Page 1


NEWS UPDATE | 06 MEP AWARDS 2010| 10 EVENTS | 11 BUSINESS LEADS | 52 PRODUCTS | 54 THE LAST WORD | 56 Licensed by Dubai Media City

Essentiall iinformation nformation ffor or m mechanical, echanical, eelectrical lectrical aand nd p plumbing lumbing professionals

An ITP Business Publication | September 2010 Vol. 5 Issue 9



Sebi Sebbi Joseph Josepph oonn hhow ow O Otis tis iss scaling scalinng tthe he hheights eights

At the



TOTAL SOLUTION FOR YOUR HOT & COLD WATER NEEDS Solar Water Heaters for residential and commercial

Residential Solar Heater, Phuket

Commercial Solar Heaters, Qingdao Sports School

Residential Systems, Italy

ICI High Capacity Steam and Hot Water Boilers

High Capacity Heat Pumps

Photo-Voltaic Systems

Solar street lights

Premium Heat Transfer solutions

Swimming Pool Heat Pumps

Office no. 402, Barsha Horizon Building P.O. Box: 83021, Dubai, U.A.E., Tel.: +9714-4473442; Fax: +9714-4473441, Email:, Website:




39 03 05



46-49 PIPES

Denis Avery from Solahart Australia.


The latest developments.





Otis GM Sebi Joseph on the company’s long involvement in the region.

51 52

18-19 GLOBAL NEWS 21-25 ICE THERMAL STORAGE Klaus Grandegger from Fafco SA and Aslan Al-Barazi from IMEC Electromechani cal Engineering.

REGION IN FOCUS MEP projects in Bahrain.


35-37 LIFTS & ESCALATORS We look at the critical issue of lift maintenance.

54-55 PRODUCTS 56

39-45 CABLES & WIRING From massive power cables to structured cabling.

THE LAST WORD Hill International delay claims managing consultant Dr Jay Palmos.

September 2010 | MEP Middle East 1

Everybody is talking "going green". We have the right solar and renewable energy solutions for you. The Viessmann Group, whose head office is located in Germany, is an internationally leading manufacturer of heating system technology. With its current product range, Viessmann offers heating equipment in three distinct categories with output ranging from 1.5 kW to 20 MW. On offer are freestanding and wall mounted boilers for oil and gas, DHW calorifiers, as well as systems utilising renewables, such as heat pumps, solar heating systems and boilers for sustainable fuels. The product range is rounded off with control technology and data communication equipment. Viessmann represents quality made in Germany. Check us out at


Domestic boilers, DHW cylinders and calorifiers

Wall mounted boilers

Solar collectors

Heat Pumps

Commercial boilers

Viessmann Middle East FZE SAIF Zone PO Box 120841, Sharjah UAE phone +971-6-557 87 56 ¡ fax +971-6-557 87 65 e-mail:



• World’s largest clock in Makkah • Top 10 Richest Indians in the GCC • Abu Dhabi investors behind NYC’s tallest tower • AECOM, Davis Langdon merge to ‘fill gaps’ • Abu Dhabi to build Jordan’s tallest building


CAPITAL CENTRE, ABU DHABI Construction Week recently paid a visit to ADNEC’s AED8 billion Capital Gate master development nt in Abu Dhabi. For more galleries, check out



Stuart Matthews, Senior Group Editor For some, October 11 is going to be a traumatic day. They will be cut off from the services of an increasingly ubiquitous business and social tool, as the UAE’s Telecoms Regulatory Authority hits the off button on BlackBerry messenger services.

Orlando Crowcroft, Editor, Middle East Architect While mega projects in Riyadh, Al Khobar and Jeddah have been largely praised by outside observers, the development of the holy cities of Makkah and Medina has been more contentious.



Selina Denman, Editor, Commercial Interior Design Good design, as we all know, is design that lasts. It is durable enough to withstand the test of time; it is functional and intuitive; and it is aesthetically pleasing but independent of shortterm fads.

Greg Whitaker, Editor, PMV Middle East There has been no shortage of things to write about in that beleaguered place just recently. However, the power cuts are the main cause of woe, and the number one culprit is a spike in air-con.

• ASHRAE, NEMA in smart-grid standard • Projects still using 58-year-old conduit standard • Hepworth, Georg Fischer in 15-hotel refurb • DSI net profits fall 43% for first half • Increase in chilled water sales a boon for Tabreed • Siemens completes Saudi Electricity project


What is your biggest priority?

53.8% Securing contracts

23.1% Chasing payments


Finding cheaper suppliers


Expanding in to foreign markets


Treading water For more comments, check out

September 2010 | MEP Middle East 3

A new generation of I/O modules from WAGO is setting new standards I/O Module with 16 Channels in the Usual 12 x 100mm (0.47 x 3.94 in) Housing ˆ 16 channels with spring clamp connection ˆmore space in the switch cabinet ˆlower channel price ˆAvailable in 5 different types: - One 16-channel digital input module a piece for 24 VDC and 3 ms input filter, high-side and low-side switching, - One 16-channel digital output module a piece for 24 VDC and 0.5 A output current, high-side and low-side switching, as well as

WAGO-IO-IPC series 758

16-channel DI/16 -channel DO

WAGO Middle East Q4-282 Sharjah Airport Free Zone (SAIF) P.O. Box 120665 Sharjah, UAE Tel: +971 6 557 9920 Fax: +971 6 557 9921

- One 8-channel digital input and digital output module for 24 VDC and 0.5 A output current, high-side switching With WAGO I/O System your automation is getting easier and more efficient!

Turnkey Hot Water & Steam Systems





Hot water & steam systems Energy & space saving

Skid mounted units Hygienic hot water

Specification support Compact design

Leading-edge construction High-quality stainless steel





_ 1 Mio.m² floor space for 30.000 pilgrims _ 63 Electric hot water systems _ Total electric power 3.880 kW and _ Hot water storage capacity 66.200 litres _

_ Armani Hotel, residences, offices 71000 litres/hour hygienic hot water at 60 °C _ Gas condensing boilers & skid mounted heat exchanger packages, 11x 300 kW

_ 279 extravagantly appointed rooms and suites _ Steam boilers, 2x 2500 kg/h, 10 bar _ Stainless steel high capacity water heaters, 2x 650 kW, 28000 litres/hour at 60 °C

_ 6 buildings, each with 156 apartments, 10000 litres/hour hygienic hot water at 60 °C _ 200 m² solar panel area, solar gain 80 % _ Gas condensing boilers for back-up heating 2x 80 kW _ Stainless steel calorifiers, 3x 4000 litres

