A material used in building aircraft is being utilised by the property sector to construct low-cost structures (AFP)
Advanced materials used to make new-generation jets are coming down to earth to replace concrete and steel on construction sites.
A revolutionary new building nearing completion in Abu Dhabi is composed of sandwich panels containing the types of synthetic composites used in the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and Airbus 350. The building on Reem Island will be the corporate offices of real estate company Tameer Holding, which is developing a Dh7 billion complex there.
The cost-cutting technology means developments can be finished more quickly. It has been brought to the region by InnoVida, a multinational company that manufactures the panels, in association with UAE-based Al Safeer Group.
The ultra-strong sandwich panels are made with layers of fibreglass, resin and polyurethane and provide superior thermal and sound insulation.
Dr Abdallah Shaaban, CEO of Tameer Abu Dhabi, said the InnoVida technology will have a far-reaching impact on the booming construction industry. It will reduce the dependence on cement, wood and steel while enabling safe, environment-friendly construction, and required less labour than traditional materials.
“We hope our building on Al Reem Island, the first such structure, will inspire other builders to adapt to this technology, which will go a long way towards saving energy and cutting construction time,” added Dr Shaaban.
InnoVida says its product offers solutions to the real-estate market by cutting construction time and bringing down costs without compromising the quality and safety of structures.
Caludio Osorio, the company’s Chairman and CEO, said: “The technology ensures cost and time-efficient housing solutions.
“The panels reduce the need for heavy machinery, cutting the level of risk at sites and speeding up the construction process. The panels fuse together into a single block to make the buildings waterproof.
“By using this technology, structures – homes, offices and warehouses – can be erected without foundations, columns or a roof structure.” In addition the panels’ superior insulation qualities provide improved preservation of room temperatures, ensuring energy savings of up to 70 per cent during summer days when the mercury soars.
InnoVida came under the global spotlight last month when a 15-metre pyramid made of its panels was unveiled in London’s Hyde Park.
The structure was built to mark the opening of the Tutankhamen and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs exhibition. It was constructed with the same composite materials that InnoVida uses in its residential and commercial construction projects.
InnoVida panels can withstand winds of up to 300kmph and are waterproof.