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JAMES L WILLIAMS MIDDLE EAST SCHUCO | PELLA CORP

w w w.constructionglobal.com

Januar y 2018

IS AUTOMATION THE ANSWER TO CONSTRUCTION’S PRODUCTIVITY PUZZLE?

HOW TO

THE GREEN SHIFT:

Inside Moelven Exclusive interview with Rune Abrahamsen, CEO of Moelven Limtre

WIN A DEFENCE CONSTRUCTION CONTRACT

TOP10 CONSTRUCTIO N COMPANIES IN EUROPE


The source of value

Procurement executives across the globe continue to see the potential they can unlock throughout the supply chain. They understand that business today is about engaging, collaborating, adapting instantly to evolving needs, and finding new sources of value. Getting that value, however, can prove a challenge.


FOREWORD HELLO AND WELCOME to the January edition of Construction Global. Our first feature this month looks at green construction. Rune Abrahamsen, CEO of Moelven Limtre AS speaks about how a mixture of old and new thinking can reap environmental rewards in modern construction. Continuing with this theme, we examine the potential for sustainability in construction following on from the news that LONGi Solar, a world-leading manufacturer of the mono-crystalline solar modules found in solar panels, has confirmed its entry into the PV 3.0 era. As its name suggests, sustainability is a major factor for co-location data centre business, Green Mountain. Tor Kristian Gyland, CEO, explains more in our exclusive interview. Green Mountain is not the only sustainable data centre business to be showcased this month, either. CDLAN’s Founder and CEO Corrado Del Po gives us the inside track on the firm’s latest stateof-the-art Tier IV data centre. Away from data centres, Ammar Alul, General Manager of Schüco Middle East, highlights the importance of sustainability within construction and design We have several other exclusive company insights this month spanning three continents, as well as our list of top 10 construction companies in Europe.

Enjoy the issue! www.constructionglobal.com

www.bizclikmedia.com

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CONTENTS

F E AT U R E S LEADERSHIP & STRAGEGY

08

THE GREEN SHIFT: Inside Moelven

CONSTRUCTION 4.0

16

Is automation the answer to construction’s productivity puzzle?

24 00

How to win a defence Headline for construction the article contract

LIST

MISSION CRITICAL


S U S TA I N A B I L I T Y

32

TOP 10

The sun is rising on new ways to power buildings

A S S O C I AT I O N S A N D E V E N T S

48

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

40

Top 10 construction companies in Europe


CONTENTS

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64

C O M PA N Y P R O F I L ES

Pella Corporation USA

Green Mountain AS Europe


78

CDLAN Srl Europe

86

Australian Crane and Machinery Australia

98

James L. Williams Pty Ltd Middle East

110

SchĂźco Middle East


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


The green shift: Inside Moelven Construction Global talks to Rune Abrahamsen, CEO of Moelven Limtre AS, about how a mixture of old and new thinking can reap environmental rewards in modern construction Writ ten by MARK SPENCE


OLD AND NEW thinking can reap rewards in modern construction… On 1 March 2019 one of construction’s most exciting structures will officially open. Mjøstårnet, which translates as the ‘tower of Lake Mjøså’, is an 81m-tall timber construction that will house offices, a hotel, apartments, a restaurant and a roof terrace. The brainchild of Arthur Buchardt, Mjøstårnet offers a degree of proof that tall buildings can be built using local resources, local suppliers and sustainable wooden materials. To find out more about the project, Construction Global sat down with Rune Abrahamsen, CEO of Norwegian timber manufacturer Moelven Limtre AS, the man tasked with delivering Buchardt’s dream, to discuss what the success of Mjøstårnet could mean for the future of the industry. Building the dream The story of Mjøstårnet started in 2015, when Buchardt asked to meet Abrahamsen. As one of Scandinavia’s largest wood-processing groups with 3,500 employees across Norway, Sweden and Denmark, and a turnover of more than €1bn in 2016, Moelven Limtre was well 10

January 2018

placed to consult on the possibility of building a major timber structure. Moelven also played a key role in the construction of the Treet, a 52.8m-tall timber building in Bergen, on the west coast of Norway. “Back in February 2015 Arthur Buchardt requested a meeting,” says the Moelven CEO. “It was here that he sketched what he wanted, the world’s largest timber building, on a napkin. He asked if this was actually possible. I said ‘give me a couple of weeks and I’ll let you know’. And that’s how it all began.” While timber might offer a glimpse of the future, the use of big data and analytics is also set to play a bigger part as the industry embraces digital transformation. Many firms are starting to utilise real-time, cloud-powered analytics to help deliver high-quality, safe projects faster and at a lower cost. Has Abrahamsen noticed this shift towards the increased adoption of technology and what part has it played in the construction of Mjøstårnet? “The industry is more digitised, especially on the design and actual construction front. On this project for example, it’s possible for the builders to use an iPad to see where in the building they are in a 3D


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

Rune Abrahamsen, CEO of Moelven Limtre AS

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L E A D E R S H I P & S T R AT E G Y model and it helps amplify some of the features on site. It’s very useful when it comes to the installation and erection of the building, so you can see when everything is put in place and it helps predict the installation timelines. Technology has helped with general project management too and allowed us to keep a closer eye on budgets.” However, as a signifier of how far the industry still has to go Abrahamsen also says: “What we also found is that many of the workers actually still prefer to work off 2D prints.” Collaborating with contractors HENT, Abrahamsen and his team got to work demonstrating that wood is a genuine, viable, natural alternative to steel and concrete. “The original thinking behind the building was all

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January 2018

about climate and sustainability,” Abrahamsen continues. “Buchardt wanted to prove that, by using local resources and companies, you can construct something of this size to highlight what we in Norway call the ‘green shift’. We wanted to show that we’re moving towards a greener world. Mjøstårnet is a beacon for other developers and public builders that should encourage new wood-based projects.” Given its unique stature, what impact has Mjøstårnet had in Norway and what could these so-called new breed plyscrapers mean for the future of construction? “On a national level the project has gathered a lot of publicity and interest. There are groups of investors, developers and university students and teachers coming to the site every week. There’s a lot they want to learn and see with their own eyes. They want to understand how we’ve made this possible. In that sense it’s a big success because more and more builders and developers are coming to us and asking for similar projects so we can now say, ‘yes, we have a legitimate, alternative material to use for major construction projects.’”


“Buchardt wanted to prove that, by using local resources and companies, you can construct something of this size to highlight what we in Norway call the ‘green shift’” - Rune Abrahamsen, CEO, Moelven Limtre

Fear of fire Clearly Mjøstårnet is set to be a striking structure that suggests a positive step towards a CO2 neutral society. But there remains one big discussion point around the viability of timber as a central building material: the risk of fire. “We have a lot of experience in building these large projects, for example the Treet in Bergen, and one of the questions we often get asked is around fire. It’s, understandably, a big issue for people. However, the kind of

structure we’ve developed is very well suited to high-rise buildings because the cross sections we build meet the necessary fire requirements based on charring,” says Abrahamsen. “With a building as high as this one you need to prove it can deal with a ‘burnout’ situation. All buildings really should be divided into fire cells and if you have a fire in one, say in an apartment or a meeting room, the fire burns everything that can be burnt in that cell but eventually there is nothing more to burn and it stops.” 13


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

‘Clearly Mjøstårnet is set to be a striking structure that suggests a positive step towards a C02 neutral society. But there remains one big discussion point around the viability of timber as a central building material: the risk of fire’ Crucially, the use of glulam (glued laminated timber) plays a pivotal role in preventing the building from collapse should a fire occur. Burnout tests were carried out in 2016 that saw large glulam columns put in a furnace to undergo an ISO fire for 90 minutes. When the burners were shut off the glulam continued to char a little more. After several hours the temperature in all columns declined and the burning stopped. This proves 14

January 2018

that the large glulam columns will self-extinguish. Or, as Abrahamsen puts it: “It’s a bit like lighting a fire at home, where you’d use small sticks to light the fire with a larger log in the middle. When you go to sleep that night, the wood will continue to burn, but the next day the small sticks will have burnt away while the big log in the middle will still be there. It’s charred but it cannot be burned any further because it self-extinguishes.”


