete material.