Global Walls of China

As a civilisation and culture, China’s rich heritage of engineering and construction spans millennia. Construction of the Great Wall of China began over 2,000 years ago during the Qin Dynasty. When the wall was completed during the Ming Dynasty it was over 6,000km long. Chinese companies have maintained this industriousness and passion for building walls. Their ingenuity and knowledge is being applied to building curtain walls, glass and cladding for offices, apartment blocks, hospitals, airports, universities, shopping malls…all around the world.

The global growth of Chinese curtain wall companies has been rapid and largely uncontrolled. Quality and price vary significantly and it is not uncommon for there to be a cost difference of over 100% between Chinese domestic products and international export quality products.

The international construction industry is faced with the challenge of navigating the massively expanding Chinese market to find quality materials at competitive prices. Globalization of supply has increased risks as builders are now confronted with a range of questions:

.  How do we know if we are getting international quality materials?
.  Is the design going to work?
.  Has there been a substitution of specified high quality materials for lesser quality ones?
.  Are there going to be problems with warranties and follow up from the supplier?

These and other questions now combine to create a high level of uncertainty and one of the largest risks facing the recently globalized construction industry.

Inhabit assists in the specification of materials, pre-qualification assessments of suppliers, and production quality control (for more details refer to Fig 1). Our offices in Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Hong Kong, are consulting on some of China’s largest buildings. We are also providing specialist façade production quality control services on a range of international projects.

Author: Bruce Wymond, Managing Director, Inhabit Group.

For more information in relation to Inhabit’s integrated approach to co-ordinating the quality control process of products in the logistics supply chain of large scale commercial projects, please contact:

Australia – Bruce Wymond
Tel: +61 488 126 222