By Eman Hamed
this week, concluded the activities of the “Technal®️ World: Sustainability and Building envelopes” seminar, which was held in Cairo as a statement signifying the return of the French brand “Technal®️”, part of the Norwegian Hydro Group; to the Egyptian market. Technal®️ Is a pioneer provider of aluminum for doors, windows and building facades in the Egyptian market with a number of exceptional and unique products and partnerships.
Sam Robinson, managing director at Hydro Building Systems for Middle East, India and Southeast Asia, said that “We announced the launch of our latest product “Hydro CIRCAL, in Egypt today, the world’s first certified minimum 75% post consumer recycled Aluminum for doors windows and building facades. Robinson added that Hydro CIRCAL production reduces carbon emissions by 75% and energy consumption by 95% compared to normal bauxite extraction and refinement with no additional cost.
Robinson praised the Egyptian building, development and construction march, which shows that Egypt is walking the talk when it comes to climate change and sustainability issues. “This encouraged “Technal®️” to launch its fifth conference to focus on sustainability and building facades to be part of the Egyptian interest in this vital issue and within the preparations to host the COP 27 Climate Summit in Sharm elSheikh later this year” said Robinson. Robinson also said Technal®️ Is working with local partners to formulate the needs of the Egyptian marketto tailor it’s strategy to fulfill it; Technal®️ will be rolling out it’s products according to these actual market needs.
Sam Robinson also announced that the company is working on several projects in Egypt including the New Magdy Yacoub hospital in the 6th of October city, one of the Alamain towers, new Giza university headquarters and the new headquarters of the “El Arabi” group in Cairo. Robinson added that the Magdy Yacoub hospital project will be using use windows, doors and facades from “Hydro CIRCAL”, and that this means that this project alone will reduce carbon emissions by 776 megatons, which is equivalent to the work of 776 trees for 80 years purifying the air we breathe, and all This is at no additional cost to the project. “This is the right and responsible choice that expresses how Egypt talks and works at the same time to save and protect the environment and resources” concluded Robinson.
For his part, Haby Yaqob, Sales Manager for Egypt, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates, said that the technology provided by “Technal®️” provides many innovative and dynamic solutions to the Egyptian market. “I have been based in Cairo for more than a year now, I’m currently establishing our new cairo offices to continue coordination with our local partners instead of the older model running the business from the gulf headquarters, and that’s to cope with the unprecedented growth in the Egyptian Real estate development” Yaqob added. Haby Yaqob continued saying that the market for European Aluminum systems in Egypt exceeds €30 millions/ annum, and that Technal®️ aims to acquire a 10% market share by 2025.
Haby Yaqob expressed the confidence of the French brand “Technal®️” in the Egyptian economy, saying that the multinational group Hydro is moving in with investments and partnerships in the coming period to keep pace with the steady growth in the Egyptian construction and development movement, especially in New Cairo, the new administrative capital, the new city of El Alamein and also in Giza Governorate. Answering a question about the rise in costs of building requirements, Yaqob said that Technal ®️ products are readily available in the Egyptian market, and that in times of crisis like the current war, this might incentivize multinationals to move in and set up local production plants to by pass import costs which will positively impact the industry as a whole like what happened in the glass manufacturing sector which now runs with 80% local inputs for it’s production.
Haby Yaqob explained the importance of sustainability in buildings saying that the initial cost might be 5-10% higher, but the running costs of such buildings are considerably lower, and these savings on maintenance, depreciation and energy bills, add up every day the building is at work.
Mohamed Talaat, one of the leading architects who participated in the conference said that there are 13 elements of sustainability that need to be taken into consideration in order to reduce operational costs and reduce waste of resources. Talaat continued saying that architecture speaks out the identity of the country and it’s civilization even after hundreds of years, and this doesn’t stop at how the building looks like, but transcends that to sustainability, green building, functionality and creativity.
Talaat added that modern and efficient design of building envelopes using the correct elements contributes to reducing energy bills by rates of up to 40-50%, as a result of reducing the cost of cooling and heating and the efficiency of insulation, in addition to the other advantages of sound and dust proofing, distribution of natural lighting, aesthetic and functional elements, and others.
Fabian Hecker, Associate Director of Zaha Hadid Architects, a speaker at the the seminar praised Technal®️ for organizing such an event with a focus on sustainability, noting that sustainability studies require specialized teams with up to 100 members working together to get to the most efficient attainable design. Hecker added that Zaha Hadid Architects worked on mega projects in Egypt between 2005 and 2010, but these projects were discontinued after 2011. “We are currently expecting and eager to be back to work in the Egyptian market’’ Heckerconcluded.
A number of international engineering and architectural offices participated in the conference, including Zaha Hadid architects from London, Mohamed Talaat – MT Architects from Egypt, Koltay Facades from Dubai, Front from the United States, in addition to the Egypt green building council. The conference was co-sponsored by AGC Obiekan for glass, Sphinx Glass, Siderise Insulation UK, Jotun, Viva and Kuraray.
Representatives of the French Chamber of Commerce in Cairo, the American Institute of Architects Egypt chapterand Society Of Façade Engineers UKsupported the conference, in addition to a large number of Egyptian, regional and international companies working in the field of construction and reconstruction, in addition to experts, engineers, university professors and government officials.