Elsewhere, visible wood in escape routes and internal walls in the main staircase and elevators will be coated with fire retardant paint and the whole building will be sprinkled. Ultimately, there can be little doubt that the official unveiling

of Mjøstürnet will represent a record-breaking feat of ingenuity and sustainability. Whether or not the industry as a whole embraces the viability of major, woodbased structures as a realistic alternative, is to be seen. 15


CONSTRUCTION 4.0

Is automation

the answer to construction's productivity puzzle? Writ ten by MARK SPENCE


As the construction industry gears up to make itself future ready, what role could automation play in the fourth industrial age? Mace’s Matt Gough spoke to Construction Global about the potential involved THE PRODUCTIVITY BENEFITS cutting edge technology can deliver are there for all to see across a number of different industries. Output per worker has increased by just over 30% in the services sector, while in manufacturing it has risen by more than 50% thanks to new technology. Unfortunately, the lacklustre statistics around the UK’s productivity levels in construction are also there for everyone to see. It’s no secret that a transformative process delivering radical yet clear and tangible productivity improvements is required in construction. More specifically, there can be little doubt that automation will increasingly become a central 18

January 2018

pillar for driving productivity growth as well as improving quality, safety and environmental sustainability across the sector. Ultimately, the desire to move towards an industry that is spearheaded by technology will change how businesses operate and


CONSTRUCTION 4.0

‘This new industrial revolution needs to be leveraged against a training programme to develop the skills required to drive construction forward’

Builders looking at tablet how buildings are constructed. All of this is something Matt Gough, Director of Innovation and Bids for the Mace Group, knows all too well. Indeed, the Mace Group’s report, ‘Moving to Industry 4.0: A Skills Revolution’, details how important it is to embrace emerging technology but also how

this new industrial revolution needs to be leveraged against a training programme to develop the skills required to drive construction forward. The future role of automation In 10-20 years’ time, it’s obvious the construction industry landscape 19


CONSTRUCTION 4.0 will look very different – but will automation provide some important answers to the productivity puzzle? “You’d hope so,” says Gough. “For us, automation is one aspect of the bigger technological change that we’re on the cusp of, Industry 4.0 – but it’s a big part of it. In terms of productivity, delivering things faster, better and more efficiently we and many others in the industry have a very significant aspiration around improvements in that area.” Weak productivity growth is clearly an area of concern, so is it fair to say that the industry’s slower approach to adopting technology is a fundamental reason for this productivity gap,

“At Mace, innovation is everybody’s responsibility and what we’ve seen are people having had experiences within their home or social life enriched by technology and wanting to replicate that at work” Matt Gough, Director of Innovation and Bids for the Mace Group 20

January 2018

especially when compared to the rapid growth of other areas such as manufacturing? “Historically, yes, the stats would suggest that we haven’t innovated or improved so we haven’t experienced the same productivity gains as some other industries over the last 20 or 30 years,” adds Gough. “But I don’t think that will be the case looking to the future. The industry is beginning to digitise rapidly. Venture capitalist investment in construction has been increasing at an astonishing pace. For example, we’ve gone from $100mn a year in investments between 2011-2014 to nearly $400mn in 2015, and that’s going up again in 2017. Plus, this year we’ve got our first introduction unicorn, which is tech speak for a billion-dollar technology startup. Looking at this amount of investment coming into the industry, and the scale of adoption within construction, it feels like the time is now.” What exactly has changed recently to enable this shift towards automation if the actual output per worker has remained flat for a number of years? “I think companies like us want better performance. We want to be more efficient and more productive. Clients


Controlling drone in warehouse

also want increased transparency and certainty of outcomes. A lot of what we’re experiencing now is driven by users or people. At Mace, innovation is everybody’s responsibility and what we’ve seen are people having had experiences within their home or social life enriched by technology and wanting to replicate that at work,” says Gough. “Also, there are new entrants to the industry. These are people who are much more comfortable with technology, see a lot of inefficiencies and feel empowered

or able to change things. It’s coming from both sides. There’s real topdown and bottom-up momentum.” Rise of the robots There may be other ramifications around the widespread roll out of technology too. On the one hand it will help address issues such as poor project management through to inadequate design processes, moving workers away from mundane tasks, but does it also mean that there’s a very real chance that jobs could be lost 21


MACE IS AN INTERNATIONAL CONSULTANCY AND CONSTRUCTION COMPANY BASED IN THE UK. IT EMPLOYS AROUND 4,500 PEOPLE ACROSS THE GLOBE AND HAS A TURNOVER OF $2.6BN+

Man controlling drone at sunset 22

January 2018


CONSTRUCTION 4.0 as a result? “Applying some economic measures and looking at the kind of jobs we expect to be impacted by automation, we’re forecasting that over 600,000 jobs over the next 20 years could become available for reskilling or retraining in the UK,” adds Gough. “We anticipate a number of jobs will change,” he continues. “We expect to see a much bigger opportunity for people to retrain and take advantage of innovation. The aspiration around this is that we can create a safer, more productive, more efficient industry. You have to believe this will all be achieved through automation.” But in terms of real, tangible instances of automation working effectively, what has Gough seen that stands out as a potential marker for the future? “We use drones to survey things like facades, so when you’re 40 storeys up in residential or commercial offices, getting outside to inspect the quality of the facade is a really difficult thing. Now we can fly drones up that can take high resolution images of the quality of that façade. It’s really useful. These could be incremental gains in the grand scheme of things around automation.”

While drones, robots, autonomous vehicles and artificial intelligence are all clearly going to have a significant role to play in the future of construction, the final talking point really revolves around what the deployment of automation will deliver financially to the industry. “If we could improve the gap between the construction industry and the whole economy, or at least halve it over the next 20 years, then we estimate the output could be up to $33.6bn higher per year. For the UK government, that means, in essence, for every four projects that they commission they can do an extra one. It’s a huge improvement and, given it’s such a big statistic, should give us the momentum to go and start unlocking some opportunities.” Accelerating the use of new technology in training, informing lifelong learning decisions and revolutionising education programmes are all examples of the recommendations mentioned in the Mace report. While this process may sound profound and exhaustive, an industry that is increasingly led by automation promises to finally address its infamous productivity gap. 23


MISSION CRITICAL

HOW TO WIN A DEFENCE CONSTRUCTION CONTRACT Writ ten by DAN BRIGHTMORE


With expenditure on the proposed Trident renewal programme set to cost in excess of £40bn, Construction Global looks at the opportunities for the construction industry to benefit from this increased spend and secure contracts up for tender, part of annual expenditure totalling 2% of the UK’s GDP

DEFENCE CONTRACTS COVER far more than weapons, aircraft and the like. Procurement teams at the UK’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) buy a wide variety of products and services ranging from clothing to satellite communication systems, from workforce provision to construction of buildings. The MoD currently spends approximately £19.6bn (US$26.45bn) with third parties on a diverse range of products and services. This amounts to 40-45% of total government spend with third parties, with the UK government one of only five NATO member states to meet the alliance’s goal of spending 2% of GDP on defence annually. In addition to this 25


MISSION CRITICAL

‘The opportunity is there for the construction industry to win contracts to fulfil the need for everything from improved sea defences and new naval bases to critical upgrades to existing defence infrastructure’ 26

January 2018

annual spend, the UK government has commissioned the Trident renewal programme. The plan to build four new nuclear submarines to upgrade the UK’s deterrent capabilities is set to cost in excess of £40bn (US$54bn) – a figure which also includes new infrastructure. The opportunity is there for the construction industry to win contracts to fulfil the need for everything from


improved sea defences and new naval bases to critical upgrades to existing defence infrastructure. But it’s not just the major players in the market who can benefit. The MoD has announced a commitment that 25% of procurement spend will be with small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) by 2020. The MoD is keen to work with SMEs as they can offer the added advantage of being able to

combine innovative thinking with an agile and flexible approach, making the procurement process more transparent, simpler and faster. In November 2017, the MoD’s Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) cut the ribbon to mark the completion of one such project: a new accommodation complex, named the Glenart Castle Mess, for military medics working at the 27


MISSION CRITICAL Royal Centre for Defence Medicine (RCDM) based at the nearby Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham. Service personnel at the RCDM provide care for the public and members of the armed forces returning from active duty around the world. They will be living in the new six-storey building in Longbridge, which contains 180 ensuite bedrooms together with a dining room, gym and secure parking for military staff. The work has been conducted for the DIO and Surgeon General’s Headquarters by national developer St. Modwen. It forms part of the ongoing £1bn redevelopment of the former MG Rover site in southwest Birmingham which has created 4,000

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January 2018

new jobs in the area since 2003. The opening of Glenart Castle Mess follows the announcement that St. Modwen was granted planning permission for a £20mn leisure scheme at Longbridge. “The decision to choose Longbridge for this incredible facility and the investment from the DIO is testament

‘You can also market your company to an engaged community of defence buyers by becoming a part of the stakeholder community with a listing in the Supplier Directory’


TOP 10 TENDERING TIPS FROM THE MOD 1. Confirm the tender procedure, legislation and estimated value of a contract notice. Make sure you’re clear on all abbreviations and terms used. 2. Confirm the award criteria and their weightings or order of importance. Ask questions about anything you think is unclear. 3. Prepare a database of all the basic information commonly requested during the tendering process. This will allow you to have all the information you need on hand. This can include insurance details, references and financial information and so on. 4. Consider creating a ‘bid team’ comprising a few members of staff for larger contracts. Different perspectives will allow you to create a thorough and comprehensive bid. 5. Don’t be put off by the tender documentation – you can always ask for help and advice as directed within the document itself. 6. Where appropriate, cross-reference the answers or responses in your tender to the questions in the Invitation to Tender document. This will make it easier to evaluate. 7. Be clear on your pricing model and state any assumptions you have made when pricing (for example, resources required by you and/or the awarding authority, timetables, etc.). 8. Sell yourself in order to beat your competitors. Detail and explain the benefits of your offer clearly and simply. 9. You must complete and return the tender by the given time and date and make sure to sign anything that should be signed. Incomplete and/or late tenders cannot be taken forward to evaluation and will be returned. 10. If you are unsuccessful, make sure you ask for a debriefing; you are entitled to one and it will help you to understand where you went wrong.

