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Februar y 2018




for the building industry in 2018





Exclusive interview with Andy Dodman, Head of HSEQ for civil engineering and infrastructure


FOREWORD HELLO AND WELCOME to February’s edition of Construction Global. Our first feature this month looks at five of the key trends for the building industry in 2018. Construction industry expert Saeed Al Abbar, of leading Dubai-based consultancy AESG and Chairman of the Emirates Green Building Council, talks us through what he expects to be the key topics and trends for 2018 Continuing with the theme of trends, we speak to Universal Electric Corporation, the manufacturer of Starline, and a global leader in power distribution equipment about the latest trends in data centre construction.

One pressing issue within the data centre industry is the tremendous amount of electricity required to power the equipment and cooling systems. We speak to Equinix, one of the world’s largest data centre providers, to learn more about how the company is leading the way to sustainable data centre service provision. We also speak exclusively to a number of construction’s top companies about the prescient trends and pressing issues in the industry. Alongside this, we also look at the top 10 most expensive buildings in the world.

Enjoy the issue!







Health and safety in construction: looking forward



A year in review The trends in nuclear construction



Equinix: Leading the way to sustainable data provision

TOP 10


Top 10 most expensive buildings in the world



The biggest and best construction industry events and conferences from around the world‌




StarLine Europe


Aecon Group Inc Canada

86 DWP – Design Worldwide Partnership Middle East


Pella Corporation United States


Digital Realty Australia

L E A D E R S H I P & S T R AT E G Y

Five key trends for the building industry in 2018 Construction industry expert Saeed Al Abbar, of leading Dubaibased consultancy AESG and Chairman of the Emirates Green Building Council, talks us through what he expects to be the key topics and trends for 2018 Writ ten by STUART HODGE

OVER $85BN WORTH of building contracts were handed out across the GCC last year, and with a yearly increase of 7% that upward trend should continue through 2018. There can be no doubt that the Middle East is one one of the key regions, globally, for the construction industry. One of the region’s specialist consulting and commissioning firms, AESG, has been a major beneficiary of the GCC building boom, with the company doubling in size over the course of the last calendar year. Some organisations struggle with that scope of change, but AESG seems to have taken the growth in its stride. However, Managing Director Saeed Al Abbar insists that the company isn’t “growing for growth’s sake”, and that growth has been a by-product of success rather than a goal in and of itself. “We didn’t really set out to double in size in 2017, but it did happen,” he reflects. “I think it’s with the ambition our team has. Everyone wants to strive to be the best at what they do, and naturally with that, you tend to work on bigger projects. I think a testament of that is that 80-85% of our work is repeat work. If we were truly focused purely on growth, we

would be spending a lot more time and assets on advertising, but it’s more that if clients grow, we grow with them. So that’s been the path we’ve had.” Al Abbar is a passionate advocate of sustainable development and green building techniques and has consequently presented at a number of local, regional and international conferences as well as authoring a number of papers on the issue. Al Abbar recognises that flexibility is paramount to survive in this industry, as is the experience of having been involved in over 300 projects. He outlines what are, in his opinion, the key trends for the building industry in the year ahead. Zero and near-zero energy buildings Since the Paris Climate Agreement in 2015, we have started to see a move towards the decarbonisation of the global economy and according to the terms of that, building stock has to reach net-zero by 2050, and preferably a great deal sooner. The building industry is already having to adapt and this is something that Al Abbar believes is set to continue. In fact, he thinks the idea

of zero and near-zero buildings becoming more widespread is something we should expect to happen sooner rather than later. “It’s something we need to achieve,” he says, passionately. “Under the auspices of the Paris climate change agreement… we need to be, by 2050, effectively getting to net zero. That’s not very far away, so that’s one thing that needs to happen. But I think where there’s a need, the industry is able to innovate to meet that need. I think it’s definitely feasible (that the construction zero and near-zero buildings will become more widespread). We’re working on prototype designs, and we’ve proven it from the technical feasibility perspective. Now we’re trying to optimise it to be costeffective so we can demonstrate it as commercially feasible as well.” Fire and life safety Perhaps one of the most obvious themes is fire safety after a number of high-profile façade fires globally. Al Abbar says it’s vital for developers to manage their liability and safeguard their investments, both when it comes to new projects and existing 10

February 2018


developments. He also believes it will become increasingly necessary for fire and life safety teams to work together with façade teams to ensure that the façade designs themselves follow best practices for fire safety. “The façade does present a fire risk for the building,” says Al Abbar. “Now there’s been a number of highprofile unfortunate incidents, it’s come to the fore and created a lot

L E A D E R S H I P & S T R AT E G Y

more focus around it. It’s something that can be overcome with good engineering, good materials. “The cost of insurance is going up because of façade fires. Those developers who haven’t considered fire safety in their façade will stand

to pay even higher premiums because there’s a higher risk. “I think it’s going to be driven into developers that this is something they need to do to safeguard their investment. Likewise, with the codes. Codes internationally 11

L E A D E R S H I P & S T R AT E G Y

are being upgraded to address this risk, so it’s going to become an essential part of design.� Commissioning Modern buildings are exceedingly complex and any which are not properly commissioned will use upwards of 25% more energy than they would have used, as well as not functioning to their optimum capacity. For Al Abbar, a mechanical 12

February 2018

engineering graduate, this is very much a bugbear that is all too prevalent within the industry. He does believe though, that with more companies using third parties which specialise in commissioning, the problem is being mitigated somewhat. “The historic practices of allowing MEP contractors to carry out their own testing and commissioning is like asking school children to mark their own exam papers, without

the teacher verifying that they have marked their work correctly or honestly,” he remarks. “Take the electromechanical systems in any building, which can be roughly 40% of the cost of the actual project. It can be $400-500mn in terms of equipment. If you don’t commission and test that correctly, it’s almost a wasted investment because things aren’t working as they’re supposed to. “We see a lot of projects now that

have faced issues where things are inadequately commissioned; they’ve got equipment working but not optimally, or not working at all. Most developers, however, are now employing the services of third party commissioning specialists to manage and oversee the commissioning process right from the start of design until handover. “We’ve definitely seen an improvement in the approaches 13



February 2018

L E A D E R S H I P & S T R AT E G Y and professionalism taken to commissioning, which is something we’ve been advocating for a number of years now,” adds Al Abbar. Value engineering Within the construction industry, increasing importance has been placed on value engineering and innovation and Al Abbar says that has been reflected by the emergence of consultancy service providers and contractors, whose approach to value engineering is led by technical specialists and supported by cost consultants, rather than the other way around. He strongly believes it will be the companies which integrate value engineering into their processes, able to provide more value at a lower cost to the client, that will be successful over the coming year. “I think we’ve had value engineering here for a good 10-15 years,” he reflects. “It’s generally driven by cost experts, where they’ve had a schedule of costs and are trying to remove things from it. I think we’ve seen the consequences of that and they’re not very positive. “Basically, by removing cost,

you’re removing value. It’s not really value engineering. What I think we’re going to see, and what we’ve been championing and working with clients on, is value engineering driven through the design, supported by the cost experts. So, we work together to say: ‘okay this facade has this function to achieve... what’s the most cost-effective way of doing that?’, rather than saying: ‘let’s just remove items from the project specifications to save cost.’” Management of existing assets The final topic Al Abbar expects to come to the fore this year is the importance of properly managing existing assets. Buildings are always ageing, and he says the demand for recommissioning the mechanical, electrical, fire and life safety and even façade systems of older buildings is becoming more and more common. To do that properly, he explains, needs “a holistic diagnosis of all systems in the building is required to ensure their proper functionality”, including a thorough review of vital systems such as air conditioning, the building management system 15

L E A D E R S H I P & S T R AT E G Y

(BMS) and fire and life safety systems. Organisations that decide to take this up in 2018 would do well to treat BMS as the starting point,” says Al Abbar. “As this is not only where building systems are orchestrated, but BMS will also help pinpoint where systems are not working in harmony. This validates that the building systems provide a safe and healthy environment for occupants, and also provides significant energy savings. “I think it’s evolving, but there’s 16

February 2018

still a long way to go. The leading developers with multiple assets that are around for some time are seeing the importance and value of good asset management. As the maturity kicks into the market, not just here, but globally, I think we’ll see more of it.” So, what will all this mean? The main focus for companies this year has to be ensuring they have an awareness of the changes in the industry and the refocusing which has happened

in certain areas of the market. Al Abbar believes that “those who ignore the tides of change will be left behind”. He concludes: “I think globally, in every industry, we’re seeing the rates of change so fast, faster than it has ever happened before. “You take the taxi industry, which has been stagnant for years and now it’s been completely disrupted with the challenges of increased competition, increased globalisation, lower liquidity

in the market, internal pressures and challenges, alongside the perfect storm of changes to technology and approaches to digitalisation. Every industry is evolving so quickly, and the cycles every two or four years reinvent themselves, and if you’re not able to do that then it’s going to be a struggle. I think it’s something we take quite seriously, not to rest on our laurels. Be aware of what’s coming up around the corner because it comes around a lot quicker than we’ve all been used to.” 17



LOOKING FORWARD Construction Global speaks to Andy Dodman, Head of HSEQ for civil engineering and infrastructure specialist Barhale about policy innovation, the impact of technology and future priorities for health and safety in construction Written by MARK SPENCE


