Iskan Oman and SEZAD to build academic city in Duqm
Iskan Oman Investment Company has joined forces with SEZAD (the Special Economic Zone Authority at Duqm) which will see the development and construction of an integrated academic city featuring a range of higher education colleges.
The master planning of the area has been revealed and is set to include a wide range of residential, commercial and hospitality units, in addition to varying educational facilities.
The main college will be set at the core of the project. This will be established in a phased manner by Iskan Oman located in the Special Economic Zone at Duqm (SEZD). It’s been announced that the first programme will be launched next year.
This isn’t the first time Iskan Oman Investment Company has invested in the Special Economic Zone at Duqm. The company developed a large healthcare facility in the area, which has now operated for three years.
Iskan Oman expresses interests in various key sectors including real estate, infrastructure and of course, education. The company benefits from a diversified base of shareholders from Oman and Kuwait.
Vice-Chairman of Iskan Investment Board of Directors, Sheikh Ahmed bin Sultan Al Yaqoubi, used the project as an example of the company’s top priority of investing responsibly.
The company was founded over a decade ago. Since 2008 the company has invested in a large number of projects with a primary focus on schools, real estate and healthcare facilities.
Chairman of MEEV, Dr Abdullah Al Sabahi, said: “We are keen on establishing centres for competence, a centre for marine science and a centre for logistics and renewable energy”. He then concluded: “The purpose of these centres is to promote research commercialisation, build capacity and bring solutions to the social and industrial requirements”.
ReCreate project reuses concrete in new buildings
Reconciling the carbon conundrum in construction will not be a quick fix but researchers at Finland's Tampere University may have hit on a way of deconstructing concrete elements and reusing them in new buildings.
Its four-year ReCreate project, which has received €12.5 million of funding under the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme, involves universities and regional company clusters in Finland, Sweden, the Netherlands, and Germany. All the country clusters will carry out their own pilot projects where they deconstruct precast concrete elements intact and reuse them in a new building.
“By reusing concrete elements, we can save an enormous amount of energy and raw materials,” says Satu Huuhka, adjunct professor at the Faculty of Built Environment at Tampere University, who leads the ReCreate project. “We are specifically looking to reuse the concrete elements as a whole, not as a raw material for something new."
Researchers at the Faculty of Built Environment have been carrying out ground-breaking research into the circular economy in the construction sector for a decade.
Long-term research on renovation and the lifecycle engineering of structures provides a solid foundation for the development of quality assurance procedures that will ensure the safety and integrity of the reused elements. This time, the researchers are set to explore not only the technical implementation of the solutions but also the business perspective.
Huuhka acknowledges there are many unanswerered questions, from assessing structural integrity to building code requirements - and ultimately how to turn ReCreate into a viable business. "We must also consider the social aspects: does the process require new skills or new ways of working?” he adds.
Tampere University researchers will also bring to the project their specialist expertise in circular economy business models, building regulations and law, and occupational sociology. The Finnish country cluster comprises Tampere University, Skanska, demolition company Umacon, precast concrete company Consolis Parma, engineering and consultancy company Ramboll, architecture firm Liike Oy Arkkitehtistudio and the City of Tampere. The communications partner is the Croatia Green Building Council.
Buildings generate nearly 40% of GHG emissions and the rising pace of construction - up to 2 trillion square feet could be added by 2060 - means finding a sustainable concrete solution is essential.
Graphene concrete on firm foundations, CarbonCure accelerates growth and Nexii expands in US
Nationwide Engineering is claiming a world first today as it lays the world's first graphene concrete slab engineered for sustainability in a commercial setting. The new material is strengthened by around 30% compared to standard concrete and so significantly cutting material use.
It has partnered with the University of Manchester's Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre and structural engineers HBPW Consulting; graphene is an allotrope of carbon and the resulting mix with concrete produces a substance that area for area, is stronger than steel, it claims.
CarbonCure manufactures a technology for the concrete industry that introduces recycled CO₂ into fresh concrete to reduce its carbon footprint without compromising performance. It was named one of two winners in the US$20 million NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE and the money will be used to accelerate its mission of reducing 500 million tonnes of carbon emissions annually by 2030. Carbon Cure believes the use of CO2 in concrete is expected to become a US$400 billion market opportunity.
Nexii designs and manufactures high-performance buildings and green building products that are sustainable, cost-efficient and resilient in the face of climate change. It recently teamed up with actor and Pittsburgh native Michael Keaton, who will have an ownership stake and play an active role in Nexii’s upcoming manufacturing plant, which will be its second in the United States and sixth overall.