Building sites are going to look a bit different, in the future

Building sites are going to look a bit different, in the future

Building sites are going to look a bit different, in the future for many reasons such as those proposed by ScienceDirect a year ago in their introduction to “3D Printing of Buildings: Construction of the Sustainable Houses of the Future by BIM Mehmet Sakin*, Yusuf Caner Kiroglu”. This explains that 3D printing is a process by which physical objects are created by depositing materials in layers based on a digital model. All 3D printing processes require software, hardware, and materials to work together. The first 3D printer was invented in 1983 by Charles W. and over the last decades, 3D printing has become one of the fastest growing technologies nowadays. In its early days, it was very complicated and expensive technology.

Building sites are going to look a bit different, in the future is a picture of Shutterstock selected by 
Seyed Ghaffar, Brunel University London to illustrate his article published by The Conversation.

How to print a building: the science behind 3D printing in construction

File 20180619 126553 r7wi3p.jpg?ixlib=rb 1.1

It’s often claimed that 3D printing – known in the trade as “additive manufacturing” – will change the way we live. Most recently, a team from Eindhoven University of Technology announced plans to build the “world’s first” habitable 3D printed houses. But it’s one thing to build small, prototype homes in a park – it’s quite another to successfully use additive manufacturing for large scale projects in the construction sector.

Additive manufacturing uses a combination of materials science, architecture and design, computation and robotics. Yet in some ways, it’s not as futuristic as it sounds. The simple approach of layer-wise construction – where building materials are layered on top of each other to create a facade – has already been practised for a long time in the construction sector, for example in conventional brick layering techniques.

The true novelty of additive manufacturing lies in its ability to combine new, highly efficient and sustainable materials with architectural design software and robotic technology, to automate and improve processes that have already been proven manually. In this sense, additive manufacturing holds many potentially groundbreaking benefits for the construction sector.

3D printing can produce up to 30% less material waste, use less energy and fewer resources, enable in-situ production (which in turn cuts transport costs), grant greater architectural freedom and generate fewer CO₂ emissions over the entire lifecycle of the product.

Printable feedstocks

But there is still some way to go before additive manufacturing technology can deliver on its potential. There are several different components of additive manufacturing, each of which must be developed and refined before the process can be successfully used in large-scale construction.

One component is printable feedstocks – the materials which are actually “printed” to create the final product. There are many types of printable feedstock, but the most relevant one for large scale construction is concrete. Printable feedstocks are typically made from a combination of bulk materials – such as soil, sand, crushed stone, clay and recycled materials – mixed with a binder such as Portland cement, fly ash or polymers, as well as other additives and chemical agents to allow the concrete to set faster and maintain its shape, so that the layers can be deposited rapidly.

In a project I am currently working on at Brunel University, we are focusing on producing a printable cement feedstock. To create materials for 3D printed constructions, scientists must carefully control the setting time of the paste, the stability of first few layers and the bonding between the layers. The behaviour of the materials must be thoroughly investigated under a range of conditions, to achieve a robust structure which can take load.

The combination of cement, sand and other additives must be just right, so that the feedstocks don’t set while still in the printer, and don’t stay wet for too long once they have been deposited to form a structure. Different grades of feedstock need to be formulated and developed, so that this technology can be used to build a range of different structural elements, such as load-bearing and large-scale building blocks.

Building blocks

Another component is the printer, which must have a powerful pump to suit the scale of manufacturing in the construction industry. The pressure and flow rate of the printer must be trialled with different types of feedstocks. The speed and the size of the printer is key to achieving a good print quality: smooth surface, square edges and a consistent width and height for each layer.

How quickly the feedstock materials are deposited – typically measured in centimetres per hour – can speed up or slow down construction. Decreasing the setting time of the feedstock means that the printer can work faster – but it also puts the feedstock at risk of hardening inside the printer system. The printing system should be optimised to continuously deliver the feedstock materials at a constant rate, so that the layers can fuse together evenly.