ECOTHERM Middle East P.O. Box 299350 Dubai - U.A.E

Tel. +97144226944 Fax. +97144226943


Registered at Dubai Media City PO Box 500024, Dubai, UAE Tel: 00 971 4 210 8000 Fax: 00 971 4 210 8080 Web: Offices in Dubai & London ITP BUSINESS PUBLISHING CEO Walid Akawi Managing Director Neil Davies Managing Director ITP Business Karam Awad Deputy Managing Director Matthew Southwell Editorial Director David Ingham EDITORIAL Senior Group Editor Stuart Matthews Tel: +971 4 210 8476 e-mail: Editor Gerhard Hope Tel: +971 4 210 8305 e-mail: ADVERTISING Sales Director: Construction Yazan Rahman Tel: +971 4 210 8351 e-mail: Advertising Director: Construction Andrew Parkes Tel: +971 4 210 8570 e-mail: Sales Manager Shirley D’Souza Tel: +971 4 210 8779 e-mail: STUDIO Group Art Editor Dan Prescott Designer Angela Ravi PHOTOGRAPHY Director of Photography Sevag Davidian Senior Photographer Jovana Obradovic, Efraim Evidor Staff Photographers Isidora Bojovic, George Dipin, Lyubov Galushko, Ruel Pableo, Rajesh Raghav, Mosh Lafuente, Murrindie Frew, Shruti Jagdeesh, Verko Ignjatovic PRODUCTION & DISTRIBUTION Group Production Manager Kyle Smith Deputy Production Manager Matt Grant Production Coordinator Devaprakash V A Managing Picture Editor Patrick Littlejohn Image Retoucher Emmalyn Robles Distribution Manager Karima Ashwell Distribution Executive Nada Al Alami CIRCULATION Head of Circulation & Database Gaurav Gulati MARKETING Head of Marketing Daniel Fewtrell Marketing Manager Annie Chinoy ITP DIGITAL Director Peter Conmy ITP GROUP Chairman Andrew Neil Managing Director Robert Serafin Finance Director Toby Jay Spencer-Davies Board of Directors K.M. Jamieson, Mike Bayman, Walid Akawi, Neil Davies, Rob Corder, Mary Serafin Circulation Customer Service Tel: +971 4 435 6000 Subscribe online at Certain images in this issue are availiable for purchase. Please contact for further details or visit Printed by Atlas Printing Press L.L.C. Dubai The publishers regret that they cannot accept liability for error or omissions contained in this publication, however caused. The opinions and views contained in this publication are not necessarily those of the publishers. Readers are advised to seek specialist advice before acting on information contained in this publication which is provided for general use and may not be appropriate for the reader’s particular circumstances. The ownership of trademarks is acknowledged. No part of this publication or any part of the contents thereof may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form without the permission of the publishers in writing. An exemption is hereby granted for extracts used for the purpose of fair review.

*BPA Worldwide Audited Average Qualified Circulation 6,083 (July - Dec 2009)

Ice thermal storage heats up


n this issue we take an indepth look at ice thermal storage. The latest research indicates that certain refrigeration systems with ice storage units need even less electrical energy than conventional systems. A building’s cooling system, determined by interior and exterior loads, undergoes enormous fluctuations over a 24-hour period. At night, no or very little refrigeration is required, whereas during the day the demand can be very high. The capacity of conventional cooling and refrigeration plants has to be flexible enough in order to accommodate these peak loads. The obviously corollary is that most plants are over-designed for much of their operating time, implying a high investment cost versus a low utilisation rate. The end result is “an unfavourable degree of annual operating efficiency of the overall refrigeration system.” Another advantage is that the energy-storage potential of ice is twelve-fold that of water, meaning its chilling potential is much greater. Ice storage units have the advantage of simple plant technology, the use of an inexpensive and ecologically harmless storage medium and, in many cases, can today be employed economically. “The use of the latent energy of ice in the form of melting heat thus represents a simple possibility to store cooling energy and to keep the storage space and therefore also the investment cost as low as possible,” reports Grandegger and Al-Barazi (see the full article starting on page 21.) The preferred choice for air-con cooling is indirect storage systems, which offer the best operating conditions at the lowest cost. Ice storage units working on the indirect principle (also called ‘internal melt system’) have only one closed circuit to freeze the water in a vessel as well as to melt the ice. The system structure of such a storage unit, which is generally equipped with heat exchangers made of plastic rather than galvanised steel tubes, is very straightforward. During the charging or freezing process, brine at about –5°C is fed through the heat exchanger in the water-filled vessel. The ice builds up around the tubes and, by the end of the process, has formed a solid

A FAFCO ice bank system (single outdoor installation)

block of ice. When the ice is melting or discharging, the warm brine is fed through the heat exchanger again and the ice around the tubes melts first. As the brine is always fed through the heat exchanger system, the formation of an ice block allows very compact design of indirect ice storage systems. The tank volume can be reduced by 30% to 40% compared to direct brine systems. The indirect heat transfer means that the discharge rate, depending on design, equipment and discharge temperature, corresponds to a discharge time of up to 3-4 hours, whereas discharging over a period of 6-10 hours would be the standard in air-con applications. “Ice storage has become a common way of making refrigeration available. The simplicity of the system structure, the basic operating principle and low maintenance requirements mean that today the use of ice storage systems represents a cost-effective alternative to conventional refrigeration methods,” state Grandegger and Al-Barazi. However, in order to derive maximum benefit, “utilities need to encourage the consumer side and the district cooling providers to optimise the use of thermal energy storage at night by introducing the daytime/ nighttime tariff system, which is still highly anticipated in the UAE region. This is already in place in Europe, the US and locally in Saudi Arabia, and awaited in our region for both the power generation as well as the HVAC industry to reap the mutual advantages of this combined system.”


COMMENTS Do you have any comments about the MEP industry in the Middle East? Please e-mail any letters to: or post to: MEP Middle East, ITP Business, PO Box 500024, Dubai, UAE.

Published by and © 2010 ITP Business Publishing, a member of the ITP Publishing Group Ltd. Registered in the B.V.I. under Company Registration number 1402846

Keep up-to-date with all MEP Middle East news at

September 2010 | MEP Middle East 5


AED182m Musheireb, Doha contract Drake & Scull Water and Power’s scope of work will include detailed design and construction DISTRICT COOLING

Drake & Scull Water and Power (DSWP) has been awarded an AED182 million design-andbuild contract by Dohaland for two district cooling plants in its fl agship Musheireb project in Doha, Qatar. The scope of work includes detailed design and construction of the district cooling plants, comprising the chiller plants, cooling towers and all equipment and services. The total capacity of the two proposed plants is 29 250 TR. The contract also covers the design and construction of a chilled water reticulation network including valves and valve chamber details; the design and construction of complete MEP building services for the plants;

testing and commissioning; and the operation and maintenance of the district cooling plants for a minimum period of five years. “This is another important milestone in the Musheireb project, which is progressing according to schedule,” said Dohaland projects director Mohammad Masoud Al Marri. “Given Dohaland’s focus on sustainability and environment, the district cooling system will provide an energy-efficient ap-

29 250 TR total capacity

A milestone, says Khaldoun Tabari

proach to the Musheireb project. The advantages are better-quality cooling, maximum cost-effectiveness, capital cost

elimination, space saving, decrease in sound pollution and, importantly, it is environmentfriendly.” “We are honoured to be associated with the regeneration of the heart of Doha. DSWP is proud to take on the vital role of strategic service provider in this development, which sets new standards for inner city developments in the Gulf region,” said Drake & Scull International CEO Khaldoun Tabari. Dohaland recently confi rmed that work on the project was proceeding on schedule, with raft concrete pouring for Phase 1A currently underway. Phase 1A of Musheireb is due for completion in 2012, with the overall project expected to be ready by 2016.