MANAGING HEALTH AND safety in construction is an inherently challenging proposition. Direct exposure to the elements, the sheer volume of various activities, scheduling pressures and more all create an environment that carries its own unique hazards. So, as we move forward in 2018, what innovations, approaches and technologies are paving the way to establishing a safer, 20

February 2018

more productive and healthier sector? To find out more about how to better negotiate the high-risk factors intrinsically linked to construction, we spoke to Andy Dodman, Head of HSEQ for Barhale. Learning lessons and looking forward History suggests that, as an industry, construction’s attitude towards health

“Our ethos is all about open and transparent reporting. We want to prevent accidents and incidents occurring in the first place” – Andy Dodman, Head of HSEQ, Barhale

and safety management has largely been grounded in reacting well to an incident or issue. However, one of the biggest lessons learned in recent years has been around the idea of collecting and analysing data that can provide a platform for businesses to become increasingly proactive. “Recently we’ve been focussed on being on the front foot,” says Dodman. “So, while we do all the essential work

required when something happens such as conducting an investigation to uncover the root cause, we also use the lessons we learn along the way to ensure they’re embedded in our management systems. Our ethos is all about open and transparent reporting. We want to prevent accidents and incidents occurring in the first place.” According to Dodman, behavioural study and the implementation of 21

INTERVIEW technology will also increasingly play an integral role in future health and safety management programmes. “We are raising the bar in terms of communicating our preventative actions as a business and technology is helping us monitor people following our procedures,” he continues. “For example, our cable locators are downloadable so we can reactively respond and make sure the equipment is being used correctly. We can also proactively use the data to mentor our workforce.” The employment of technology doesn’t end with CAT and Gennys


February 2018

either. “We’re also trialling cameras on excavators so we can get a snapshot of, say, an open cut activity to make sure people are following our procedures to prevent incidents. Elsewhere we’re using video tech to monitor operational activity at the coal face and that’s also been extended to road and driver safety. Our entire commercial fleet is fitted with forward-facing dash cams. If we have an accident, a notification is sent to the line manager and they can see what’s happened,” Dodman tells us. What’s crucial about this technology is that it’s not about

looking over an employee’s shoulder, but helping them perform tasks in a safe manner, improve standards and protect the business. For example, there’s also a red, amber and green bar on the dash cams that gives the driver live feedback if they’re excessively accelerating or braking. Essentially, it’s there to monitor people’s behaviour and how proactive they are being with safety. Near misses and changing attitudes An element of the behavioural study Dodman mentions includes recording

near misses as well as actual incidents. “We have terminology we use called ‘closing the loop’. This is where we’re proactive in reporting near misses,” he says. “There’s clear evidence ‘near miss’ reporting has been instrumental in preventing future major incidents. We look at the trends from our misses and get the operational team to look at them to develop preventative ideas. That’s why we call it ‘closing the loop’, because we encourage our operational teams to develop solutions to reduce these trends.” Building a positive safety culture is


INTERVIEW easier when employees are assured immediate action will be taken, but changing attitudes towards health and safety have also played a key role in recent policy innovations. “People are more switched on. Managing health and safety risk has become much more a part of the day-to-day job for operational teams. Years ago, safety teams and professionals were tasked with looking after health and safety, whereas now the responsibility also lies with the people undertaking the work,” Dodman explains. Mental health in construction Moving forward, health and safety programmes will adapt to incorporate the needs of the workforce beyond just safety management. One of the key priorities already identified is that of mental wellbeing.


February 2018

In a report published by the Office of National Statistics back in 2009 it was suggested that around one in six workers in England and Wales were suffering from some form of depression, anxiety or stress. Given the population of the UK construction industry, about 6% of the UK workforce, this means around 350,000 workers in the sector suffer with some form of mental health issue. Is mental health something that Dodman has noticed becoming a larger part of the conversation around health and safety in construction? “Absolutely,” he says. “Over the last 12 months there’s been a greater focus on it. At our annual conference this year, ‘Mates in Mind’ were there.” Mates in Mind is a sector-wide programme launched by the Health in Construction Leadership Group

along with the British Safety Council. Its purpose is to increase awareness and supply methods to promote positive mental health for those working in the construction industry. “Over the next 10 years our focus can be split into three main areas: healthy workplace, healthy person and healthy mind,” says the Barhale Head of HSEQ. The future of health and safety The management of health risks must crucially keep pace with safety improvements. Employers can have a real impact on occupational health in terms of how they can reduce risks in the workplace. Clearly, the industry is becoming more switched on to the importance of health and wellbeing. For example, The Construction Leadership Group

“What’s crucial about this technology is that it’s not about looking over an employee’s shoulder, but helping them perform tasks in a safe manner, improve standards and protect the business” – Andy Dodman, Head of HSEQ, Barhale

has been instrumental in raising awareness around respiratory disease, fatigue, mental health, pre-existing health concerns and musculoskeletal issues. Arguably, the blueprint is set for the future of health and safety management in construction but the last word goes to Dodman: “I think if we’re going to achieve what we want to as an industry then the answer is a mix of technology, embracing innovation and encouraging people to demonstrate the right habits. We want people going home healthy at the end of every shift, safe and in one piece.” 25




The trends in nuclear construction

We look back on a mixed year for construction in the nuclear industry with the delivery of further nuclear power plants (NPPs) under threat from both the rise in renewable energy and the global trend for decommissioning in the prolonged aftermath of 2011’s Fukushima disaster Writ ten by DAN BRIGHTMORE


February 2018



ACCORDING TO THE latest findings of the annual World Nuclear Report, as of January 2018, there are 52 reactors currently under construction worldwide. Four NPPs began the longterm process of construction in 2017 – one each in Bangladesh, China, India and South Korea. The Chinese project, a pilot fast reactor, was launched on Christmas Day last year at the Xiapu site in Fujian province, but there were no other new NPP projects or construction starts 28

February 2018

announced in the country. Analysts suggest it’s a sign of a major shift or slowdown in Chinese nuclear policy, following the country’s domination of world nuclear construction for the past decade when it contributed over 60% of all new global sites since 2008. The sector is experiencing profound structural change. The introduction of renewable energy at scale, thanks to declining costs driven by technological advances, has increased renewable power output at the expense of conventional technologies such as

coal and nuclear. Though an operating NPP can provide up to nine times more electricity per installed kilowatt than a photovoltaic plant, the challenge to the industry from renewables is tangible. China’s massive rates of solar capacity deliver over 50GW to its grid. Even when taking into account lower productivity per installed GW from solar, research shows new solar plants in China alone in 2017 will generate significantly more power than all nuclear reactors started up (four) in the same year in the entire world. Construction delays are common due to a number of factors, including political upheaval (the US embargo caused a 15-year delay to Iran’s first NPP in Bushehr before construction resumed in 1995) and the type of prolonged protest experienced during the delivery of India’s largest NPP. The progress of the Kundankulam NPP (KNPP) was besieged by various activist groups over potential radiation threats and issues related to nuclear waste disposal, with the anti-Kudankulam campaign intensifying following the Fukushima nuclear incident in Japan in 2011. Decommissioning is also a factor in construction slowdown. Globally, three

2017 NPP OVERVIEW Last year saw four reactor startups (12 less than scheduled), three shutdowns, four construction starts and two abandoned constructions. Meanwhile, the bankruptcy of Westinghouse (historically the world’s largest nuclear builder) and bailout and breakup of AREVA highlighted the significant financial and economic pressure on nuclear operators. Five new reactors entered long-term outage, and three were restarted. Globally, 405 reactors were operating (one less than 2016) while 52 were under construction (down three).


NUCLEAR PROJECTS reactors were permanently closed in 2017. In Germany, Gundremmingen-B was closed in December as part of the country’s nuclear phase-out policy. South Korea and Sweden both shut down their oldest units Kori-1 and Oskashamn-1. In addition, two more Japanese reactors, Ohi-1 and -2 were officially closed after the operator abandoned plans for restart and lifetime extension. The past 20 years has seen the industry place more emphasis on sustainability and focus on

‘160 power reactors (with a total gross capacity of some 160,000 MWe) are on order or planned, and over 300 more are proposed’ 30

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the potential for extending the operating life of NPPs. It’s often more economical than building a new one, and why many plant operators, particularly in the US, are seeking licence renewals. “It is very important for us as a world community to care how electricity is produced,” reckons Maria Korsnick, President and CEO of the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI), who offers hope for NPP construction specialists nervous about the rise of renewables. “You can produce electricity of an intermittent nature, like wind and solar, but you are going to also need 24/7 baseload energy supply that is still kind to the environment, and nuclear is just that.” Utilising guidance from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA - the world’s central intergovernmental forum for scientific and technical co-operation in the nuclear field) the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) issues licences for NPPs to operate for up to 40 years with subsequent renewals of up to 20 years. Following a round of previous renewals, around 90% of American plants will soon reach the end of their 60-year term, prompting the NRC to look at the way it handles

regulation when reviewing a NPP’s system metals, welds and piping, concrete, electrical cables and reactor pressure vessels. It must also evaluate potential impact on the environment, so speedier processes have been called for. “In the beginning, an NRC review took years to complete,” recalls Korsnick. “Now that the process is better understood, we are just under two years. For subsequent licence renewal, we will probably get the process down to 18 months.” Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) and other kinds of so-called ‘advanced

reactors’ continue to be positioned as a solution to the problems confronting nuclear power and the still costly renewal requirements of monolithic reactors. SMRs are nuclear power reactors with an electrical output below 300MWe and distinguishable from large reactors by modular design, with prefabrication in offsite factories and the potential for multiple reactors to be deployed at the same site to create bigger power plants. Proponents claim they will be faster, cheaper and less risky to build while safer to 31






operate than large nuclear plants. NuScale has claimed that “once approved, global demand for SMR plants will create thousands of jobs during manufacturing, construction and operation” and “re-¬establish US global leadership in nuclear technology, paving the way for NRC approval and subsequent deployment of other advanced nuclear technologies”. It predicts “about 5,5¬75GWe of global electricity will come from SMRs by 2035, equivalent to over 1,000 NuScale Power Modules”. 32