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MISSION CRITICAL

‘The MoD has announced a commitment that 25% of procurement spend will be with small and mediumsized businesses (SMEs) by 2020’ to the success of the ongoing regeneration,” says Mark Batchelor, Senior Construction Manager at St. Modwen. “We very much welcome DIO and the fantastic accommodation they have provided to help improve the lives of people working in incredibly serious and stressful situations.” The DIO also recently awarded

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a contract worth £43mn to VolkerStevin to construct a new jetty at Thanckes Oil Fuel Depot to provide fuelling facilities for the Royal Navy at Devonport Naval Base. Opportunities like these are communicated via the Defence Contracts Online (DCO) website at contracts.mod.uk. where you can register to receive daily MoD contract alerts, ensuring you never


miss opportunities that fit your business profile. Elsewhere, firms can also gain market insights, and keep up to date with the latest MoD announcements regarding contract notices and market leads, by registering with Defence Online (defenceonline.co.uk) the official partner of the MoD DCO supplier portal. You can also market your company to an engaged community

of defence buyers by becoming a part of the stakeholder community with a listing in the Supplier Directory. This appears on both portals, offering an important resource for prime contractors, buyers or SMEs looking for industry specialist contacts. To find out more about all MoD contract opportunities, request an information pack at www.contracts.mod.uk/information-pack

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SOLAR POWER

The sun is rising on new ways to power buildings


LONGi Solar, a world-leading manufacturer of the mono-crystalline solar modules found in solar panels, has confirmed its entry into the PV 3.0 era. Construction Global examines Writ ten by DAN BRIGHTMORE


What is PV 3.0? Set to be the future industry standard for photovoltaic solar panels, it is being talked up by Zhengguo Li, President of LONGi Group, the global market leader in solar power tech. “PV 3.0 means that we are entering a phase that enables solar investors to use high efficiency, high quality and high energy yield crystalline modules of over 300W nominal power for their solar installations,” says Li. LONGi Solar unveiled its 300W+ solar module series, based on 60-cell standard modules with over 300W nominal power and 72-cell modules exceeding 360W, at the Solar Power International trade show in Las Vegas last September (2017). In simple terms, previous PV ratings were defined as periods when the modules found in solar panels had ratings between 100W and 300W (PV2.0). Nominal power rating has been a key differentiator of solar modules since they first hit the market in the 1950s. PV2.0 brought about the global mass commercialisation of solar and more affordable yet lower quality module technologies. However, improved efficiency, high quality and optimum energy yield 34

January 2018

“PV 3.0 means that we are entering a phase that enables solar investors to use high efficiency, high quality and high energy yield crystalline modules of over 300W nominal Power for their solar installations” - Zhengguo Li, President of LONGi Group solar modules with power ratings above 300W will enable sustainable solar system designs that provide competitive levelised cost of electricity (LCOE) generation which could be vital in improving the prospects for increased implementation in commercial construction projects. Li believes that minimal product differentiation, low material reliability and serious system degradation have threatened the health of the PV industry but argues PV3.0 will change


SOLAR POWER

that: “PV3.0 will be marked by a return to the high-yielding and reliable monocrystalline cell technology. Due to the higher efficiency associated with monocrystalline modules, developers can also pack the same amount of generating power into a smaller footprint,” he comments. “This translates into cost savings during project development, as high-quality modules allow for less labour, fewer materials and much less overall maintenance. There is

also less degradation associated with monocrystalline technology, ensuring the longevity of projects and savings from delaying system replacements.” Good news for an industry which can already benefit from an array of options to harness solar energy. Solar Roof Tiles Not content with reinventing the electric car and disrupting the future of public transportation with Hyperloop, Elon Musk’s Tesla is on 35


SOLAR POWER a mission to evolve the humble roof tile. Replacing traditional tiles with solar roof tiles made of tempered glass and offered with a lifetime warranty, Tesla’s innovation works with an integrated Powerwall battery so energy collected during the day can be stored and made available any time, turning a building into a utility. Featuring invisible solar cells, Tesla’s roof tiles customise the amount of electricity a solar roof produces to meet energy needs. This is made possible by using two types of glass tile – solar tile and non-solar tile – which both appear the same from street level and are available in textured, smooth,

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Tuscan and slate finishes. With Elon Musk’s billions behind advances with these materials, opportunities will arise for specialists in the industry to offer their installation services as Tesla seeks to attract customers drawn to the benefits of solar, but looking for an aesthetic more sympathetic to the contours of a traditional roof than solar panels. Solar Roof Panels Kingspan Group have developed a system which delivers a combination of its Unidek insulated roofing combined with the sustainable power generation of solar panels. With its roots in Ireland as a family business dating back to the 1960s, having since become global leader in sustainable construction, Kingspan has previously delivered its solutions to icon projects such as London’s Olympic Village and Sydney’s Maritime Museum. The contractor recently completed work on an interconnected housing project in the newly created district of Bornsche Maten in the Netherlands. Kingspan believes innovative prefabricated multipurpose roofing systems could change the way architects and engineers fulfil their goals without


‘Not content with reinventing the electric car and disrupting the future of public transportation with Hyperloop, Elon Musk’s Tesla is on a mission to evolve the humble roof tile’

sacrificing form for function. Nieman Consulting Advisors, experts in energy-efficiency, estimate that up to 90% of the energy needed for homes in Bornsche Maten could be provided by the panels alone. Easily installed, multiple panels can simply be slotted into place on the roof frames and once lined side by side are connected by simple wiring, without the need for installing several different systems.

Power-Generating Synthetic Roofing Membranes Offering a flexible alternative to panel systems, synthetic roofing membranes capable of power generation through the use of lightweight PV modules can be the product of choice when architects need to achieve design freedom while incorporating sustainable energy provision. At last year’s BAU 2017 (the leading trade fair for architecture, materials 37


‘Kingspan believes innovative prefabricated multipurpose roofing systems could change the way architects and engineers fulfil their goals without sacrificing form for function’

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SOLAR POWER

and systems) in Munich, Alwitra unveiled the world’s first solar roofing membrane with semi-flexible PV modules consisting of crystalline silicon solar cells. Evalon Solar cSi is hailed by Alwitra as a game changer. It features a special glass-free design incorporating a patented glass fibre reinforced duromer core, which offers the combination of a proven synthetic weatherproofing roof membrane with high-performance PV modules. Adaptable to existing roof dimensions, Evalon Solar cSi comes in sections 1.55m wide and 3.49m long. The silicon solar cell PV modules with ETFE foil yield an output of 450W per membrane and these new multifunctional membranes are easy to install with topside connecting cables. “Interest in roof-integrated photovoltaics is unabated,” says Alwitra owner Joachim Gussner. “The compelling feedback at the premiere of the Evalon Solar cSi prototype encourages us to make the product available to the market and our clients as soon as possible.”

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Top 10 construction companies in Europe

One of the key measures to understanding a construction company’s growth is to examine its revenue streams. These are the Top 10 European construction companies based on revenue. Writ ten by ANDREW WOODS


TOP 10

09 KONINKLIJKE BAM GROEP (Netherlands)

10 NCC AB (Sweden) Founded in 1988, NCC ranks as the second largest construction company in the Nordic area, posting $6.34bn in 2016 revenue. CEO HĂĽkan Broman took the reins as acting CEO in October, 2017, after the outfit saw a modest backslide in revenue from 2015. The diversified company handles projects that include residential and commercial properties, civil engineering, roadways and public facilities, among others. Based in Stockholm, Sweden, the outfit employs upwards of 17,000 people and has taken on projects in Germany and the Baltic region. Its most noteworthy works include the 54-story Turning Torso building in Malmo, Oresund Link, Vasa Museum and Kista Science Tower. 42

January 2018

Headquartered in Bunnik, Netherlands, this diverse construction organization delves into environmental engineering, residential and nonresidential construction, utilities and facility management among others. Koninklijke BAM Groep’s 2016 revenue was $8.14bn and it is structured into four segments. These include mechanical and electrical services for residential and commercial construction, a civil engineering wing, a property development sector, as well as a PPP segment that focuses on roads, rail, education, health care, and general construction. It includes a wide range of subsidiaries such as BAM Bouw en Vastgoed, BAM Construct UK, BAM Deutschland, BAM Belgium, BAM Contractors, BAM Infra, BAM Nuttall, Wayss & Freytag Ingenieurbau and BAM International. Its major accomplishments include the Amsterdam Arena football stadium, Antwerp Law Courts, Euroborg football stadium and the HSL-Zuid high-speed rail.


