Rural Egypt - Egyptian Deserts -
Photos of temples, tombs and pyramids
Egyptian building standards and buying a property in Egypt advice
The quality of the majority of current Egyptian building techniques is a disaster waiting to happen.
Buildings go up
without any form of cross bracing for as many stories as the builders want to send their buildings up.
The population of Egypt is currently (2006) increasing by a million every 10 months, and building is happening everywhere to accommodate the expanding population. Cairo is developing a new city area in the middle, the Red Sea Riviera is being developed on the West and desert is being cultivated in the east and fed water from the Aswan dam. This may have an effect on the water available in the Nile for cultivation in Upper and Lower Egypt. In any event the design of current concrete construction looks as though the next earthquake will bring terrible human destruction: with the population density in Cairo, it may not be an exaggeration to conceive of the worst number of fatalities possibly exceeding Hiroshima.
Before buying a house or villa on the Red Sea coast, purchasers should get buildings checked by a European structural engineer or find a developer who prides himself on European architectural training. The following constructions were seen near Hurghada:
Hotel near Hurghada:
The brick infilling varies enormously in quality but nowwhere appears to be used in a structural way tied in with the rest of the building:
The following examples show the lack of structural appreciation of the contribution demonstrated by exposed brickwork of tower blocks in Cairo:
In an earthquake these brick panels will disintegrate and become a lethal hazard:
These buildings in Cairo go up and up and up and appear constructed little differently whether in affluent or poor areas, the buildings look the same only differing in the quality of finish.
Techniques for achieving earthquake-proof buildings include:
- base isolation
- diagonal bracing
- passive damping.
The buildings I saw in the course of construction apparently used none of the standard techniques for earthquake-proofing of buildings.
These photos were taken with a Fuji Finepix S602 camera often from a vehicle moving at 50mph. Copyright David Pinnegar 2006. If you enjoy Landscape and Geography you might enjoy aerial views of France. The author is a tourist development and heritage preservation consultant