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The offsite revolution in Construction : The Advantages

The offsite revolution in Construction : The Advantages

The construction industry is a paradox. The annual global growth rate is more than 3%, but the sector is in crisis: prices are soaring, jobs remain unfilled, and demand far outstrips supply. The crisis can be attributed to one broad shortcoming: unlike almost every other industry, construction has been reluctant to modernize and thereby boost its productivity. The car factory of 2019 looks nothing like the car factory of 1919, whereas the construction site has hardly changed during that time. Of course, construction is not easily amenable to mass production, but it could certainly exploit modern industrial techniques more than it does. Offsite construction, or “prefabrication,” is the key: c... »

Greening the concrete jungle

Greening the concrete jungle

The production of steel, cement and aluminium collectively accounts for about 15% of global greenhouse gas emissions and demand for the industrial materials is on the rise. A handful of pilots are underway to develop zero or nearly-zero carbon versions of these carbon-heavy materials, but the pace of change is hampered by a dearth of investment. Here is a look at some innovative pilots across the aluminum, steel and cement industries: Aluminum According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), the energy intensity of aluminum production declined by 1.7% in 2016, compared to a 1.9% annual reduction from 2010 to 2016. The IEA is calling for an annual decline of 1.2% to reach Sustainable Devel... »

The South African Construction Industry – Some things to think about and act on!

The South African Construction Industry – Some things to think about and act on!

The current state of the South African construction industry is testament to the devastating effects of poor management, ineffective, self-serving leadership and the lack of collective vision as to what our future holds or could hold. I am not a politician and so I will stay away from the Governments lack of investment in infrastructure as that topic has been thrashed around for a long time and quite frankly once we have placed or mark on the ballot papers all we can do is hope for an investor friendly, safe living and working environment and demand accountability for service delivery that we expect from central and local government, failing which, we vote them out at the next election. Let’... »

13 Facts About the Chinese Dam That Slowed the Earth’s Rotation

13 Facts About the Chinese Dam That Slowed the Earth’s Rotation

The Three Gorges Dam is one of the most ambitious and equally controversial projects on the planet. Here are thirteen facts about Three Gorges Dam to help you decide whether this is an efficient man-made monument to innovation, or a destructive monstrosity? The Dam Was Originally Sun Yat-Sen’s Idea Often considered the father of modern China, Sun Yat-sen originally proposed the idea of the Three Gorges Dam all the way back in early 1919. Overthrowing China’s Manchu dynasty in 1922,  Sun Yat-sen sparked the revolution that would plant the seeds of what would eventually become the Republic of China. In an article titled, “A Plan to Development Industry”, Sun Yat-Sen proposed the idea of ... »

Hardhat Economic weekly review

Hardhat Economic weekly review

According to Stats SA, real GDP declined by a much larger-than-expected 3.2% q-o-q (annualised) in 2019Q1. This marks the biggest contraction since the global financial crisis. Compared with the first quarter of 2018, real GDP growth (seasonally adjusted) was basically flat at 0.1%. Measured from the production side, the GDP weakness was broadbased. Indeed, seven of the ten major sectors contracted in Q1. As signalled by the monthly Stats SA data, the major contributors to the GDP decline were manufacturing, mining and the trade (retail, wholesale, hotels and restaurants) sectors. From the demand side, the theme of industry weakness is borne out by the sharp decline in exports during Q1, as ... »

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