Buildings in this part of the world are made using different techniques from what you will find in other areas. In the UK brick is a common exterior covering. In North America wood is abundant and until maybe seventy-five years ago was the most common exterior covering.

The interior wall of an American home is drywall over 2x4 wood. Sometimes referred to as stick construction. It’s fast and cheap to build a structure using these techniques. An experienced contractor can throw-up a house in thirty or forty-five days. 

There is little wood on the Island of Cyprus. In this part of the world lumber is expensive and never used as a building material. Wood is used in interior furnishings: trim and furniture. You will find wood floors and joist only in buildings over one-hundred years old. A quick glance at the ceiling above you in one of these buildings reveals hand carved beams. 

Today all commercial buildings in North Cyprus are built using the same technique: cement post and lentil with clay, hollow bricks filling the walls. The cement post and beams are filled with rebar and create the skeleton (actual weight bearing structure) and the walls are made from these hollow clay bricks covered with a cement grout. Floors and stairs are thick, heavy cement.

Because of this design, all plumbing pipes run on the exterior of the building. The pressurized, fresh water lines and electric wiring are small enough that the face of the clay bricks can be hammered-out to create a trench to lay the wire or pipe in.

The walls are hard - not drywall and you must have a drill, a plastic anchor and screw to hang a picture. Simply hanging a picture with a small brad nail is not possible.

The only other building style thats common in North Cyprus is called steel construction. From the name one may assume that it’s a metal, Butler style building. Nope, it’s a building that uses metal 2x4s. From the outside it looks like any other building. Remember, wood is not an available building material.

I once met a building contractor and we were talking about construction techniques. It turns out that metal buildings are cheaper to build, have better insulation, have space in the walls to hide utilities like plumbing, and offer a similar life span.

So I ask the obvious question: Then why build concrete buildings for homes and such? He kinda’ shrugged his shoulders and said “That’s just how it’s always been done.” After some thought, that makes sense in an odd sort of way. The crew is well versed in this style of work, you have a team that is fast and needs little instruction. Your customers expect this building technique in North Cyprus and you do not need to convince the client why doing it another way may be better. You can build a building in sixty days or you can play games learning a new construction technique. Remember, there is a hundred-thousand Pounds waiting for you when you complete this project. Get the final walk-through over in the fastest way you can.

Of course, this cannot last. In Europe and North America 3D printed buildings are starting to be seen. Instead of forty-five days to build a home we are now talking about a week! The printer is squirting out wall layers around the clock and never takes a break. The electrician drops by and throws wires down inside the hollow wall… he will install the wall socket after the printer is finished. Same for the plumber and there is no painter, except for some trim work. Finally, windows and doors are set as finished units. One can hope that homes will drop to the price of new luxury cars.