May 17, 2011

Bravo Catalan

I was priviliged to make a brief visit to Barcelona, Spain and was positively impressed about many things. Life is not always how it is described in newspapers. Here are some findings: 1) Shopping malls did not have empty spaces - occupacy-rate was close to 100% in all main shopping malls, 2) It was difficult to book hotel room - occupacy-rate of hotels was very high, 3) I did not see many construction sites, however, the ones I saw, were working, and 4) Building specialists that I talked with were optimistic - companies were mentally well adjusted to low volumes, low prices and higher requirements - and were surviving. Development was on-going again.

I am also proud to announce that Peikko´s Deltabeam product won another construction award, this time at Construmat exhibition in Barcelona last week, via Peikko´s partner in Spain, Hormipresa. See more at - the site works both Spanish and Catalian so it will be easy for most of you....

Because of this great award my favorite for the soccer Champions League finals 28.5. at Wembley stadium is clear. I confess, because of this award I am bribed to be the fan of FC Barcelona - deep apologies for all Manchester United fans already :-)

May 12, 2011

Design for cost - but with what?

The old saying goes something like "90% of the costs are caused by design, only the last 10% can be effected during production." This is, unfortunately, true also in construction.

There are many sort of ways to design a building but the most advanced ways are 3D-modelling. Wysiwyg - what you see is what you get - works also in building models. And people not only talk about 3D, they talk now about 4D, 5D, 6D and I guess not after long about many other information is put into the models.

But in essence, 3D is at least better than 2D. There are not too many good players in the market in this area, biggest players are maybe Autodesk Revit, Nemetscheck Allplan and Tekla. Peikko is in one form or another co-operating with all of these players. And the latest news from this Monday is....Tekla is about to be bought by another company.

World needs competition and I am very happy that the purchase offer of the shares have not, at least not yet, been made by Autodesk. We need in this field more companies, not less. After visiting Trimble´s stand back some year ago in one American exhibition and seeing how Tekla´s 3D model could work hand-in-hand with Trimble could really prove that the building was made according to the 3D model. I got convinced that these guys might create interesting things together. At that time it was merely co-operation, now Tekla´s team might be part of this innovative company.

I hope Trimble´s offer goes through, and if so, I wish all the best for Tekla´s team. I am looking forward on new solutions that this aquisition might bring!

May 2, 2011

Baghdad Street - attitude counts

During Easter time I had the opportunity to visit Istanbul, Turkey. There is some magic in the city, the east and the west are so present there. What I find the most interesting is actually the places where hardly any other Western tourists exist, the Asian side of the city.

The main shopping boulevard, the centre for commercial activity there in the Asian side is called "Baghdad Street". I was told that originally the name was given because that is where the traders left to Baghdad, Iraq, from Istanbul.

What I have learned in Turkey, this simple name shows the international attitude of Turkey. The people are all the time on their way to visit neigbors, understanding that their sole existince is based on interaction and trade between others.

How many big cities have named their main streets according to the capital of the neighboring country? How big is the "London Street" in Paris? Or "Berlin Street" in Amsterdam? Or "Washington Street" in Moscow? Street names may tell a lot how the outside world is viewed in the given country.

The Turkish attitude towards international trade starts with attitude. It is no wonder that Peikko has delivered goods to e.g. Afganistan and Turkmenistan via Turkish companies. No wonder that Turkish construction companies are doing work in Middle East, North Africa and Russia. In the international contractors list, Turkey had the world's #2 position right after China; there were 33 Turkish companies in the top 225 international contractors' list in 2010.

It is the "Baghdad Street" -attitude that counts.