By SAM MAITY
Canadia Tower is one of the new developments using innovative building techniques to tackle Phnom Penh’s floodwaters.
Cambodia may be a developing country, but in terms of land use and construction it has developed remarkably well over the past five years.
Companies involved in the sector have been improving their designs and using the most recent technologies, materials, methods and machinery in an effort to boost consumer trust and confidence in their buildings still under construction.
Developers are also investing in the areas where they build to mitigate some of the infrastructural problems that still plague Cambodia, including narrow roads, traffic congestion, a lack of inner-city parking spaces, and an underdeveloped sewage and drainage system that often results in flooding during rainy season.
With much of the land in Phnom Penh shaped by river and floodwater ecology, preparing foundations before building poses a unique challenge. Korean company Hanil Engineering and Construction, which is building CamKo City on behalf of developer World City, has used rc pile machines to ensure a solid foundation on which to construct.
Canadia Tower, being built by the Overseas Cambodian Investment Corp to serve as headquarters for the related Canadia Bank, used a bore-piling technique to dig through unstable strata and lay foundation pillars up to 12 metres below the building in solid bedrock. Once the foundations were set, construction began at the lowest basement level, proceeding upwards through the three basement floors to the ground floor. The technique ensures that the three underground levels in the building remain debris- and water-free and that the foundation is solid enough to support the 30 storeys above.
The 32-storey De Castle Royal condominium tower in the Boeung Keng Kang I area of Phnom Penh's Chamkamorn district, which has three storeys underground, uses a different construction technique again, and one that is new to the country.
Using the barrette piling system and slurry wall technique, a pit 45 metres deep was dug and the walls sprayed with bentonite powder to prevent soil collapsing into the hole. Each foundation pillar was set in place using an H-beam core before concrete was poured to cement it in place.
The so-called top-down method of construction was used to build the high-rise superstructure and its sub-basement simultaneously, speeding up the development process. A similar method is being used in the Gold Tower 42 project.
As Cambodia continues to develop and new buildings are erected, the country will continue to benefit from these new construction techniques, machinery and materials introduced by private developers. These latest innovations in construction will ensure buildings go up faster, stronger and safer. They will also ensure that lower levels remain water free, despite Phnom Penh's floodplain ecology.
Sam Maity is the construction team manager
at Run and Walks Co Ltd, a project
management firm representing South Korean developer DeCastle.