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How we can recycle more buildings

How we can recycle more buildings


The insatiable demand of the global building boom has unleashed an illegal market in sand. Gangs are now stealing pristine beaches to order and paradise islands are being dredged and sold to the construction industry was the introduction to an article of The Guardian. A less partial response to that would definitely that of Seyed Ghaffar, Brunel University London proposes here below to how we can recycle more buildings.


More than 35 billion tonnes of non-metallic minerals are extracted from the Earth every year. These materials mainly end up being used to build homes, schools, offices and hospitals. It’s a staggering amount of resources, and it’s only too likely to increase in the coming years as the global population continues to grow.

Thinking big. Shutterstock

Thankfully, the challenges of sustainable construction, industrial growth and the importance of resource efficiency are now clearly recognised by governments around the world and are now at the forefront of strategy and policy.

A critical component of the UK government’s sustainability strategy concerns the way in which construction and demolition waste – CDW, as we call it in the trade – is managed. CDW comes from the construction of buildings, civil infrastructure and their demolition and is one of the heaviest waste streams generated in the world – 35% of the world’s landfill is made up of CDW.

The EU’s Waste Framework Directive, which aims to recycle 70% of non-hazardous CDW by 2020, has encouraged the construction industry to process and reuse materials more sustainably. This directive, which favours preventive measures – for example, reducing their use in the first place – as the best approach to tackling waste, has been implemented in the UK since 2011. More specific to the construction industry, the Sustainable Construction Strategy also sets overall targets for diverting CDW from landfill.

Policies worldwide recognise that the construction sector needs to take immediate action to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, tackle the climate crisis and limit resource depletion, with a focus on adopting a circular economy approach in construction to ensure the sustainable use of construction materials.


Read more: Circular economy: ancient populations pioneered the idea of recycling waste


Instead of simply knocking buildings down and sending the CDW to landfill, circular construction would turn building components that are at the end of their service life into resources for others, minimising waste.

It would change economic logic because it replaces production with sufficiency: reuse what you can, recycle what cannot be reused, repair what is broken, and re-manufacture what cannot be repaired. It will also help protect businesses against a shortage of resources and unstable prices, creating innovative business opportunities and efficient methods of producing and consuming.

Changing the mind-set

The mind-set of the industry needs to change towards the cleaner production of raw materials and better circular construction models. Technical issues – such as price, legal barriers and regulations – that stand in the way of the solutions being rolled out more widely must also be overcome through innovation.

Materials scientists, for example, are currently investigating and developing products that use processed CDW for manufacturing building components – for example, by crushing up CDW and using it to make new building materials.

Technical problems around the reuse of recycled materials should be solved through clever material formulations and detailed property investigations. For instance, the high water absorption rate in recycled aggregates causes durability problems in wall components. This is something that research must address.

Robots and AI should play a key role in future circular construction. Shutterstock

Moreover, it is illegal in the EU to use products that haven’t been certified for construction. This is one of the main obstacles standing in the way of the more widespread reuse of materials, particularly in a structural capacity. Testing the performance of materials for certification can be expensive, which adds to the cost of the material and may cancel out any savings made from reusing them.

For the construction, demolition and waste management industries to remain competitive in a global marketplace, they must continue to develop and implement supply chain innovations that improve efficiency and reduce energy, waste and resource use. To achieve this, substantial research into smart, mobile and integrated systems is necessary.

Radically advanced robotic artificial intelligence (AI) systems for sorting and processing CDW must also be developed. Many industries are facing an uncertain future and today’s technological limitations cannot be assumed to apply. The construction industry is likely to be significantly affected by the potential of transformative technologies such as AI, 3D printing, virtual/augmented reality and robotics. The application of such technologies presents both significant opportunities and challenges.

A model for the future

As the image below shows, we have developed a concept for an integrated, eco-friendly circular construction solution.

Author provided

Advanced sensors and AI that can detect quickly and determine accurately what can be used among CDW and efficient robotic sorting could aid circular construction by vastly improving the recycling of a wide range of materials. The focus should be on the smart dismantling of buildings and ways of optimising cost-effective processes.

The industry must also be inspired to highlight and prove the extraordinary potential of this new construction economy. We can drive this through a combination of creative design, focused academic research and applied technology, external industry engagement and flexible, responsive regulation.

Only through a combination of efforts can we start to recycle more buildings, but I’m confident that with the right will – and the right investment – we can start to massively reduce the amount of materials we pull from the ground each year and move towards a truly sustainable future.

