Forget Palm Island, it’s so last decade. The latest artificial island for Premiership football players to grab a pied-à-terre on is Khazar Islands, underway in the Caspian Sea near Baku in Azerbaijan. The world’s land mass is set to grow by an extra 2,000ha once the project is completed in 2020.
Funded by local investment firm Avesta Group, Khazar Islands will feature 40 islands connected by 66 suspension bridges, a 1km-high tower, more than 150 schools, numerous hospitals, and clusters of parks, shops, and cultural centres. It’s projected to house more than a million people and the first residents will be able to move in as soon as next year. Let’s hope global warming doesn’t have other plans.
CM regularly receives press releases with photos about newcomers joining the industry. But this image from Wates Living Space stood out: the trainees on its Building Futures Course in Stepney, East London, have been expertly captured by photographer Daniel Lewis. The group of unemployed people were given the chance to learn plumbing, carpentry and plastering skills, and they certainly look like they’ve just won a round on The Apprentice. Wates launched the Building Futures initiative in 2006 to help people living near its building projects and so far 530 people have benefited from it.
Judging by the level of searches made on alibaba.com, there’s growing interest from the UK on importing prefab homes, with the number of searches 48% higher in 2011 than 2010. The site’s statistics also show 81% of the prefab homes purchased through alibaba.com globally originate in China. So if you’re thinking of buying one, check the assembly instructions come in English.
Alibaba also reports an increase in general construction product inquiries from the UK, up 51% in 2011 compared to 2010. UK buyers’ online shopping lists are topped by tiles, doors, marble, metal building materials and toilets. A healthy sign of a globalised economy, or a warning to check the provenance of materials on your site?
Last month Breyer Group, based in Romford, Essex, became the first main contractor to sign up over 100 sites to the National Community Wood Recycling Project, a timber recycling service run as a network of social enterprises. It’s designed to ensure waste timber is reused rather than being “downcycled” into chip or ending up at landfill.
Since Breyer joined in 2008, more than 1,321 tonnes of wood waste has been rescued from its sites, almost 32% of which been offered back to the community for DIY and building work. Breyer out-recycled all the 39 other contractors signed up to the scheme, including 14 major contractors. Congratulations!