Europe is stand-out region for hotel room construction growth as Latin America lags
New figures documenting the construction pipeline of hotel rooms show that Europe is the fastest growing global region.
Europe reported 77,263 rooms in 495 projects under construction for the month of June. Based on number of rooms, that is a 24.0 percent increase in year-over-year comparisons.
STR’s June 2017 Pipeline Report shows 169,046 rooms in 1,100 hotel projects under contract= in Europe. The total represents a 17.5 percent increase in rooms under contract compared with June 2016.
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Under Contract data includes projects in construction, final planning and planning stages but does not include projects in the unconfirmed stage.
The strongest growing classifications of hotel room construction are in the higher end, with luxury rooms seeing a 55 percent growth. Economy room construction fell by around five percent compared with the same time last year.
Most regions around the world also recorded solid growth, with the USA growing by 12 percent, the Middle East by 15 percent and Asia Pacific by eight percent.
Latin America posted a drop of two percent and showed opposite trends to Europe. Luxury room builds dropped by 16.5 percent while economy rooms actually grew by more than 20 percent.
University of Dresden constructs carbon concrete building
The Technical University of Dresden, in partnership with German architecture firm Henn, is constructing the first building to be made out of concrete and carbon fibre, rather than traditional steel.
The combination of materials, known as, “carbon concrete” has the same structural strength as its steel-reinforced alternative but less concrete is used, according to researchers at the university.
The building, called “The Cube” is currently under construction at the University of Dresden’s campus in Germany, and is believed to be the first carbon concrete building in the world. Strengthening the concrete, the carbon fibre yarns are used to create a mesh into which the concrete is then poured.
Unlike steel, the mesh is rust-proof meaning that the lifespan of carbon concrete is longer than that of the more typical steel-reinforced concrete. This also allows the layers to be much thinner than steel.
The design and shape of The Cube
According to the companies, the flexibility of carbon fibre allows the walls to fold up and become a roof. In a statement talking about the building’s design elements, Hen said: “The design of The Cube reinterprets the fluid, textile nature of carbon fibres by seamlessly merging the ceiling and walls in a single form, suggesting a future architecture in which environmentally conscious design is paired with formal freedom and a radical rethinking of essential architectural elements.
"The wall and ceiling are no longer separate components but functionally merge into one another as an organic continuum.” Displayed as a showpiece for TU Dresden’s major project, backed by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, The Cube aims to explore the potential uses of carbon concrete in construction.
"Carbon concrete could contribute to more flexible and resource-saving construction processes, and switching to carbon concrete could reduce the CO2 emissions from construction by up to 50%," Henn said in a statement.
Bio-based carbon fibre under development to reduce carbon footprint
While carbon fibre may be lighter and stronger than steel, it has a much higher carbon footprint. Describing the material’s impact on the environment, Dr Erik Frank, Senior Carbon Scientist at the German Institute of Textile and Fibre Research Denkendorf (DITF), said it is “usually very bad.” To reduce the carbon footprint, Frank is finding ways to make carbon fibre out of lignin, a common plant-based substance found in the paper manufacturing industry.