February 2018

However, Danny Roderick, former president and CEO of (now bankrupt nuclear services market leader) Westinghouse, once countered: “The problem I have with SMRs is not the technology, it’s not the deployment – it’s that there’s no customers... The worst thing to do is get ahead of the market.” Currently there are no operational NPPs in the world that can be considered fully-fledged SMRs. Several countries and companies are at different stages in the development of SMR technologies. NuScale is the frontrunner to deliver a SMR in Idaho


with the initial operational date of 2024. Meanwhile, mPower (another previous beneficiary of Department of Energy funding to the tune of $80m per year) has been struggling to advance a similar project mooted in Tennessee which was terminated in March last year. Elsewhere, South Korea’s System-Integrated Modular Advanced Reactor (SMART) is the first land based SMR to receive regulatory approval anywhere in the world. However, SMR’s are often found to be too expensive on a perunit generating-capacity basis which has led to this project being shelved. The words of incoming South Korean premier President Moon echo the sentiments of many world leaders now exploring other forms of energy creation: “We will scrap the nuclearcentred policies and move toward a nuclear-free era. We will eliminate all plans to build new nuclear plants.” Sam Friggens is an energy economist with engineering and development consultancy Mott MacDonald, experts in the nuclear sector. He suggests that emerging innovations in renewables, power

storage, efficiency and smart technologies, driven by fast manufacturing cycles, are yielding rapid cost reductions and improving performance, which means that by the time SMRs are ready for mass deployment in the 2030s the market may have disappeared. He adds: “Will SMRs be acceptable to the public? The closest-to-market SMR technologies produce the same waste as current large reactors and will need refuelling every few years. New sites closer to demand may be attractive from an energy system perspective, but perhaps not to residents of the cities in question. Overall the challenges associated with SMR deployment are likely to be of similar magnitude to those faced by carbon capture and storage. At the same time, recent work suggests that if these challenges can be overcome then smaller, flexible nuclear technologies could still play an important role in future energy systems in countries like the UK.” In any case, it appears SMR construction projects would need the support of major government




Franco-Américaine de Constructions Atomiques (Framatome), the subsidiary holding the Areva Group’s nuclear reactor operations, was renamed Framatome following its sale to French energy giant EDF, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Assystem. Framatome is the name of a former French reactor vendor from which Areva, which has built over 100 reactors, was originally created.

GE Hitachi has been building boiling water reactors (BWRs) for nearly 60 years. It also offers a range of nuclear services for mega projects specialising in delivering tools, quality assurance, licensing, planning, training, design and analysis. The manufacturing alliance between the US and Japanese giants began in 2007.

ROSATOM (RUSSIA’S STATE ATOMIC ENERGY CORPORATION) RUSSIA Currently utilising its nuclear power and engineering assets on a global scale, ROSATOM is the leader in Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) design and construction with a portfolio of 34 NPPs across 12 countries with a further eight domestically. In 2017, its package of foreign orders exceeded $130bn.

KEPCO - SOUTH KOREA The Korean Electric Power Company is currently in the process of delivering the UAE’s first NPP at Barakah in Abu Dhabi. KEPCO is currently positioned as the preferred bidder to buy the Toshiba unit behind the UK’s Moorside nuclear project.

MITSUBISHI HEAVY INDUSTRIES (MHI) - JAPAN The Japanese giant’s roots date back to 1884 with shipbuilding in Nagasaki. Now responsible for the construction of more than 20 NPPs worldwide, and widely known for its motoring business, MHI has consistently diversified with core business areas spanning energy, infrastructure, technology, transport and aviation.

funding to play a role in tomorrow’s electricity generating business. These are uncertain times for the industry which saw Westinghouse suffer a spectacular fall from grace in 2017. Its owner Toshiba recently agreed to sell off the US nuclear business for $4.6bn. The Japanese conglomerate made the decision after heavy delays to two Westinghouse nuclear projects drove the troubled engineering group to file. On top of the economic fallout and challenging ageing issues, nuclear operators are

‘About 55¬75 GWe of global electricity will come from SMRs by 2035, equivalent to over 1,000 NuScale Power Modules’ struggling with low electricity prices and the consistently dropping costs of their main competitors, wind and solar in particular. In countries like the United States, many nuclear power plants have continued to operate only because of massive subsidies. Despite this, the World Nuclear Association notes that, thanks to the planet’s voracious appetite for power, 160 power reactors (with a total gross capacity of some 160,000MWe) are on order or planned, and over 300 more are proposed. 37


Equinix Leading the way to sustainable data provision As one of the world’s largest data centre providers, Equinix holds numerous awards for energy efficiency and sustainable building design. Construction Global visited its LD6 Data Centre in the UK Wr i t t e n by LE I L A H AW K I N S

THE INCREASING AMOUNTS of data generated by large enterprises means more and more of them are making use of colocation data centres. As a result, these centres can typically house up to 100 customers, using their connectivity services all under one roof. To accommodate this number of 38

February 2018

clients, facilities require a tremendous amount of electricity to power their equipment and cooling systems. However, Equinix continues to make huge strides in ensuring their buildings use as little energy as possible. A global leader Equinix currently has sites in 48

cities across 24 countries, making the company one of the world’s biggest data centre organisations. Providing connectivity solutions to top businesses ranging from General Electric to L’Oreal, it is also one of the most sustainable, having won numerous awards for the energyefficient design of its buildings. These

include recognition in Excellence in the Green Power Leadership Awards in 2017 and having been named a leader in green power by the US Environmental Protection Agency. In 2015, Equinix became the first colocation company to use 100% renewable energy across its global footprint. Moreover, all 39

‘Equinix provides connectivity solutions to top businesses ranging from General Electric to L’Oreal’ of its new builds are designed to meet the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards, or the equivalent. AM4 in Amsterdam is one such facility, operating solely on clean energy thanks to its innovative 40

February 2018

design. Another is LD6, the UK’s flagship centre, and the very first data centre Equinix built from scratch. The flagship Opened in 2015, LD6 is Equinix’s most advanced site to date, employing

S U S TA I N A B I L I T Y state-of-the-art technology to be as energy efficient as possible. It is also one of the few data centres in Europe to have been built from the ground up. LD6 is located just outside London in Slough, an area attractive in part because of its ultra-fast connectivity - it is just four milliseconds in internet time away from Frankfurt, and 30 milliseconds from New York. The centre uses 24MW of power and has almost 3,000 cabinets, but despite this sheer size it operates entirely on green sources, and meets the LEED Gold energy rating. For 85% of the year, the centre is cooled by the outside air passing through its vents, using the indirect evaporative cooling system. James Green, UK Sales Engineer at Equinix, explains: “If the air outside is less than 22°C, then we can use that to cool it. That cold air causes the transfer of heat energy, and it is then returned into the data pool. This means we can control humidity, and any pollutants are kept outside. “When it’s over 22°C, just like when you step out of the shower and the water evaporates off your skin, it’s the same process: the water evaporates off the pipe, takes the heat

away, and cold air goes back in.” The centre has additional units which are turned on when the temperature rises above 30°C. During construction, an underground borehole was dug to harvest rainwater. This extracts around 100,000 litres a year from the Queen Mother Reservoir, one of the largest inland areas of water in southern England, which spans 475 acres and runs from Slough all the way to the Cotswolds towards the west. The hole itself is 360ft deep. “It’s a really big deal,” Green says. “360ft down is the height of the Eiffel Tower. It’s our primary water source. When it was designed that was one of the things we thought about.” The recognition These aspects of design meant LD6 became the first data centre in Europe to achieve ISO 50001 certification. Most recently it has also been shortlisted for Building Technology of the Year by the Business Green Technology Awards along with Toshiba, an award that recognises the advances technology companies in a number of different sectors have made in terms of clean, low-emission energy. 41


Equinix Locations


February 2018

Initiatives like these have led Equinix to be globally rated as one of the US Environmental Protection Agency’s Top 20 organisations, and seventh in Tech & Telecom’s Top 30 list of the largest green power users in technology just behind Microsoft, Google and Apple. Awards and accreditations like these are very important to Equinix.