07 BALFOUR BEATTY (UK)

08 FERROVIAL (Spain) Headquartered in Madrid, this Spanish-based construction outfit saw a sizeable bump in revenue from 2015 to 2016. That upwardly trending revenue rose from $11.31bn to $12.55bn under the direction of CEO Iñigo Meirás Amusco. Employing upwards of 75,000 people, the company serves Spain, Portugal, Ireland, Switzerland, Greece, Canada, Chile, U.K. and the United States. Although the company’s name literally means “railroad,” its diversified operations include infrastructure projects, airport management, as well as residential and commercial building. Subsidiaries include Amey plc, and percentages of AGS Airports, and Heathrow Airport Holdings. Its most notable work is the Guggenheim Museum.

Based in London, Balfour Beatty enjoyed a 2016 revenue stream of $12.36bn. The more than 100-year-old outfit works primarily in infrastructure, providing constructions services as well as support and investments. Its infrastructure work includes refurbishing existing structures, rail renewal and public roads. The company also enjoys a 50% stake in the Hong Kong-based Gammon Construction company. Balfour is overseen by CEO Leo Quinn and the 2016 revenue performed lower than the 2015 numbers. Its notable works date back to the Churchill Barriers in Orkney completed during the 1940s and the London Aquatics Centre in 2011. Key projects such as the Crossrail Liverpool Street Station, Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route are expected to reach completion during 2018. The outfit employs more than 30,000 people.

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TOP 10

06 STRABAG

05 EIFFAGE

(Austria)

(France)

The Austria-based construction outfit employs more than 71,000 people and pulled in revenue upwards of $14.46bn in 2016. That was a dip from the 2015 revenue of $15.28bn behind CEO Thomas Birtel. Specializing in projects such as tunnels, civil engineering, and a variety of transportation infrastructure, Strabag has three main branch operations. One segment manages operations in Germany, Scandinavia, Poland and the Benelux countries with regards to offshore wind and hydraulic engineering. Another sector targets railway construction in countries such as Switzerland, Slovakia, Hungary, Austria and Russia among others. The international wing focuses on tunnelling, properties, infrastructure and materials. Strabag’s notable works include the Alte Wesser lighthouse, Copenhagen Metro, and Limerick tunnel in Ireland.

This French engineering company is based in Asnières-sur-Seine and reported revenue of $16.69bn in 2016. Under the leadership of CEO Pierre Berger, Eiffage improved its revenue from $16.45bn in 2015. Eiffage has been a fast-riser in the construction world. Founded only 25 years ago, it has already emerged as a top five revenue-getter and completed projects such as the Channel Tunnel, Copenhagen Metro, Millau Viaduct and LGV Perpignan-Figueres highspeed rail. With a workforce topping 60,000 employees, the organisation has sectors in Belgium, Germany, Spain and Italy.

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03 BOUYGUES (France)

04 SKANSKA (Sweden) $17.91bn Although Skanska saw its revenue slip from $19.13bn to $17.91bn in 2016, the Sweden-based outfits continues to be a top five European earner. Founded in 1887, Skanska is considered one of the oldest construction outfits in all of Europe. It focuses on construction, development, and infrastructure works and has holding in the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland among others. Under the leadership of President and CEO Johan Karlström, Skanska has been touted as leading Green Builder in the U.K. and United States. The company earned the 2014 Financial Times’ “Boldness in Business Award.” Its notable works include St. Mary Axe, Mater Dei hospital in Malta, and London’s tallest building, Heron Tower.

Founded by Francis Bouygues in 1952, this Paris-based construction outfit has nearly 120,000 employees and pulled in revenue of more than $37bn in 2016. Now led by Chairman and CEO Martin Bouygues, its global interests include things such as civil engineering, real estate development, public works, and media telecommunications among others. It enjoys a presence in 80 countries and notable works include Paris’ Parc des Princes in Paris, Tour First, Musée d’Orsay, and Grande Arche among many others.

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02 ACS (Spain) With more than 210,000 employees and 2016 revenue exceeding $37.30bn, ACS stands as one of Europe’s most prominent construction companies. Under the leadership of CEO Florentino Pérez, ACS has grown divisions that include residential and non-residential construction,

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infrastructure, services, industrial companies and minority investments. In 2011, it upped its stake in Hochtief to more than 50%, effectively taking ownership. It’s major notable successes include the Alqueva Dam, Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia, Torre Agbar, LGV Perpignan–Figueres High Speed railway and the Portugués Dam in Ponce, Puerto Rico, among others.


01 VINCI (France) Headquartered in Rueil-Malmaison, France, Vinci enjoyed a steady revenue stream. In both 2015 and 2016, it exceeded $44bn to be Europe’s best. The construction outfit was founded in 1899 under the name Société Générale d’Entreprises S.A. and changed to Vinci in 2000. It enjoys deep roots in Europe and

worldwide interests that include airports in Japan, Brazil, Portugal and has won public works projects in the United States. CEO Xavier Huillard oversees an operation of more than 180,000 employees. The company’s notable works include the Gariep Dam, Yamoussoukro Basilica, Pont de Normandie, Stade de France, and the Atlantic Bridge, Panama, which is expected to be completed in 2018.

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A S S O C I AT I O N S A N D E V E N T S

EVENTS Writ ten by ANDREW WOODS


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


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EVENT CES 2018 LOCATION LAS VEGAS, USA DATES 9–12 JANUARY www.ces.tech Experience the ‘entire connected ecosystem’ that brings together the technologies, solutions, players and audiences in the smart city sector including: IoT, 5G connectivity, transportation and smart automotive, energy and utilities, health and public safety, artificial intelligence and data analytics. “With global spending on smart cities projected to reach $34.35bn by 2020, we are pleased to announce a dedicated conference program and exhibition focused on this global initiative. Be part of the discussion on how this explosive growth will influence policies, transportation, cities and towns, our industry and our planet.”

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EVENT THE NAHB INTERNATIONAL BUILDERS’ SHOW LOCATION ORLANDO, FLORIDA, USA DATES 9–11 JANUARY www.buildersshow.com The event is billed as the largest annual light construction show in the world, every year attracting 60,000 visitors from 100 countries. There will be 1,400 top manufacturers and suppliers from around the globe in 570,000 net square feet of exhibit space, showcasing the latest products and services during NAHB’s 75th anniversary.


EVENT ECOBUILD 2018 LOCATION EXCEL, LONDON DATES 6-8 MARCH 2018 EVENT AGC CONVENTION LOCATION HYATT REGENCY, NEW ORLEANS, USA DATES 26–28 FEBRUARY www.convention.agc.org 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.

www.ecobuild.co.uk The number one event for forward thinkers in the built environment. There will be 25,000-plus visitors and 450-plus 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’.

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EVENT FUTURE CITIES SHOW 2018 LOCATION DUBAI WORLD TRADE CENTRE, DUBAI, UAE DATES 9-11 APRIL www.futurecitiesshow.com 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-plus exhibitors across 141 countries.

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EVENT THE WORLD GREEN BUILDING COUNCIL CONGRESS 2018 LOCATION TORONTO, CANADA DATES 3–7 JUNE www.worldgbc.org 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.


EVENT WEBIT.FESTIVAL EUROPE 2018 LOCATION SOFIA, BULGARIA DATES 26-27 JUNE www.webit.bg 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-plus 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 www.londonbuildexpo.com 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.

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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


P E L L A C O R P O R AT I O N

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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

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“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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#processmining


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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

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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

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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


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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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Pride of Norway: How Green Mountain is impacting the global data centre industry Written by Nell Walker Produced by Lewis Vaughan


G R E E N M O U N TA I N A S

Tor Kristian Gyland, CEO of Green Mountain, describes the wealth of competitive advantages offered by his business in its quest to be the greenest data centre business in the world

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ounded by the Smedvig family, a group well-renowned in Norway since 1915, Green Mountain – an exceptionally sustainable co-location data centre business – is perfectly placed in the most prolific hydroelectric hub around. The Smedvig family had spent decades in the oil and gas industry, even implementing the first Norwegian-owned oil rig in the North Sea, before exiting that market in 2006, and buying a great deal of property with which to make smart investments. One such investment was Green Mountain. Tor Kristian Gyland has around 25 years of experience in the industry and joined the Green Mountain team in 2010, a year after its inception. Within his former Chief Operating Officer role, Gyland was focused on operational and technical responsibilities, as well as establishing the two data centre sites Green Mountain currently operates. Now, he has taken the helm as Chief Executive Officer, and leads the business in its drive to be the greenest data centre business in the world.

Thanks to investor faith in the Smedvig family to make the right decisions, Green Mountain found its feet quickly, and is now a major player in the local and international data centre market. “Norway is in a unique position thanks to the amount of hydro power being produced,” says Gyland. “A lot of countries in Europe are quite envious of that, and it was one of the reasons behind the decision for the Smedvig family to invest in a data centre in Norway. They were following that industry, and saw that Norway had a unique potential to take a huge part of the co-location market.” Sustainability was a vital ingredient for this project. “The first data centre location we were able to get hold of close to Stavanger, was a former NATO ammunition storage facility inside a mountain and has a fjord next to it that enables natural cooling. The goal was then to build the greenest data centre in the world, and we are certainly a market leader for that. We are setting the green standard.” While using hydroelectric energy and cold water for cooling is nothing new in Norway, Green Mountain has

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ALTIBOX IS BUILDING TOMORROW’S FIBER NETWORK Opportunities and challenges go hand in hand when we talk about the future. Norway is the world leader in using technology - and Altibox customers are at the forefront of this development. Since 2002, we have been aware that tomorrow’s technology would require fiber. And we are proud to offer our customers world-class fiber technology today.