Seyed Ghaffar, Associate Professor in Civil Engineering and Environmental Materials, Brunel University London

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

The Conversation

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Migrant workers in Qatar facing discrimination

Migrant workers in Qatar facing discrimination


An AFP article published on December 1, 2019, by FRANCE 24 reported on Migrant workers in Qatar facing discrimination as per a UN expert warns of racial profiling ‘prevalence’ in Qatar involving migrant workers. We would add that this situation is not specific to the State of Qatar but all the region of the GCC with subtle variations between states.


DOHA (AFP) – Migrant workers in Qatar are facing discrimination because of their nationality, racial identity, stereotyping and the “prevalence” of profiling, an independent UN expert warned on Sunday (Dec 1).

The Gulf monarchy has seen an influx of migrant workers, mainly from poor developing countries, in advance of the 2022 World Cup meaning that the population is 90 per cent non-Qatari.

A worker walking at a construction site for the Ras Abu Aboud Stadium in Doha, Qatar, on Sept 25, 2019. A UN expert said that migrant workers in Qatar are facing discrimination.
A worker walking at a construction site for the Ras Abu Aboud Stadium in Doha, Qatar, on Sept 25, 2019. A UN expert said that migrant workers in Qatar are facing discrimination. PHOTO: AFP

“For many people living in Qatar, their capacity to enjoy human rights fully is mediated by their nationality or national origin,” the UN’s special rapporteur on racism and discrimination Tendayi Achiume told AFP.

Migrants from specific countries are often recruited for certain roles such as women from south-east Asia for domestic work and men from south Asia for unskilled construction jobs, she said.

“Far from being mostly short-term guest workers, many low-income workers spend the better part of their working lives in Qatar and do so facing serious barriers to full enjoyment of their fundamental human rights,” she said.

Very few migrant workers ever qualify for permanent residency and almost none achieve citizenship and the welfare benefits enjoyed by Qataris.

UN experts are independent and do not speak for the world body, but their findings can be used to inform the work of UN organisations including the rights council.

Ms Achiume will present her final report on the visit to the UN Human Rights Council in July 2020.

She warned that stereotypes persist in public and private that “Sub-Saharan African men are presumed to be unsanitary, sub-Saharan African women are presumed to be sexually available, and South Asian nationalities are presumed unintelligent”.

“North Americans, Europeans and Australians, on the other hand, are presumed superior, and whites in general are presumed to be inherently competent,” she said.

But Ms Achiume stressed that while racism and discrimination remained an issue in Qatar, authorities had accepted the issue and made efforts to improve the situation – unlike some other countries.

“The existence of racial, ethnic and national stereotypes and discriminatory structures… are, in part, the product of the history of slavery in Qatar,” she said.

Slavery in the country was abolished in 1952.

Ms Achiume, a law professor at UCLA in the United States, said she had also received reports that “highlighted the prevalence of racial and ethnic profiling by police and traffic authorities”.

Security guards in parks and shopping centres also engaged in such practices, she said, favouring white and Arab residents while treating others differently.

Ms Achiume praised Qatar for the “significant reforms the government has embarked on that stand to make important contributions to combatting structural racial discrimination”. “Much work remains to be done, however,” she said.

Will future buildings manage and fix themselves?

Will future buildings manage and fix themselves?

Construction Week online‘s Anup Oommen on 27 November 2019, queries in the context of The Big 5: Will future buildings manage and fix themselves?


Aurecon’s Daniel Borszik shares insights on modular buildings “clipped together like Lego” and IoT-integrated buildings.


The building industry, which has historically lagged in terms of technology adoption, is beginning to have a dialogue on shifting from projects to products, with a particular focus on modular construction.

Speaking at the 40th edition of the region’s largest and most influential event for the construction industry The Big 5, Aurecon MEP associate, Daniel Borszik, said: “Modular construction could scale easily to an industry worth $100bn in the US and Europe alone. Even though that’s quite a large number, the industry could deliver about $20bn in annual savings.”

During his talk at The Big 5, Borszik shared details on the various methods of modular construction from modular 2D panels in high-quality single-family housing units that permit for design flexibility and optimised logistics; to 3D volumetric modular systems that create standardization, repeatability, and cost reduction in low- and mid-rise apartment buildings or hotels.

Borszik also elaborated on the combination of automated fabrication with what he called ‘buildable tech’, which called for new materials and fabrication methods that might initially attract a premium but will result in cost savings in the long run.