“It’s always great to have stamps of approval,” Green says, “to say you’ve got all these designs, to be in line with that, because we have all these Service Level Agreements (SLAs) in place… it gives a lot of people confidence. Our customers get audited on their spaces just as we get audited, and so they need the sites to have certain accreditations, to tick the



• Equinix has sites in 48 cities across 24 countries • The LD6 centre uses 24MW of power and has almost 3000 cabinets • Equinix is number 7 in Tech & Telecom’s Top 30 list of the largest green power users in tech

right boxes for them to reside here. “You think of the transactions that are happening, whether it’s finance, or very strict Financial Conduct Authority over their finance, and surely they have a set of standards, and that’s what we’re trying to help


February 2018

customers meet,” he explains. “So, although we don’t pay for all of the accreditations out there, we put in a lot of work to get them, we design to a very high standard to make sure we are in line with them. “We’ve been designed to LEED

gold standards,” he adds, explaining that the company has taken all possible aspects of being sustainable into account: “Every tick in the box you can do, even bicycle racks, and anything to do with sustainability and being friendly to the environment.”


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We took a look at the most expensive buildings in the world as listed by Express, and find out which comes out on top by construction cost Written by SHANNON LEWIS


The Antila is a private home located in Mumbai, India. Express places its construction cost at approximately $2.14bn. First Post calls the real estate prices in Mumbai “steady”, citing the costs and complications of the 60 building approvals necessary to begin construction in the area. Express names the Antila the world’s most expensive private home, while Business Insider calls it “the first billion-dollar home.” With 27 floors, and 400,000 sq ft of space, it took four years to build. Residing in the Antila are Nita Ambani, Mukesh Ambani and their three children. Forbes names Mukesh Ambani the fifth richest man in the world, placing his net worth at $43bn. They consulted with two architecture firms in order to design and build their custom home: Hirsch Bedner Associates, and Perkins + Will.


February 2018


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The City of Dreams Hotel Casino is often referred to as the “Las Vegas of the East”. Located in Macau, China, Express places its construction cost at $2.53bn. Owned by Melco Resorts & Entertainment Limited, it is one of the region’s leading leisure destinations. The company receives the greatest support from Melco International Development Limited, its greatest shareholder, chaired by Lawrence Ho. According to Macau Tripping, the construction took three years, spanning from 2006 to mid-2009. Maxim Recruitment names Macau the second most expensive Asian city to build in (behind Hong Kong), pointing to a recent particular demand for the construction of casinos and hotels.

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The Venetian Macau Resort Hotel, located in Macau, China, is famed for its Venetian décor, complete with gondolas, canals, and a man-made lake. Its constructions cost comes out at $2.54bn, according to Express. Boasting 39 storeys, 3,400 slot machines, and 800 gambling tables, it makes Live Dealer’s “Top Five Most Expensive Casinos in the World”. It opened in August 2007, with Aedas (Macau) Ltd leading the architecture, and Hsin Chong Engineering (Macau) Ltd as its main contractor, according to a case study by Gillespie. It is owned by Las Vegas Sands, and reportedly took about three years to build, including time to prepare the land on the Cotai Strip for building. 50

February 2018


Wynn Las Vegas Resort Hotel, referred to as Wynn, is a five-star hotel and casino located on the Las Vegas Strip. Express places its construction cost at $2.81bn, unsurprising given its 215 acres and 49 storeys. Owned by Wynn Resorts, it was founded in 2002, according to Forbes, and opened its doors to the public in 2005. It was built and designed by Marnell Corrao Associates, hired by Steve Wynn, CEO of Wynn Resorts. According to the company website, it has 13 Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Awards, and it makes #395 on Forbes’ “World’s Best Employers”. 51

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ONE WORLD TRADE CENTRE The One World Trade Centre, at 546m, is the tallest building in the United States. Located in New York City, now an iconic part of its skyline, its construction cost was $4.01bn, according to Express. The New York Post named New York City the world’s most expensive construction market. Also known as the Freedom Tower, the One World Trade Centre was designed by architects Daniel Libeskind and David Childs in 2003. It opened for business in 2014, according to Mental Floss, after an 11-year construction period. The Wall Street Journal names it “the world’s most expensive office tower”. It is located in the 16-acre location previously inhabited by the Twin Towers, an area mostly owned by The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. 52

February 2018


Located in Las Vegas, the Cosmopolitan Casino and Hotel had a construction cost of approximately $4.14bn, according to Express. Famous for its multi-storey chandelier, its construction was originally announced in 2004, as a result of a partnership between Bruce Eichner, a real-estate developer, and David Freidman. The Las Vegas Sun reported that Arquitectonica was the project architect, allowing Paul Duesing Partners to focus on the interior design, Douglas Design to focus on interior design and retail, and The Friedmutter Group to take over the hotel-casino design. It opened its doors to the public in late 2010, according to Forbes. Ownership of the hotel bounced between owners during and after its construction. According to Forbes, Deutsche Bank took over in 2008, but eventually sold to the Blackstone Group for $1.73bn in 2014. According to Vegas Inc., it is the most expensive resort on the Las Vegas Strip.

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EMIRATES PALACE HOTEL The Emirates Palace Hotel is located in Abu Dhabi, on its own 1.3km private beach. Express puts its construction cost at approximately $4.14bn. According to Construction Week Online, in 2001 it was commissioned primarily to Interbeton, Six Construct, and Arabtec by President Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, placing its ownership in the government of Abu Dhabi. Turner Construction names the architect in charge Wimberly Allison Tong & Goo. Its design hails from British architect John Elliot. Its doors opened in 2005 after four years of work, with the input of 20,000 workers. The United Arab Emirates, according to Arabian Business, is the 26th most expensive place to build in the world. With its 400 rooms, 114 domes, and a site area of over 70 hectares (according to Turner Construction), the hotel was able to host over 15,000 people for a 2008 Christina Aguilera concert. 54

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The Marina Bay Sands Hotel, based in Singapore, warranted a construction cost of $5.66bn, according to Express. Known for its 1.4mn litre pool on the roof, the world’s largest infinity pool according to BASF, it opened its doors in 2010. This was reportedly one year after its intended opening date, due to construction material costs. Architect Magazine credits the 9mn sq ft property’s construction to over 40 groups. Owned by Las Vegas Sands Corp., its primary architect was Safdie Architects, with Aedas as the executive architects, and Ssangyong Engineering & Construction Co. the construction manager. According to the hotel’s website, it is the largest hotel in Singapore, and the 34th largest in the world. Its three 55-storey towers received 38.5mn visitors in 2012. 55



Resort World Sentosa is located in Singapore and, according to Express, is the third most expensive casino in the world. Express places its construction cost at $7.08bn. The building was commissioned by Genting Group, a Malaysian corporation. Its construction began in 2007 and was finished in 2009, turning it into what AECOM names one of the largest tourist attractions in Southeast Asia. AECOM further reports that Resort World Sentosa has received several architectural awards including the Structural Steel Design Merit Award 2010 (by the Singapore Structural Steel Society), and the Structural Excellence Merit Award 2011 (by the Hong Kong Institution of Engineers).

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Located in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, Abraj Al Bait Towers, also known as the Mecca Royal Hotel Clock Tower, is the most expensive building in the world. Its construction cost is about $15bn, according to Express. With 601m in height, 1,500,000 sqm in floor area, and a 100,000-person capacity, it is the world’s tallest hotel, designed by Lebanese architecture group Dar Al-Handasah. The upper clock tower was designed by German firm SL Rasch. Commissioned by Saudi Binladin Group it consists of seven towers, according to Construction Week Online. It took 10 years to build, according to Skyscraper Centre, with construction started in 2002, and finalised in 2012. Although previously more expensive due to material costs and bans, Reuters reports that construction costs in Saudi Arabia in recent years have fallen between 10 and 15% per sqm.


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EVENTS The biggest and best construction industry events and conferences from around the world‌ Writ ten by ANDREW WOODS


‘The worldwide construction industry, involving contractors of all sizes, represents a global turnover of $7trn and employs around 120mn employees’

EVENT AGC CONVENTION LOCATION HYATT REGENCY, NEW ORLEANS, USA DATES 26-28 FEBRUARY Held in conjunction with the 99th Annual AGC Convention ‘Celebrating 100 Years of Construction’, the expo will be showcasing thousands of exhibitors displaying the latest products within the sector and will also feature keynote speakers covering a wide variety of topics relating to this industry including robotics and digital transformation.


February 2018

EVENT ECOBUILD 2018 LOCATION EXCEL, LONDON DATES 6-8 MARCH 2018 The number one event for forward thinkers in the built environment. There will be 25,000+ visitors and 450+ exhibitors – including Siga, Rhico and Proctor – representing the many distinct communities that make up the built environment. The 2018 Ecobuild conference will examine the challenges, identify emerging best practice and the necessary quality and performance standards to’ propose an action plan for a resilient and responsible future’.



The second edition of the Future Cities Show is based on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, which were set by the United Nations and adopted by 193 countries in September 2015. The Future Cities Show is a platform for local and international institutions from various industries to showcase their latest technologies that are going to redefine the way we live. The show will focus on three pillars: Sustainability, Innovation and Happiness. There will be over 19,000 visitors and 100+ exhibitors across 141 countries.

Officially supported by CompeteFor and many major ongoing and future infrastructure projects, the UK Infrastructure Show 2018 provides participants with a unique opportunity to engage, connect and collaborate with a vast array of key projects, decision makers and influencers representing all areas throughout the supply chain.



