- The International Construction Costs Index published by Arcadis, analyses the relative costs of construction across 44 major cities, and also shows a crucial imbalance in London’s expensive construction market.
- London is the most expensive city in Europe and the second most expensive city worldwide in which to build, according to an index from a global design and consultancy business.
- At the other end the least expensive cities for construction are Taipei, Bangalore, Bangkok, Kula Lumpur, Ho Chi Min, Bucharest, Prague, Sarajevo, Sofia and Jakarta.
- Overall the top city is New York, with Hong Kong in third place followed by Geneva and Macau.
- Cost premiums in the top cities range from 40% to 60% in comparison with other European counterparts.
- For example, in South Australia and Tasmania a number of energy infrastructure construction projects are going ahead.
- This solid performance is a consequence of high levels of investment in oil and gas and energy infrastructure projects.
- Notwithstanding the aforementioned power station, it’s largely a different story in the energy and utilities construction sector, however.
- However, it isn’t stalling altogether and there are still some ongoing construction projects, including in Queensland.
- Meanwhile, a project to develop the rail infrastructure in Melbourne is continuing with an upgrade of the Cranbourne-Pakenham rail corridor.
Urban jungle: wooden high-rises change city skylines as builders ditch concrete
- Mass timber could prove to be a viable alternative to concrete and steel for mid-to-high rise buildings.
- We don’t see mass timber replacing those, it just becomes another option when certain parameters and goals apply to a project.”
- Called mass timber, the material is an umbrella term for large, solid chunks of panelized wood.
- Out of the mass timber initiative, CLT might prove to change the construction paradigm.
- Two urban building projects, in New York City and Portland, Oregon, will be changing their city’s skylines with an environmentally sustainable, cost-competitive building material.
UK’s Top Art Award, the Turner Prize, Won by Architecture Project for Derelict Houses
- The UK’s Turner Prize for 2015 has been won by Assemble, a collective group of architects that has restored derelict houses.
- The Turner is the leading award in British contemporary art, and arguably Europe’s most prestigious contemporary visual art prize, and Assemble is its first winner from the architecture and design field.
- Alex Farquharson, director of Nottingham Contemporary, has been appointed the new director of Tate Britain.
- Assemble was nominated both for this “Granby Four Streets” project as well as others.
- The total prize pool for the Turner is £40,000 (about $60,300).
ArandaLasch adds pleated concrete facade to Tom Ford store
- US firm Aranda\Lasch has completed a store for fashion designer Tom Ford in the Miami Design District, featuring an angular facade that references bold Art Deco motifs (+ slideshow).
- Robins, co-founder of the Design Miami fair, is turning the area into a neighbourhood dedicated to fashion, design, architecture and dining spaces.
- Inside the Tom Ford store, menswear and womenswear are split up over the two floors.
- The architecture studio – which recently designed looping Railing chairs made of metal pipes for Design Miami – referenced patterns and shapes typical on the Art Deco-period architecture around Miami in its design for building’s facade.
- “Inspired by the pleated Art Deco patterns found in architecture and fashion, the facade is given a texture that revives the exuberance and ornament of Miami’s golden era,” the studio told Dezeen.
SSAB to Initiate Negotiations to Reduce Workforce in Finland
- SSAB is to initiate employer-employee negotiations regarding a potential reduction in the workforce at SSAB Europe division’s production site in Raahe and in the Ruukki Construction division.
- SSAB Europe has responsibility for strip, plate and tubular products in Europe, and global profit responsibility for the Automotive segment.
- The negotiations will affect around 2,900 employees in Finland and there is a need to reduce the workforce by a maximum of 295 persons.
- The negotiations at the Raahe site affect the entire personnel, 2,455 persons: all employees in production and support functions at SSAB Europe, SSAB Special Steels and group functions.
- The negotiations at Ruukki Construction aim to reduce costs by a total of at least SEK 200 million on a permanent annual basis.
China completes construction of lighthouses in disputed South China Sea
- China has completed the construction of two lighthouses in the disputed South China Sea, the official Xinhua news agency reported, as tensions in the region mount over Beijing’s maritime ambitions.
- A completion ceremony was held for the lighthouses on Huayang Reef and Chigua Reef in the Spratly islands, Xinhua said late on Friday.
- China claims most of the energy-rich South China Sea, through which $5 trillion in ship-borne trade passes every year, and the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan and Brunei have overlapping claims.
- Beijing has said construction in the region is to help maritime search and rescue, disaster relief, environmental protection and navigational security.
- The issue is central to increasingly tense relations between the United States and China, the world’s two largest economies.
FitzSimons’s installation is meant to explore how we “view, think and dream” about homes
- Chicago Architecture Biennial 2015: a stark installation on the Chicago lakefront by artist Sarah FitzSimons features the outline of a traditional two-storey American house (+ slideshow).
- Her work has been exhibited in cities around the US.
House is on view in Chicago through 25 October.
- Titled House, the structure sits on a beach along Lake Michigan, with a part of it submerged in water.
- The temporary installation has no roof, walls, nor cladding – leaving it intentionally open to the elements.
- FitzSimons used aluminium poles and joints to create the outline of a typical two-storey home found in the American Midwest.
Renewable energy outstrips coal for first time in UK electricity mix
- Ageing coal and nuclear plants have been closing in recent years, while renewable energy has been rapidly rolling out.
- Renewable energy has for the first time surpassed coal in supplying the UK’s electricity for a whole quarter, according to government statistics released on Thursday.
- However, the government’s energy statistics released on Thursday said demand “fell by 2% continuing the recent downward trend”.
- Nuclear power was third with 21.5% and coal – the most polluting fuel – fell back to fourth, with 20.5%.
- Gas-fired power stations provided the most electricity – 30% – with renewables second.
One third of US construction market could be green by 2018 – report
- Green building construction is on track to make up a quarter of the US construction market this year, according to a new report from the US Green Business Council (USGBC) released this week.
- It forecasts the green building construction market will grow 15.1% annually – outpacing the 9% expected growth in overall construction starts this year – from $150.6bn in 2015 to $224.4bn in 2018.
- By 2018, more than one third of all construction will be green, the report predicts.
“Estimates of the economic impact of green building construction for 2015-18 show a significant increase in impact on GDP, jobs and labor earnings as compared to 2011-14,” the report’s authors wrote.
- From 2015 to 2018, green building is expected to support 3.9m jobs, bring $268bn to industry workers and add $303bn to the GDP, according to the report.
- It defined green building as construction that is sensitive to site placement, resources use and indoor air quality, among other factors.