About Taiwan, FotoZon and lots of other stuff

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Construction in Taiwan

It seems that in Taiwan, there is always construction going on. New roads are built, new houses, gigantic new concrete and steel buildings culminating with the Taipei 101 tower. What is it that causes such continuous construction? There seem to be plenty of abandoned old houses, and new ones are going up all the time. Leading some to conclude there is a serious housing bubble in Taiwan. It seems the the inexpensive labor, low interest rates and high savings rate combine to continually push building of new houses. The recent return to power of the KMT may also have offered a stabilizing force. Many of the units are purchased by speculators and stay empty for years. When I first came to Taiwan 12 years ago, somebody told me that rent was cheap but buying was not. It seems to be even more true today.

Since my Dad owns a construction company back home in Stanwood, and I have been marginally involved in the industry for quite some time, I'm always interested in the processes and scenes that are involved in the business. I sometimes carry my camera with me and snap scenes of construction to show the folks back home. Here are a few shots, and more can be found on my photo web site under scenes of construction in Taiwan.

Now this is a good idea. Instead of paying a flagger to do the dangerous job of facing traffic and warning about the big hole in the road, a dummy is dressed up as a worker and holds a flag!

It seems that ready-mix is not used in Taiwan. Small batches of mortar are mixed on the spot.
A road being re-paved. It was previously dug up with trenches leading to a new housing project.

This "concrete" does not cure hard, it just provides a base for the road above. And it can be easily dug up again for the next project.

The steel skeleton for new high-rise residential buildings in Taichung.

Joe G.