Construction boom expected as a result of climate change

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 27 Aug) – Engineers here say that there is a “tremendous opportunity” for construction projects in the region because of climate change.

In an interview held at the SMX Convention Center in Lanang Tuesday, Engr. Ramon Allado said climate change has given the construction industry a need to retrofit its existing structures, with the prevalence of changing climate conditions.

“To be very blunt and frank, there’s tremendous opportunity because of climate change,” Allado said. “There’s a whole new line of work that’s coming up and many people still do not realize the phenomenon.”

Allado said that some water structures in Samal Island, for example, had an elevation of 1.7 meters from the highest point of the sea water surface during high tide during the 1970s.

“Now, the water level has reached the floor of the structure,” he said.

Manolito Madrasto, executive director of the Philippine Constructors Association, added that engineers and contractors need to identify retrofitting projects, as well as the necessary technology and methods to address the problems.

Madrasto added that Filipino construction firms and architects need not look at foreign models to do this.

“We have had foreign consultants wondering why we had to abandon the nipa hut concept and shifted to concrete and galvanized iron roofings,” Madrasto said.

He said the classic nipa hut concept was the most resilient structure best fit for Filipinos for several reasons, including its conditions during hot and windy seasons, as well as its ease of rebuilding in case of being destroyed.

“We don’t need to stick with the construction lessons that the west taught us,” Madrasto said. “We should change our mindset.”

He said designers are also returning to old-school designs for structures such as high ceilings and stilts, but that these were with improvements and modifications.

Madrasto, as well as Allado, were at the press conference to promote the 5th Philconstruct Mindanao event to be held at the SMX, SM Lanang Premier on September 4 to 6.

Allado said the event would be an opportunity for new ideas such as climate change resilient structures and new materials to be exchanged between interested sellers, builders, and other stakeholders.