US$1.8bn pipeline contracts awarded in Kuwait

Egypt-Saudi power grid link-up to cost US$1.5bn



Kuwait Oil Company (KOC) has awarded contracts worth KWD520 million (US$1.81 billion) to Hyundai Engineering & Construction (HEC) and Petrofac to design and build pipelines. The State-owned firm said HEC will build low-sulphur fuel oil, fuel gas and gas oil pipelines from Mina al-Ahmadi refinery to the Subbiya and Doha power stations. Valued at KWD404 million ($1.4billion), the project will be completed by April 2013. Petrofac will build fuel gas and

Kuwait is strategic, says Maroun Semaan 6 MEP Middle East | September 2010

gas oil pipelines, plus a pumping station, from the same refinery to al-Zour and Shuaiba power stations for KWD116.39 million (US$400 million). The project, with an anticipated duration of 23.5 months, is for engineering, procurement and construction services for the installation of fuel gas and gas oil pipelines. The development will include a fuel oil pumping station, metering systems, utilities systems and associated electrical, instrumentation and telecom works for the pipelines from Mina Al Ahmadi to the Azzour and Shuaiba power stations in Kuwait. “The Kuwait market is strategically important to our business. I am delighted we have been selected by KOC,” said Petrofac group COO Maroun Semaan. “We look forward to strengthening this as we move into the execution phase.”

A project aimed at linking the power grids of electricity-hungry Egypt and Saudi Arabia to help meet peak-time demand is expected to cost about US$1.5 billion, according to Egyptian Electricity Ministry Undersecretary Aktham Abul Ela. An international tender for work on the project is scheduled for January 2011. Egypt will send Saudi Arabia electricity through the connection in the afternoons, and Saudi Arabia will send electricity to Egypt

3 000 MW electricity will be exchanged

in the evenings, taking advantage of the difference in the countries’ peak-use hours. The two countries would split the cost of the project – which aims to exchange 3 000 MW of electricity between the countries through direct current electrical lines – based on the amount of work on their land. “Every country will pay the cost of this project on their land, with Egypt at about 450 km and the rest in Saudi Arabia,” said Abul Ela. The project is expected to include 1 300 km of power lines in total. Pricing was not set yet, but it was possible the two countries would not need to pay one another as they would exchange equal amounts of electricity. Saudi deputy electricity minister Saleh Alawaji said in March that the first phase of the power link between Egypt and Saudi Arabia would take place in 2015.


Big push for global plumbing industry MoU advances understanding of plumbing, heating and renewable energy industry worldwide PLUMBING

The Association of Plumbing and Heating Contractors (APHC) of the US has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the International Code Council (ICC), with both pledging to work together to advance understanding of the plumbing, heating and renewable industry worldwide. The ICC, with 50 000 members, is dedicated to protecting the health, safety and welfare of people by creating better buildings and communities. Members include employers’ organisations, government departments and other decision-makers in the built environment, all of whom comply with common codes of practice. “The plumbing industry is one of the most important industries in

the world. Decent plumbing saves countless lives every single day. People working in the industry are rightly proud of what they do. However, we face two issues: firstly, in the developed world people have become complacent about sanitation and how their health depends on it; secondly, many parts of the developing world still do not have the luxury of decent sanitation, and 4 000 children die each day because of this,” said APHC chief executive Clive Dickin. “We have formed this relationship with the ICC in order to share information and ideas. Both organisations are determined that consumers and businesses should understand the importance of our industry better. Equally we want to ensure that individuals and busi-

Plumbers in the developed world are taken for granted, said Dickin

nesses operating in our industry keep their standards high and embrace new technologies safely. In the developing world, we want to see cost-effectives and appropriate standards in place to alleviate the suffering that water-borne diseas-

es bring,” said Dickin. APHC and the ICC will continue to dentify areas of co-operation, such as setting standards, furthering education, creating new products and services and enhancing membership benefits.

Latest heat exchanger technology minimises copper content MATERIALS

The International Copper Association (ICA) has announced a new heat exchanger coil technology that benefits from smaller-diameter copper tubes. According to the ICA, heat transfer from the refrigerant to the tube wall is more effective inside copper tubes with diam-

eters smaller than the conventional diameter. Consequently, coils can be made less bulky, and air conditioners with higher energy efficiency can be made smaller and lighter. “It is true that highly-efficient air conditioners are currently being made with conventional copper tubes, but smaller-diameter

tubes offer inherent advantages, including lower overall costs, less weight and reduced refrigerant charge,” said the ICA’s OEM initiative global leader Nigel Cotton. “The trend toward smaller-diameter copper tubes is inevitable. The technology is proven. The manufacturing is based on familiar fabrication processes and

assembly techniques,” said Cotton. The new coils provide the high durability and performance expected from copper tubes, but use less raw material. Healthy demand for copper from China could push prices beyond levels forecast by the industry, according to copperproducer Codelco.

September 2010 | MEP Middle East 7


UAE students graduate from Oz course 70 locals are awarded international certificates in engineering and electrotechnology EDUCATION

More than 70 local UAE students have been awarded international certificates in engineering and electrotechnology. Australia’s Challenger Institute of Technology MD Liz Harris was a VIP guest at the annual graduation ceremony of the Institute of Applied Technology’s (IAT’s) Vocational Education Development Centre (VEDC) in Abu Dhabi recently. Speaking at the graduation, Ms Harris said the students were now positioned to assume vital and interesting mechanical, automotive and electrical engineering careers in the oil, gas, shipping, power and other industrial sectors. Among the many distinguished guests at the ceremony, held under the patronage of HH Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, were members of the UAE’s royal family and leading figures in industry and education.