Altibox has a heart in the mountains – that’s for sure! Norway’s largest data center is located 175 meters deep inside the mountain of Rennesøy in Rogaland. It is a fully monitored, secured and organized area where unbelievably large amounts of data are stored. Here, in what was formerly NATO’s ammunition store, Altibox has placed its server park. Safety at the facility is strict, and even the smallest movement is continuously monitored around the clock. It is also important for Altibox to care about the environment. Therefore, we have placed our servers in green data centers powered by renewable energy. From the cool Mastra Fjord water is collected from 100 meters deep. This is pumped into the plant and maintains a constant temperature of 8 degrees.

Altibox fiber for ALL! Altibox is the first in the Nordic countries, the second in Europe and one of the 10 first companies in the world to use new core routers from Cisco (NCS). The powerful equipment helps Altibox meet the customers’ capacity needs and reduces the increase in expenses associated with future traffic growth. Regardless of whether the company is local, federal or has branches in several places in Norway, we have the broadband solution that guarantees security, stability and superior capacity - both today and in the future.


Design a platform for the future Your data centres must stand up to current and future demands for increasing capacity, performance and uptime. Our Infrastructure as a Platform solutions address the key building blocks of agile, scalable data centres: risk management, network migration, power optimisation, thermal efficiency and data centre infrastructure management enablement. Deployment is planned to your site, schedule and budget specifications.

For more information, contact your Anixter representative or visit anixter.com/datacentre. anixter.com/emea

Products. Technology. Services. Delivered Globally.


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upscaled those natural resources heavily to the extent that no competitors have an identical solution. With the Stavanger data centre successfully opened in 2013, customers were soon requesting another in a different region with zero redundancy. Thus, Green Mountain opened a second data centre at a brownfield location in Telemark a year later. This data centre has no real limitation on land, ensuring the business can continue to grow, and is proving to be of particular interest to international customers. The mistake some people make, says Gyland, is thinking that Norway is in the middle of nowhere, but those in the know are aware of Norway’s exceptional latency. “We’re quite close to London,” he explains. “The latency from the Stavanger location to London is 6.5 milliseconds, and the cost of operating a data centre within London compared to Norway is incomparable. We are able to deliver capacity at a much more competitive price, especially when you add in that the power cost in Norway is a third of what it is in

the UK. As a result, we have a lot of interest from the UK market moving outside of London and seeing the benefit of our data centres.” The advantages of Green Mountain’s location are unending, and while the business always keeps its eye on the market elsewhere, Gyland and his management team have yet to find another nation that even remotely compares. “Our belief that building where the power is and using fibre cables to transport the data communication, rather than transporting power, has proved a successful model for us – but we are always looking into opportunities, both inside and outside of Norway,” he states. Some of the highest levels of sustainability in the world are not all Green Mountain has to offer customers. The business offers two solution models depending on the volume of data the customer needs to store; for a smaller volume, Green Mountain can create and fill a hundred-rack room in around three months using trusted contractors who are used to establishing new

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“We are able to deliver capacity at a much more competitive price, especially when you add in that the power cost in Norway is a third of what it is in the UK” – Tor Kristian Gyland, CEO

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infrastructure. Thanks to the cooling system, the business is able to go to a high capacity per rack, meaning that space and temperature are not issues. Larger companies needing over two megawatts of data space can expect to have the space they need created within six months, and while Green Mountain is unable to be quite as flexible with this option, it is still one of the most efficient choices. This level of flexibility is made simple thanks to Green Mountain’s grasp of advanced IT. After identifying early on that the business required a DCIM (data centre infrastructure management)

Sustainability is key to Green Mountain’s operations

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WE CARE

Nokas is a leading security group with operations in Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland. We supply security and cash handling solutions to clients across Scandinavia.

www.nokas.com | post@nokas.com

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Inside a Green Mountain data centre

solution for its customers, Green Mountain originally used a standard vendor service, but quickly realised that it wasn’t good enough. “There were a lot of limitations,” Gyland explains. “The cost of consultants was exploding, there were licensing issues, and problems with integration. So, three years ago, we decided to develop our own system. “The one thing about us operating as a co-location facility is that we’re not that involved in what’s happening in the rack – that’s the

customer’s responsibility – and a lot of the DCIM products cover the entire range of rack information, so we were able just to take what we needed for our requirements and built it into our own system.” One major advantage of the service Green Mountain has ended up with is cutting down on administrative work, due to the system itself generating reports for the customer. The customer can see the overview of what is happening with their servers in real-time, but on top of that, Green Mountain creates PDF reports and automatically bills clients for power. “We wanted a solution where we could automatically match the agreed SLA [service-level agreement] with the achieved SLA. We had that as a goal and spent half a year developing our own solution. Having gone live in October last year, this solution has revolutionised the market. A lot of our competitors see what we’ve done and are envious of it. We have even received several awards for it.” So where can Green Mountain go from here? Gyland is currently focussed on further improving sustainability within

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the business, despite having most elements of that ticked off thanks to the location. But on top of that, waste management is a priority, and also the waste management of the company’s customers. It stands to reason that a business fiercely proud of its lack of environmental impact would hold standards for its clients too. “We have KPIs on the amount of waste being recycled, and if our customers are not recycling within our KPIs, we let them know,” Gyland states. Green Mountain’s other focus is continuing to be competitive and connected. It has worked extensively on Norway’s connectivity as it has historically been an issue,

due to the size of the land mass compared with a small population. As such, the business has invested heavily in fibre to the point that its connectivity is now competitive within the European market. “Having all those elements in place, my main focus will be bringing that message out in the international market and attracting more clients,” Gyland says. “We have an employee in Toronto working on the American market, where the focus is moving to the Nordics, and two sales people employed in the UK, with more to come internationally. “It is now being noted that Norway is special and I want to keep that awareness growing.”

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CDLAN’s Caldera21 puts Milan on the colocation map Written by Tom Wadlow Produced by Lewis Vaughan


CDLAN SRL

Having opened in June 2016, company Founder and CEO Corrado Del Po gives the inside track on the state-of-the-art Tier IV data centre

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passion for IT and growing fascination of the internet while studying in Milan led Corrado Del Po to found CDLAN in 2000, a company which today boasts a $20mn turnover and has elevated the city’s reputation for high quality data services. Last year, the business opened its most impressive asset to date, Caldera21, a Tier IV equivalent colocation data centre in the heart of Milan’s data district, Caldera Park.


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“The Italian colocation industry has been historically dominated by telco data centres while the internet core was growing in Caldera Park, a private campus and the most network dense area in the city,” Del Po explains. “It is only in recent years that massive data centres have been launched around Milan, sites managed by large international companies.” CDLAN certainly competes with the global players that have moved into town, no better demonstrated

than by the recent awarding of ISO 27001: 2013 and ISO 9001: 2015 quality management certifications. Its clients can be rest assured that their data is safe when housed in one of its facilities. Caldera21 This rings true at the company’s newest colocation data centre, Caldera21. A purpose-built data centre, as opposed to the other facilities on the Caldera Park

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ITALIAN COOLING SOLUTIONS HiRef develop innovative and high technology cooling solutions for Data Centers and telecom shelters with the highest reliability. HiRef offer the most effective solutions for end user needs through continuous R&D and clear customerorientated philosophy. All the strategic phases are carried out inside HiRef premises, based in Italy: research and development, design, assembling, performance tests

www.hiref.it | info@hiref.it

“High resiliency, high power density, high security level and redundant connectivity – having all of these qualities meant that our data centre was natively born without a competitor” CORRADO DEL PO, FOUNDER AND CEO, CDLAN

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campus, it is also the site’s only exclusively colocation facility. “With a multi-year experience operating in the business campus and a good understanding of what new and existing customers wanted from their co-lo provider, we have simply built up a data centre whose features were unique compared to the existing campus data centres,” Del Po says. “High resiliency, high power density, high security level and redundant connectivity – having all of these qualities meant that our data centre was natively born without a competitor. Essentially, we built a five-star hotel on the last piece of land available in a city with only three-star hotels.” Being a 3,100 sqm building with an initial 400 rack capacity and 1,400 sqm of whitespace, Caldera21 is physically sizable as well as technologically future-proof. Del Po also points to the sustainable credentials of the data centre, which include energy efficient lighting and an effective, bespoke cooling system. The latter in particular is emphasised


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by Del Po as key to cutting energy use. The 800mm raised floor allows breathing space for wiring and helps to distribute heat, while the internal mechanics of the building permit hot and cold aisle containment which helps to eliminate hotspots. Despite the constraints of operating in a business campus, which limits the size of the cooling system that can be installed outside of the building, Caldera21 still achieves a 1.35 annualised power usage effectiveness (PUE).

