Reuters - Video

Edition: US | UK | IN | CN | JP

video Finance Videos

China's 'instant building'

Monday, May 14, 2012 - 02:20

May 14 - A Chinese company builds a low-carbon, three-story building from scratch in just over a week using a unique system of prefabricated modules, while its ambitious CEO says he has much larger plans. Ethan Bilby reports

▲ Hide Transcript

View Transcript

Move over IKEA. A company in China's Hunan province has devised a way to construct entire buildings using "flat-pack" methods reminiscent of the Swedish furniture chain. Broad Sustainable Buildings uses prefabricated modules to cut build times from months to days. (SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin) BROAD SUSTAINABLE BUILDING FIRST CONSTRUCTION SITE DIRECTOR XIAO CHANGGENG SAYING: "Our entire building process is extremely simple, and it doesn't require very experienced workers. It's very much like a child playing with modelling blocks." To prove it workers in the southern province- home of Chairman Mao - set out to perform their own great leap. Their aim - to erect an eco-friendly building from start to finish in just 24 hours. (SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin) DIRECTOR OF BROAD SUSTAINABLE BUILDING PRODUCT MANAGEMENT DEPARTMENT DENG YICHU SAYING: "Once all the material is on site, all we have to do is attach them together. Over 93 percent of the work is done in the factory, so there's very little work left to do on site." In theory maybe - but there's no accounting for nature - and the one day project soon missed it's deadline. But that didn't stop the construction team. Broad Sustainable Buildings was formed by Zhang Yue - a reported billionaire with an eccentric reputation. Near his company's headquarters he's built a pyramid and a statue of Napoleon in front of a replica palace of Versailles. And Zhang likes setting records. Last December his firm completed a 30 storey hotel in 15 days - after this project he's planning to construct a 220 storey building in just four months. (SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin) BROAD GROUP CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER ZHANG YUE SAYING: "In the past when we said we could build a six-storey building in a day or a 30-storey one in not much more than 10 days everyone said it was impossible, especially as we were building them very cheaply. People said, 'you're using so much so-called technology, isn't it expensive?' I said: 'firstly, I can build it that quickly, secondly, I can build it that cheaply, and thirdly, once it's built, it'll be more comfortable than the rest." He also says his buildings use just a fifth of the energy used by conventional ones. That hasn't been put to the test at this latest project yet. Once the skies cleared the main walls went up in three days with the rest of the shell taking a further five days. Still not bad for a week's work and next time they say they will take 24 hours. Ethan Bilby, Reuters

Press CTRL+C (Windows), CMD+C (Mac), or long-press the URL below on your mobile device to copy the code

China's 'instant building'

Monday, May 14, 2012 - 02:20