Australia’s Challenger Institute of Technology MD Ms Liz Harris was a VIP guest at the annual graduation ceremony

The IAT conducts training in engineering and electrotechnology, which is delivered through a long standing contract between IAT and Challenger Institute. Ms Harris’ presence at the graduation ceremony was an important demonstration of Challenger Institute’s commitment to the work being undertaken at IAT and to furthering the mutually important training relationship. IAT executives also held discussions with Ms Harris

Buro Happold bolsters Middle East team CONSULTANT

International multidisciplinary engineering consultancy Buro Happold has appointed Oliver Plunkett as its new country director for Saudi Arabia. Plunkett takes over from Phil Dalglish, who has been appointed business development director for the Middle East, and who will spearhead the practice’s planned growth in the region. Buro Happold has also named Robert Okpala as its new regional discipline leader for the built environment. In addition, it has appointed Martin Tillman to lead its transportation team in the region. Rod Macdonald, Buro Happold’s Riyadh-based chairman and a founding partner, said: 8 MEP Middle East | September 2010

“ These new senior appointments will help us to deliver on ambitious growth plans for our Middle East business. They are evidence of our commitment to our international clients, as well as the Middle East market, where we have been active since the practice was founded in 1976.” Steve Brown, MD for the practice’s Middle East, Asia Pacific and A frica zone, said: “These new hires will provide a strong platform for the future growth of the practice in the Middle East, as we plan to grow our network of offices and increase the size, expertise and skills of our existing teams in response to increasing client demand.”

about the planned expansion of Challenger Institute training. “It is amazing for me to see the progress that has been made in the four years since its creation,” said Ms Harris during her ceremony speech. “This institute has given opportunities to disengaged UAE youth and equipped them with the technical skills required to take their place in building the UAE economy, as well as becoming upstanding citizens in their own

right. It is pleasing to see how the VEDC is transforming its image and responding to the needs of local industry, as well as embracing the national drive towards a more coherent provision of vocational education and training.” For the second year, VEDC students won gold and silver in the Emirates Skills Competition. The gold medal winner will represent the UAE in the WorldSkills competition in London next year.

New engineering director for Rezidor Hotel group APPOINTMENT

The Rezidor Hotel group has announced the promotion of Nadir Celiloglu as director of engineering for the Middle East region, based in Dubai. Celiloglu, a Turkish national, has extensive hospitality experience developed over a 20-year career. He has a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the Kuwait American University. Celiloglu joined Rezidor in 2007 as area chief engineer for MENA, his most recent position. In his new role, Celiloglu will be tasked with the engineering design and commissioning of new openings within the region, supporting operating hotels, conducting technical audits, working on pre-

Nadir Celiloglu

ventative maintenance and safety policies, consulting on techniques to improve efficiency and reduce operational costs within the hotels and hotel security audits.

Is power protection a necessity for you?

APC Smart-UPS 1000 provides power protection and battery backup during power outages.

It better be. Think of all that you rely on your computer for: personal and business files, financial information, broadband access, videos, photos, music, and more. Increasingly, computers are the hub for managing our lives. And more people rely on APC™ to protect their hardware and data than any other uninterruptible power supply (UPS) brand.

your data, protect your hardware, and prevent downtime. It also guards against a power grid that is growing less reliable every day.

plans. This may mean people who rely on their computer are drifting into the ‘perfect storm’, one that makes APC protection even more essential.

Power outages are an everyday reality of doing business in Africa today, and local companies must take this into consideration when it comes to business continuity

APC has a comprehensive line of power protection solutions to suit a range of applications. Already an APC user? Get the latest replacement battery cartridge for your unit or upgrade to a newer model.

Why is APC the world’s best selling power protection? For 20 years, we have pioneered power protection technology. Our Legendary Reliability™ enables you to save

Find out why 30 million people don’t need to worry about losing their music, photos, and financial files.

APC Solutions for Every Level of Protection Back-UPS ES 700

Home Best value battery backup and surge protection for home computers

Network and server rooms

Smart-UPS RT 15kva

Performance power protection with scalable runtime for spaceconstrained server rooms, and voice and data networks

Data centre and facility

Symmetra PX 160kw

Right-sized, modular, scalable three-phase power protection for any size data centre or high density power zone

Download White Paper #18, 'The Seven Types of Power Problems' and get a chance to WIN an iPad™! Visit Key Code 80062t Call +9714 7099690 (Arabic) / +9714 7099691 (English) • Fax +9714 7099650 ©2010 Schneider Electric Industries SAS, All Rights Reserved. Schneider Electric, APC, Legendary Reliability, Back-UPS, Smart-UPS, and Symmetra are owned by Schneider Electric, or its affiliated companies in the United States and other countries. All other trademarks are property of their respective owners. APC Middle East, PO Box - 53852, Dubai, United Arab Emirates. SU3BUEF_ME

Mechanical_Electrical_Plumbing_ME_910_80062t.indd 1

8/24/2010 2:16:20 PM


Deadline for nominations is 30 Sept Companies, individuals urged to enter on-line as soon as possible for the 2010 MEP Awards AWARDS

The 30 September cut-off date for entries for the MEP Awards 2010 is fast approaching. Companies and individuals are urged to enter on-line as soon as possible. The MEP Awards 2010 is the premier platform for the mechanical, electrical and plumbing sector in the UAE to recognise its achievements, honour those individuals and companies who made these happen, and to acknowledge the latest innovations, technology and processes that have helped drive down costs and ensure adherence to best-practice standards across the board. It is also an opportunity to highlight the excellence in MEP design and installation underpinning those iconic projects contributing to the evolving and rapidly-maturing construction landscape in the UAE. The combination of a global economic downturn and the advent of environmental awareness in the construction industry have resulted in the MEP sector playing a pivotal role in the advent of ‘green’ building in the UAE. The MEP Awards have been growing in stature and popularity over the years, with a steady increase in the number and diversity of entries. This year is the fourth MEP Awards, for which the judging panel is as follows:

Scott Wilson Group plc is a global integrated design and engineering consultancy for the built and natural environments. It offers strategic consultancy and multi-disciplinary professional services.


This year’s gala awards banquet will take place on 12 December at the Westin, Dubai

Alshaer, a mechanical engineer with a Master’s in Project Management, has over 25 years’ professional experience in engineering, project management and business management. He is currently serving as the president of ASHR AE Falcon Chapter.



Design Director: Building Services (Dubai), Atkins


In his role as Design Director for Building Services for the Atkins office in Dubai, Hill is responsible for managing the building services design office across all disciplines. The role also requires detailed co-ordination and management.


CATHY CROCKER Executive Director , IMEC Electro Mechanical Engineering

President, ASHRAE Falcon Chapter 10 MEP Middle East | September 2010

Al-Barazi has a Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from George Washington University of the US. He is an acknowledged expert in cooling tower technology, ventilation and thermal ice storage technologies.

• Best Overall GCC Project of the Year • Best Sustainable GCC Project of the Year

Associate Director: Building Services, Scott Wilson (Dubai)

• Middle East MEP Contractor of the Year • Middle East Specialist MEP Contractor of the Year • Middle East MEP Consultancy of the Year • Middle East Specialist MEP Consultancy of the Year • Middle East Health & Safety Achievement Award Special Awards • Supplier of the Year • Innovation of the Year People • Engineer of the Year, Middle East • Young Engineer of the Year, Middle East • Project Manager of the Year, Middle East For on-line nominations visit www.constructionweekonline. com/mepawards/. For table bookings, contact


First green building report Major results released of first UAE survey into green building sector SURVEY

