Greene’s Hamburgers

Superior Materials is Located Close to a Superior Hamburger from Greene’s.

I was visiting with Jeff Spahr and Jeff Krupcale at Superior Materials recently and paused to enjoy this food icon. Yep, superb. You see, I live on the West Coast and we are bombarded with noise about who has the best this and that. And many people swear by In and Out. Forget about it. Greene’s nailed it. Their beef tasted so good, it’s as if the cow was comfortable with the sacrifice, and passed this sentiment through it’s tissue.

Greene's Hamburgers

Burger Joint
24155 Orchard Lake Rd (Orchard Lake Rd & Ten Mile), Farmington Hills, MI 48336

Go!  Oh, and buy lot’s of concrete from Superior.


Project seeks to build Lego-style homes from rubble in Haiti

Holland-based The Mobile Factory aims to turn debris from 2010 earthquake into Lego-style blocks for sustainable housing near Port-au-Prince

Haitian families will be able to build their own homes in a pilot project, expected to be launched this year, that uses stackable bricks made from rubble as building blocks.


Haitian families will be able to build their own homes in a pilot project, expected to be launched this year, that uses stackable bricks made from rubble as building blocks.

“Crushed debris in, Lego blocks out.”

That’s the idea behind The Mobile Factory, a Dutch project that hopes to give survivors of natural disasters and wars the tools they need to rebuild their homes using rubble and technological know-how.

“If we reuse rubble, with which we can produce earthquake-resistant houses at low cost, that means that everybody gets the same chance,” explained Gerard Steijn, founder of The Mobile Factory project.

Thirty homes will be built on the outskirts of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, with construction set to begin later this year in a pilot project to test the technology, Steijn said.

The system, which fits into two shipping containers, cuts rubble into small pieces, separates the different elements, and then turns the pieces into liquid concrete. That concrete is then moulded into blocks called “Q-Brixx.”

With 125 kilograms of rubble, the group says it can build one Q-Brixx block (using 25 kg of debris) and reinforce basic infrastructure, such as earthquake-proofing the home’s foundation. The project’s website states that 750 blocks go into the construction of one home.

The blocks (measuring 20x10x10 centimetres) are similar to LEGO pieces in that they are stackable and can be used to make different types and sizes of homes, Steijn said.

Bamboo rods will reinforce the walls, and the roof will be anchored by a steel cable,Reuters reported.

“If you use (a) brick-laying system, you connect blocks to each other in a stiff way that makes it weak in an earthquake situation. If you stack them instead of putting mortar between it, then the blocks are going to tremble instead of breaking when there is an earthquake,” he told the Star.

Future residents of the community will be trained to build their own homes, explained Joel Dresse, Belgium’s Honorary Consul in Haiti, who owns the 6,000 square metres of land where the houses will be built.

Dresse’s wife runs a factory called Caribbean Crafts, which employs 200 Haitians who recycle scrap into home decor sold worldwide, Reuters reported. These workers will build their homes in Petit Paradis, he told the Star.

“They are excited because they see the potential, they see the plans,” Dresse said, adding that housing plans were revised several times to reflect the needs of local people.

A devastating earthquake struck Haiti in 2010, leaving more than 230,000 people dead, displacing 1.5 million others, and levelling homes and basic infrastructure.

The quake created about 10 million cubic metres of debris, more than 97 per cent of which has been cleared from the country’s streets, according to the United Nations.

“These blocks are good for construction in Haiti and . . . make the houses easier to build. I think this would be something very interesting for the country,” Dresse said.

He said he expected the technology to arrive in Haiti in the fall, and for construction of the blocks to begin by the end of the year.

If the pilot project is successful, “we could have more and more people wanting to have the same type of house.”

A New Book Reminds Us That The Man-Made Mixture Is Anything But Grey

The hard stuff:

Why concrete is still best for stunning architecture

 A new book reminds us that the man-made mixture is anything but grey


Last week I met with Dan Bruns, President of KIENSTRA Enterprises, Inc. in St. Louis, MO. It was my first meeting with Dan, and of the many RMX executives I have met with, he really stands out as a pro. I noticed a plaque in the reception area that caught my eye but did not have a chance to read it so I took a picture of it so I could read it later. Glad I did. I wasn’t sure if this was written by the good folks at Kienstra. So I did a little research and it turns out that this was authored by Roger Corbetta, also known as “Mr. Concrete.”

Concrete is my business. My future welfare and the well-being of my family depend on the quality of the work I do. I have chosen concrete out of all the construction materials of the earth as the one in which to specialize. I have done this because I feel that concrete is a material of integrity. Mixed and placed with understanding hands, concrete will not fail. Therefore, the work I do well now will survive and serve long after I am gone. Concrete walls impound billions of gallons of water for relief of a thirsty desert, and concrete bridges and broadest rivers and hold back devouring floods from cities and towns. Concrete builds a safe pathway for the darting miracles of steel which link our cities and towns. For my customers, a concrete home will protect and safeguard their loved ones from the dragons of fire or storm and for the architect whom I serve, concrete is a design medium with which they can create structures of beauty. Future generations will enjoy the things we of today have wrought of concrete for it is a material of integrity and will endure. Concrete is my business. I am proud of it.  – R. Corbetta

Concrete Is My Business by Roger Corbetta, also known as "Mr. Concrete"

Concrete Is My Business
by Roger Corbetta, also known as “Mr. Concrete”

Independence Day is not even here and we are already thinking about Christmas presents. You know you want this.

100 Contemporary Concrete Buildings, by Philip Jodidio – $59.99 @ TASCHEN

Facebook Campus. Yep, Truckast is here too.


Apple Campus 2. Yep, Truckast is here with McCarthy, Granite, DPR, Webcor and Skanska.


To be useful to a concrete contractor, a 3D project model must be constructable.


Building Information Modeling (BIM) is no longer just for architects, design engineers and general contractors. New advances in BIM technology allow concrete contractors to build constructable models that can streamline internal processes to improve efficiency and productivity throughout the project lifecycle.

While constructable models are BIM, not all Building Information Models are constructable. The difference between design models and constructable models center on the level of accuracy, development and detail present in the model.

To be useful to a concrete contractor, a 3D project model must be constructable. That means it includes accurate, actionable geometry and data that concrete contractors can use to estimate, plan and manage pours. It will include accurate geometry and accurately sized and located embedded items to ensure conflicts are immediately obvious. It also might include pour breaks, rebar, and formwork and shoring detail, as well as associated data such as grade and mix designs.





Panama Canal Expansion Project Used 4 Million Cubic Meters of Concrete


Composite steel will be future of industry, says Hong Kong construction manager

Using a combination of steel and concrete instead of just concrete in construction projects is the future of the industry as it requires less manpower and projects can be completed much faster, one of the city’s biggest contractors says.

There is just one snag – it is about 24 per cent more expensive.

Chan Chi-fat,  construction manager at Gammon Construction, said if composite steel was used on a high-rise project it would cut the number of workers required on each floor  from 120 to 65.

“This can help tackle the shortage of workers,” Chan said.

Fewer workers were required because different parts of the building could be installed much more easily, he said. Some parts could be prefabricated and then transported to the site.

Chan said projects could be completed about 20 per cent faster with  composite steel, and the material was totally recyclable, so if a building was demolished the steel could be reused for another project.

Concrete, Composite Steel

Composite steel is not used in many Hong Kong buildings. Photo: Thinkstock