Project Iraq 2012, an international trade exhibition organized in Erbil between 17 and 20th of September, provided the opportunity for many foreign businesses to showcase their cutting-edge technologies, products and services to the new and rapidly booming economy of Kurdistan that can consume much more than what these exhibitors could imagine.
Construction companies from around the world have showcased their construction materials and technologies in an attempt to develop business while helping the region construct better, faster and less expensive buildings.
One of the exhibitors at the fair brought a new kind of block that are much lighter than the normal concrete blocks currently used in more than 90% of houses in Kurdistan. This block has a very high isolation power and saves up to 32% of energy.
This kind of block is called Cellular Lightweight Concrete (CLC) and is very common in developed countries, but this was its first introduction to the Kurdish market.
An Iranian company introduced this block, which was originally brought from Russia to Iran. This block is still not produced in the region. However, in the Chinese section of the fair, a Chinese-Canadian company showcased a modern foam sandwich panel wall that is much more resistant and has high sound and heat isolation power.
Another company occupied a booth in the exhibition to attract people who are tired of running after numerous construction workers and companies for building their houses.
This company offers construction services at an extremely high speed. For a typical residential house, the company only needs a blueprint and two weeks to deliver the key to the client.
For people like Yas Khidhir, a local man from Erbil who has spent 11 months attempting to construct his 200 square meter house, this technology is like a dream.
"The bricklayer gets sick twice a week or two of his family members and relatives pass away, or he is attending a funeral," said Khidhir who claimed that all these were justifications used to allow the worker time to finish his other pending works.
A video played on the screen of a German company's stand showed how robots produce the walls which are numbered for ease of assembly in a very fast and accurate manner.
According to Zaid Musa, the manager of the company, they can complete the framework of the building in one day.
"This method is 80% faster, 70% less labor-intensive and 20% less expensive compared to other traditional construction methods," Musa explained to the Globe.