He pointed to a construction industry where future building parts are printed using cutting-edge 3D printing technology; where these building parts are then “clipped together like Lego”; where machine learning technology and Internet-of-Things (IoT) is integrated into these buildings; and where the completed buildings will be able to self-manage, and fix themselves.

“What I find exciting about the buildings of the future is that you will see a lot more of integration of technology in our buildings. Sooner or later, if the air conditioning has an issue in your house, the air conditioner itself will be able to send an email to the maintenance team to come and fix it, without the need for a human to raise a complaint, and all you get is a notification on your phone that maintenance has been scheduled,” Borszik said.

This will disrupt every player in the construction industry from developers, architects, and designers to contractors, subcontractors, suppliers, consultants and others. Borszik stated that all stakeholders in the industry need to prepare for the disrupting shifts in value pools.

“From engineers to designers, city planners to politicians, it will take all hands on deck to turn a truly transformative design into the city’s new normal,” Borszik concludes.

Big 5 or a Practical assessment of the industry’s growth in the MENA

Big 5 or a Practical assessment of the industry’s growth in the MENA


AMEInfo Staff post dated November 26, 2019, and titled The Middle East construction industry considered one of the top locations to invest as the Big 5 or a practical assessment of the industry’s growth in the MENA region despite the generalised slow down of all related investments, clearly shows. Meanwhile, the Construction industry should look to proven tech to weather difficult times, and alleviate the impacts of the world’s decarbonisation.

Big 5 or a Practical assessment of the industry's growth in the MENA

Where do real estate and construction opportunities exist in this region?

  • GCC and the wider Middle East were recognised for standout construction opportunities
  • The most opportunities to be found in the United Arab Emirates (56%) followed by Saudi Arabia (44.4%)
  • 36% of those interviewed said their business would enter the UAE within the next 12 months either directly or via a joint venture

The Middle East and Africa’s largest construction event, The Big 5, which takes place from 25 – 28 November, has officially revealed a first of its kind research paper, The Voice of the Construction Industry Report, during the CEO Forum on its opening day.

The report is based on research conducted by GRS Research & Strategy Middle East, in conjunction with The Big 5. A total of 5,951 senior construction industry professionals were surveyed from136 countries on the trends and outlook of the construction sector in the GCC, Middle East and Africa.  

Ben Greenish, Senior Vice President of dmg events said: “Thanks to the size, strength and history of The Big 5, we not only deliver a world-class trade event, we are also a trusted source of insight and intelligence for the construction industry.  This new research from a huge cross-section of senior construction professionals underscores our reputation as a source of knowledge, and helps global industry stakeholders generate revenues, save money, and shape future strategies.”

Read: The Voice of the Construction Industry report brought to you by preliminary edition 2019

Big 5 or a Practical assessment of the industry's growth in the MENA

“The responses come from professionals in sectors including manufacturing and distribution through to developers, contractors, engineers, architects and consultants,  with each being segmented by business type, seniority, geographic location, and company turnover, allowing for a detailed analysis of the issues influencing each sector and how they are shaping the industry,” added Greenish.

The research revealed that the GCC and the wider Middle East were the standout opportunities recognised by respondents not already active in those regions when considering where their business may look for opportunities in the future.  

Of the GCC countries, respondents felt there were the most opportunities to be found in the United Arab Emirates (56%) followed by Saudi Arabia (44.4%). In line with these findings, 36% of those interviewed said their business would enter the UAE within the next 12 months either directly or via a joint venture.

Read: Slower growth expected for MENA region construction industry in 2019, says GlobalData

According to Andrea Piccin, Partner – General Manager, GRS Research & Strategy, the findings represent good news for the UAE and the wider Middle East region: “Economic growth is seen as a key factor generating business opportunities in the GCC. This is undoubtedly piquing the interest of international companies, which are now looking to expand in the Middle East for the first time.”

“Also, the increase in tourism, particularly in the UAE, is a major driver for business growth and one that many construction companies have already capitalised upon,” he added.

As part of the research, the top trends impacting all aspects of the construction industry were addressed with respondents stating prefabrication and modular construction, energy efficiency, and sustainability are the most important.

Read: Experts issue stark warning for construction firms that ignore urgency of tech transformation

“These trends reflect the UAE and Saudi governments’ recent focus on the development of smart and sustainable cities. According to the results, it is anticipated during the next 12 months governments from these two countries will place even greater emphasis in these key areas providing an additional boost for the industry,” added Piccin.

