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Construction Science Fiction: The Building Is THERE

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A new building went up overnight at the corner of 35th and Corner Street. I don’t mean it seemed like overnight because it was a quick schedule. There literally was not a building there yesterday when I went home, but today there is. 

Architect James C. Protel walks out of the new building. He looks at the sky as if adjusting the square in his head while watching to see that it actually moves. A passerby looks at him as he walks with his neck cocked all the way back and says, “How did you do this?” Protel does not answer, only walks back to the job trailer and says he needs another day.

James C. Protel has completed what he has been working on for 17 years. A new building design, you might ask? No. A new process for speedy construction? No. What James C. Protel has completed, invented, done is perfect a tool he has always dream of. The tool, which he has come to call Braiden, is the result of his discovery and now proof that light not only can act like a particle and a wave at the same time but actually is both because the particle and the wave are braided together. With this knowledge, Mr. Protel figured out how to reflect, bend and measure light without mirrors or electricity. What Mr. Protel has done is figure out how to draw a building with CAD-related assistance and then project the building on the site in a few minutes using Braiden with light vectors.

By taking a building from design to projecting it onto a site as if it is actually there, General Construction can now become exceptionalconstruction. Imagine starting to build a new high-rise edifice and having the design you are working from be at the actual size and scale of the completed building. Details are no longer interpreted. They are actually constructed with light as the guide for  the contractor and the trades as they install what has been designed. Measuring tapes are obsolete. You put the dirt, concrete, steel, glass and all finishes in place as they appear in front of you with no need for interpretation.

“How does Braiden do this, Mr. Protel?” asks the city inspector.

“As soon as my patent is approved and recorded I will tell the world how Braiden is able to project these building designs on the site as exact plans and details,” replies the architect.

“Do you realize how this will impact design in this country?” asks the inspector.

“It will change the world, sir,” replies Protel.

Braiden will change a contractor’s ability to estimate, price, budget, bid and construct new facilities in the twinkling of an eye. Braiden can also be adapted to change the design of military weapons, clothing, automobiles and aircraft; the list is endless. What it means to construction is precision. It means no more waste. It means schedules can be built and accomplished to the day. It will enable the world to construct anything in a fraction of the time and cost that it required previously. It means that creativity can once again be constructed where before it was near death unless the owner was a government or a billionaire.

“Mr. Protel,” begins the inspector, “You may well be on your way to overtaking Bill Gates as the world’s richest man. But not only that, you may well be on your way to changing not only the design and construction industry but also the way in which mankind is able to once again build what it can imagine.”

“I can only imagine the possibilities here, but then again, has there ever been a tool greater than the human imagination?” asks Protel “Not that I know of, sir, but then again, no one has ever met Braiden either,” he says, smiling as he looks at the building image in front of him without being able to tell that it is an image and not a structure.

Two months later…

James C. Protel picks up the phone and hears a woman on the other end.

“Mr. Protel, may I have a moment of your time? My name is Andrea Mae, and I own a company known as Levit MD. Would you be available to meet with a few of my colleagues and me? By the way,” Andrea says proudly, “we will be joined by three other people.”

“Who might that be?” replies Protel.

“General Michael Xtancha, Joint Chief of Staff, U. S. Army, Ms. Laylor Cantu, U.S. Steel Conglomerate president, and Mr. Gary L. Ransom, chairman of EdgeStar, the largest construction company in the world.”

Protel struggles to imagine the power and potential of this group. “I’d be happy to meet with you.”

 

RUDD
Stacy Rudd is builder. He is also a licensed architect registered in the State of Texas and a writer.  While playing football for the Texas Longhorns in Austin, he decided to become and architect because he was creative. He quickly migrated to the construction side of the business. Stacy has designed, developed, built and owned multiple buildings around Texas.  As a project executive for DPR Construction, he has ultimate responsibility for building successful projects in the healthcare market.  His passion is caring for his family, producing the best possible facilities for clients and having fun.  Building healthcare projects at DPR for valued clients allows him to do all three.

To see all of the stories in ENR's Imagining Construction's Future science fiction collection, click here.

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