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5 of 2016’s biggest building projects

While there has been a slowdown in the growth rates in some of the globe’s emerging economies, there are still substantial opportunities for growth in the construction and luxury finishing sectors. Over half of all current construction activity takes place in emerging markets, and it is estimated that this share is only going to get larger. In fact, by 2025, it is projected that the volume of output growth in the construction sector alone will expand by over 70%.

With that in mind, here are five building projects from key growing markets that will be hitting the headlines in 2016 and beyond.

Istanbul New Airport (Istanbul, Turkey)

Turkey is no stranger to large-scale construction projects, and one of the country’s most ambitious to date is Istanbul New Airport. Currently, Atatürk Airport, in Istanbul’s city limits, is struggling to meet the growing demand for trade and commercial flights into the country, hence the need for a new facility.

After the tender for construction, which will see a total of 25 years’ work, was issued in May 2013, the first phase of construction is planned to take 42 months. This is being overseen by a Turkish consortium made up of Cengiz, Kolin, Limak, Mapa and Kaylon.

As on one of Turkey’s largest construction projects, costs are expected to reach €7 billion. With 6 runways, the site located 35km away from Istanbul at Arnavutköy, has plans to become the world’s busiest airport. Some 150 million passengers are forecast to visit each year, with 342 million guaranteed in the 12 years.

Nordic Architecture, alongside both Grimshaw and Haptic Architects, have been commissioned to design the main terminal which will include capacity for some 90 million passengers. The area itself will cover some 6 million square metres with 1,500,000 sqm in interior space, making it one of the world’s largest airports. As Turkey’s economy continues to climb, similar civic projects will likely spring up and present opportunities to foreign construction and building firms plus material distributors.


Forest City (Johor, Malaysia)

Situated close to the Malaysia-Singapore Second Link bridge, this project could house up to 700,000 residents over the next 20-30 years of construction. It will prove a tough challenge for Chinese developers Country Garden Pacific View (CGPV). The project seeks to create four new islands covering nearly 1,400ha of reclaimed land from a bay between Malaysia and Singapore. The homes created will join other building projects in the region which will reportedly add a further 336,000 housing structures.

The projected development costs of the project are expected to hit RM450 billion ($121 billion). The Sultan of Johor claims that this investment will be great for Malaysia and push the nation towards a stronger economy. Construction is still a hot topic in Malaysia and will continue to be so as the nation’s growth continues. What’s more, this development also demonstrates the chances for foreign investment in the construction sector.


Smart Cities (multiple locations, India)

India is predicted to become one of the world's construction powerhouses over the next decade. Part of this is the Smart Cities Challenge which seeks to upgrade the infrastructures of 100 key cities across India. This initiative has been spearheaded by current Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

A total of $15 billion has been set aside for the task of revitalising these 100 cities. Funds will be split evenly between each location. The challenges for the smart cities revolves around updating their infrastructures to meet the needs of India’s growing populace. This means ample construction opportunities in municipal projects such as affordable housing. The first batch of 20 Smart Cities was selected in 2015, with a further 40 being chosen in 2016.


Eko Atlantic City (Lagos, Nigeria)

Calling itself ‘The best prime real estate in West Africa’, Eko Atlantic City sits on Lagos’ Bar Beach and promises to provide 250,000 homes. A further daily flow of 150,000 commuters is also expected to be accommodated by this development. One of Nigeria’s most exciting building projects, Eko Atlantic City’s first residential tower is due to be erected in 2016.

However, this construction project is separate from the needs of affordable housing that Nigeria’s largest city desires. Instead, it is a purely luxury complex aimed at those with disposable income to spare. Planned amenities for the tower blocks and homes include spaces to dock yachts, pools and even helicopter pads. This growing middle and upper class presents an opportunity for suppliers of luxury interior products and materials to further expand their African operations. Nigeria will be looking for a better class of luxury materials that focus on quality rather than price.

10,000,000 sqm of land was reclaimed for this project. On this land, an international school, a hospital and infrastructure amenities will be built. This shows ample opportunity for construction firms wanting to get a slice of Africa’s fastest growing economy. It is estimated that Lagos alone needs 5 million new homes, but, while this development is distinctly high-end, it will go a way towards relieving the housing needs of a city of 21 million people.


Millennium Village (Tangerang, Indonesia)

One of Indonesia’s most expensive building projects continues to develop throughout 2016, demonstrating the growing market for construction of high end housing communities in the country. Millennium Village, the brainchild of developers Lippo Karawaci, seeks to house 74,500 residents and up to 21,000 workers. An intriguing part of this project is that it has been designed with green building principles in mind. Energy efficiency is key with the management of clean and waste water being a priority. A low carbon footprint will also be achieved with the higher areas of greenery.

Over Rp200 trillion ($15 billion) has been sunk into the project thus far. This makes it the largest project Lippo Karawaci has undertaken. The complex will involve 3 skyscrapers, 2 with 75 floors and 1 with 100, plus a university campus, a 470,000 sqm mall, hotels, offices and even an art museum.

An emerging middle class is making Indonesia one of the most intriguing markets for construction companies, with higher end housing becoming ever more important. The Indonesian construction and interior finishes industry grew from $25 billion to $40 billion, and looks set to keep soaring skywards.


Emerging markets mean big building projects                                                            

The developments above are just a snapshot of the many exciting construction projects nearing closure or kicking off in 2016. These markets continue to offer great investment opportunities. This goes for both construction firms as well as building material suppliers looking to break into these quickly growing areas. 

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