Technology and the impact it has on the construction industry is also outlined within the data. Advanced software, building information modelling (BIM), and digitalisation are identified as the top three disrupters of the sector. These are closely followed by the Internet of Things (IoT) and smart technology, and 3D printing.  

The Voice of the Construction Industry Report was unveiled at The Big 5’s invite-only CEO Forum, a conference for 150 CEOs from the region’s leading construction firms, which took place at The Big 5’s opening day. 

AMEinfo staff members report business news and views from across the Middle East and North Africa region, and analyse global events impacting the region today.

#REAL ESTATE #DUBAI #MIDDLE EAST #CONSTRUCTION

Ministerial Council for Housing and Construction in UAE

Ministerial Council for Housing and Construction in UAE

Arab Council for Housing and Construction endorsed the preparation of an Arab Strategy for Housing
and Sustainable Urban Development, whereas the League of Arab States (LAS) General Secretariat gives special
attention to developing strategies and programs of actions to achieve sustainable development in the Arab States, with the technical support of the United Nations Human Settlements Program (UN-Habitat). More recently this 36th Ministerial Council for Housing and Construction in UAE proceeded along and part of the above strategy as reported by Emirates News Agency.

الإمارات تستضيف الدورة 36 لمجلس وزراء الإسكان والتعمير العرب

UAE hosts 36th session of the Arab Ministerial Council for Housing and Construction

  • الإمارات تستضيف الدورة 36 لمجلس وزراء الإسكان والتعمير العرب

DUBAI, October 6, 2019 (WAM) — The UAE today hosted the 36th session of the Arab Ministerial Council for Housing and Construction.

The meeting was attended by Arab ministers of housing and construction, as well as Victor Kisob, Assistant Secretary-General and Deputy Executive Director of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), Kamal Hassan Ali, Assistant Secretary-General Head of Economic Affairs, League of Arab States, and representatives of Arab, regional and international organisations.

The meeting took place on the sidelines of the third round of the Arab Ministerial Forum on Housing and Urban Development held on 7th and 8th October.

The session began with the announcement of the UAE taking over the council’s presidency from Bahrain for its next session in 2019-2020. Its participants then discussed the main challenges facing the housing and urban development sectors in the Arab region, and other topics related to housing, most notably the Arab Housing Conference, Arab Housing Day, and the Award of the Council of Arab Ministers of Housing and Construction.

The meeting also discussed the cooperation between UN-Habitat, the forum, and relevant regional groups and foreign countries.

Bassem bin Yaqoub Al Hamar, Minister of Housing of Bahrain, thanked the UAE, represented by the Ministry of Infrastructure Development and the Sheikh Zayed Housing Programme, for its hospitality and reception.

Dr Abdullah bin Mohammed Belhaif Al Nuaimi, Minister of Infrastructure Development, welcomed the ministers and delegations participating in the session and forum, stating, “In 1975, the Arab ministers of housing and construction held their first meeting in the UAE. After 44 years, I am pleased to welcome you to your second country and wish you a pleasant stay.”

“I also hope that the meetings will yield outcomes that will help make positive changes to our housing and urban development sectors, which are the basis of overall development, happiness and quality of life,” he added.

WAM / Hazem Hussein / MOHD AAMIR

MENA construction boom with Saudi leading and Egypt, Ethiopia shining

MENA construction boom with Saudi leading and Egypt, Ethiopia shining

Seban Scaria, ZAWYA of October 3rd, 2019 reported that MENA construction boom with Saudi leading and Egypt, Ethiopia shining in Africa but according to GlobalData, construction in the same region has been relatively sluggish and is forecast to grow at 3.3% in 2019, with the pace of growth then accelerating throughout the forecast period to reach 4.9% by 2022 – 2023.  Whilst awaiting some more clarifications, here are Seban Scaria’s thoughts.

MENA construction boom: Saudi leads market, Egypt, Ethiopia shine in Africa

Significance of construction in Saudi Arabia is accentuated by key transport and mobility schemes

An Asian labourer looks on as he works at the construction site of a building in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Image for illustrative purposes.

An Asian labourer looks on as he works at the construction site of a building in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Image for illustrative purposes.

REUTERS/Faisal Al Nasser

Construction activity in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region has been relatively sluggish and is forecast to grow at 3.3 percent in 2019.

However, after a lacklustre 2019, construction growth in the region is forecasted to steadily improve in the next four years, to reach 4.9 percent by 2022-2023, data and analytics company GlobalData said in its Global Construction Outlook report.

Government revenues in the Gulf countries have been affected due to low oil prices. Assuming oil prices stay relatively high, large-scale investment in infrastructure projects – mostly related to transport – will be a key driving force behind the growth in the region, the report said.