Landmark Advisory, a leading real-estate consultancy, has released the results of its first green building survey and report, conducted in conjunction with Cityscape Intelligence. “Through initiatives such as Estidama and Masdar City, it is clear that considerable progress is being made in sustainable real estate, particularly in Abu Dhabi. However, we felt it was important to understand the perspective of various industry stakeholders, including their awareness of the various issues surrounding green buildings, as well as their opinions regarding the potential demand drivers for green real estate in the UAE,” said Landmark Advisory research director Ms Jesse Downs. “The first green build survey is an example of the type of analysis that is essential to ensure we understand the focuses and key objectives required to move forward,” said Cityscape group director Chris Speller. The survey findings highlighted that the vast majority of those interviewed have a grasp of the concept of green buildings, with about 96% of respondents reporting an understanding of what a green building is. “Of course, this does not test actual understanding, but rather self-assessment of knowledge, which is subjective. “While this is a very basic question to ask, it is one potential indication of awareness of sustainability in the real-estate market. Fostering awareness through education is the critical first step in building


understanding of ‘green building’ concept

Considerable progress has been made, says Ms Jesse Downs

a sustainable property market,” explained Ms Downs. The candidates who took part in the survey revealed that the factors they most often associate with green buildings include environmental friendliness, lower utility bills and better design. When asked their reasons for wanting to establish an office in a green building, respondents cited reasons such as environmental friendliness, lower utility bills and health benefits for employees. Based on the results, there is a clear distinction between building new green developments and ret-

rofitting existing buildings. When asked about potential implementation of green building regulation that would require new buildings to achieve a minimum green standard, 34% of respondents reported this should be put into practice immediately. However, respondents also stated that the developers are likely to find it feasible to build green within two to three years. In contrast, respondents reported that any regulation implementing a minimum green standard for the retrofitting of existing buildings should only be put into operation in two to three years. Commenting on this, Ms Downs said: “Implementing green development regulation locally is less contentious than green retrofitting regulation; this is most likely because of the current state of the UAE real-estate market. “Essentially any green development regulation will have limited impact in the short to medium term because the development market will be extremely restricted over this period. Regardless, implementing both green development and retrofitting regulation is critical for improving the longterm sustainability of the UAE’s real-estate market.”

CITYSCAPE GOES GLOBAL This will be the ninth year that a Cityscape event has been held in Dubai. Cityscape Global will be an integral part of the largest business-to-business real estate investment and development brand in the world. This year’s exhibition has already confirmed participation from 23 countries, including the UAE, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Jordan, Egypt, Morocco, China, Malaysia, Japan, South Korea, Australia, Poland, France, UK, Italy, Russia, Canada and the US. This year will also see four conferences running alongside the main event, including Cityscape Global Real Estate Development and Investment Conference, World Architectural Conference, City Leaders Forum and the new Retail City Conference. This year’s event has evolved from Cityscape Dubai, acknowledging its international participants and recognising its market position, providing a significant platform for the global real estate industry. Last year more than 25% of registered participants for Cityscape Dubai came from outside GCC countries, which translates into almost 10 000 participants flying in from 115 different countries. Cityscape Global will broaden that trend, reaching a 50% international participation over the next three years.

EVENTS BUILDING SUSTAINABILITY 28 SEPTEMBER Fairmont Bab Al Bahr, Abu Dhabi Strategic conference combined with Estidama training. conferences CITYSCAPE GLOBAL 4-7 October Dubai International Exhibition Centre The international property investment and development event, an annual networking exhibition and conference focusing on all aspects of the property development cycle.

IDEA’S 5TH INTERNATIONAL DISTRICT COOLING CONFERENCE & TRADE SHOW 8-9 November Grand Hyatt Hotel, Doha, Qatar Entitled ‘District Cooling: Greener Buildings, Smarter Grid’, this is a unique opportunity for providers, manufacturers, suppliers and business partners in the district energy sector to showcase products and services to an international audience from across the Gulf. THE BIG 5 22-25 November Dubai International Exhibition Centre The largest construction trade show in the Gulf, combining five major exhibitions under one roof, and featuring 2 000 companies from 50 countries. There will be national pavilions, alongside important local developers, contractors, importers and distributors.

September 2010 | MEP Middle East 11


Fallout from high maintenance fees Prior to 2008, investors blissfully ignored service charges or total operational costs MAINTENANCE

Owners of properties in the freehold areas of Dubai could be hit by major maintenance charges which should have been identified prior to purchase, according to the property management arm of a leading real estate developer. “Some owners are jeopardising the return on their investments by not adequately accounting for depreciation on MEP equipment,” said Mazen Falhout, GM of MAGme Property Solutions, a division of the MAG Group. Dubai property owners now have the opportunity to play an active role in the management of their properties as the new owners’ association management regulations, implemented by Dubai’s Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RER A), have fi nally come into effect. Full implementation of the regulations means that, as well as routine maintenance and upkeep charges, owners will have to pay premiums to cover complete building insurance, as well as an emergency reserve or ‘sinking’ fund to take care of larger maintenance work or replacement of essential equipment. ‘Sinking’ funds are essential to accumulate a reserve fund over time, which helps to enhance not only the value of property for the current owner, but makes it more attractive for prospective buyers and the secondary market. It is also important that buyers verify whether such allocations have been made in the service fee budget before deciding to buy. “When considering a real-

AED3M To replace a chiller in an average tower

12 MEP Middle East | September 2010

Some owners are jeopardising the return on their investments by not adequately accounting for depreciation on MEP equipment.“ - Mazen Falhout estate investment, prospective owners should always seek advice from suitable professionals who can evaluate all potential operational costs, as well calculating depreciation or the appropriate deposits for a so-called ‘sinking’ fund,” said Falhout. “For example, to replace a chiller in an average tower building costs AED2 million to AED3 million. That amount must be built-in over ten years when it reaches the end of its working life. If there is no ‘sinking’ fund, owners have to foot the entire

bill at that point of time, which could be substantial.” As there is no conformity with common areas, each building or community must be assessed, on a case by case basis, by professionals who understand maintenance of the complex engineering in these developments. “In tower buildings, it could be something as simple as electricity supply for lifts, air-conditioning, pool chillers, lighting and even car-park barriers. With rents falling at least 40% over the last 12 months, many owners are

now faced with fees that they cannot simply pass on to tenants if they want to remain competitive in the market,” said Falhout. “What might seem on the surface to be a good sales price may not be cost-effective over time, when the so-called hidden capital and ITS respective operational expenses have been factored in. Prior to June 2008, investors did not care too much about service charges or operational costs; many were only speculating on the rising price. Now that party is over, and owners now have to be responsible for their investments,” said Falhout. MAGme was specifically set up to provide an array of real-estate management services from sales and marketing to property management and owners’ association management. “Originally we were predominantly instructed to manage, promote and market the developed projects of our sister company, MAG Group Properties. However, as we created business relationships with other developers, we began to manage their buildings, as well as advising investors. “Originally we were predominantly instructed to manage, promote and market the developed projects of our sister company. However, as we created business relationships with other developers, we began to manage their buildings as well as advising investors,” said Falhout. With so much stock to be completed over the next five years, Falhout believes that the property-management sector will grow substantially over that period. “The cycle begins with design and investment, through to development and then handover. Owners must then manage their property, irrespective of market price,” he added.


