Building a better construction industry
The China Architectural Design Expo staged in Beijing from Oct 31 to Nov 3 claims to be the first exposition to focus on the overall development of the construction industry in the world’s largest construction market.
The event, co-founded by the Architectural Society of China, Messe Munchen GmbH and MMU BAU Fenestration Co, Ltd, presented a series of international conferences and forums, design installations and architectural cases from academic perspectives.
It aims to build a state-of-the-art, one-stop communications platform across the industry chain, combining design concepts and cultural heritage with new technologies and materials to encourage inspiration and imagination in the industry, including in such areas as its social mission, trends and practical solutions.
Economic Information Daily named China the world’s largest construction market in 2015, when annual building volume increased by 2 billion square meters. (The figures haven’t since been updated.)
ASC’s president, Xiu Long, says urbanization is still accelerating, while the industry’s management philosophy and systems are changing.
The industry has entered a process of integration that considers environmental protection, scalable production, manufacturing standardization and digital methods.
Xiu says that it’s moving in a healthy and sustainable direction overall.
He attributes much of the progress over the past two years to the advancement of engineering consulting and the architect-responsibility system. Chinese architects have improved their professionalism, crossover innovations, international visions and local practices, he says.
Xiu believes the CADE has arrived at a turning point in the industry — that is, amid the extensive development of scale and speed that’s pursuing operation-oriented and quality advancements.
It’s also a good time to inaugurate the event as urbanization not only expands cities but cities also engage in urban renewal — including the protection and renovation of old buildings — and villages are likewise revived.
So, the construction industry needs to move forward with comprehensive upgrades, especially amid a shift from quantity to quality, and particularly in the realm of sustainable development, he says.
The first CADE was intended to create a communication platform throughout the industry chain to promote the integration of theory and practice.
The event hosted 656 exhibitors from 20 countries, who presented over 30,000 new construction materials and technologies. Over 100,000 visitors attended.
It featured seven themes — “people”, “cases”, “milestones”, “classics”, “records”, “awards” and “technical”.
“People” presented selected works of the first generation of more than 20 graduates from the University of Pennsylvania in the 1920s and ’30s. It also showcased pieces by 14 architectural academicians — some couldn’t attend in person — who presented the creativity and thinking of their respective eras.
“Cases” presented 12 buildings in Beijing and Shanghai that demon- strate the 20th century’s architectural heritage and outstanding modern architectural-protection cases. It raised questions about Shenzhen Stadium’s future — a topic of hot debate on social media.
“Milestones” showed the Chinese Architectural Society’s achievements from 1953 until 2018.
“Classics” displayed 60 manuscripts from the Lei family, who served as chief architects during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), detailing the exquisite craftsmanship of wood works during the period.
“Records” revealed the country’s academic thought and designs over the past 65 years as presented by the Journal of Architecture and the Journal of Structure.
“Awards” showed winning pieces from the 2018 Asian Construction Association Architecture Awards and the Chinese Architectural Society’s 2017-18 Architectural Design Awards.
The “technical” section served as the venue for salons and displays related to the latest technology.
The CADE’s first edition attracted such heavyweights as Velux, Baogui Stone Art, Canada Wood and CCTN Architectural Design.
It hosted nearly 20 salons, and six professional conferences and forums.
ASC’s secretary-general, Zhong Jishou, says: “We’ll be able to generate new and exciting momentum with the exhibition and future collaboration. Our shared goal is to advance China’s construction industry and prepare it to face the future from a strong position.”
The China Architectural Design Expo