Saudi Arabia remains the largest regional construction market in the Middle East, despite a contraction in construction in the kingdom in recent years. Construction output is forecast to recover in 2019, growing by 2.6 percent, before posting average growth of 3.8 percent in 2020-2023, the report said.

Yasmine Ghozzi, Economist at GlobalData, said: “The construction market started on a positive note in Saudi Arabia in 2019, growing by 1.3 percent year-on-year in Q1 in real value-add terms, attributed to rising oil prices and a surge in the non-crude sector.”

“The significance of construction in Saudi Arabia is accentuated by key transport and mobility schemes such as Riyadh Metro; social infrastructure developments such as the Ministry of Housing’s Sakani programme; and energy megaprojects such as the state-owned Aramco’s Berri and Marjan oil fields,” she added.

The report pointed out that construction boom in Qatar, that began almost a decade ago, seems to have run its course as major projects are largely completed.  Construction output decreased by 1.2 percent year-on-year in Q1 2019, a sharp deceleration after years of rapid expansion.

“The Qatari construction sector will slow relative to previous years, in general, but the turnaround will come from the North Field Expansion (NFE) project where Qatar Petroleum announced its aim to increase Qatar’s LNG production from current 77mtpa to 110mtpa within five years and has assigned Qatargas as the operator of the project. Meanwhile, work on the Hamad International Airport and New Doha Port will support growth in the airport and port sectors,” Ghozzi said.

However, one of the region’s brightest spots will be Egypt, where GlobalData predicts that construction will expand by an annual average of 11.3 percent between 2019 and 2023.

“Egypt’s economy is forecast to expand at a relatively rapid rate over the next two years, driven by sustained growth in natural gas production and a recovery in tourism. Delivering an ambitious renewable energy program is a priority for the government. Construction activity is also being driven by Cairo’s urban development program, which could involve building 23 new cities,” Ghozzi said.

The pace of growth in sub-Saharan Africa will be particularly strong, averaging 6 percent a year in 2019–2023, Global data said.

According to the report, construction activity in Nigeria will accelerate steadily, supported by government efforts to revitalise the economy by focusing on developing the country’s infrastructure.

But Ethiopia will be Africa’s star performer, with its construction industry continuing to improve in line with the country’s economic expansion, but the pace of expansion will ease back to single-digits, it said.

(Writing by Seban Scaria seban.scaria@refinitiv.com, editing by Anoop Menon)

Pieces of Ramses II obelisk arrive in Cairo for re-assembly

Pieces of Ramses II obelisk arrive in Cairo for re-assembly

Pieces of Ramses II obelisk arrive in Cairo for re-assembly. The obelisk will be restored, assembled and erected in Tahrir Square.

By Nevine El-Aref, Friday 30 Aug 2019

Pieces of Ramses II obelisk arrive in Cairo for re-assembly

In an attempt to develop Tahrir Square and to show the whole world Egypt’s unique civilisation, eight blocks of one of Ramses II’s obelisks, found in his temple at San Al-Haggar archaeological site in Zagazig, arrived in Cairo on Friday.

They will be restored, assembled and erected in Tahrir Square.

Mostafa Waziri, secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA), said that the transportation of the parts of the obelisk was carried out under tight security by the tourism and antiquities police, within the framework of the government’s plan to beautify and develop Tahrir Square as part of the Historic Cairo Development project.

Pieces of Ramses II obelisk arrive in Cairo for re-assembly

The obelisk is carved in red granite and decorated with scenes depicting Ramses II standing before the gods with his different titles written alongside. After restoration and assembly, the obelisk will be 17 metres tall and weight 90 tonnes.

Mohamed Al-Saeidy, director of the SCA’s Technical Office, said that the antiquities ministry completed the first phase of the development project at San Al-Haggar archaeological site last September.

A collection of two obelisks, two colossi and two columns from the temple of Ramses II were restored, assembled and re-erected in their original location.

Now, he continued, the ministry has started the second phase of the project, which aims to restore, assemble and re-erect more obelisks, colossi and columns.

Pieces of Ramses II obelisk arrive in Cairo for re-assembly

In collaboration with the French Institute for Oriental Archaeology in Cairo (IFAO), the antiquities ministry has recently launched a project to upgrade the facilities and services provided to the site’s visitors, including the establishment of a visitor centre, the installation of signage, and the development of a website for the site.

