Professional Practice
Homebuilding in China
Who are the major players in Chinese homebuilding industry (like- architects, civil engineers, etc.)?
How are various trades (e.g. roofing, carpentry, electrical works, insulation, etc) practiced in costruction? Are these tasks accomplished by fragmented, low-skilled laborers/contractors, or through specialized companies?
What are the current trends?
P Das
Homebuilding in China
Also, what is the future of wood-frame construction in China?
P Das
Homebuilding in China
Prashant, Probably no future, because the Chinese have bull-dozed numerous traditional compound houses in order to put up modern concrete buildings.

"Concrete rules" is the rule (hey, a pun) rather than the exception today. :(
Frank John Snelling
Homebuilding in China
I would slightly differ on this, Frank.
Though they appear really small in proportion, wooden frame construction did have a start in China already. Some provinces have developed wooden building codes with the help of North American experts. Also, Wooden construction goes with the Chinese commitment for sustainable development.
P Das
Homebuilding in China
hello Prahsant...what Frank said is true, a lot of traditional style buildings have been overtaken by the new concrete jungles of reinforced concrete. That is true, our company is working there and I am astonished at the lack of empathy for the original chinese traditions these new buildings have. As for timber structures them selves, I am not sure what the American influence has been on the the traditional post and beam construction of old china, it may have been the modern stud and plate structures that the Americans had influence on. We are using reinforced AAC block and panels with embelishments of plaster work to keep the local themes in place, and light weight steel frame for partition walls, ceilings with plaster board and roof rafters for tile roofs - when there is a need for them. As for who is involved. Architects and Civil Engineers only get involved in housing projects of high rise R/C tower blocks. The modest individual homes for the locals is still managed by local tradesmen along with the other tradesmen as required. There are specialized companies for the bigger projects, and they use a lot of low skilled labour for being specialized, that is better described as being ..only being able to do one thing install air conditioning, or being able to do electrical work or welding heavy steel work...not many construction contractors have all the trades in-house...all sub contracted out. Hope this helps.
David Michael James Davies
Homebuilding in China
Hello David,
Thanks for your informative post.

In US, the Bureau of LAbor statistics formally recognizes certain trades for the construction industry. I am listing them:
Construction trades: on site fabrication, masonry, inspection, equipment operation, labor management, terrazzo working, insulation working, painting, pipe laying, roofing, structural reinforcing, etc.
Post-construction trades: carpentry, carpeting, floor and tile finishing, ceiling installation, electrical installation, elevators installation (and repair), glazing, etc.
Interestingly most of these services (including labor intensive ones eg masonry) are provided by well-established companies.

Do you see similar developments in Chinese homebuilding market? If yes, can you list a few companies?

Please go through these references (should be available online):

The Province of British Columbia, Canada (2003). Chinese Building Code opens up B.C. wood opportunities.

First wood frame housing construction license issued in China (2004). AgExporter; Dec 2004.

This wil lhelp us bring us on the same page to discuss the matter.
P Das


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