Tuesday, 23 October 2012, 05:11 GMT
A house that consumes 30% less energy

A view of Erbil's international exhibition held last week./GLOBE PHOTO/Safin Hamid

The Kurdish Globe

"Construction is 3.5 times faster using our blocks,"

New construction materials and technologies were showcased at the Erbil International Fair, which was held between October 15 and 18, 2012.

Among these materials was a gas block product that is said to save more than 30% of energy consumption, while consuming 3.5 times less construction time than the normal concrete blocks commonly used in Kurdistan Region.

This kind of block is produced by mixing lime, stone, cement and aluminum powder with water, which, after interaction creates air bubbles inside the block and hence increases its isolation power.

This product is not only used as a block, but can also be used for ready-made walls and roofs. In such cases steel bars are used to reinforce the concrete.

The block can be cut into pieces using a saw and hence reshaped according to different needs.

This product has been used for more than 60 years in Europe and has been introduced to the Middle East. However, this is still new to Kurdistan Region.

The German company exhibiting this product in the fair was looking for a local investor interested in buying the machinery and establishing a factory in the region.

Michael Diesing, sales manager of the German manufacturer says that their products can bring about a revolution in in Kurdistan Region's construction sector.

"Construction is 3.5 times faster using our blocks," says Diesing.
"This means that it can save labor costs and time."

Because the block is very light compared to the traditional concrete block, its transportation is easier and less costly. Moreover, it has less waste, all of which, according to Diesing, mean less overall cost.

Diesing also argues if the amount of energy saving is calculated, the overall cost of construction using this kind of block would be less than the traditional blocks. But the purchase price of Diesing's products is higher than that of concrete blocks.

Statistics show that some 80% of the monies households spend on electricity and fuel goes to cooling and heating their houses.

By using modern technologies and material in construction, people can save significant amounts of energy and its associated costs. Moreover, they would also protect the environment by reducing pollution caused by electricity generation and burning fuel for heating.