Pieces of Ramses II obelisk arrive in Cairo for re-assembly

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Sharjah Architecture Triennial will address climate change

Sharjah Architecture Triennial will address climate change

The Sharjah Architectural Triennial could be one of the built environment professionals gatherings of importance in the MENA region. Here is an article dated 25 August 2019 written by Rima Alsammarae who gives a fairly well-described idea of some thoughts of this event’s main contributor. And according to this latter, the Sharjah Architecture Triennial will address climate change.

The event was founded in 2017 and is led by Sheikh Khalid Al Qasimi, Chairman of Sharjah Urban Planning Council. The Triennial editions aim to highlight topical aspects of architecture and urbanism that have local relevance and to engage Sharjah’s existing built environment and social fabric. 

Interview: Sharjah Architecture Triennial will address climate change says curator Adrian Lahoud

Middle East Architect (MEA) speaks with curator Adrian Lahoud, who says the triennial is an invitation to ‘radically rethink’ questions about architecture and address climate change – ‘the most urgent challenge facing humanity today’.

The coastal emirate of Sharjah is the third largest city in the United Arab Emirates – and it’s considered the cultural capital of the country. Among the many cultural centres, government institutions that support art-led initiatives, and the ongoing regeneration of heritage spaces, the emirate’s creative realm is further defined by the upcoming Sharjah Architecture Triennial.

The latest move in connecting the city’s motivations with its architectural past and future, as well as a step towards rethinking its urban and environmental footprint, in addition to that of the wider Middle East, North Africa and South Asia, the triennial was launched as a non-profit initiative and is legally housed under the Sharjah Urban Planning Council and funded by the Government of Sharjah. Chaired by Khalid bin Sultan Al Qasimi, the team behind the initiative is formed by its partners including the Directorate of Town Planning and Survey; the American University of Sharjah’s College of Architecture, Art & Design (CAAD); the Sharjah Art Foundation; and Bee’ah.

Sharjah Architecture Triennial will address climate change

The curator of the triennial, Adrian Lahoud, architect, urban designer and dean of the School of Architecture at London’s Royal College of Art, spoke to MEA about the event ahead of its launch in November 2019.

According to Lahoud, the theme ‘Rights of Future Generations’ is an invitation to “radically rethink” fundamental questions about architecture and its power to create and sustain alternative modes of existence.

“The theme prompts us to interrogate the fact that, while individual rights have expanded over the past few decades, collective rights, such as rights of nature and environmental rights have been neglected,” he said.

Sharjah Architecture Triennial will address climate change

“Following various lines of enquiry around housing, education and the environment, the triennial seeks to question and decolonise architectural discourse; it uses architectural design as an opportunity to realise these alternative modes of living, including new concepts of buildings, cities, landscapes and territories, and to consider how these may be better adapted and understood as part of contemporary life and possible futures.”

Rights of Future Generations intends to explore how inheritance, legacy and the state of the environment are passed from one generation to the next, and how present decisions have long-term intergenerational consequences, as well as how other expressions of co-existence, including indigenous ones, might challenge dominant western perspectives.

Lahoud noted that inherent in the theme is a commitment to address climate change as the most urgent challenge facing humanity today.

Sharjah Architecture Triennial will address climate change

“Through its exploration of how particular conditions in the Global South produce unique relationships between human beings and the environment, the triennial seeks to bring awareness to specific models,” he said. “Ones that allow interacting and living with the environment, rather than dividing ourselves from it.”

In addition to raising awareness via the exhibition and public events, the triennial has formed the Rights of Future Generations Working Group. Its mission is to advance the protection of future generations’ fundamental rights in a world where climate change is dramatically shifting along socio-economic, legal, gender, racial and political dimensions.

The group will collaboratively produce the Sharjah Charter to be presented as part of the triennial, which Lahoud hopes will prove to be a significant moment in the ongoing global discourse around climate change.

“I believe that architecture as a practice holds a key role in addressing climate change,” Lahoud said. “However, in order to leverage this potential, we must move away from the extractive and exploitative models that dominate architectural practice. We are at a point of ecological collapse and one fact must not be ignored: that the sites, regions and populations most immediately and irreversibly threatened by climate change are the same ones that face regimes of global socio-economic extraction and exploitation.

“Valuable insight can, therefore, be drawn from paying attention to existing social struggles at the frontline of climate change, including indigenous ones. There is a particular problem with the western ontological distinction between humans and the environment. This distinction views architecture as ‘shelter’ from the environment, thereby validating land grab and resource extraction. Human history offers a myriad of examples of alternative social orders, of relationships between humans and other beings that evolved according to various beliefs and practices, and through these examples, we might understand our agency and relationship with the world differently.”