Dubai’s ClimaGulf in Oz air-con deal Natural air cooling is an eco-friendly and energy-efficient form of air-conditioning AIR-CON

Seeley International, Australia has entered into an exclusive distribution agreement with Dubai-based ClimaGulf Trading to launch its range of Breezair evaporative air-con systems in the UAE. “Breezair will be a trend-setter for natural air cooling in the UAE, which supports eco-friendly and energy efficient sources of air-conditioning,” affi rmed ClimaGulf MD Sabu C. Abraham. Abraham is an industry professional with an accomplished track record of over 16 years in the MEP, air-cooling and electronic goods industries. As MD of ClimaGulf, he was instrumental in establishing a new line of business in evaporative cooling systems by acquiring exclusive distributor rights in the UAE for the renowned Australian brand Breezair. In addition to ClimaGulf, Abraham is also GM of ClimaPro Technic, a leading MEP company in the UAE, and managing partner of Chevitt Engineers in India. Abraham is an Associate Member of ASHR AE ( American Society of Heating refrigeration and Air conditioning engineers) and a Member of ISHR AE (Indian

ADVANTAGES OF EVAPORATIVE COOLING OVER CONVENTIONAL REFRIGERATED AIR-CON • Low energy consumption: as little as 20% of what is consumed by conventional aircon; • It does not contain harmful CFC gases; • It improves productivity; • Breezair machines are easier and cheaper to install, and easy to maintain

How evaporative cooling works

Society of Heating Refrigeration and Airconditioning engineers). He holds a Master’s in Business Management (Marketing), Pune University (1994) and graduated from the Government College of Engineering, Sagar, MP in 1992 with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering. With the size of the Middle East market for air-cooling systems estimated at 100 000 units a year, ClimaGulf plans to tap the UAE market in the initial phase before expanding across the region, added Abraham. Evaporative cooling technology is ideal for hot, dry climates like the Middle East, as it cools air naturally, effectively and efficiently. “It is a simple process whereby a cool breeze is created by hot air passing over water-soaked cooling pads. Natural evaporation helps soak up the heat and cools the hot air. The effect created by evaporative air cooling is similar to the cooler conditions found at or near large expanses of water,” explained Abraham. Evaporative air-con is suit-

able for a range of residential, commercial and industrial applications, and is immensely beneficial in partially covered/ ventilated places, which require a constant flow of cool fresh air, and helps in controlling heat build up, smoke, fumes and ensures flow of cool natural air. Applications include factories, warehouses, commercial kitchens, outdoor Majlis, kitchens, tents, outdoor restaurants, airports and hangars, bus stops, zoo, sports grounds and outdoor swimming pools. Seeley International said it foresaw numerous growth opportunities for its air-cooling system in the Middle East. “Even on the coastal areas of the Gulf, Breezair machines can provide

cooling solutions to many commercial and industrial applications,” commented Seeley International export manager: Asia, Middle East and South America Kym Garrick. “Breezair is suitable for places where normal air-con systems cannot work or be installed. Summer temperatures in the UAE can exceed 45 degree Celsius in factories and warehouses. These unpleasant working conditions affect morale and, in turn, productivity. To continuously use traditional air-con systems in such places would be extremely expensive. The advanced technology developed by Breezair is an affordable alternative cooling system,” said ClimaGUlf GM Durgesh Verma.

100 000 UNITS A YEAR size of the Middle East market for air-cooling systems

September 2010 | MEP Middle East 13


Latest spec unveiled for ‘super cable’ 5Play converges HD video, audio, 100BaseT Ethernet, power and various control signals CABLES

The specification for a new ‘super cable’ has been unveiled that carries computer data, high-definition television and audio signals – as well as being able to handle electrical power. This means that television displays will soon only need a single cable for both their electrical power and video signals. The cable handles electrical power much like a standard household extension cord – enough to power a 100 W lightbulb. This ‘all-in-one’ feature is dubbed 5Play, which converges full uncompressed HD video, audio, 100BaseT Ethernet, high power over cable and various control signals through a single 100 m CAT5e/6 LAN cable. The new technology makes it possible to cut out the assortment of cables for audio, video, connecting CE devices – and even the power source. Base specifications for version 1.0 of the cable, called HDBaseT, have been unveiled by the HDBaseT Alliance, founded by LG Electronics, Samsung Electronics, Sony Pictures Entertainment

and Valens Semiconductor. The alliance aims to promote and standardise the new technology as a replacement for the current HDMI standard. Matthew Humphries from comments: “Using cables instead of wireless for some of these tasks may seem like a step backwards. But if the cables are installed in the walls, like we do with power sockets, it means one thin cable provides everything, while remaining a clean solution. You are also getting much higher transmission rates than wireless can achieve at the moment. The fact you can create networks out of the connections is a bonus, which could cut down on the cost of technology in the home.” This is likely to provide a major boost for the home automation sector. “HDBaseT’s creation of a unified specification will raise the bar as the most technologically advanced, unmatched solution for optimum digital media distribution,” trumpeted HDBaseT Alliance president and chairman Ariel Sobelman. And the catch? While CAT5e/6

Major boost for home automation

cabling is relatively cheap, consumers are likely to have to purchase new devices. “I doubt you will be able to buy a kit to modify an existing television to accept data and power over a HDBaseT cable. Buying new devices is probably mandatory,” says Humphries. The demand for in-home converged distribution of HD multimedia content and the lack of adequate existing technologies are driving the industry toward an HD digital connectivity standard such as HDBaseT. Through development of the HDBaseT 1.0 digital connectivity specification, the HDBaseT Alliance addresses consumer needs and high market demand. HDBaseT increases the trans-

fer distance of uncompressed HD multimedia content, expanding distribution, simplifying installation and ultimately lowering overall system cost. “Today there is an abundance of content in the home, including video, images and data. As HDTVs and HDTV services proliferate throughout the world, the amount of content, and the ability to move it around the home, becomes much more complicated,” stated Brian O’Rourke, principal analyst, In-Stat. “The next frontier in networking is the ability to control and distribute this content. HDBaseT technology is well-positioned to offer a simple solution throughout the home to meet consumers’ needs.” The finalisation of the latest HDBaseT specification paves the way for HDBaseT embedded products to hit the market. The HDBaseT Alliance anticipates products with embedded HDBaseT technology to be available in the second half of 2010, with the majority of adoption taking place in 2011. The specification will also be available for licensing within the second half of 2010.

