Courtesy University of British Columbia

Researchers at the University of British Columbia (UBC) have created eco-friendly ductile cementitious composite (EDCC), a fiber-reinforced concrete that can withstand high seismic activity. The engineered material combines "cement with polymer-based fibers, fly ash, and other industrial additives," according to UBC's press release. A 10-millimeter-thick (0.4-inch-thick) layer of the EDCC is enough to reinforce existing interior walls, enabling them to then withstand quakes of up to 9.0 magnitude. The product not only makes buildings more durable, but also earns points for sustainability through its use of fly ash, a byproduct of coal combustion. The EDCC substitutes 70 percent of the cement used to the EDCC with fly ash. [ARCHITECT]

MIT researchers have developed a battery that inhales air and exhales oxygen—instead of carbon dioxide, like humans do—in order to store energy. The technology has the potential to "make sporadic renewable power a more reliable source of electricity for the grid," according to a university press release. [MIT News]

Courtesy Felice Frankel via MIT News

Commissioned by insurance company Direct Line, the Starling Crossing (STigmergic Adaptive Responsive LearnING Crossing) is a smart, interactive pedestrian crossing system developed by London-based software company Umbrellium that prioritizes pedestrian safety, according to the company website. This week, a team installed a 72-foot-long, temporary prototype in South London to test the system's capabilities. [ARCHITECT]

Courtesy Direct Line

Inspired by the muscular morphology of octopuses, a team of engineering and physics researchers at Cornell University has created a material capable of transforming from a 2D object into a 3D shape. [Cornell University]

ICYMI: Exton, Pa.–based software company Bentley Systems' Year in Infrastructure conference was held in Singapore Oct. 10-12. ARCHITECT reported on updates the company announced at the annual event:

Bentley Systems has acquired Lisbon, Portugal–based water modeling software company Action Modulers. Action Modulers offers a variety of digital products, including its Action Flood software, which measures flood risk with watershed monitoring systems and predictive modeling. [ARCHITECT]

Bentley Systems introduced iModelHub, a cloud-based service that helps its ProjectWise service users complete the transition to “going digital.” The service does not require changes to existing BIM applications, but instead “synchronizes and distributes changes made through discipline-specific BIM applications,” according to the company's press release. [ARCHITECT]

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