The geometry of the structures produced is the final piece of the puzzle, when it comes to using 3D printing in construction. When the printer and the feedstock have been properly set up, they will be able to produce full-size building blocks with a smart geometry which can take load without reinforcements. The shape stability of the truss-like filaments in these blocks is an essential part of printing, which provides strength and stiffness to the printed objects.

The ConversationThis three-pronged approach to adapting additive manufacturing for construction could revolutionise the industry within the next ten to 15 years. But before that can happen, scientists need to fine tune the mix ratios for the feedstocks, and refine a printing system which can cope with the rapid manufacturing of building blocks. Only then can the potential of 3D printing be harnessed to build faster, and more sustainably, than ever before.

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

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

 

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State of Happiness in the world of 2018

State of Happiness in the world of 2018

The World Happiness Report 2018 is the annual report published by the U.N. Sustainable Development Solutions Network and as a relatively new survey of the state of happiness in the world of 2018, gives an idea of the state of the world’s countries per the resulting ranking of 156 countries by their happiness levels, and 117 countries by the happiness of their immigrants. This ranking graph would perhaps be the most sought-after outcome of such an endeavour.

Where is Happiness in 2018 ?

In few words, this year’s report zeroed in, in addition to its usual “ranking of the levels and changes in happiness around the world, on migration within and between countries”.

The MENA region amongst other regions of the world was assessed in its own right and the resulting ranking is below :

  • ·         Israel                                      11th
  • ·         United Arab Emirates             20th
  • ·         Qatar                                      32nd
  • ·         Saudi Arabia                         33rd
  • ·         Bahrain                                  43;
  • ·         Kuwait                                    45
  • ·         Libya                                      70
  • ·         Turkey                                    74
  • ·         Algeria                                   84
  • ·         Morocco                                 85
  • ·         Lebanon                                88
  • ·         Jordan                                    90
  • ·         Palestinian territories            104
  • ·         Iran                                         106
  • ·         Tunisia                                   111
  • ·         Iraq                                         117
  • ·         Egypt                                      122
  • ·         Syria                                       150

Apart from some countries that unexpected ranked high such as Algeria and way down such as Lebanon, Egypt and Tunisia, most ranking in our view tend to reflect quite diligently wat is going on the respective countries ground. The reasons obvious for some countries are not exactly as clear as one would think as off one’s deep knowledge of the region. It remains in any way that generally the proposed ranking would be in correlation with the movement of populations or migration as labelled in the report as literally the resulting effect of all those socio-political and economical mutations that each country is going through in its own specific way.

The report dwelling on migration found that people’s tolerance as a predominant character trait towards newcomers could be that whilst the least accepting countries were amongst those of Europe, four were from the MENA region and are Israel, Egypt, Iraq and Jordan. Those most accepting are of course those of the GCC, whose settled populations are overwhelmingly foreign born.

The report goes on to wonder “What determines the happiness of immigrants living in different countries and coming from different, other countries?

Three striking facts emerge.

  1. In the typical country, immigrants are about as happy as people born locally. 
  2. The happiness of each migrant depends not only on the happiness of locals but also on the level of happiness in the migrant’s country of origin.
  3. The happiness of immigrants also depends importantly on how accepting the locals are towards immigrants.

Further to the  above, we excerpted this piece of the report’s Chapter 1 Happiness and Migration: An Overview that best illustrates what such study was all about.

In conclusion, there are large gaps in happiness between countries, and these will continue to create major pressures to migrate. Some of those who migrate between countries will benefit and others will lose. In general, those who move to happier countries than their own will gain in happiness, while those who move to unhappier countries will tend to lose. Those left behind will not on average lose, although once again there will be gainers and losers. Immigration will continue to pose both opportunities and costs for those who move, for those who remain behind, and for natives of the immigrant- receiving countries.

Where immigrants are welcome and where they integrate well, immigration works best. A more tolerant attitude in the host country will prove best for migrants and for the original residents. But there are clearly limits to the annual flows which can be accommodated without damage to the social fabric that provides the very basis of the country’s attraction to immigrants. One obvious solution, which has no upper limit, is to raise the happiness of people in the sending countries – perhaps by the traditional means of foreign aid and better access to rich-country markets, but more importantly by helping them to grow their own levels of trust, and institutions of the sort that make possible better lives in the happier countries.