EVENT THE WORLD GREEN BUILDING COUNCIL CONGRESS 2018 LOCATION TORONTO, CANADA DATES 3-7 JUNE Titled “Building Lasting Change with WorldGBC Congress Canada”, the event will see Green Building Councils, international speakers and delegates from five regions of the world (Europe, Africa, MENA, the Americas, and Asia-Pacific) combine with CaGBC members, enabling Canadian delegates to showcase local expertise to international attendees to encourage collaboration, innovation and business exchange.


February 2018

EVENT WEBIT.FESTIVAL EUROPE 2018 LOCATION SOFIA, BULGARIA DATES 26-27 JUNE Part of EU Digital & Innovation Week, Webit.Festival Europe 2018 is gathering EU policy makers, global business leaders raging from Fortune 500 top executives to worlds most impactful and promising founders and entrepreneurs and academia to re:Invent Europe’s Future. There will be over 7,000 attendees from 100+ countries, including 1,500 top policy makers from all over the globe as well as entrepreneurs, investors, scientists and digital economy shapers and representatives from Europe’s most promising startups.

EVENT LONDON BUILD 2018 LOCATION OLYMPIA NATIONAL, LONDON DATES 23-24 OCTOBER London Build is the leading construction show to cover London and the south of England. London Build unites an incredible range of high-level attendees involved in construction, architecture, infrastructure and design in London to discuss a wide-ranging source of issues relating to every aspect of the industry.

EVENT CONSTRUCTION NEWS AWARDS 2018 LOCATION TBC ORGANISERS CONSTRUCTION NEWS DATES TBC awards.constructionnews. The Construction News Awards are back, celebrating 22 years of rewarding the very best companies and individuals in construction. Hundreds of global companies with combined revenues of more than $148bn will enter the Construction News Awards to hae their work recognised as the best in the infrastructure, property and residential sectors.





TECHNOLOGY Written by Nell Walker Produced by Glen White




igitalisation is inevitable. IT is improving all the time across all industries, and while some are trapped in legacy systems and oldfashioned ways of thinking, no sector is exempt from the march of progress. Construction can often be one such sector where digitalisation is a little slower or more limited, but Aecon is aiming to buck the trend by making its business more high-tech and user-friendly. The success Aecon enjoys in this area is partly due to the way it treats customers, employees, and the inclusion of forward thinking, talented staff, such as its Director of IT Adam Templeton. Templeton joined Aecon straight out of higher education seven years ago, beginning in Client Services and working his way up to his leadership role – a chance afforded to him by virtue of Aecon’s dedication to staff enrichment. “Aecon has programs in place to retain talent,” he explains – the business has an integrated development program under the banner Aecon University. “It allows employees to decide what


February 2018

type of development and growth opportunities they’d like to achieve, and the company will work with you to get there. I was part of a new Aecontailored leadership cohort entitled the Future Leaders Program.” Templeton says this educational experience enables employees to develop a better understanding of the business, the sector, and the particular subject on which they wish to focus. “At the time it was invaluable. Gaining experience from different business units allowed me to understand what their challenges and pain points were. I was then able to bring that knowledge back to the technology group and drive real change in IT, providing tremendous value to the business.” As a result of Aecon’s investment into the care of its employees, it enjoys a very low turnover of staff, and regularly analyses skills gaps to work out what the business needs more of. One requirement that never changes is


“We’ve looked at driving business value internally; how do we improve the way we work? How do we improve the way we are seen externally to our business clients? How can we provide value to them using technology?” – Adam Templeton, Director of IT

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Aecon’s focus on safety. Everything Aecon does – with regard to IT or otherwise – concentrates on the safety and security of its employees as a core value. “Our people and getting them home safely to their families is our number one priority. From a business perspective, we don’t win business if we have a poor safety record,” says Templeton. As a result, Aecon has implemented technology to support this value. “Generally, in the construction industry, it can be difficult to track safety certifications or competencies,” Templeton explains. “Rather than asking employees to recomplete certifications as they move to different roles or employers, we use a tool called Success Factors that tracks the safety records of all employees, ensuring managers do not need to put certain employees through the safety regiment all over again.” This ensures workers do not waste time unnecessary doubling up on training, instead earning their certification in a timely manner so foremen can be assured of an employee’s suitability. For

Templeton, technology at Aecon is all about making construction environments a better, safer, and more efficient place to be. “It’s exciting to me, especially from a technology point of view. We’ve looked at driving business value internally. How do we improve the way we work? How do we improve the way we are seen externally to our business clients? How can we provide value to them using technology? “There are areas in which we can track underground fibre using augmented reality, or use 360-degree cameras in our utility vehicles to start tracking the degradation of utility poles on the side of the road without the actual employee having to analyse it. There are tracking and inspection within the utility tools and software that we’re looking at, and that drives straight down to the bottom line – not just to Aecon, but to our customer.” This level of digitalisation is just one example of Aecon pushing value beyond its own business units and caring for workers. On-site, staff enjoy all the advantages of IT, connecting them to equipment and vehicles for

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February 2018

a firmer grasp of hazard control, with operations being managed from within a cockpit in Fort McMurray. Part of Aecon’s successful embracing of technological advancements is the partnerships it has made with the experts. The business is using SAP Fiori in-house, with third party expertise from RTS and Sodales, and iOS is being used to keep workers connected. Ultimately, Templeton thanks those on-site for guiding these IT choices. With up to 5,000 connected devices deployed in the field utilizing three telecoms providers, expense management is also a major concern. Aecon has partnered with Montreal-based Cimpl to address this particular challenge. “They actually analyze the invoices on a month to month, calculating any surcharges or any differences in payment to our rate cards and basically giving us back credits based on that. They’ve helped us in managing down to the penny all of our telco expenses, and driving huge savings for us.” “We also partner within the

“We also partner within the business units, because we’re not the experts. The employees in the field are those experts and they will identify a challenge” – Adam Templeton, Director of IT business units, because we’re not always the experts. The employees in the field are much more hands on and sometimes in a better position to identify a challenge. Sometimes they will go the extra mile and say, ‘Hey Adam, we found this new tool – can we do a pilot of it?’ “The team will then work directly with that business unit to do a dry run. Another challenge within our industry is that each business unit can be unique, so it can be difficult to standardise the entirety of our process across one platform.”

To overcome this issue, Aecon works to create a bespoke service which suits the task at hand, driving better communication companywide and always referring back to the core values. While Aecon may not be embarking on an allencompassing transformation, it is always working on the improvement of ever-evolving issues. “I wouldn’t say we’ve completed a full digital transformation,” says Templeton. “We have functional and technical developers in-house, and we have business process leaders

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“We are trying to move fast. We are trying to be closer to that leading edge” – Adam Templeton, Director of IT

within each business unit. Whereas in the past, we were relying solely on a third party to provide that level of support and development for us.” Aecon continues to steadily improve its operations, always making enhancements using the Aecon Centre of Excellence – or ACE Group – to blaze a trail. With partners and third-party contributors, the business treats its relationships as a hybrid way of working, because “it’s important that from a business perspective, clients are still seeing Aecon,” says Templeton. In the future, Aecon will continue to take ownership of its technological operations whilst being bolstered by carefully-chosen vendors, ensuring that safety remains a priority. This extends to cyber security, something that will become ever more important as technology advances; Templeton is determined

that Aecon does not go the way of many companies currently suffering the effects of security breaches. “Cyber security is something that has been a main area of focus for Aecon. We’ve introduced a security team to work with our internal and external partners to ensure it remains a priority,” he says. Breaking away from legacy systems that can often slow down the industry will also remain a passion for Templeton and his team: “We are trying to move fast. We are trying to be closer to that leading edge,” he concludes. “The next step is taking the leap into focusing on business outcomes and business value as part of the technology strategy. As opposed to saying ‘How does technology drive that outcome?’, we’re now saying, ‘what is the challenge? How do we fix that?’”

Power distribution made simple Written by Laura Mullan Produced by Lewis Vaughan

As a global leader in mission critical power distribution solutions, Universal Electric Corporation has provided energy intensive industries with the most flexible, reliable, and customizable overhead power distribution system on the market – Starline Track Busway


n today’s energy-intensive world, companies rely on power that is on-demand with no downtime. As a global leader in power distribution systems, Universal Electric Corporation (UEC) has made it its mission to make that happen. Over its 85-year history, the Pennsylvania-based company has grown to become a global leader in power distribution equipment thanks to its world-renowned brand of Starline products, including its four main product lines: Track Busway, Plug-in Raceway, Critical Power Monitor (CPM) and DC Solutions. By manufacturing innovative electrical power solutions tailored to the specific needs of its clients, the company has earned a reputation for excellence whilst providing the


February 2018

data centre, retail, healthcare, higher education, and industrial markets with bespoke power solutions. Mathew George, EMEA and SW Asia Sales Director at UEC, believes that it is the brand’s technological ingenuity and customer commitment which differentiates it from its competitors.