with speed and a personal touch, key components that Del Po is eager to maintain. “Human relationships define our customer service and support,” he says. “CDLAN is a 30-people company and even if we implemented a full suite of self-provisioned services through our customer portal, we still prefer to maintain a personal contact between our customers and staff.” Another crucial factor in ensuring customer happiness for Del Po is offering value, and CDLAN has greatly

Customer-centric CDLAN’s team handle all technical and customer engagement operations, allowing it to operate

CORRADO DEL PO Founder and CEO, CDLAN

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diversified its portfolio of services in order to become more relevant to its clients. As well as providing fibre optic, ADSL and XDSL, wireless and transit IP internet solutions to businesses in Milan, CDLAN also provides a number of Voice over IP services. This is on top of the cloudbased staples like disaster recovery, virtual servers, remote backup, data storage and ecommerce functions. As well as the ISO certifications, the company has other accreditations that demonstrate its ability to deliver its ever-widening suite of services. It has achieved Level 3 Master Italian Reseller status, a testament to the quality and cost-effectiveness of its broadband provision, and has also been awarded professional service provider status by VMware. With the global colocation data centre market set to grow from $31.52bn this year to $62.30bn by 2022, growing at over 14.5% a year, CDLAN is well placed to take advantage of businesses in the Milan region looking to reap the advantages on offer. Del Po concludes: “Our goal will

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“CDLAN is a 30-people company and even if we implemented a full suite of selfprovisioned services through our customer portal, we stillw prefer to maintain a personal contact between our customers and staff” CORRADO DEL PO FOUNDER AND CEO, CDLAN

be to leverage from co-lo and cloud services and to grow our value-added services. The premium position of our state-of-the-art data centre in the heart of the Italian internet, the technical capabilities to tailor customised solutions and the smart way we move compared to larger enterprises, will help us achieve this.”


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SUPPORTING THE PRESENT AND FUTURE NEEDS OF THE

CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY Written by John O’Hanlon Produced by Jeff Debicki


A U S T R A L I A N C R A N E & M A C H I N E RY

Australian Cranes & Machinery is in a process of exponential growth and investment, using its long-established expertise to meet the changing demands of a strong pipeline of projects

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ustralian Cranes & Machinery (ACM) is a privately-owned business: its current Managing Director Ben Potter is the third generation of his family to lead the business, which was established in Melbourne to sell mainly P&H and Kobelco cranes to the Australian market. ACM has held the agency for Kobelco for at least 12 years, distributing crawler cranes and other products in Australasia, New Zealand and the Pacific islands including Papua New Guinea. Since 2007, ACM has been undergoing a transformation, establishing a strong market position in elevated work platforms (EWPs), otherwise known as aerial platforms or, colloquially, cherry pickers. In 2016, ACM purchased a plant hire company serving its current footprint. This is a side of the business that it is expanding: not everyone wants or needs to own its own cranes or EWPs,

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and other customers may have only short-term need for the equipment. This strategic acquisition gives ACM a steady revenue stream which is less affected by the vagaries of the construction industry. It also provides a useful vehicle for it to field test the new equipment of its own design and manufacture coming out of its Melbourne assembly facility, explains Michael Kobilke, ACM’s Director of Production and Engineering. After two decades working for leading German crane manufacturer Liebherr, he was persuaded to join ACM to lead the company’s expansion in product development and production. Since opening an office in Perth, Western Australia, ACM has a branch in every state and a support team in New Zealand too, giving it the ability to distribute, service and maintain its platforms. The EWP market is rather different from the crane market, says


AUSTRALIA

“OVER THE NEXT FIVE YEARS, AUSTRALIA WILL SPEND ABOUT AU$50BN ON RAIL EXPANSION AND INFRASTRUCTURE INCLUDING ELECTRIFICATION” – Michael Kobilke, Director: Production and Development

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ACM Holden

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Kobilke. “Many crane companies Melbourne Metro, Yarra Trams and work with man baskets lifting people Queensland Rail. “We think this is an up to work at height but our platforms important sector for our products,” are much more highly customised.” says Kobilke. “Over the next five years, A primary market is rail maintenance, Australia will spend about AU$50bn for which ACM produces a range on rail expansion and infrastructure of specially designed, truckincluding electrification.” While mounted vehicles for measuring and long haul trains will still be dieselrigging overhead wires. As powered, some mid-range electrification grows, there services, for example has been an expanding a proposed system need for EWPs like linking Melbourne, the 16-ton 105SP Sydney Brisbane, which has a working will be electric. height of up to 10m Apart from rail above the rails and infrastructure, other Year ACM was a generous 2x2.5m fast-growing sectors founded working platform. will provide a demand These platforms are for specialised EWPs. He fully insulated, allowing trained quotes telecoms as an example. engineers to work on live overhead “As the mobile service providers lines where needed. The truck drives move from 3G to 4G and 5G, all the to a level crossing point, aligns with towers have to be adapted to suit the rails and then lifts itself up onto its these systems. We have platforms built-in bogies, on which it can drive with a jib crane so you can hoist the itself along the track at up to 35kmph. 150kg antenna up, and the engineer If it needs to stop on a cambered can work from a basket to install it.” curve, it will level itself. Among the The standard procedure has been to customers to which these units have use a jib crane to hoist the antenna been supplied are Sydney Trains, the and then have a man basket on the

1973

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lappgroup.com

Lapp Group is a leading supplier of integrated solutions and branded products in the field of cable and connection technology. The Group’s product portfolio includes standard and highly flexible cables, industrial connectors and cable entry systems, customized system solutions, automation technology and robotics solutions for the intelligent factory of the future, as well as technical accessories. In partnership with Treotham Automation in Australia, Lapp Group’s core markets are in the industrial machinery, plant engineering, food & beverage, renewable energy and rail sectors.

t: 1300 65 75 64 e: info@treotham.com.au w: www.treotham.com.au


AUSTRALIA

main hook to do the installation. This is both cumbersome and costly. ACM platforms are completely mobile and the engineer has the controls at his fingertips so he or she can position everything direct from the basket. The energy sector is providing limitless opportunities as Australia addresses its lack of power lines. Rigging the lines takes an industrial truck: once the lines are in use, the companies need insulated EWPs to maintain them. That’s for baseload energy; however, in all global markets the emphasis is shifting to renewables, and wind energy forms a huge part of that. It’s a priority for ACM to meet the future needs of this industry – at the moment the largest unit it makes is 40m but that will soon change, promises Kobilke. “We are currently developing a 52m industrial unit mounted on a 6x6 truck. We are also developing a 46m electric or insulated unit, with an insulated jib to give us the safety we require. Our next step, in 2018, will be a 73m unit which we plan to operate on an all-terrain crane chassis.” The 52m and 73m versions, he adds, will be

modifiable as rescue machines for fire departments, with water pumped up to the basket. It’s a policy of ACM to plan adaptability into its new designs. By 2020, Kobilke would like to have designed a 140m unit for the wind energy market. “These days wind turbines have hub heights up to 135-145m, so when the cranes are hoisting up the turbine someone has to unhook the chain. Then there is maintenance on the blades, the hubs and the gearboxes: you need to get people up there to do these jobs,” he says. The biggest units currently on the market are 116m, but most of these can’t be transported legally on Australian roads. Recognising this gap, ACM wants to push into that market. It also plans a strategic alliance with a manufacturer of heavy cranes to use its all-terrain chassis: “These have the stability and structure to reach the heights we require as well as the transport loading and site loading needed,” Kobilke adds. All this expansion is planned on machines designed and built by ACM. Since 2007, it has had a manufacturing plant at Melbourne from which it has

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hitherto issued some 15 new machines a year. But a new 10,000sqm facility with a production workshop and a test shed is under construction and should be ready by March 2018, employing around 60 people on platform assembly. Even this plant will be too small by then. In August 2016, ACM opened a plant in Korea to do the steelwork and pre-assembly of EWP superstructures, which are shipped to Australia for customisation and mounting on the trucks. This facility was expanded in October this year, tripling its footprint, so it’s not

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surprising that more space in Australia is urgently needed. The new plant will have a very large 1,600-tonne capacity press brake, line boring machines, laser cutters and automated welding for the higher-run items. It will also have a 20m high shed so that testing can take place under cover. This will be the most comprehensive EWP travel tower and mobile crane manufacturing and repair facility in Victoria, if not Australia. But the next phase is much more ambitious – in October the last car rolled off the line


“WE ARE CURRENTLY DEVELOPING A 52M INDUSTRIAL UNIT MOUNTED ON A 6X6 TRUCK THAT ALSO CAN BE USED AS A FIRE RESCUE UNIT” – Michael Kobilke, Director: Production and Development

at Holden’s Adelaide plant, marking the end of car production in Australia. The huge site is destined to become a business park, and ACM would like to move its HQ and manufacturing there, employing some 200 people and giving priority to former Holden workers who, after all, won’t have much difficulty transferring their skills to the tasks of EWP and crane manufacture and assembly. Kobilke is confident that 2018 will see the number of units produced

treble to around 45. “We attended Conexpo this year, and I think I can say that the North and South American market has now discovered us. We have appointed dealers in the USA and Canada, as well as in Chile, Peru and Mexico: already we’ve received the first orders from North America and are receiving strong enquiries.” And from January, ACM will also have a sales representative working in the European markets. All this marketing activity is matched by

