Science Reveals the Secret to Ancient Rome’s Indestructible Concrete

Roman concrete is famous for its durability, lasting for thousands of years and seemingly stronger with each passing year. New research has uncovered the chemical processes responsible for the sturdiness of this ancient building material — a finding that could inspire modern engineers to revive this forgotten technique. Read More >>

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Watch a Reinforced Steel Rod Break Like a Weak Little Twig

Inside nearly everything made of concrete, you’ll find reinforced steel rods that compress the material, making buildings, bridges, and other structures even stronger. The rods aren’t designed to break easily, but when they do, the best way to watch the destructive results is through the lens of a slow motion camera. Read More >>

Picky Typist Builds a Custom Keyboard Out of Concrete

Is there anything worse than having a flimsy, lightweight keyboard sliding all over your desk while you type? Probably a lot of things, but not for Redditor ipee9932cd, who couldn’t find a keyboard case they liked so they went the extra obsessed mile to make their own using rock-solid concrete. Read More >>

We Finally Understand How Concrete Behaves at a Microscopic Level

In modern cities, there’s concrete at every turn. So it might surprise you to hear that, until now at least, we haven’t really understood how it works at the microscopic level—despite the fact we trust it to build huge structures. Read More >>

How We Could Build a City on Mars

If we want to someday live on Mars, spaceships won’t be enough. We would need a Martian city — and this is how we might build one. Read More >>

Watch This Magical Concrete Slurp Up 4,000 Litres of Water in a Minute

A new kind of concrete from the UK building materials company Tarmac instantly soaks up gallons and gallons of H20–simultaneously preventing flood conditions while also conserving water by cycling it directly back into the ground. Read More >>

This Bizarre Concrete Beam is the Smartest Use of 3D Printing in Architecture Yet 

I’m going to put this as gently as possible: 3D printing entire buildings, right down to the fixtures, doesn’t make much sense yet. Read More >>

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What is Concrete?

The most popular man-made material isn’t steel, plastic, or aluminium: it’s concrete. But what is concrete, really? That may sound like a silly question, but most of us don’t actually know. Do you? If not, read on, because we have the answer. Read More >>

Ancient Roman Concrete Was Inspired By Volcanic Chemistry

In 1982, the ground beneath the historic port city of Pozzuoli began to rise like a cake in the oven. Within two years, the swell had exceeded 6 feet. Then the earth started shaking—first, a swarm of microquakes. When the first magnitude 4 quake hit, Pozzuoli became a ghost town overnight. Read More >>

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A Room-Sized 3D Printer Will Make Freeform Concrete Design Easy

Concrete is an amazing building material: cheap to create, strong when used correctly, and hard-wearing, too. But turning it into exotic and shapely forms can be prohibitively complex and expensive. Now, a 3D printer capable of producing one-off moulds as large as a phone booth could help turn architectural dreams into affordable reality. Read More >>

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It Took 25 Hours of Continuous Concrete Pouring to Build This Aquarium

When the Miami's Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science opens in 2016, it's going to have an absolutely bonkers aquarium—imagine a giant camera lens, tilted on its side, that lets visitors walk below the tank and look up into it. Building it, as you might expect, entailed a perfectly-timed, magnificently-engineered fiasco. Read More >>

Sand Thieves are Destroying the World’s Beaches to Make Concrete

Sand–humble, measly, regular old sand—is a hot commodity these days. As construction booms in Asia and the Middle East gulp up billions of tonnes of sand each year, beaches thousands of miles away are getting robbed and turned into rocky, pockmarked versions of their former selves. Read More >>

This Cosy Log Cabin in the Swiss Alps is Completely Made of Concrete

If you didn't know know better, you'd think the Refugi Liepthaus in the Alps was just another quaint log cabin from afar. But if you get close, you'll realise that those ridges on the walls are not logs but a beautiful brutalist exterior. It's awesome. Read More >>

Advanced Concrete Could Last More Than a Century Without Maintenance

A new water-repellent concrete impregnated with tiny superstrong fibres promises to leave roads and bridges free of major cracks for up to 120 years. Read More >>