In his previous blog post, Gerhard Dust described how an international humanitarian crisis caused him to re-evaluate his retirement plans and led him down a completely new career path. In this second post, Gerhard tells us about some of the issues his company encounters as his business develops.
You will have seen from my previous blog the huge advantages that our construction system can bring, and these were naturally of significant interest to our visitors from China. The Chinese delegation was keen to see if it would be possible to use waste residue from a gold mine as the main filler constituent in our polymer concrete and if the end product conformed to Chinese building standards. We demonstrated that not only could we use this waste material but that the resultant PolyCare polymer concrete was anything from 6 to 10 times stronger than required by their standard. This advantage was further enhanced when they discovered that just 1m3 of this material actually makes 3 to 4m3 of walling. Consequently, we have made significant progress with this important Chinese company and their delegation left acknowledging that our process could make a major contribution to meeting Chinese housing needs.
Working on the world stage with a breakthrough technology like ours doesn’t always attract such commercially aware and serious-minded approaches as that of the Chinese delegation. It can be frustrating at times, and sometimes quite amusing. Practically every week we are approached by individuals who claim to be close to, or related to, or a friend of, a king or queen, the president, the minister, etc. etc. In circumstances like these, naivety soon gives way to experience and the realisation that often these people only know someone who operates the lift in a building where someone else who works for the government lives. The bottom line is always that either they want something for nothing, or a payment in order to “oil the wheels.” On occasions, of course, our contacts are genuine, but there are also frustrations in what we do. This is almost an intrinsic part of the process. When you have something new, and especially when it is a disruptive technology, files seem to get left gathering dust on desks far too often.
For us, though, the world has so many bright imaginative people who are able to look to the future and can see what is needed. In July, I was invited to the Biennale Architettura 2016 in Venice. This is a biennial meeting of architects from across the world. In his keynote speech, the Director of the Biennale Alejandro Aravena described the current world situation in terms of the Urban Age. This term is used because the current generation will build more cities than all previous generations combined. By 2050, 70% of the entire world’s population will live in cities and globally there is a desperate need for housing. Alejandro quoted some startling figures from the US government, estimating that the world needs to build 1,000,000 houses a week at a cost of less than $10,000 (EUR 8,900) each and this needs to be achieved to prevent a further global security threat. In this regard Alejandro’s opinion was insightful, and possibly goes to the core of what it is that PolyCare is trying to achieve. He said that this rate of building could only be achieved by adopting new technologies that use new materials and new building methods.
This, of course, is where we at PolyCare started six years ago. At that time we were only looking at disaster reconstruction, but the same analysis was true for that situation as it is for global housing. We needed a new technology for slum development and to build low-cost refugee housing, which is precisely why we developed the PolyCare system.
We continue to work to improve the lives of the millions of people who are currently either homeless or living in wretched conditions and continue to work towards achieving the ambitious targets outlined by the US government and described by Alejandro Aravena.
To see more about PolyCare and our revolutionary building technique go to: https://www.dropbox.com/s/hg3qujz7jj9ss1h/VTS_04_1.VOB?dl=0
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