Flexible technologies give room for dreams

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Flexible technologies give room for dreams

Where the needs and traditions of building construction create a framework, flexible technologies give room for dreams. We all have visions – how our home, our city, our country, or the whole world could be better, more inspiring, and more convenient for us to live in. What is it that turns other building visions into reality while other dreams are gone with the wind? It is the ability to manage all the details while keeping in mind the big picture. It is about using the know-how to select the right building technologies, the right materials, and the right people.

Why, to whom and when? The answers to these questions must be known when starting a building construction project. By asking ourselves “how” gives us the possibility to spread our wings and see the familiar landscape from a new perspective.”It is crucial to remember that there is always a reason – often more than one – for constructing. Only after we understand the actual needs of all those participating, and also the constraints of local culture, can we decide on the best technologies,” says Olli Korander, Senior Advisor in the precast business field. According to Korander, who has a long and extensive history in the precast business, the best solutions are the result of a powerful vision that adapts to local culture. They are carried out with the most suitable technology and profit all the parties in the project. ”I want to claim that precast can be the answer. In my experience, it is suitable as a building technology in massive projects but also in projects on a smaller scale. It is obvious that technologies need to be flexible, transformable, and always developing. Nonetheless, visions need space and the freedom to blossom. Thinking about details comes after that.” Precast answers the challenges that arise from the multiple needs of project owners, designers, builders, and end-users. ”In practice, precast gives considerable freedom to architects when it comes to lay-outs, shapes, and colors. The use of one building can also be diversified. By using the same means of production, you are able to generate very different products. And the other way round – there are different sorts of solutions to produce the same elements. This is very economical, as it stabilizes the workload in production. In emerging markets, for example, precast technology enables a wide range of element products as the needs of the market are just taking shape.” Korander reminds us that local traditions in the construction business are often very conservative and it will take time to reform them. However, housing needs, especially in emerging markets, can’t be fulfilled without modern and systematic building and production methods. ”Conservatism is understandable when thinking about the life cycle of buildings. Furthermore, everyone knows that traditions in architecture can be unique and cherished. Technologies can be developed rather rapidly, but we must realize that they need to adapt to local traditions for a long period of time.” Korander sees increasing prefabrication as a future trend caused by the demands of the modern construction business and quality-conscious end-users.”No matter which building technology is used, industrialized building will increase. There is always demand for more thorough, precise and efficient design, planning, and production. Industrialized building is a powerful tool when organizations want to increase the predictability of their construction business.” No matter which phase of the market or the size of project, precast can always be the most economical and practical solution for building construction. It is ideal choice in all kinds of climates, from freezing to hot, and even in extreme conditions. As Korander explains, “Earthquakes during past years have raised important discussions on the adequate quality of constructions in seismic areas. Research has shown that precast is a very considerable building technology also in seismic areas, but what is needed to make it safe is professional planning and systematic production processes.” Olli Korander, M.Sc (Civil Engineering) is Senior Advisor in the precast business field, former Managing Director of Consolis Technology Oy Ab, the R&D development company inside Consolis. Olli Korander has a long and impressive history in the precast concrete business. At the beginning of 1980s he started working for Partek, whose element business within years expanded into Consolis. Olli Korander has several positions of trust: he is a board member at, for example, BIBM (Bureau International du Béton Manufacturé), IPHA (International Prestressed Hollowcore Association), and SFS (Finnish Standards Association). ”Participating in associations has offered a wide network of international professionals and their knowledge and know-how”, says Korander. Olli Korander (60) now works part-time. When he’s not working, he likes to spend his time in nature with a camera. ”Landscapes in Africa have made a great impression on me, but there are beautiful and interesting objects to photograph everywhere,” he says. See Olli Korander’s breathtaking pictures at www.korander.kuvat.fi

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