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a push in production and product development. “I am currently expanding our engineering team,” Kobilke says. “On the design side we have four mechanical engineers, and we have three software engineers working on our control systems.” Not many manufacturers can offer remote monitoring services and the ability to do this is a differentiator

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for ACM. Maintenance optimisation software is in development that will constantly monitor the machinery right down to the component level. That will be launched in 2018 to coincide with the international launch of the new ACM 6000 60-tonne hydraulic crane mounted on an Isuzu FYX2500 10x4 automatic truck. “In the crane sector the all-terrain style tends to dominate due to its versatility but truck mounted cranes have an advantage in long distance markets because they can travel at 110kph on the freeway,” explains Kobilke. With an overall weight of 37.5 tons spread over five axles, this crane is the only one of its size that can travel without permits on the roads of Australia and New Zealand. And it is exactly this advantage that will make it attractive in other long-distance markets like the USA and Canada, he believes. As well as upgrading its in-house computer programmes, ACM is taking steps to optimise its entire supply chain. At the same time Kobilke is planning to source large machinery to handle the high tensile steel imported from Northern Europe to make the


AUSTRALIA

larger booms: “We have to get this material into Korea to our suppliers to bend and weld the sections. A lot of these companies are mid-size family businesses, so there’s a lot of ramp-up planning with them as they put more people on and increase their capacity.” By 2021 Kobilke would like to establish a facility in the Korea Free Trade Zone that will enable ACM to do its own steel work. By then, he says, the target is to reach an output of around 85 machines a year. ACM Hire is going to be expanded, organically and, if necessary, by further acquisition, until it has a fleet of around 300 machines in Australia, and this in itself will create demand for the factory, which will need to be producing around

40 units a year as replacements. Meanwhile, Kobilke and his colleagues will be extraordinarily busy. He is in the process of hiring two more engineers, a further megatronic engineer and a design engineer for vehicles, bringing in the best available skills from Europe and Australia. And the rail units, which started this discussion, will not be neglected: they will be showcased at the Building Owners and Managers Association International show (Boma) at Austin, Texas in 2018. Electrification is not unique to Australia: by developing the best, customised EWPs and cranes for all its markets at competitive prices, the European and North American markets are there for the taking.

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The Middle East’s top MEP contractor Written by Laura Mullan Produced by Craig Daniels


JAMES L WILLIAMS MIDDLE EAST

Initially focusing on design and build projects had helped James L Williams Middle East carve a niche in the ever-competitive construction sector. Chief Operating Officer Ramy Boufarhat describes how the company has grown since then to become a leading MEP firm in the Middle East

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amed for its breath-taking skylines and architectural feats, the Middle East’s mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) sector is an aggressive industry to be in. With stringent competition and tightening margins, it’s all about differentiating yourself from the market, and no-one understands this better than the team at James L Williams (JLW) Middle East. Since it was first established less than a decade ago, the UAE division of James L Williams has grown exponentially, emerging as one of the top MEP players in the region. This success is largely down to the company’s initial decision to target a niche segment

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of the market and then grow the company thereafter says Chief Operating Officer Ramy Boufarhat.

Focusing on ‘design and build’ contracts “We had seen that there was a void in the market for technically astute, design-oriented engineering contractors in the region,” explains Boufarhat. “We found a niche - design and build EPC contracting – and in 2011, we moved the organisation away from the traditional engineering project based approach towards a centralised engineering model.” As a ‘design and build’ engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contractor, James L Williams


MIDDLE EAST

Ramy Boufarhat is the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of James L Williams Middle East (JLW), the company specializes in the electro-mechanical (MEP) design and construction of large-scale projects and is based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). JLW directly manages approximately 6,000 employees; 2,000 as direct company employees, supplemented by 4,000 specialist sub-contractors under its management. Its annual revenues are in excess of $180mn (AED 670mn). Ramy is a master’s qualified engineer with experience as both design consultant and contractor in Australia and the UAE. Ramy arrived to the UAE in 2009 from Australia and from 2010 to 2012 held the position of Engineering Manager for JLW. During that time, he played a vital role in establishing one of JLWs core strategic competencies, its engineering excellence. Since late 2012, Ramy has held the post of company COO and oversees all ongoing business operations. w w w. c o n s t r u c t i o n g l o b a l . c o m

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Weather Sealants & Fire Protection Sealants

www.saharame.com

SAHARA EMIRATES GROUP

Channel Grafting

Supplier of Infrastructure, and Construction Projects

Sahara emirates trading, an iso 9001 certified company is one of the pioneer suppliers started the establishment in year 2000 for supply of building materials, turn key contractors for civil and steel structures. Sahara emirates has now become a well known supplier of various construction and engineering products like hdpe injection moulded fittings, welding machines, hdpe drainage pipes & fittings, sound proof piping systems, water meters, energy meters, dwc pp gravity lines for storm water & drainage, grp panel water tank, pe manholes & inspection chambers, flexible stainless steel piping system, pvc solvent cement & unique concept of permeable flooring system. With head office in abu dhabi and branchoffices in dubai, saudi arabia & representative in qatar sahara emirates is catering to majority of gcc customers & expanding its markets.

Water Meters

HDPE Fittings & Machines

Butt Fusion/Electro Fusion Welding Machines

GRP Panel Tank

Fire Proof/Low Noise for Building Drainage

Sound Proof FR Drainage

Pumps

Stormwater Management

Drainage Plumbing

Ductile Iron Fittings

PE Inspection Chambers, Gully and Manholes

Stainless Steel Plumbing

Compression Fittings

Fabricated Fittings

Made in the USA

CertiďŹ ed to NSF/ANSI 81-G

PVC & CPVC Cements


MIDDLE EAST

undertakes a project throughout its entire lifecycle - including its design, procurement, and commissioning stages. This strategic approach ensures that clients don’t face any hidden costs due to errors, omissions, ambiguities in documentation or changes required to meet the projects designed intent. Clients also save time as they don’t have to go through multiple consultations, tendering or re-tendering processes. Nowadays, James L Williams works on various types of contracts but it is the ‘design and build’ projects which undoubtedly give the company a competitive edge. “We’ve gained a reputation as a reliable company in the sector and this has really helped us to grow,” notes Boufarhat. “Because we’re well-known for our engineering excellence and focus on delivering a ‘fit for purpose’ end product, we’ve grown to become one of the larger MEP companies in the region.”

Sustainable growth Starting off with and developing a

specialised area such as ‘design and build’ has paid off. In its beginnings, James L Williams Middle East started with 40 employees and today it has over 2,000 direct employees and 4,000 indirect employees. “We’ve kept our highly-centralised engineering, procurement, testing and commissioning unit all in-house and we’ve grown massively,” says Boufarhat. “When I was made COO in 2013, we had just started a big period of growth. At that time, we had a turnover of $35mn and now, several years later, we have a turnover of $182mn,” he adds.

An efficient approach to MEP services Created in the midst of the global financial crisis, James L Williams Middle East has always taken an efficient approach to mechanical, electrical and plumbing services. It is this mind set which has been integral to it’s the company’s prosperity, explains Boufarhat. “Whilst other companies had to adapt to the market after the Global Financial Crisis of 2007, from day

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one we had to be efficient to grow and survive,” he says. “This is a market of efficiencies. If you’re not an efficiently-run company, you’re not going to be able to survive in today’s market because, whilst work is plentiful, the margins aren’t there. It’s a very aggressive market to be in.”

Technological innovation Part of this efficiency undoubtedly stems from the company’s technological prowess. For instance, the company first began using 3D modelling several years ago and is now moving towards advanced state-of-the-art 4D and 5D technology. Boufarhat says these advancements are critical as they allow the firm to conduct precision on and off-site installation and to control time and cost, and they can also produce smart building information and engineering analysis. “Construction companies and people don’t like change, especially some of the old-timers,” he adds, “but you’ve just got to keep pushing the technology if you want to be efficient.” With this technology,

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James L Williams Middle East can efficiently prefabricate off-site. This means that the company can design, procure and install components offsite with precision engineering and then transport these to site for fixing. “What you effectively do is work off-site in a well-ventilated workshop, on floor/table height level rather than working on a construction site with a 45-degree ambient temperature, at an elevated height on a ladder or scaffold with the chaos of a construction site. By prefabricating off-site, we are really increasing our efficiency,” explains Boufarhat.

Prestigious projects With mega-projects underway such as the Dubai Mall expansion, Al Maryah Central, Bluewaters Hospitality, Masdar Neighbourhood 2 and ICD Brookfield Place, James L Williams has garnered a reputation as a reliable and trustworthy MEP company. The company is selective over which projects it undertakes and these mega-projects all have one thing in common - James L Williams’ also trusts in them.


