Posts tagged ‘Construction’


Glass loos with a view open in China – BBC News

Whatever will the Chinese think of next?

China’s recent obsession with glass tourist attractions has gone round the U-bend with the opening of some see-through treetop public toilets.

The loos, near Shiyan Lake in southern Hunan province, have fabulous views of both the forest below and other people using the facilities.

Cubicle walls, even those between the men’s and women’s sections, are only separated by lightly frosted glass.

But state media said few visitors dared use the loos on their opening day.

Image copyrightBARCROFT IMAGESImage caption

Shy users of the urinals may take comfort from the privacy barriers between them, though not in the fact they are made of glass

Despite a boom in the construction of glass bridges and walkways in scenic locations in China in recent years – in some cases so popular they had to be closed – these are thought to be the first entirely glass public bathrooms in the country.

However, it not the first time those busting to go have been exposed a little more than they might like by the enthusiasm for glass.

There were reports recently of some male toilets in a university dorm in Hunan which included one very public cubicle.

Image copyrightBARCROFTImage captionUnusually, a head for heights is a requirement for a job as a cleaner there

Image copyrightBARCROFTImage caption Awkward: cubicle walls are only lightly-frosted, even between the men’s and women’s sections

News of the wide-view WCs at Shiyan Lake sparked a range of reactions online.Responding to a Facebook post about it by state television channel CCTV, Ejike Nnadi summed up the feelings of many: “Hell no.”

Others were more taken by the idea. “You’ll be surprised by what you can tolerate when you really, really need to go,” said one post.

Another nodded towards another modern use for restrooms: “I’d be in there ’til my battery hit zero if there was signal in there!”

Image copyrightBARCROFTImage captionThe well-lit lavs are built on a steep hillside

Tina Chen took a dimmer view of all such projects though. “(It) is not about being shy, just again someone had extra money to waste.”

Image copyrightGETTY IMAGESImage caption Unusual glass structures have provided popular photo ops for tourists across China

Awkward or not, it is hoped that these bathrooms for the brave will encourage tourists to visit the countryside around Changsha city and admire the spectacular autumn colours of its forests.

Source: Glass loos with a view open in China – BBC News


China’s Construction Workers: Abused and Unpaid – Businessweek

China’s millions of migrant construction workers are building the country’s new highways, stadiums, shopping malls, and rail lines. They often get little in return—sometimes not even their paychecks.

Migrant workers in Beijing

A new survey of 4,329 construction workers by two Chinese nonprofits, the Beijing Practitioner Cultural Development & Research Center for Migrant Workers and iLabor, found that only 5 percent of migrant laborers are offered work contracts. Most take ad hoc jobs, relying on the word of site managers about when and how much they will be paid. The survey documented at least 138 cases over seven years of companies failing to pay any workers on a site.

Zhang Kejian has worked as a construction laborer for 14 years. Every year he has been on the job, he’s had to contend with late or unpaid wages, as he told Caixin magazine. “I hope our society can be aware of what we’re going through,” he said, “and help us with a contract instead of making us slaves of our bosses.”

via China’s Construction Workers: Abused and Unpaid – Businessweek.


Houses in Shanghai are not built, they’re printed[1]-

A Chinese company recently built 10 full-sized houses using a giant printer.

Houses in Shanghai are not built, they're printed

The detached, one-story houses now standing in the Shanghai Hi-Tech Industrial Park, in the city’s Qingpu district, look like ordinary buildings. But they were “printed out” in less than a day with “contour crafting“, commonly known as 3-D printing technology.

‘Mirror’ perfect fit for shoppers  Four huge printers measuring 32 meters long, 10 meters wide and 6.6 meters tall were used to make the houses, which were built layer by layer.

“It’s not only cost-effective but also environmentally friendly,” said Ma Yihe, inventor of the printers, who is also president of the Shanghai Winsun decoration and design company.

“Unlike traditional construction, the new technology doesn’t produce any waste,” said Ma, who has been working in the 3-D printing construction industry for 12 years.

