While visiting Shanghai and Beijing last month I couldn’t stop wondering the speed of evolution of cities. Around every corner you could see massive building construction sites reaching the sky. At the same time, most beautiful urban quartiers showed the best of modern city life.
China has more than 150 cities with over 1 million inhabitants. Country’s urban population exceeded that of rural areas first time in 2012. China Radio International announced that over 700 million people, which is over 50% of population live now in the cities. In next 20 years, another 300 million people would need their own city home. Quite a challenge for building constructors, I would say.
How to maintain cities’ functionality in the middle of construction?
Not surprisingly, China is also the largest automobile market in the world. Nearby 220 million registered motor vehicles are an integral – and painful – part of every city. Together with cars, foreign direct investments target China more than any other country in the world bringing their own needs to the city building.
All these developments must push the limits of cities’ functionality. Fluent traffic, easy access to public transportation, working sanitation and sewage systems, comfortable social areas and approachable services. Not to mention good sustainable living conditions of city people. These are some challenges that came to my mind when reflecting the situation from European perspective.
Precast as a smart building solution
In this context, precast could be the smart solution. It offers undeniably fastest way to build and make a new city function. Precast manufacturing facilities are scalable to varying building demand. As a building type precast is tested in practise in the largests cities around the globe.
Precast suits as well to affordable housing as to unique public and commercial constructions. It is cost and environmentally aware building method with minimized logistical flows during construction. Also, labor and lifetime maintenance needs are quite modest.
Still, the end result that is home, office, restaurant or industrial hall is architecturally more customizable than with other building methods. Homes are safe and fit nicely to urban landscape.
Petteri Laitinen, Director, Customer Services, Elematic