Bespoke solutions “The reason why we have grown markedly over the last 30 years is that we offer customisable solutions to every customer through our Starline product line,” he says. “We build everything unique for our customer. In fact, last year alone, we had three thousand SKU numbers of different tap-off configurations. We are one of the only companies in the market who can deliver that level of service


Mathew George





February 2018


and that’s what makes us unique.” The Starline brand was first created when the company’s owner Donald Ross Jr. had the idea of creating a smartly-designed, stationary, yet flexible overhead power supply system. This idea soon morphed into Starline Track Busway, one of the industry’s leading overhead electrical power distribution systems.

State-of-the-art design Using a patented u-shaped copper design, the Track Busway system is a simple, versatile, fast, and economical solution for supplying power to electrical loads. Tested to the best short-circuit rating in the market, the busway system distributes electricity with greater ease and flexibility which can be critical for energy-intensive companies. Thanks to its unique u-shaped copper design, there is constant tension that ensures a continuous, reliable connection to power. It also features an open channel system with a continuous access slot. This means that power can be tapped at any location, making it an ideal solution for sites that are looking to expand or have the ability to change layouts.

Maintenance-free “From my perspective, another unique aspect of Starline is that all our joints are bolt-free,” adds George. “This means that the busway is maintenance-free compared with traditional busways, where there are nuts and bolts in every joint. With traditional busway systems you need to do regular maintenance and they will need to shut down power. However, with Starline, it’s a maintenance-free system where you do not need to shut down the power. There’s no downtime and so the equipment really enhances the reliability of the whole power chain.” Sustainability is one of the most pressing issues that is driving today’s data centres towards change and innovation. The Starline product line is meeting this challenge face on by investing heavily in state-of-the-art metering technology, including in-house metering that allows customers to measure their energy at the point of use. That way, customers know how much power they consume, how much they spend, and how they could make potential savings.





February 2018


An international brand It is the company’s technological ingenuity and smart design strategy that has helped to propel Starline as an international brand. Over the last eight decades, the company has successfully expanded its international presence and has opened offices, worked with partners, and served customers all across the globe. “Within a year and a half, we have overgrown our existing UK facility and have had to move into a facility which is eight times larger,” notes George, explaining the burgeoning market. “The European market was lagging in its take up of the busway but now it has substantially adopted the Starline product line as the default power distribution equipment. We are quite excited about the opportunities in the region, and that’s why we’re investing in new factories so that we can offer a quicker response time and more local support to our customers. “We are also seeing more and more data centres being built in Asia, Africa and the Middle East and that’s the reason why we’re expanding in this region too,” he adds. “It has been a great opportunity for us because we have noticed this trend a long time ago, and so we invested heavily in listing to local standards in Asia and abroad.”

Quality and safety Driven by a commitment to customer service, quality and safety are two of the key principles that underline



everyday business at Universal Electric Corporation. As a result, every product is rigorously tested to the best quality and safety standards across the globe. By upholding itself only to the highest of industry standards, UEC has cemented itself as a leading player in the industry with a promising foothold in Europe, Asia, and beyond. “More and more data busways are being installed on a global scale, and our main clients expect the same quality of the product irrespective of which part of the world they go into - that’s something that only Starline offers,” observes George. “We are capable of meeting any global client’s requirements and we have local support in almost every country in the world, that’s what makes us unique.”

Constant, reliable power With over 85 years of industry expertise, Universal Electric Corporation has grown from an American company to a global giant with factories, offices, and customers in every corner of the world. Thanks to its commitment to product quality and customer value, the organisation has


February 2018

guaranteed that businesses will have the critical power they need for dayto-day operations. For energy-intensive markets, where power supplies can make or break the integrity of a brand, it’s a notable promise. “When data centre operators spend millions of pounds investing in their power chain to ensure that they have a reliable energy supply, people often forget that the final distribution portals play a big and important role,” reflects George. “Through our Starline brand, we have designed a product where you could install the plug-in when the product is live, compared with standard industrial busway where the power needs to be shut down to install a tap-off. We ensure that companies have on-demand power with no downtime and that is critical for today’s businesses.”



A global powerhouse of architecture and design Written by Laura Mullan Produced by Jon Bennett

With cultural sensitivity and sustainable design, dwp is questioning industry norms to become a pioneer in architecture and design


n the fast-paced world of architecture, industry trends can come and go in the blink of an eye. Whether a firm is experimenting with striking shapes or championing sustainable materials, engineering and science will have a huge role to play. But it’s not just about complex drawings and planning regulations – it’s also about reinventing and reimagining design trends to make them locally relevant, with insight, flexibility and cultural sensitivity. Indeed, it is this introspective ethos that has propelled design worldwide partnership (dwp) dwp works for clients to global acclaim. In a market saturated with in industries from buildings that often look and feel the same, healthcare to hospitality the award-winning architecture and design company is turning the industry on its head by offering simple, elegant, and timeless designs that are making trends rather than following them. A global footprint Headquartered in Bangkok, the expansive company has 450 professionals working collectively across 15 locations throughout Asia, Australia and the Middle East. Thanks to its global reach, dwp has completed over 2,000 design projects across its 23-year history, and so clients can be assured that


February 2018


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the company’s forward-thinking designs are anchored in the best industry know-how and expertise. Complying with the highest industry standards, the group’s multicultural team has continually demonstrated an intuitive approach, whether its creating spaces for living, working or for communities to get together, even when this is in the most challenging of locations.

Reinventing healthcare spaces Regardless of whether the space functions as an office, retail space or even a hospital, the company questions industry norms, engages with clients and conducts thorough research to generate unique designs. As dwp’s Community Portfolio Director Richard Wood explained in a company press release, concepts such as wellness are helping to


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reinvent the way dwp approaches healthcare design as hospitals are evolving into “spa-like environments as an extension of medical tourism.” “A customer stepping on a firstclass flight doesn’t want to be assaulted with the trauma of accident and emergency, or the antiseptic smell we expect from hospitals,” Woods said. “They want five-star treatment.” For dwp, this translates to elegant interiors, the careful use of sustainable materials and environmentally-controlled spaces,

combined with state-of-the-art technology. By utilising building information modelling (BIM) for all of its healthcare projects, dwp uses an intelligent 3D model-based process to meticulously identify and design every single detail from the moment a patient steps into the building. By leveraging ground-breaking technologies, the company has managed to distinguish itself in a competitive market with agility and flexibility. However, dwp doesn’t underestimate the challenges

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innovation poses. Technology and high-quality design come at a price, and as a result, this is driving the company to be lean and cost-effective to maximise financial returns. A taste of luxury A sense of luxury and opulence also translates to dwp’s residential projects. Over the past several years, branded residences have become increasingly popular and people are Number of prepared to pay a employees premium to live the at DWP luxury lifestyle. Whilst tapping into this burgeoning market, dwp’s team has collected an array of accolades for grand projects such as 98 Wireless in Bangkok. Combining high-end decor with sustainable design and state-of-the-art technology, the luxury property made headlines last year when it won the global award for Best Luxury Residence at The International Design and Architecture Awards. Such awards clearly illustrate

dwp’s dedication to creating places where people truly want to be. A sustainable outlook Dwp has also made ripples in the sector for its commitment to a green, energy-conscious approach. Sustainability has also become a big talking point in the industry, and dwp showcased its commitment to the cause when it won the Sustainable Interior Design Initiative of the Year at the CID Awards for its pioneering work on the Smart Dubai office. From site handling to execution, dwp took meticulous care to ensure the project had a conscious and sustainable outlook and this helped to lead the property to LEED Gold Certification. “From concept, we thought about sustainability,” explained Nadine Abedzadeh, Senior Interior Designer. “Our approach started with the material selection – everything we used was recycled.”



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“From concept, we thought about sustainability. Our approach started with the material selection – everything we used was recycled” – Nadine Abedzadeh Senior Interior Designer at dwp


February 2018


“Smart Dubai spends each day coming up with initiatives to make Dubai the happiest city on earth,” she continued. “Dwp wanted to give them the happiest workplace from which to do it. We’re incredibly proud that we’ve achieved this and been recognised for our sustainability prowess at the same time with this award.” Next stop, the Middle East Thanks to its mushrooming economy and soaring skylines, the Middle East has become a hub for both architects and designers alike. Dwp has strategically positioned itself to harness the potential of the region by creating a lasting legacy in the region. Yet, dwp understands that it takes more than entrepreneurial spirit to become a leading player in the architecture and design space. The pioneering company isn’t afraid to challenge industry norms and conventions to create one-of-a-kind designs and, perhaps more importantly, it understands the need to collaborate closely with its clients. Collaboration and cooperation is a value that runs deep in dwp’s DNA, and it is this forward-thinking methodology, anchored with an open view on partnership, that has helped to distinguish it as a world-class brand today.