 

Have settlements killed the two-state solution?

Have settlements killed the two-state solution?

Yesterday May 1st, 2017, we would have liked to ponder on Israel’s current housing situation. The idea was spurred by Al Jazeera that on April 28th had on their show animated by one of their sharpest Mehdi Hassan looking at the very topic but in a different way asked Israeli diplomat Dani Dayan “ Have settlements killed the two-state solution? “
This latter did not waste time defending settlement building and / or housing units development as undertaken and / or allowed by the Israeli government despite all the noise that this is engendering.  This made one wonder if all of the above was the result of what is presently on-going in not far from the West Bank territories where most of those above developments usually take place, but as it were in Israel proper.  According to a RealtyToday citing a recent Bloomberg report on the matter and like for all countries developed and developing alike, lack of sufficient and / or suitable housing as elaborated on in this article sounded as if coming as a surprise of some sort to all.
Here it is with thanks to the authors and publishers :

Israel Housing Problems Become Hot Discussion Ahead of Next Election

Posted by Staff Reporter (media@realtytoday.com) on March 29, 2016.

Israel is facing a housing crisis with home prices continuing in the upward trend and home inventory lacking 100,000 apartments.

As reported by Bloomberg, the housing market could determine how the Israeli politicians would fare in the upcoming election in the country. The publication noted that while the country is home to top scientists and engineers, the housing problem can seem to be solved.

House prices, which have more than doubled in less than a decade, resulted in a mass protest back in 2011. Last year, Israel’s home prices rose 7.8 percent, largely driven by the government’s low benchmark rate. The average home price in the country stands at $360,000.

There is a need to increase the country’s housing supply, but building data doesn’t seem good. Last year, housing starts rose 3.9 percent, but completion rate dropped 2.8 percent.

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Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon has some measures to introduce but analysts are skeptical they would generated results in the near future. While waiting for the long-term policies to bring results, Kahlon introduced some short-term measures such as the increase in taxes for investors. These, however, fail to address the core issues, said Michael Sarel, a former Finance Ministry chief economist.

“Raising taxes on investors simply reduces the number of rental apartments, which hurts the middle and lower classes as well,” he told Bloomberg.

The government recently issued a call for bids from foreign construction companies. According to Globes, six firms will be chosen and each will be allowed to bring up to 1,000 workers to Israel. The call aims to boost construction of residential properties in the country and consequently close the gap between supply and demand. The shortage in housing supply has been driving housing prices in recent years.

 

 

A First Comparison “Match” between Bouskoura and Darbouazza

A First Comparison “Match” between Bouskoura and Darbouazza

A study of 2 suburban districts of Casablanca, Morocco is believed to be a first comparison “Match” between Bouskoura and Darbouazza as recently undertaken by JUMIA House.

A report in French of the real estate analysis with graphics (see below) and comparative results was realised by Ranya S. Alaoui, Head of Communications & PR, Phone MA:0664604708, Skype ranya_alaoui, ranya.alaoui@jumia.com and released to the press together with a market analysis of JUMIA House General Manager Mr. Clément Tesconi on February 21st, 2017.

Here are below some excerpts of the report titled :

 

JUMIA House publishes a first comparison “Match” between Bouskoura and Darbouazza.

The main results of the study (see graphics and press release for more details) are in a nutshell :

More expensive purchase at Dar Bouazza than in Bouskoura;

Trends are reversed for renting, Bouskoura is more expensive;

According to our surveys, these two suburbs considered as “chic” are popular with people who want to get away from the city and invest in safe and more affordable real estate than those ‘premium’ neighbourhoods in Casablanca.

Why did we choose this subject?  The craze

JUMIA House wishes to put its expertise for the benefit of the Casablancan following the high-level of interest found within the platform.

Invest in Dar Bouazza or Bouskoura when trying to move away from the center of Casablanca? Rent or buy? And at what price?

  • Is it really cheaper than at the Center?
  • What is rather more expensive? How to decide?
  • A lot of Casablancans, whether couples, heads of families, or young single professionals who wish to settle only, are debating and / or considering their options.