The materials used to make the houses are a mixture of quick-drying cement and recycled industrial waste, which help lower construction costs by up to 50 percent. For the moment, the company is keeping the recipe for the cement a secret.

Meanwhile, the houses can withstand just about any safety test, Ma said.

via Houses in Shanghai are not built, they’re printed[1]-


China’s Next Great Water Project Uproots More Than 330,000 – Businessweek

China’s track record for forced relocations that accompany large infrastructure projects is dismal. Many of the 1.3 million people relocated during the construction of Three Gorges Dam in the 1990s and early 2000s were moved from ancestral villages and farmland, where they could profitably grow crops, to newly (often shoddily) built apartments, with no job training or employment help. The result: vanished earnings and increased social dislocation.

A child standing next to his family's possessions as residents in central China's Henan province make way for the South-to-North Water Diversion Project in 2010

So far, it appears that the relocation of more than 330,000 people during the ongoing construction of the South-to-North Water Transfer Project is somewhat better planned, although still deeply flawed. Beijing News looked at the fate of approximately 70,000 people relocated from homes in Hubei Province for the construction of the middle leg of the project, which aims to redirect water from China’s lush south to its arid north. The local government seems to be more aware of the importance of protecting migrants’ livelihoods, but that awareness hasn’t yielded simple solutions.

“It isn’t easy to tell people they must leave their homes,” Gufang Yan, a staffer at the Nanzhang Bureau of Immigration, told the newspaper. “Nobody gave us information about how to find a job; we did not know anything about recruitment,” said a man named Chen Yan, who was relocated for the project four years ago. He eventually managed to find work near his new home repairing cars, and he learned on the job.

via China’s Next Great Water Project Uproots More Than 330,000 – Businessweek.


Frugality bites as China curbs construction of government buildings | Reuters

China plans to curb construction of unapproved government buildings, amid a national campaign against wasteful spending and graft, according to an updated draft regulation published by the State Council, the country’s cabinet.

The Communist Party has been eager to project a frugal image since Xi Jinping became president last year, renewing efforts to stamp out corruption and win back public confidence after an endless series of scandals involving high-living officials.

Under the draft laws, any construction of government offices must be accompanied by feasibility reports and design blueprints, and will require official approvals before construction can begin, state news agency Xinhua reported on Thursday, citing the Legislative Affairs Office of the State Council.

“Buildings with reception functions such as accommodation, meetings and banquets, including those in the name of ‘training centers,’ are off limits,” it said.

The regulation will also ban any form of loans from financial institutes, sponsorships and fund-raising for unapproved construction projects.

via Frugality bites as China curbs construction of government buildings | Reuters.


Maoists torch 10 vehicles of road construction company in Bihar – The Times of India

MUZAFFARPUR: Armed Maoists torched ten vehicles of a private road construction company at a village in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur district.

About 200 armed Maoists stormed the workshop of the JMB construction company at Misraulia village late Friday night and vandalized the camp before torching ten vehicles, Senior Superintendent of Police Saurabh Kumar said.

The attack took place as they did not fulfil their demand for levy, he said.

Kumar said a case has been registered against unidentified Maoists in this connection.

via Maoists torch 10 vehicles of road construction company in Bihar – The Times of India.

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China starts 5-year ban on new gov’t buildings

First ostentatious spending, then came curtailment of banquets and now building construction. China is ratcheting up its austerity drive.  But one wonders if this is countering the efforts to re-vitalise the economy.

Xinhua: “Central authorities on Tuesday introduced a five-year ban on the construction of new government buildings as part of an ongoing frugality campaign.

Building construction

Building construction (Photo credit: Toban B.)

The General Office of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and the General Office of the State Council jointly issued a directive that calls for an across-the-board halt to the construction of any new government buildings in the coming five years.

The ban also covers expensive structures built as training centers or hotels.

The directive said some departments and localities have built government office compounds in violation of regulations.

The directive called on all CPC and government bodies to be frugal and ensure that government funds and resources be spent on developing the economy and boosting the public’s well-being.