INNOVATION THROUGH DIGITIZATION Rick Hassman, Pella Corporation’s Chief Information Officer, discusses the company’s adoption of integrated technologies to drive further growth Written by Catherine Sturman Produced by Andy Turner



nnovation is a key component for us. As we look at what products we have, the quality and the breadth of products and services we offer, being a national brand, is a distinguisher for us,” remarks Pella Corporation Chief Information Offer Rick Hassman. Passionate about the company’s leading ambitions to remain ahead of the curve and cater to an ever-changing customer demand, Hassman has been behind Pella Corporation’s internal digital transformation, which has seen it drive positive customer experience and business growth at every step. With a growing number of Pella window stores across the United States, Hassman explains the importance of housing a customer-direct business model, which has seen it gain an edge over competitors. “We’re one of the very few companies that has a direct sales network,” he says. “Between our vast network of direct sales showrooms, the Pella Certified Contractor Program to help consumers with installation to our own customer service teams within the corporate office and within our sales location, we can support the customer, every step of the way. That’s a key differentiator, for Pella.” Evaluating the distinct stages of customer interaction throughout the industry, the subject of reliability continued to be a theme. Thus, Pella has transformed its processes to continuously develop trust with its customers, which is now supported through the implementation of enhanced data


February 2018


“We can support the customer, every step of the way. That’s a key differentiator, for Pella” – Rick Hassman, Chief Information Officer

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analytics. This has further allowed the business to better understand customer needs and requirements. “Throughout the building industry, when you start thinking about the experiences that a lot of people have with contractors, with delivery, with building materials, reliability plays in all of those touchpoints,” comments Hassman. “Thus, through our data analytics, we adjusted our own customer processes for more communication on when we’re going to arrive, when the product’s going to be there and to step up and troubleshoot any issues. That is really what customer experience has become for us.” Gaining deep insights Adopting a new ERP system, Pella has been able to centralize its core

systems and integrate its data technologies, enabling it to remain competitive, create a seamless service and retain its position within the window and door market. By working at Pella for nearly 20 years, Hassman has witnessed how the industry has deepened its focus from building relationships, to investing in digital technologies to drive long term savings and allow for increased efficiencies. “There is a dependency on data, on ease of ordering, information being fed,” observes Hassman. “The whole service experience from a digital perspective is where the construction industry lags.” Pella has developed a ‘built-toorder’ environment, overhauling its traditional systems which became unable to support the changes within

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its service delivery. Pella’s longstanding partnership with Oracle has seen the company counteract such complexities and transform its IT infrastructure to guarantee increased flexibility and scalability for future growth. This has also filtered into a complete transformation of several of Pella’s departments; from manufacturing, order processing and finance to its CRM and customer service systems. Disruptive technologies The implementation of a continuous improvement culture (CI) at Pella in the early 90’s, mixed with the data analytics and customer feedback provides a multitude of strategic advantages and feeds into Pella’s overall brand strength. “It allows us to be more agile and react to the industry needs, and provide a deeper and more service focused experience,” reflects Hassman. Pella’s partnership with Munich-based B2B SaaS startup Celonis


February 2018


will also help enhance its CI capabilities. The use of process mining within the project will enable Pella to get even more out of its data and provide key insights as to how the business can be improved long-term. “Celonis extracts our data, which includes time stamps, system flows, work flows and all the data that comes within the applications and creates an accurate view of how processes occur within our systems,” explains Hassman. “For example, it maps out

“The whole service experience from a digital perspective is where the industry lags” – Rick Hassman, Chief Information Officer

exactly how a purchase order is created, how requisitions created it, and how a purchase order is then evolved from the requisition. It also details how it’s released, how it’s received and how it’s paid. “It creates an encompassing view of our efficiencies. When we deviate from a process, it shows what’s causing that. It’s a ‘lean systems’ view of where we have inefficiencies

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in our process and it allows us to quickly get to those points. “It’s very exciting because it’s a complete circle. We started with CI, which mapped out our process and we then moved to this integrated system. Now, this integrated system is feeding the data back as part of the CI, allowing us to develop even more efficiencies.” Setting a precedent Pella adheres to the highest possible standards across its manufacturing operations, even testing many products beyond their required


February 2018

industry caliber. Nonetheless, this has presented a number of challenges for the business. From a windows perspective, the minimal standards within the building industry vary from region to region across the US, creating a number of complexities for manufacturers. “Window and door styles are different across the US,” notes Hassman. “We have to balance between business priorities and building codes and industry trends, almost daily.” “It is something we’re always trying to determine, from a sustainability and


compliance standpoint, where can we expand and grow and what steps do we need to implement to do it,” he continues. Additionally, desired styles and materials used in the manufacturing of Pella’s products tend to differ depending on region, especially within new homes and buildings. “Historical designs are coming back,” observes Hassman. “While there is also a contemporary style trend where customers want a minimal frame and large expanses of glass.” Despite such challenges and slow growth within the window and

door industry, Hassman expresses confidence in increased innovation and energy initiatives within the sector. “Aluminum will be a preferred material in some parts of the country, and in other regions, vinyl will be preferred, as well as a love for the versatility and timelessness of wood,” he concludes. “The sizes of windows continue to grow. People are really looking at the window as a wall in many areas, highlighting where the industry is headed.”

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The connected data hubs for Asia Pacific Written by Niki Waldegrave Produced by Glen White

Peter Adcock, Digital Realty’s APAC vicepresident, design and construction, talks about the company’s growth plans, and why he won’t be totally relying on driverless cars anytime soon



igital Realty is the world’s largest full-scale data centre provider offering colocation, interconnection and cloud services. It has more than 150 data centres in 11 countries, servicing more than 2,300 companies of all sizes in 33 global markets across its secure, network-rich portfolio of buildings located throughout Asia Pacific, North America and Europe. Equating to more than 26mn sq ft of Data centre space across the world. For more than nine years, the business has delivered a portfolio of data centre solutions – including Digital Realty has announced a joint venture with Mitsubishi


February 2018

colocation, Cloud services, business ecosystems, Turn-Key Flex (TKF), and powered base buildings (PBB) – with a record of 99.999% uptime, unmatched by any other data centre provider. In October, Digital Realty announced it has entered into a 50/50 joint venture with Mitsubishi Corporation to provide data centre solutions in Japan. The joint venture, named MC Digital Realty, will benefit from Mitsubishi’s local enterprise expertise and established data centre presence in Tokyo, as well as Digital Realty’s global client base and industry-leading track record of


data centre operational excellence. Digital Realty will contribute its recently completed data centre development project in Osaka, while Mitsubishi will contribute two existing data centre facilities in the western Tokyo suburb of Mitaka. Collectively valued at approximately 40bn Japanese Yen – or approximately $350mn – the three assets will build a meaningful platform to serve the broader Japanese market, with the potential to significantly expand its scope over the next several years. And in September, Digital Realty, which turns over $2.7bn annually,


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Based in Sydney, Australia, Greenbox delivers innovative data centre architectural design services to clients throughout South East Asia. Resilience is at the core of our philosophy. Resilient buildings don’t just sustain the required functionality but evolve alongside it – a symbiosis of structural function, operational needs and style.




announced the commencement of new data centre SYD11 – its fifth in Australia – which is being built in Erskine Park in Western Sydney. The facility will be adjacent to the company’s existing SYD10 facility, and this signifies huge expansion in the AUS market, adding to the other three Australian facilities in Digital Realty’s Australian portfolio – SYD 12 in North Ryde, and the two data centres in

Melbourne, MEL10 and MEL11. Once operational, SYD11, located across 16,360 sqm, will be a 14MW facility and the build, which will employ around 500 contractors, is expected to take 12 months. APAC vice-president, design and construction, Peter Adcock says Sydney – which has the biggest tech start-up ecosystem in Australia – is crucial to the Digital

“We’ve got the potential to pretty much double our APAC footprint in three to five years” – Peter Adcock, Digital Realty’s APAC Vice-President, Design and Construction

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D I G I TA L R E A LT Y Realty’s ambitions in Asia-Pacific. It also has award-winning sites in Singapore, Hong Kong and Osaka. “We’ve got the potential to pretty much double our APAC footprint in three to five years,” he says. “Australia – and Sydney particularly – is an ideal location to be a hub. There’s a lot of demand from a whole range of companies that want to establish a presence and provide a low latency service in the country in Australia. “Sydney’s ideally placed on the Eastern Seaboard, with the fibre optic backbone that runs up through


February 2018

Brisbane and Queensland, and down to Canberra and Melbourne. It picks up a large part of the Australian population, and is sitting on submarine fibre cables too.” The company is currently working on its latest state-of-the-art, trademarked 4.0 Architecture POD (performance optimised data centres) design, and will install it at the new facility. Its unique trademark has been


developed from the knowledge gleaned through the construction of more than $2.5bn worth of data centres globally, and uses a modular methodology to build-out raised floor data centre space using standard power and cooling building blocks for cost-effectiveness, design flexibility and energy efficiency. It will boast the same cooling solution that’s being adopted at its

larger scale facilities in the US, which have a pumped refrigerate economiser cycle on it as well, ensuring excellent annualised Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) without any water usage, which can be quite excessive in large data centres. “We’ve got the lithium ion battery technology as well that we’re adopting,” Adcock reveals, “which gives a better performance than traditional lead acid. And on the monitoring side, we’ve got the data centre information management (DCM) product, which is a digital

“Australia – and Sydney particularly – is an ideal location to be a hub” – Peter Adcock, Digital Realty’s APAC VicePresident, Design and Construction

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158 2300 +1.9million data centres worldwide

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Adding value to your project – every step of the way • Over 40 years’ experience providing cost and general consultancy services to the global construction industry • Working across sectors such as Commercial, Data Centers, Education, Healthcare, High-Tech Industrial, Hospitality, Life Sciences and Retail • Providing faster project delivery, greater cost efficiency and maximum value for money • Working for the biggest search, owner-occupier and colocation providers in the world

