Experts discuss concrete industry issues in Beirut
Beirut, June 22, 2014
Key issues affecting the concrete and construction industry were tackled at a leading conference hosted by Beirut last week.
The Future Concrete conference was organised by Advanced Construction and Technology Services (ACTS), a leading consulting organisation in the field of construction materials and geotechnology engineering, in co-operation with American Concrete Institute (ACI) Lebanon chapter.
The conference offered discussions on trends and developments to address the challenges affecting the local industry and key regional markets, said a statement.
Dr Bilal Hamad, mayor of Beirut, delivered the keynote speech titled ‘Beirut Disaster Risk Resilience’. He is an ACI Fellow, who is distinguished for his broad experience in the design, supervision, and construction of reinforced concrete structures in Lebanon, Jordan, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Nigeria.
Lebanese construction statistics registered moderate growth in the first quarter of the year, despite continuing unrest in the region. Building permits and cement deliveries, both considered as leading indicators of construction activity, picked up from January to March, revealing the demand trends in the real estate sector, said the statement.
The construction permits rose by 19 per cent compared to the same months last year, while cement deliveries, the co-incident indicator of building activity, grew by 7.4 per cent from last year, or a total of 1,210 thousand tonnes in January to March as against last year’s 1,127 thousand tonnes, it said.
The experts have predicted that potential developments and reconstruction in the region would provide viable opportunities in the construction, infrastructure and real estate industries in Lebanon and the neighbouring countries.
Lebanon is being provided with international funding for infrastructure developments needed to accommodate the massive influx of refugees to the country from Syria.
The United Nation’s Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia also issued a forecast that when reconstruction in Syria begins, their demand for cement will be at around some 30 million tonnes per year, which is a very substantial rise in demand that will benefit the Lebanese construction materials industry.
Khaled Awad, chairman of ACTS, said: “The cornerstone of every international Future Concrete conference is the invaluable educational experience for every attendee. We make it a point that our conference presentations, expert discussions, and even sharing best practices among peers, take learning to the next level.
"In such a dynamic industry like building and construction, it is imperative that players have the tools, strategy and knowledge to turn challenges into opportunities. These have always been readily available in Future Concrete conferences. We are undeniably proud that we are raising the bar on professionalism and expertise within the industry.”
Balamand University was proclaimed the winners of the student competition called ‘ACI Egg Protection Device,’ which engaged university students in a concrete project. - TradeArabia News Service