What the AECOM & WinSun team up means for the longevity of the construction industry in the Middle East
Earlier in the year, additive manufacturing company, WinSun, signed a $1.45 billion deal to 3D print 1.5 million affordable homes in Saudi Arabia. The agreement was struck in March of this year, during which time WinSun committed to shipping all of their printers to the Middle Eastern country over the course of six months. Now, the AECOM and WinSun team up is putting a fresh perspective on construction plans for the Middle East and could dictate a prosperous partnership over the course of the next three years.
AECOM and WinSun entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) several months ago, where the official signing took place in a ceremony in Suzhou, China, during a technology conference. Senior Vice President of AECOM, Ian Chung, had this to say about the AECOM and WinSun team up at the conference,
“The potential for 3D printing to transform the infrastructure industry is still largely untapped and we are excited by the prospect of introducing this capability into suitable future projects around the world in consultation with our clients and in collaboration with Winsun.”
Chung envisions the AECOM and WinSun team up as a means to leverage technology in construction to achieve faster turnaround times and a lower carbon footprint throughout the entire construction process.
Together, AECOM and WinSun will have the opportunity to explore more work as a partnership over the course of three years throughout the Middle East. And it’s speculated that the MOU could be AECOM’s stepping stone into competing for work in China’s One Belt, One Road initiative.
In 2015, Saudi Arabia made the announcement that they would need to build at least 3.3 million new homes over the course of the next ten years in order to sustain its rapid population growth. Property analysts estimated that 400,000 homes were needed to meet the demands of middle-income households, too. And the Saudi government promised 500,000 new homes back in 2011 as a response to the public outcry. The AECOM and WinSun team up are part of the government’s initiative for sustainable, economical, and rapid housing.
Considering WinSun is already known for its extensive repertoire in 3D printing (they set a record last year when they 3D printed an entire mansion and one of the first multi-level apartment buildings) it comes as no surprise that the Chinese company was contracted for such a massive undertaking. And after AECOM announced its partnership with Trimble back in December to develop the world’s first application of Microsoft’s HoloLens, the company’s push to incorporate technology into their future endeavors is strong.
The construction industry will be keeping a keen eye on the projects that will emerge between the AECOM and WinSun partnership.