Electrifying toilet could soon power buildings ENERGY EFFICIENCY

The humble toilet could soon be powering the rest of the building, thanks to the latest development from Britain. HighDro Power harnesses the energy from falling waste in the soil pipes of high-rise buildings and converts it to electricity. Every flush of a toilet fires a stream of pressurised water, or kinetic energy, to move the contents of the bowl into the sewer system. Tom Broadbent, an industrial design student at Leicester’s De Montfort University (DMU), says his inspiration for the device came when he emptied a bath in a hotel, 14 MEP Middle East | September 2010

and found that not only did it drain very quickly, but it did so with a large amount of force. He then realised it would be possible to harness this energy in some way to create ‘green’ electricity. The device could have major implications for hotels and office blocks, for example, where hundreds, or even thousands, of flushes take place every day. Broadbent claims his device would save a seven-storey building US$1 400 a year in electrical costs, thanks to the offsets from his toilet generators. “HighDro Power works by using the water discharged from ap-

pliances such as showers, toilets and sinks in high-rise apartments. The water goes down the pipe and hits four turbine blades that drive one generator,” he explains. “The whole thing was influenced by traditional waterwheels to ensure that any solids passing through had limited effects on whether they could function.” To make a working prototype of the design, Broadbent used rapid prototyping techniques – laser sintering and CNC milling machinery – as well as vacuum forming. He sourced bearings, gears and other materials from companies supplying standard components.

Tom Broadbent had a ‘Eureka!’ moment

Broadbent now hopes to have his innovation fitted to a building for testing purposes.


Green light for Metro energy-savings Efficient design slashes total energy consumption by about 25% or AED20 million a year ENERGY-SAVING

Dubai Metro’s operational results have shown that the design specifi cations set by the RTA have contributed to a 25% reduction in power consumption, equivalent to AED20 million a year. Reduced carbon dioxide emissions from powergeneration plants driving the Metro added even more value. The fi rst is utilisation of the regenerative power released during braking. This power is used by trains during acceleration mode. Each time the train brakes, power is generated and fed back through an electronic inverter, and this regenerated power is utilised by other trains in a state of acceleration. Each train contains two inverters. The second important energy-saving factor is the use of a power network maintaining a higher voltage of 33 kV instead of the 11 kV used locally by DEWA. This network is the fi rst to be installed in Dubai, and cuts power losses during transmission through the cable by almost 90% compared to normal 11 kV networks. Additionally, the 33 kV grid can supply energy 40 km away, as opposed to 11 kV facilities, which can only supply power over a few kilometres. This also saves in distribution costs. The integrated energy-control

The Dubai Metro uses regenerative power during braking.

system installed in each station has also helped reduce power consumption between 10% and 20%, compared to conventional systems. Increased natural daylighting has reduced electricity consumption further. The provision of air-con at stations and depots using district cooling technology is yet another factor contributing to energy savings and protection

TESTING BEGINS ON GREEN LINE The RTA has reportedly begun trial runs on the Green Line of the Dubai Metro, which is expected to open in August 2011. The trial runs involve testing the signalling and testing systems on the track. Once the 23 km Green Line is operational, the Dubai Metro will extend 76 km. “We have completed the train tracks on the Green Line, and are doing trial runs with empty trains to test the line,” a senior RTA official told Gulf News. Contractors are now focusing on completing the stations on the line, he said. The Green Line runs from Al Qusais near Emirates Road to Al Jaddaf, near Business Bay Crossing, and passes through Deira and Bur Dubai. The 52.1 km Red Line opened on 9 September 2009, with 21 out of 29 stations operational at present.

of the environment. The district cooling used by the RTA helped cut power consumption by around 50%. Trane supplied 305 air-handling units (AHUs) and 1 120 fan coil units (FCUs) for Dubai Metro’s Red Line of 29 stations. Of these 24 are elevated (by means of a viaduct), four are underground stations and one station is at ground level. The CLCPEuro AHUs and HXCA FCUs create the best possible indoor air quality at the stations by controlling temperature, humidity, odours and sound levels. All CLCPEuro units are energy-effi cient, providing a sustainable and reliable air-system for the Dubai Metro for years to come. “It is imperative for us to meet the highest standards of safety and customer satisfaction for Dubai commuters,” said Eng.

Ahmed Mohammed Sharif, electromechanical systems manager, construction department, RTA. “Energy-optimised CLCPEuro will save energy and reduce the carbon footprint of this mega project,” said Ghassan Freiwat, acquisition director, Middle East, India and Africa. “The lower energy consumption of the system will contribute to a lower total cost of ownership for RTA, while exercising environmental responsibility. In addition, the excellent indoor air quality will ensure the comfort and well-being of commuters.”

33 KV The Dubai Metro’s power network September 2010 | MEP Middle East 15


US$2.54m for adsorption chiller research Project aims to improve efficiency and test new refrigerants in air-con using waste heat RESEARCH

Power Partners, Inc. of the US has revealed it is teaming up with the US Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) and Arkema Inc. on a US$2.54 million research programme to improve the efficiency and test new refrigerants in a type of aircon unit that runs on waste heat, or alternatively heat from solar thermal collectors. The funding was announced by DOE’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, otherwise known as ARPA-E, and is part of the agency’s Building Energy Efficiency through Innovative Thermodevices, or BEET-IT programme. Power Partners is a US manufacturer and marketer of energy-efficient, environmentfriendly Eco-Max adsorption chillers. An adsorption chiller is a type of air-con powered by waste heat or by heat from solar collectors. It has few moving parts and uses almost no electricity to operate. During the three-year programme, the team will design, assemble and test an adsorption chiller that takes advantage of PNNL’s metal-organic heat carrier technology and new types of refrigerants. The goal is to utilise PNNL’s advanced materials and develop adsorption chillers that are smaller, more efficient and affordable enough to be used more frequently in commercial buildings.

EFFICIENT “More efficient methods of cooling represent a great opportunity to reduce energy consumption in buildings and, in doing so, greenhouse gas emissions as well,” said PNNL Laboratory Fellow Pete McGrail, who is leading the 16 MEP Middle East | September 2010

A Thermax absorption system for district heating and cooling in Sweden

40% of total energy use

consumed by buildings research project. “The ARPA-E program represents a unique opportunity to move a recent laboratory discovery to the mainstream HVAC and commercial buildings marketplace in just a few years.” “Buildings account for 40% of energy use in the US,” said Mike Stonecipher, business segment leader at Power Partners. “Cooling is one of the primary uses of energy in buildings, yet the basic approaches for cooling have

not changed in decades. We are excited about this joint effort to develop a commercially-viable product that can meet the demand for energy conservation.” Power Partners will spearhead engineering and testing efforts as the project advances from a bench-scale prototype to a fiveton cooling capacity demonstration unit, utilising its state-ofthe-art test facility. Adsorption chiller technology is attractive to retail stores, hospitals, universities, office complexes, data centers, trigeneration facilities, processing plants, manufacturing plants and government facilities because it saves energy.