Most recently, the triennial announced the two venues that it will be held at – the old Jubail vegetable market and the Al-Qasimiyah School, which is currently being renovated to form the triennial’s permanent headquarters.

The choice in venues was no coincidence, asserts Lahoud. They speak directly to the theme of the triennial. Both buildings are leading examples of the emirate’s 1970s and 80s architecture. And in the adaptive reuse of these structures, the triennial offers a sustainable approach and example of working with existing infrastructure.

“The mission of the triennial is to serve as a space for dialogue that supports an emerging generation of architects drawn from across the Global South and their diaspora,” said Lahoud. “Ultimately, we hope to prompt our audiences to rethink the potential of architecture – to interrogate existing models, disrupt dominant perspectives and consider the alternative ways of living that can be formed.

Sharjah Architecture Triennial will address climate change

“Inherent to the theme of Rights of Future Generations is a commitment to legacy building, and I hope to create a lasting community beyond the exhibition,” Lahoud said. “Physically, the school will serve as a central hub for architectural learning within Sharjah. For those based in other regions, texts and publications produced during the triennial will be available across a variety of online platforms long after the exhibition has ended, offering a globally accessible resource for those who wish to interrogate existing architectural discourse.”

(Images courtesy of Sharjah Architecture Triennial)

Qatar Construction Increases  with Permit Issuance Up

Qatar Construction Increases with Permit Issuance Up

Qatar Construction Increases With Permit Issuance Up 51% by Ivy Heffernan and published by Live Trading News on August 21, 2019.

The Planning and Statistics Authority’s recently released data shows 51% general increase in July 2019 in the number of building permits issued when compared to June this year.    

The Planning and Statistics Authority (PSA) published the fifty-fifth issue of the monthly statistics of Building Permits and Building Completion certificates issued by all municipalities of the State.

According to PSA data on building permits issued during July 2019, Al Rayyan comes at the top of the municipalities where the number of building permits issued were 188, i.e. 27% of the total issued permits, while Doha municipality comes in second place with 151 permits, i.e. 22%, followed by Al Wakrah with 131 permits (19%), then Al Da’ayen with 85 permits, i.e.12%.

The rest of the municipalities are as follows: Umm Slal 58 permits (8%), Al Khor 39 permits (6%), Al Sheehaniya 31 permits (4%), and Al Shammal 15 permits (2%).

In terms of type of permits issued, data indicates that the new building permits (residential and non-residential) constitute 50% (352 permits) of the total building permits issued during the month of July 2019, while the percentage of additions permits constituted 48% (334 permits), and finally fencing permits with 2% (12 permits).

New residential buildings permits data indicates that villas top the list, accounting for 68% (198 permits) of all new residential buildings permits, followed by dwellings of housing loans permits by 24% (71 permits) and apartments buildings by 7% (20 permits).

On the other hand, governmental buildings were found to be in the forefront of non-residential buildings permits with 29% (17 permits), followed by industrial buildings e.g. workshops and factories with 27% (16 permits), then commercial buildings with 25% (15 permits).

Comparing the number of permits issued in July 2019 with those issued in the previous month a general increase of 51% was noted. The increase was noted in all municipalities as follows: Al Shammal (150%), Al Wakrah (68%), Al Sheehaniya and Al Khor (63%) each, Umm Slal (61%), Al Rayyan (50%), Al Doha (41%), Al Da’ayen (25%).

The press release added that a quick review of the data on building completion certificates issued during the month of July 2019, according to their geographical distribution, showed that Rayyan municipality comes at the top of the municipalities where the number of building completion certificates issued were 125 certificates, i.e. (33%) of the total issued certificates while municipality of Al Wakrah came in second place with 81 certificates, i.e. (21%), followed by municipality of Al Doha with 74 certificates (19%), then Al Da’ayen municipality with 53 certificates, i.e.(14%). The rest of the municipalities were as follows: Umm Slal 23 certificates (6%), Al Khor 11 certificates (3%), Al Sheehaniya 9 certificates (2%), and finally Al Shammal 7 certificates (2%).

In terms of the type of certificates issued, data indicates that the new building completion certificates (residential and non-residential) constitutes 76% (291 certificates) of the total building certificates issued during the month of July 2019, while the percentage of additions certificates constituted 24% (92 certificates).