According to the directive, the construction, purchase, restoration or expansion of office compounds that is done in the guise of building repair or urban planning is strictly forbidden.

The directive also bans CPC and government organizations from receiving any form of construction sponsorship or donations, as well as collaborating with enterprises, in developing construction projects.

While allowing restoration projects for office buildings with dated facilities, the directive stresses that such projects must be exclusively aimed at erasing safety risks and restoring office functions.

According to the instruction, such projects must be approved first by related administrative departments and luxury interior decoration is prohibited, with criteria and spending to be set in accordance with local conditions.

The directive stipulates that expenditures on office building restoration should be included in CPC and government budgets.

According to the instruction, buildings with reception functions, such as those related to accommodation, meetings and catering, should not be restored.

The directive orders all CPC and government departments to rectify the misuse of office buildings, including those that are used for functions that have not been approved.

The directive says CPC and government officials with multiple posts should be each given only one office, while offices for those who have retired or taken leave should be returned in time.

Local authorities should establish or perfect the management of government buildings by strictly verifying the buildings’ size, according to the directive.

Departments that have moved to renovated or newly-built locations should transfer the original office blocks to government office administrators in a timely fashion, according to the directive.

Departments and units at all levels should address the office shortage caused by adding new institutions by themselves. If the additions do not meet their needs, government office administrators should adjust existing resources to solve the shortage, according to the directive.

Strict approval procedures are also required for renting new office blocks, according to the directive.

“Banning the building of new government buildings is important for building a clean government and also a requirement for boosting CPC-people ties and maintaining the image of the CPC and the government,” according to the circular.”

via China starts 5-year ban on new gov’t buildings – Xinhua |


* Chinese company plans to build world’s tallest skyscraper – in just THREE MONTHS

Given the prediction that China’s urban population will continue to expand as more rural workers migrate to cities seeking jobs and a better life, this kind of ‘system building’ may be the answer.

Daily Mail: “A construction company yesterday revealed plans to build the world’s tallest skyscraper – in just three months.

Massive: An artist's impression of the planned 220-storey Sky City building planned for Changsha, south-east China. The mammoth building is planned to be built in only three months

Sky City in Changsha, south-east China, will be a 220-storey structure standing at an incredible 2,749ft (838m).

It will house 17,400 people and also boast hotels, hospitals, schools and office space with occupants using 104 high-speed lifts to get around.

Massive: An artist’s impression of the planned 220-storey Sky City building planned for Changsha, south-east China. The mammoth building is planned to be built in only three months

The half-mile high superstructure will be 32ft taller than the Burj Khalifa in Dubai – the current tallest building – and is expected to cost almost half as much.

It will dwarf the Shard in London, standing more than 530m above the western Europe’s tallest building and, when completed, will mean nine of the 10 tallest skyscrapers in the world are in Asia.


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But the most impressive thing about Sky City is that its designers, Chinese-based Broad Group, plan to start and finish it in just 90 days.

This astonishing pace, which will see five storeys go up a day, is down to the revolutionary method of prefabricated building where blocks are built off site and slotted together to save time.

Despite concerns about its structural rigidity, Broad Group says the half-mile high building will be able to withstand a magnitude 9.0 earthquake.

The idea isn’t pie in the sky thinking either, with Broad making headlines last year when they built a 30-storey building in 15 days.”

via Chinese company plans to build world’s tallest skyscraper – in just THREE MONTHS | Mail Online.


* China starts construction on 5.8 mln low-income housing units

Xinhua: “China started building 5.8 million low-income housing units in the first seven months of this year, the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development said Friday.

Construction on 3.6 million affordable homes has been basically completed in the period, the ministry said in a brief statement on its website.

The government vowed to start construction on more than 7 million low-income housing units this year, part of its five-year plan to build 36 million such units by 2015.

The government has stepped up its efforts in the construction of affordable housing in recent years, aiming to cool the country’s runaway property prices.”

via China starts construction on 5.8 mln low-income housing units – Xinhua |

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