Precast construction brings speed and efficiency to reconstruction areas where there is a high demand for new housing and infrastructure. Elematic built the world’s largest precast factory in Bismayah, Iraq, according to the supplier. When reconstruction begins post-crisis, there is an immense demand for swift housing construction.
“Traditional construction methods need a lot of labor and using too many resources can also slow down the construction process. This is one of the main reasons why precast construction is highlighted whenever major disruptions occur,” says Petteri Laitinen, VP of Projects and Services at Elematic.
The Bismayah New City Program (BNCP) is a prime example of large-scale precast deployment. BNCP, an Iraqi Reconstruction Commission project located southeast of Baghdad, boasts 100,000 residential units accommodating up to 600,000 people. Elematic played a crucial role in Bismayah by building the world’s largest precast factory, significantly reducing the project’s building time.
“Speedy delivery was crucial due to the project’s scale and tight schedule. Elematic met this demand using a flexible production model, temporarily setting up production units in Finland,” Laitinen says. “Nowadays, we can also utilize our production facilities in India and China in such cases.”
Partnership with many years of experience in the region
Sweco, an engineering and architecture consultancy, is a long-time partner with Elematic. Their combined experience in the region enabled them to find a sustainable, high-quality, and cost-effective solution for rebuilding Bismayah.
“We have a decades-long experience from the region of Iraq, so we knew quite well which solutions work in the area and which do not,” says Lasse Rajala, Business Area Director at Sweco Finland Ltd.
Rajala emphasizes that construction is inherently local, necessitating a thorough consideration of local conditions and, accordingly, the derivation of optimal solutions. “In Iraq, for example, one of the key factors affecting the implementation method and solutions in the Bismayah project was the extremely hot climate during the summer season.”
The tightly run Bismayah project showcased Elematic’s capabilities globally. Looking ahead, Rajala believes Finnish precast expertise has great potential for more significant exports. He sees Ukraine as a promising market, especially after presenting Sweco’s experiences at the ReBuild Ukraine conference. “We made a lot of new connections at the conference. Background work for reconstruction is already underway and progressing well, although it is still relatively invisible at this point. Ukraine is a familiar area for both of us, and we are also happy to help there in finding best practices for high-quality and sustainable reconstruction,” Rajala says.
Similarly, Laitinen sees the high quality of precast technology as an asset in the long run, even if the customers’ initial need is just to quickly provide housing. “In the future, the same carefully chosen production line can be used to manufacture elements for other buildings. The production of a precast concrete plant is not limited to just inexpensive and simple elements, but the same technology can also be used to construct impressive and architecturally demanding buildings such as shopping centers, theaters, and so on.”
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