“We saw that there was a void in the market for technically astute, design-oriented engineering contractors” – Ramy Boufarhat, Chief Operating Officer


JAMES L WILLIAMS MIDDLE EAST

The Expo 2020 Dubai project

“During the old oil downturn, a lot of projects were put on hold, but the majority of the key, strategic UAE projects kept going and that’s what we have always focused on from the offset,” notes Boufarhat. “We have always focused on what you might call prestigious projects. They’re always niche and lower risk but they’re also a lot more difficult. They’ve got more technical considerations, accelerated construction, and very tough clients

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that know exactly what they want and expect it yesterday. But, most importantly, these are not projects that are going to go on hold. They’re going to finish because they’re essential for the Middle East.”

The top MEP firm in the Middle East As more and more buildings are added to Middle East skylines, it looks like there is a bright future ahead for the contracting industry.


EXPO 2020 DUBAI, SUSTAINABILITY DISTRICT Expo 2020 is forecast to contribute approximately $19.1bn (AED70.15bn) in gross value to the UAE’s economy during the course of its development and operational phases. The event is expected to sustain more than 207,000 jobs, directly and indirectly. Located in Dubai South, the future site of Expo 2020 occupies an area of 4.38km2 – equivalent to Disneyland California. The plaza will connect the three thematic districts – Opportunity, Sustainability and Mobility – and the other main concourses, including the Dubai Metro link and the UAE Pavilion, through its seven entrances and exits. JLW is proud to be working on the Sustainability.

Competition may be stringent, but the team at James L Williams is confident that its leading talent and expertise puts it ahead of the curve. “At one stage, there was more work than there were contractors,” reflects Boufarhat. “Those days are gone. Now, you have to be a quality contractor, you’ve got to be efficient, you’ve got to be able to deliver. We’re seeing a lot of projects, which is a big plus. We’re seeing clients being selective, which is another big plus. I

see that there’s a positive trend here in the UAE, especially for a company like James L Williams Middle East.”

Growth and expansion In less than a decade, James L Williams has steadily grown to become one of the top MEP contractors in the Middle East. The company has seen steady profit margins and a growing workforce and now is eyeing growth further afield. “We’re always going to have

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JAMES L WILLIAMS MIDDLE EAST our base in the UAE, but we hope that in five years’ time we will have diversified into other Middle East regions using the UAE as a base,” says Boufarhat. “We’re not going to do it unless there’s a location where we can see a sustainable 10-15 year look ahead, but it’s definitely something that we’re looking into.”

A reputable name The company has strode past its competitors in recent years, but what is it that firmly places James L Williams Middle East ahead of its competitors? For Boufarhat, it is the trust that’s placed in the company’s name. “By offering a turnkey package and taking on their risks, we’ve had to develop a level of trust with our clients,” he explains. “When we first started to deliver these ‘design and build’ projects in the market, clients started talking, we had repeat clients, and then people started asking more and more of us. “We wouldn’t be able to do that if they didn’t trust in our engineering, procurement, construction and our testing and commissioning. Basically, from the get-go, they have only you to deal with for all of those. Our clients really put a lot of faith in us, they truly trust us.”

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CONSTRUCTION

In 2013, James L Williams Middle East had a turnover of $35mn and now, a few years later, it has a turnover of $182mn

The Dubai Mall – Zabeel Expansion middleeast.businesschief.com

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SchĂźco: Harnessing unique technology to stay above the rest Written by Catherine Sturman Produced by Rob Gray


SCHĂœCO

Etihad Towers, Abu Dhabi

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Ammar Alul, General Manager of Schüco Middle East, discusses how the company’s digital solutions enable it to remain ahead of the competition

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ounded in north-western Germany in the early 1950s, Schüco has expanded into over 80 countries and became a key figure within the Middle East construction sector. Behind the development of new products and services, Schüco continues to win a number of residential and commercial projects by delivering a complete, integrated system to its customers. “There are basically two categories of items which we sell: one is profiles and the other is accessories,” explains Ammar Alul, General Manager of Schüco Middle East. “We insist on selling the integrated system which ensures performance, quality, and reliability. We pride ourselves on the completeness of what we sell, whereas in some cases, others might offer solely

profiles, and then a factory fabricator chooses the accessories, or, in some cases, competitors give options for accessories. “We ensure better installation, increased durability and further reliability, minimising wastage and energy.” Schüco’s quality, support, and complete ‘one-stop shop’ approach for its customers has seen it gain increased prominence. Key projects in the Middle East are countless, including the Damac Towers by Paramount in Dubai, Kuwait Investment Authority headquarters in Kuwait City and the ongoing King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah. Heading up Schüco Middle East since 2011, Alul has seen the company grow its services and increase its focus on providing

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“We ensure better installation, increased durability and further reliability, minimising wastage and energy” – Ammar Alul, General Manager of Schüco Middle East

THE 1st ALUMINIUM EXTRUSION & 1st COMPLETE ANODIZING LINE IN QATAR Manufacturing and coating aluminium extruded profiles in different finishes (mill finish, powder coating and anodizing)

info@qalex.com.qa | www.qalex.com.qa P.O. Box 201698 | New Industrial Area, Street No. 12 Building No. 132, Pink Zone | Doha, Qatar

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Tel. No: +974 44 333 555 Fax. No: +974 44 333 500


CONSTRUCTION

ongoing maintenance, replacement and exceptional technical support, leading customers to choose Schüco for future projects. “We believe in ethical and professional partnerships supported by competitive, top-quality products and superior support to all our stakeholders,” says Alul. Technological investment The construction sector continues to grow apace, with new technologies set to reshape the way in which materials are manufactured and projects are delivered. Guaranteeing sufficient cost savings and high quality within its service offering, Schüco’s technology centres have supported its ongoing business growth, alongside the business’s ability to remain competitive across its operations. “Our technology centre is the largest by miles, and is above anything else in the industry,” reflects Alul. “This gives Schüco the number one brand that everyone recognises in terms of quality and quantity.” The implementation of a new, heavy-duty,

digitised factory floor system has also provided increased efficiencies within Schüco’s traditional fabrication processes and allowed for the rotation of 3D images and realtime updates across the board. Empowering and strengthening relationships A founding member of the popular Windows, Doors, and Facades show in Dubai since its inception in 2016, Schüco has grown its presence internationally and participated in global construction events. One such example is construction trade show, Bau, held this year in Munich, Germany, at the beginning of 2017. Here, Schüco displayed its continuing efforts within the augmented and virtual reality space. “Once a user puts a set of goggles on they are able to access a virtual showroom, where they can choose our products and see how they would look when installed in their project,” notes Alul. “Augmented reality is having the real images of a space, then augmenting that with one of our

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products to see how it would look. The images are real but then the augmentation would be virtual.” However, such technological advances would not be possible without an engaged, passionate workforce. Schüco’s nonstop commitment in developing beneficial relationships with its suppliers has seen the need for increased communication and worker engagement within its various operational layers. Consequently, Schüco focuses on guaranteeing positive worker morale, with low turnover rates at both staff and management level seeing it go from strength to strength. “In many cases we have employees turning down higher paying jobs because they’re not willing to jump ship, even for a 20% pay increase,” observes Alul. “Also, empowering the team is critical. The golden rule is to communicate and support each other, as long as that does not affect your own deliverables.” This outlook is also applied to Schüco’s relationship with its suppliers and customers. Mutual

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trust has seen the company gain a solid reputation surrounding its service delivery. Alul explains that if one customer convinces Schüco of the need for a lower price on a project, they are given that lower price, but so are the other customers who are competing on the same job without having to ask for it. “For different jobs, customers might get different prices because of the competitiveness of each job and each project. All the companies on a single job will get the same price. This grants a huge amount of respect for Schüco Middle East because customers recognise the professionalism, fairness, and ethics of our operations,” adds Alul. “Sometimes a supplier does not want a company to be on the job, so they give that company higher prices than others. We don’t do that. We face that company head on and we tell them, ‘we don’t believe you should be on this job’. This is of course for professional reasons only, which could be surrounding pricing, capability, or any another reason of concern.


CONSTRUCTION

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SCHÜCO

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“The bottom line is ethics, fairness, communication, and a true sense of partnership.” Further growth This attitude even extends to current challenges, such as payment delays from customers, as well as the issue of demand, which is currently lower than supply, driving down prices for the industry. However, the company continues to remain competitive in its pricing and continues to strengthen its market leadership. Long-term ambitions Giving back to local communities, Schüco’s strong corporate social responsibility focus will see the company work with the University of Sharjah team in the UAE within the upcoming solar decathlon

competition. Set to be held in Dubai, competing university teams are challenged to build an energy efficient house, with a zero-carbon footprint. Schüco has donated a scope of its works not only to promote projects that highlight the importance of sustainability within construction and design, but also to signify a growing demand for energy efficient buildings, in line with the Paris Agreement. “We have a plan for the next three years to take the company above and beyond the percentages that we have been growing at,” concludes Alul. With plans for further investment in its staff and facilities, Schüco will increasingly work to support its customers through competitive pricing. This, in alignment with its high-quality services and delivery of a complete, integrated system, will see the business go from strength to strength.

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Profile for Construction Global

Construction Global - January 2018  

Construction Global - January 2018  

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