Comparing the number of certificates issued in July 2019 with those issued in the previous month we noted an increase of 38%. This increase was clearly noted in most municipalities: Al Shammal (250%),Al Wakrah (103%), Al Doha (76%), Al Rayyan (25%), Al Da’ayen (18%), Umm Slal (5%), On the other hand, there was a clear decrease in the municipality of Al Khor (35%), while Al Sheehaniya municipality maintained the same number of issued certificates.

Qatar Construction Increases  with Permit Issuance Up

Ivy Heffernan is a student of Economics at Buckingham University. Junior Analyst at HeffX and experienced marketing director.


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Turkey starts filling huge Tigris river dam

Turkey starts filling huge Tigris river dam

Reuters’ ENVIRONMENT reported on August 2, 2019, that Turkey starts filling huge Tigris river dam, activists say in an article by Ali Kucukgocmen.

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Turkey has started filling a huge hydroelectric dam on the Tigris river, a lawmaker and activists said, despite protests that it will displace thousands of people and risks creating water shortages downstream in Iraq.

FILE PHOTO: A general view of the ancient town of Hasankeyf by the Tigris river, which will be significantly submerged by the Ilisu dam being constructed, in southeastern Turkey, June 1, 2019. REUTERS/Umit Bektas

Citing satellite images, they said that water was starting to build up behind the Ilisu dam, a project that has been decades in the making and which aims to generate 1,200 megawatts of electricity for southeast Turkey.

Turkish officials have not commented on work at the dam. Turkey’s State Hydraulic Works (DSI), which oversees dam projects, referred questions to the Presidency, and the Agriculture and Forestry Ministry was not available to comment.

However, President Tayyip Erdogan said earlier this year that Turkey would start filling the Ilisu dam in June, a year after it briefly held backwater before backing down following complaints from Iraq about reduced water flows in mid-summer.

The dam, which first gained Turkish government approval in 1997, is a key part of Turkey’s Southeastern Anatolia Project, designed to improve its poorest and least developed region.

FILE PHOTO: The Tigris river flows through the ancient town of Hasankeyf, which will be significantly submerged by the Ilisu dam being constructed, in southeastern Turkey, August 26, 2018. REUTERS/Sertac Kayar

Iraq says the dam will create water shortages by reducing flows in one of two rivers which the country depends on for much of its supplies. Around 70% of Iraq’s water supplies flow from neighboring countries, especially via the Tigris and Euphrates rivers which run through Turkey.

Satellite images from the past two weeks show the dam has started holding water, said Necdet Ipekyuz, a lawmaker from Turkey’s pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP). He said a road in the area has already been submerged.

“They are taking steps slowly to decrease the reactions to water being held. That is why they are not informing the public,” he said, adding that several HDP lawmakers tried to visit the dam in July but were prevented by police.

Environmental campaigners have unsuccessfully challenged the dam project at the European Court of Human Rights on the grounds it would damage the country’s cultural heritage.

SUBMERGED TOWN

The rising waters of the dam are also expected to eventually submerge the 12,000-year-old town of Hasankeyf. Residents are being moved from the ancient town to a “New Hasankeyf” nearby, while historic artefacts have also been transported out of the area.

A group of NGOs, lawmakers and labor unions shared satellite images of the dam showing the increase in water levels between July 19-29.

“The current situation is strengthening the idea that the valves have been closed permanently,” the group, known as Hasankeyf Coordination, said in a statement.

“Because the dam lake is growing every day, the people who live in these areas are worried. They cannot know when the water will reach their residential or agricultural areas.”

The Iraqi government said in a statement that Turkish and Iraqi officials had discussed the water resources of the two rivers in Baghdad on Wednesday to see how they could “serve the interests of both countries”.

Turkey proposed setting up a joint research center in Baghdad for water management and to work together on some agriculture plantations in Iraq, as well as projects for development of drinking water infrastructure. FILE PHOTO: The Tigris river flows through the ancient town of Hasankeyf, which will be significantly submerged by the Ilisu dam being constructed, in southeastern Turkey, August 26, 2018. REUTERS/Sertac Kayar

The European Court of Human Rights in February dismissed the case brought by environmental campaigners to block the dam project, saying heritage protection is the responsibility of Turkish authorities and it had no jurisdiction.

The government needs to make an announcement, even if the dam were being filled for a trial run, said HDP’s Ipekyuz. “They are trying to tie a belt around the Tigris river’s neck and suffocate it,” he said.

Additional reporting by John Davison and Ahmed Aboulenein in Baghdad; Editing by Dominic Evans and Susan Fenton

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