In any case, it’s a topic that comes up in family meals, discussions of couples, or trips with friends.

Where do we get these figures?

The study was conducted on a representative sample of the population of Casablanca and is based on figures taken from our analytical expertise. This “match” proposes to offer to those wishing to invest in one or other of these posh suburbs an accurate and reliable comparison between the products and services available in the region. JUMIA House notes that prices are based on products marketed by estate agents, and that affordable homes are excluded from the study. For the sake of credibility, these prices were discussed with 6 agencies specializing in this segment.

JUMIA House, a subsidiary of the JUMIA Group, and whose vocation is to propose some relationship between supply and demand in real estate products, led the first comparative study in Morocco between Dar Bouazza and Bouskoura following the high-level of interest for either of these 2 districts of our platform. This study is intended for all those considering their settling in one or the other of these posh suburbs, be it under a lease or a purchase.

With this, JUMIA House wishes today to communicate to its customers some of its understanding of these markets.

JUMIA House notes that prices are based on products as currently marketed by estate agents and search of real estate in these districts continue to grow whereas some other neighbourhoods of Casablanca do stagnate (Maarif, Gauthier) or even decline (Racine, Bourgogne). As a result, JUMIA House wishes to propose to people currently in active research several items so as to allowing them to compare on several criteria such as price, facilities available, or above all accessibility.

Although the price of rent of the average square metre is higher at Dar Bouazza than that at Bouskoura, the trend is reversed if compared to the purchase price of the same square meter. According to several surveys made by JUMIA House, these two suburbs considered “chic” are mainly popular with people wishing to get away from the town centre through investment in estates in its nearest suburban developments. This was substantiated by surveys, conducted on a sample of 804 people resident in Casablanca, that showed that the urban ultras would be ready to move away from the present downtown in order to avoid the transport time inherent to their way of life (62% of respondents said they wish to leave the city center of Casablanca).

To invest in Dar Bouazza or Bouskoura would also enable them to avoid the already dense towncentre, since these two areas not only semi-detached or detached villas with land plots are offered but also studios, apartments or even duplexes in most importantly less dense environments. The two districts also offer at their respective centres recreational facilities but still near residences, as well as facilities in continuous improvement. Half of our sample appreciate Dar Bouazza as a more appropriate choice for investors than Bouskoura, although two-thirds (68%) say they currently lack information to wisely make their decisions.

Through this study, JUMIA House aims therefore to answer certain questions.

Purchase : Dar Bouazza more expensive than Bouskoura a comparison of the price of the purchase by the square meter shows that apartments are more expensive in Dar Bouazza, whereas prices are established in MAD9,379 per square meter, that in Bouskoura, which is around MAD5,341/m². Prices for the villas lie as well around MAD14,252/m² at Dar Bouazza against MAD13,067/m² at Bouksoura. The price of real estate in these posh suburbs is considerably less than premium downtown neighbourhoods that may exceed for apartments MAD19,000 in Gauthier, or even MAD20,000 in Racine per meter square.

Renting : the trends are inversed as unlike buying, the average rent per square meter of apartments in Bouskoura is more expensive than in Dar Bouazza, which at MAD75/m², a 100 m² apartment is trading around MAD7,000 against MAD67/m² at Dar Bouazza  in Premium Gauthier or Racine neighbourhoods are at around MAD100/m²).

Moreover, the average rent per square metre of the villas at Bouskoura costs MAD51/m² against MAD39/m² at Dar Bouazza. This can easily be explained by a more abundant supply in Dar Bouazza, stretching along the coast, but also by the preponderance of designer houses in Bouskoura, rarer in Dar Bouazza, where new real estate represents a very large part of the supply.

Bouskoura vs. Dar Bouazza: Green Life vs Beach Life.

Two styles of life; in recent years, Dar Bouazza and Bouskoura have emerged as of the most popular destinations in Casablanca. Located respectively at 21 and 22 kilometres from Casablanca town centre, these two districts offer a quieter and more secure environment than that of the economic capital.