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proprietary. It gives the team in the “The Digital Osaka 1 Data Centre US head office global visibility of the was the big one that really got the whole portfolio around the world. attention of the guys back in the US,” “That works off the same model adds Adcock. “That was 95% sold database as the BMS system which before it was opened. It started out as is a Schneider Struxuware Building an easy stepping stone for a lot of the Operation (SBO), Power Monitoring American companies, working with Expert (PME) unit. This means we can an S&P 500 company they know, and log in and find the utilisation of all our provided a product they’re familiar properties around the world in with because it’s consistent different locations, giving around the world, barring us the information any legislative or to manage and fine code differences.” tune operation and Osaka is a melting performance.” pot of many industrial The significant fields, a broad crossNumber of investment into SYD section of businesses, employees at 11 and the Asia Pacific universities and tech Digital Realty construction plan development. Two over the last 18 months cloud social media stemmed from the Digital companies immediately Osaka 1 Data Centre in Japan – its snapped up the space, and in first facility in the country, which May, Digital Realty announced it provides 7.6MW of IT capacity. is building Digital Osaka 2 ¬Data A thriving financial and colocation Centre – which is four times the centre, Osaka is the Silicon Valley of size of Osaka 1 – alongside it. Japan. A gateway for international It’s in the final stages of design and exchanges, it houses a population will launch next year. The two Osaka of more than 20mn people and has centres will create a Connected Data a GDP of approximately 80trn yen. Centre Campus, which SYD 10 and


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“The Digital Osaka 1 Data Centre was the big one that really got the attention of the guys back in the US” – Peter Adcock, Digital Realty’s APAC Vice-President, Design and Construction


February 2018

SYD 11 have been modelled on. “We always planned to expand in Sydney,” Adcock continues. “We also originally purchased a block of land next door to SYD 10, and it’s the next iteration of design – where SYD 10 is seven or eight megawatts, SYD 11 will be up to 14. “That’s driven by the increased density of the computer equipment that’s going on the white space, so that’s gone from a four to five kilowatt per cabinet average up to six, seven, eight – and in Japan we got some of that up to 12 to 15, so demand is driving the density increases as well, which is where we’ve had to become a lot more diligent on the airflow management.” Earlier this year, Digital Realty CFO for APAC, Krupal Raval, revealed many of its global top-tier clients are looking to expand massively in Australia, facilitated by the Connected Campus of SYD 10 and 11. Digital Realty Connected Campuses bring all the critical data centre, network elements, cloud and connectivity together under a single, secure environment for


Build Here. Digital Realty.

numerous Australian and international customers. They deliver the on-ramp to the cloud, plus Digital Internet Gateways that optimise customer value through massive network-dense connectivity. The beauty of the Connected Campus is that even on SYD 11’s first day of operation, there’s already a connectivity-rich environment next door, and because the two data centres are side by side sharing a common boundary, the conduits at the boundary already exist and can be connected in. “It gives a very strong ecosystem of customers through the POP and service exchange, and rather than

coming in and out of the data centre, they’re actually doing business within it,” Adcock explains. “If you have a large mix of customers, like we have, they’re all exchanging amongst each other, and once you get the on-ramp to the Cloud, players such as Amazon, Google and Microsoft – Facebook is doing something different – once you get one or two of those companies in, the whole thing starts to multiply.” In December 2015, Digital Realty announced a partnership with IBM to launch Direct Link Colo, a solution that connects customers its data centres directly to IBM Cloud via SoftLayer’s global Cloud infrastructure platform.

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“We’re being asked more frequently to provide remote services in the data centres that we’re working in” – Peter Adcock, Digital Realty’s APAC Vice-President, Design and Construction

Latest stateof-the-art, trademarked 4.0 Architecture POD (performance optimised data centres) design

By removing third party carriers, the hybrid eco-system for organisations is easier. “Some of the companies are so big, they acquire to catch up,” he adds. “IBM acquired SoftLayer and are buying into new digital technology. Microsoft is putting a lot of money to catch up with Amazon, who got an early adoption lead. And Google does its own thing.

Adcock says because the industry is growing so quickly, the biggest challenge is finding employees with the right skillset – and keeping them. “We’re being asked more frequently to provide remote services in the data centres that we’re working in,” he reveals. “I think that’s just a case of, things are growing so quickly, some of our customers are trying to push more of that onto us,


which is something we support. “But everyone is struggling to find people that are trained. It’s interesting, as we’re actually finding companies that are either evolving the company itself – or groups within the company – to specifically service data centre work. “It’s quite a unique skill set because, you actually want a highquality product built quickly to start with, which is challenging itself – but these facilities are never build out 100% day one. “And we use a modular, POD-type system, so as you go back and do those build outs in a live data centre, you need to have tradespeople that are very aware of what environment they’re working in – you don’t want something they’re doing to bring down customers’ operations.

“These have to bve very precisely planned and designed and built so that you can shut down sections of it, and use your redundancy to do your maintenance without impacting on the customer. So, you tend to build quite strong relationships with very precise people that understand the whole Permit for Work process and are very detailed.” He reveals another challenge is that whenever anyone wants to start up a data centre, they try to entice staff away from Digital Realty, because they know they’ve been well trained, and the process and procedures in place are industry-leading. In Australia, co-location growth is predicted at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.4% until 2022, and managed hosting revenues predicted to grow at a CAGR of 14.5%.

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Digital Tseung Kwan O - A virtual tour of Digital Realty’s Hong Kong Data Center

ONCE FULLY OPERATIONAL, SYD11 WILL BE A 14MW FACILITY, ACROSS A TOTAL OF 16,360 SQM But Adcock claims the future of colocation managed services is hard to define over the next few years. “Now, with your cloud, you’ve got private, public and hybrid,” he explains. “What colocation does, and always will, is allow the smaller companies as they’re growing a stepping stone. “But equally, with the Amazon and Microsoft, they’re almost virtualising that colocation process – and to the same extent, we are, through the service exchange. That gives you the chance to connect to a lot of different services, and electronically, where in the past you used to have


February 2018

the physical cross connects. “They’ll still be around, but I think the business is evolving and virtualising a lot of those features. I think the big thing is going to be ‘bots’, so rather than speaking to a person, it’s an automated service.” He uses the analogy of driverless cars, saying a lot of those features are already currently in the background, ditto with aeroplane auto pilots, “but we still have pilots there to step in when something out of left field happens that hasn’t been programed in, and would take some time for a computer to adapt. “There’s always going to be a future


there for these,” he adds, “it’s just a matter to what scale they fit in to the whole stepping stone process.” Data centres are essential utilities, as like in previous centuries, when power, electricity, water and telephone exchanges were. Because data centres and WiFi-type services are provided at the edge, people have got used to having instantaneous content-rich data, which then dictates low latency high bandwidth services – and while they’re an essential utility, the performance they need to operate is at such a high level. “There’s a lot of talk about edge computing, and really that falls back into where you get demands for low latency,” he adds. “There’s such a data-rich environment demanded nowadays. “We used to have main frames and desktops, then it was laptops, and now handheld devices are doing the same thing. There’s so much compute power that’s embedded everywhere now that needs to be connected

back to somewhere, and the Internet of Things is going to be an amazing opportunity for people who mine that for performance and applications.” Adcock says he sees DNA genome as one of the major technology breakthroughs, and finds it mapping mind-blowing how you can have bespoke medicines targeted for you based on what genes you’ve got and how they react. “It used to take years to map the DNA genome of the humans,” he says, “and now they’re offering it as a service which is done in a matter of days. Behind that is massive compute power, so we’ve seen some of the institutional companies investing a lot of money in those analytics. “Sometimes, you dare not ask what’s happening in some of those data halls. Our POD is typically 1,000 sqm of white space and you walk in there from one end to the other and it’s just rows and rows of computers – and what they can be doing on them now is amazing.”

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Global LiFi Congress

Visible Light Communication

PARIS, CRADLE OF LIFI TECHNOLOGY The Global LiFi Congress will be the first event entirely dedicated to LiFi / Visible Light Communication (VLC). This international event will take place on February 8th and 9th, 2018 at The Palais Brongniart, near the most beautiful areas and monuments of Paris. The scientific and economic leaders of LiFi will be gathered at this event to exchange on the advancement of this new technology, discover industrial and commercial products already on the market (as wellas those to come), and understand the issues related to the connectivity of the IoT (Internet of Things). The Global LiFi Congress is supported by the world-renowned IEEE Association. All conferences will benefit from simultaneous translation, available in English and French.

The Program ■

More than 20 lectures presented by the most highly recognized experts Scientific conferences will reveal the latest advances in research and innovation surrounding LiFi. Round tables will also be held as a place for the exchange of ideas. ■

A trade show The magnificent marble hall of the Palais Brongniart, known as The Nave, will be reserved for the exhibition space. More than thirty companies, start ups, multinationals, and professional associations, will exhibit their latest innovations or products. ■

Different networking spaces A space of more than 300m2 has been allocated for the networking and exchange of ideas between scientists and businesspeople alike, to create future plans and partnerships, and also for oneon-one meetings between individuals, with whom you may arrange meetings in private.

For more information:

Construction Global - February 2018  
Construction Global - February 2018