The pandemic forced us to reinvent our lives, technologies took over our daily lives and we learned to live a new day to day. The world as we knew it came to a halt, productions became scarce, putting Colombian architects and the world against the ropes. As an architecture and interior design studio we have been highly influenced by what is called “The Iron Crisis” and at Estudio Dussán we are innovating to recover construction techniques that allow us to make the most of materials that can effectively replace steel, iron, etc… and that also generate a noticeable improvement in the quality of life of our clients. and that also generate a notorious reduction in costs and an increase in the participation of local materials in our constructions and remodeling, since nowadays we are working with wood, guaduas and other materials that are in the construction zone and do not need to be moved long distances for their use. A crisis always leads to an opportunity. Here we are creating from what the environment gives us.
From our laboratories of innovation, development and search for new materials and designs, we have managed to overcome this crisis that is not alien to anyone, least of all to Colombian architects. The global inflation brought about by the pandemic and now the war between Ukraine and Russia has not only affected the cost of construction materials, but also the economy in general.
Where do materials originate from?
China is the main exporter of steel, iron and other products that are essential for conventional constructions or the remodeling of apartments, which since the onset of the health crisis have been forced to reduce their production. In addition, the little material that manages to get out of there is trapped in the waters of Europe where the river and container crisis also plays an important role. The ports are overwhelmed, as the need to acquire the products is causing them not to send the complete shipments through their cargo ships, but rather, a part of the production that is already ready to be delivered and is urgently needed. According to the BBC, in the United States and Europe at the end of the year 2021, up to 71 ships were lined up to enter the ports and unload their material.
Not all of this is steel or iron, it should also be noted that, due to this pandemic, purchases in the world have increased by about 22%, which has production lines on edge.
Let’s talk numbers
In Colombia the increase in inputs for construction, remodeling or design has been higher than expected, due to the fact that the steel that arrives here comes directly from Mexico, therefore, the journey is greater from Asia and to that, adding the low production, the delay with the arrival of the containers and the high demand has made its price to be 31.3%.
Similarly, there has been an exponential increase in other materials that have been derived from these, such is the case of the figured steel that went from costing $2,330 Colombian pesos per kilo to $4,030, the standard mesh also increased its price per kilo from $2,680 to $5,030 according to data from the Andi.
It is clear that these products are essential for the realization of a project, but if we look at the percentage side, in the social interest housing developed by the government, 9.95% is made only of these materials, compared to 4.6% of the constructions that do not have to do with this initiative.
This is why other horizons are opening up to the use of materials that do not have to do with these predominant inputs in the industry and that is where Estudio Dussán comes in.
Our innovative and disruptive idea has always characterized us, that is why hand in hand with our laboratories of trends, innovation, development and search for new materials we have managed to reduce the economic blow that is generating this crisis of inputs in construction, remodeling and design, applying techniques that are not common in our environment, working with raw materials that comes directly from the construction areas and giving a hand to the communities to be integrated into our initiatives, we have started two projects that meet this form of construction.
One of them is Anassú, a hotel located in the Guajira that has as its main input the mud and yotojoro, a wood extracted from the cactus, which comes directly from the area where the project is being executed and with the direct help of the people of the community who use techniques such as native weaving of the region and handling of previously immunized wood directly from nearby forests, which gives added value to our buildings.
In our concept of mixed structures, we also have Casa Anolaima, a project made of concrete and wood, which has not only drastically reduced production costs, but has also provided employment opportunities for local labor.
With these initiatives we seek to expand our construction techniques, give a unique and striking touch to all our designs and creations, in addition to impacting the architectural sector in the city so that we achieve a favorable impact to our brand.