Bouskoura is ideally located at the edge of a 3,000 hectares wooded area that is ideal for a Sunday walk. Dar Bouazza, on the Atlantic with its 10 km of coastal road stretch has a resort and an aquatic Center.

The analysis of Clement Tesconi, GM, found that :

“The real estate sector has been “sluggish” and after the recent flat patch, we now are seeing a mutation in demand and supply.

Demand dropped in the town centre neighbourhoods in full gentrification as Casablanca urban supply, at least in its inner parts is gradually moving now towards exclusive high-quality range, preventing access to property for a large part of the population.

Land, that is increasingly sought by professionals and the development of Casablanca as a major economic centre and among other things through Casa Finance City, tend help accelerate this transformation.

Dar Bouazza, a golden spot and already fairly well served and Bouskoura, with the near completion of the cable car of Sidi Maarouf, whose first phase should be completed before the end of year 2017, would lead to believe that these two posh suburbs have many years of prosperity real estate ahead of them!”

JUMIA House Morocco is an international real estate portal dedicated exclusively to emerging countries. The platform allows users to buy, rent and sell with ease and in safety. JUMIA House was launched in January 2014, and offers more than 50,000 ads in Morocco. JUMIA House, part of JUMIA Group, is African first group website.

 

NB : the average income in Casablanca stands at MAD6,000 net for workers affiliated to the CNSS, and MAD11,000 for those CIMR affiliated employees, although these average wages do not reflect the reality of the informal sector wages.

 

Middle East 1 in 20 displaced people from their homes

Middle East 1 in 20 displaced people from their homes

As highlighted in this WEF latest article written by Emma Luxton, Formative Content, on human displacements in the world, most are from the north-east end of the MENA region.  This is due principally to a certain lack of good governance that is coupled to and / or consequent to the prevailing historically defined under-development of the majority of the nation states of the region.  The title of the WEF quotes 1 in 100 but adds later on in the article that in the Middle East 1 in 20 displaced people from their homes is the current picture. 

One objection, though, could be the huge numbers of expatriate workers displaced from their original homes in south Asia, the Philippines, Nepal, etc. and number up to 90% in some of the GCC countries are also displaced for this time obvious economic reasons.  Would not they count as displaced as well?  Meantime [. . .]

Nearly 1 in 100 people worldwide have been driven away from their homes

refugee-camp-life

Syrian citizens account for one in five of the world’s displaced people.

 

There are more than 65 million people displaced from their homes, a record high since World War II.

This amounts to 0.8% of the global population, or to put it another way, roughly the population of France; or of Canada, Australia and New Zealand combined.

Image: UNHCR

Image: UNHCR

The UNHCR, the UN’s refugee agency, has been collecting data on displaced people since 1951, and in recent years it has seen numbers increase drastically. In 2015 alone, 5.8 million people were displaced.

Conflict, persecution and human rights violations have driven people from their homes in search of safety. The UNHCR Global Trends report looked at the figures for 2015 and found that 24 people were forced to leave their homes every minute.

Image: Pew Research Center

Image: Pew Research Center

The UNHCR’s definition of a displaced person includes those who still live in their country of origin (internally displaced people), as well as those who have fled across borders (refugees and asylum seekers).

The Middle East is hosting many of the world’s displaced people, both the internally displaced as well as refugees and asylum seekers.

In fact, as this chart from the Pew Research Center shows, more than one in 20 people in the region are displaced. Many of them have fled the Syrian conflict, which has been a major contributor to the steep rise in people driven away from their homes.

Image: Pew Research Center

Image: Pew Research Center

Since the war began in 2011, almost 5 million refugees have made their way to another country in search of safety, and 6.6 million are now internally displaced within Syria.

Syrian citizens account for one in five of the world’s displaced people.

Countries with the most internally displaced people include Colombia (6.9 million), Syria (6.6 million) and Iraq (4.7 million).

Lebanon hosts the largest number of refugees in relation to the size of its population, with 183 refugees per 1,000 citizens.

Overall, Turkey is providing sanctuary to the largest number of refugees – 2.5 million people took refuge there in 2015.

Pakistan has more than 1.5 million Afghan refugees who have fled the conflict in Afghanistan, and who make up more than half of the displaced population living in the country.

Children are often those most at risk, and the UNHCR estimates that they made up over half of the world’s refugees in 2015.

Many were separated from parents and family, or travelled to a different country alone.

Speaking earlier this year, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon warned: “We are facing the biggest refugee and displacement crisis of our time. Above all, this is not just a crisis of numbers; it is also a crisis of solidarity.”

The Sustainable City of Ksar of Tafilelt of Beni-Isguen story

The Sustainable City of Ksar of Tafilelt of Beni-Isguen story

The Sustainable City of Ksar of Tafilelt of Beni-Isguen story was known to the local people since its inception.  It has been rewarded last Monday in Marrakech, Morocco, by the 1st Sustainable City Prize, following an online vote called “Internet’s users Favourite City”, the Algerian Press Service (APS) reported on Wednesday citing officials of the Amidoul Foundation, initiator of the Ksar.

ksar-tafileft

Amidoul Association    A very special human experience, by its social, urban and ecological approaches . . .

The Ksar of Tafilelt, which was regarded as a very human experience in the northern edge of the Sahara and an eco-city in the desert, had more than 600 votes of the built environment professionals of the world, for having combined architecture, sustainable development, preservation of the environment and local lifestyle, said Moussa Amara, the Project Manager of the Ksar of Tafilelt.

This consecration was obtained as a result of the first edition of the Green City Solutions Awards competition, organized by the network Construction 21 that campaigns for the promotion of building and development of innovative and sustainable urban districts, at the COP 22 of Marrakech, as informed by Dr. Ahmed Nouh, president of the Amidoul Foundation.

The Ksar of Tafilelt has also been ranked second for the Grand Prize of the Sustainable City by an international jury, which considered it an example to follow and replicate in Algeria and elsewhere, said Dr. Nouh.

The ceremony of trophy handing over to the representatives of the Amidoul Foundation took place in Marrakech in presence of official delegations of the sector of water resources and the environment.

The Ksar of Tafilelt had already obtained, the first Arab League Prize for the environment in 2014 in the same city of Marrakech, Morocco.

Launched in 1997, this new Ksar, laid on a rocky 22 hectares site, provides 1,050 houses.  It was designed for a better quality of life as based on the ancestral interpretation of the architectural heritage and the preservation of the local environment.  It nestles on the top of a plateau that overlooks Beni Isguen palm grove and the M’Zab Valley.

ksar-tafilelt-nestles-on-the-top-of-a-plateau-that-overlooks-beni-isguen-palm-grove-and-the-mzab-valley

Ksar Tafilelt nestles on the top of a plateau that overlooks Beni Isguen palmgrove and the M’Zab Valley

The initiators of the project made use of local materials (stone, lime and Palm trees wood) for the construction of the city buildings and amenities all as inspired by the surrounding Ksars’ old construction of the M’zab but combined with modernity in the houses interior.

ksar-tafileft-interior-1

SONY DSC

New Ksar of Tafilelt is part of an ecological and social program as inspired by ancestral heritage contained in traditional Ksour of M’zab Valley classified in 1982 as universal heritage by UNESCO.

The experience of the Ksar of Tafilelt is considered by many specialists in the building industry as a reference in the preservation of architectural heritage combined with modernity, comfort and the bioclimatic and ecology.

Its initiators are working to implement the unique strategies for management of household waste, intensification and conservation of green areas, purification organic wastewater of the city as well as the agrementation of the daily life of the people by creating a park animal and plant of desert areas and natural.  The vision that prevailed in the construction of this city whose special feature is the community spirit that motivated it, stems from the will to build integrated urban projects, sustainable, based on precise needs knowledge and the choice of solutions to outdoor areas to strengthen social cohesion.

They committed themselves to carry out all the work of household waste management by establishing a system of fixed collection and a system of recovery and recycling of waste, the creation of a system of biological treatment wastewater by macrophytes herbal plants and a solar public lighting system.

ksar-view

For more information, click here .

Translation from French by Microsoft / FaroL  faro@farolco.onmicrosoft.com .