WASTE HEAT Capturing and using waste heat could be one of the largest

conservation and greenhouse gas reduction opportunities. Heat recovery is an opportunity to recycle energy that is typically wasted. According to the EPA, in the US alone it is estimated that the potential for waste-heat recovery could substitute about 9% of the total US energy usage, or 1.4 quadrillion BTU. Adsorption chillers are a unique approach to achieving air-conditioning and process cooling. Adsorption chillers are driven by hot water rather than from large amounts of electricity like conventional air-conditioners. This hot water may come from any number of industrial sources, including waste heat from industrial processes, prime heat from solar thermal installations, or from the exhaust or water jacket heat of a piston engine or

NEWS ANALYSIS turbine. The process and industrial sources include food and beverage processing, chemical, plastic rubber, paper and cement manufacturing, as well as the waste heat from steam boilers or sterilisers used in hospitals, hotels and campuses. The heat extracted from the chilled water and the heat consumed from the hot water is directed into a cooling water system used to dissipate this energy. This heat dissipation may occur in a water system, a water heat

solution of lithium bromide salt, which tends to corrode the internal copper tubing and steel shell of the unit. Absorption chillers also produce hydrogen gas as a by-product, requiring an expensive palladium cell inside the chiller unit to remove the hydrogen. The lithium bromide solution in absorption chillers also has phase state challenges, and has a tendency to solidify within the system while operating. If the regeneration temperature

Cooling is one of the primary uses of energy in buildings, yet the basic approaches for cooling have not changed –Mike Stonecipher in decades.“ exchanger, a dry water tower, or an evaporative (wet) water tower. Very little electric power is consumed running the chiller generally – about the same amount of electricity as a handful of old-fashioned incandescent light bulbs. The electric power drives the internal process computer and a PLC, and the intermittent running of a fractional horsepower vacuum pump. Industrial operations represent a significant source of greenhouse gas emissions, and most of the waste heat is simply rejected via cooling towers to the atmosphere as ‘dumped heat’. Waste heat is the by-product of system inefficiencies in industrial and commercial process, and represents a waste of resources, opportunities and money. Waste heat is commonly generated by steam generation, power generation or process heating and heating and cooling.

TRADITIONAL Traditional thermally-driven absorption chillers have been effective, but have been burdened with significant maintenance and upkeep. Absorption chiller systems often depend on a corrosive

becomes too hot or too cold, or the conditions change too rapidly for the system to adapt, the liquid salt will solidify and crystallise inside the chiller unit. Many installations of absorption units require a dedicated caretaker for maintenance purposes. Conversely, adsorption chillers use municipal water as the refrigerant and solid silica gel as the desiccant. There are no CFCs or freons, no Li-Br and no ammonia. Not using these chemicals equates to no potential for hazardous material leaks, no aggressive corrosion, no chemical testing required and no damage to upper-level atmospheric ozone. An adsorption chiller signifi cantly reduces the maintenance and upkeep costs by substituting the corrosive salt desiccant with a benign silica gel. Reliability and machine availability are improved significantly. Adsorption chillers have very few moving parts, and do not require the maintenance and attention that absorption chiller systems require. Adsorption chillers eliminate noisy compressors, high-pressure refrigerant systems, high amperage electrical connections, refrigerant

An example of a waste-heat recovery project at Jamnagar

monitoring and alarm systems and high maintenance costs.

PRINCIPLE The principle of adsorption works with the interaction of gases and solids. With adsorption chilling, the molecular interaction between the solid and the gas allows the gas to be adsorbed into the solid. The adsorption chamber of the chiller is fi lled with silica gel, eliminating the need for moving parts, and eliminating the noise associated with those moving parts. The silica gel creates an extremely low humidity condition that causes the water refrigerant to evaporate at a low temperature, which cools the chilled water. Adsorption chillers are effective either as

an enhancement to a current HVAC system or a replacement technology to a current chiller. Adsorption chillers can be easily integrated to utilise solar hot water collectors and concentrators to produce the source heat for the chiller. Building owners and facility managers are installing electricity generation systems that run on natural gas, and have the potential to use the waste heat from the water jacket and exhaust gases to operate a waste-heat recovery system. By integrating a waste-heat recovery system with on-site generation, the system can further reduce carbon dioxide emissions by slashing the chilling system’s electricity consumption. Tri-generation systems can have fuel efficiency rates of 85% to 95%.

ADSORPTION IN THE MIDDLE EAST Ambient temperatures of 45ºC cause the performance to drop as the condensing water temperature rises. However, the overall performance is still thought to be superior to absorption chillers. Danway recently conducted a technical seminar in Dubai in conjunction with Weatherite of the UK on adsorption chillers. This technology can be applied in the Northern Emirates, for example, where power generation capacity is limited. Adsorption chillers can be linked to gensets as they require little electricity. Most of the cooling capacity will be powered by waste heat.

September 2010 | MEP Middle East 17


UNITED STATES The International District Energy Association (IDEA) has presented its System of the Year Award to District Energy St. Paul during its annual conference in Indianapolis, Indiana, US. The award recognises exemplary system performance and service. District Energy St. Paul is only the second system to win the award twice, having also won in 1993. The panel based the selection on achievements including: the system serves twice the square footage of buildings today with the same amount of energy input as when the system began operation in 1983 and, after adjusting for inflation, District Energy St Paul’s customers pay less for heating service today than they did 27 years ago.

EGYPT Egypt plans to invite bids for the construction of a 1 000 MW wind-energy park in the Gulf of Suez. Construction of the facility, which will be located in the Gabal El-Zeit area, will be tendered on a build-own-operate basis. The North African country can already generate 500 MW through wind projects in the Zaafarana area in the Gulf of Suez. Egypt, the most populous Arab country, generates around 14% of its power needs from renewable sources, and plans to increase that amount to 20% by 2020, of which 12% would come from wind power.

WALES CHINA Nexans has been awarded a €9m contract by China Nuclear Power Engineering (CNPEC) to supply specialised low-voltage (LV) power, control and instrumentation cables for the 1 660 MW Taishan EPR nuclear power plant currently under construction in Guangdong Province. Nexans is supplying K3 type (not safety classified) cables for the Taishan project that have been specifically designed and tested to deliver exceptional performance, reliability and safety in nuclear power installations. They will ensure enhanced fire performance in emergency situations, based on a high level of fire retardancy and fire resistance, together with low-smoke and low-toxicity characteristics provided by the use of zero-halogen materials. Typical duties for the LV power cables will be to power the pumps that transfer water between the reactor vessels and the steam generators. The control cables will provide primary control for primary pumps, safety valves, ventilation and air-con, while the instrumentation cables will be used for constant system surveillance by measuring parameters such as steam pressure, water and component temperature, liquid levels, flow rates and vibration.

18 MEP Middle East | September 2010

Welsh Water is investing £200 million to upgrade its water treatment works across Wales, UK, by 2015, including the Cwellyn plant where Rotork has installed intelligent electric valve actuators. The new plant at Cwellyn has been designed and built by Black & Veatch Ltd, one of Welsh Water’s asset management alliance partners for water supply capital investment schemes. The new treatment regime is designed to clarify the water before it enters the existing works in order to deal with changing raw water conditions and consistently meet all water quality standards.




Mobile telecoms operator MTN has unveiled a R22 million, 2 MW trigeneration plant, which would power a new building housing a data centre and a test switch centre at its head office campus in Fairland, Johannesburg. The trigeneration plant is powered by methane gas, which is piped over 800 km from Sasol’s Mozambique gas fields to Egoli Gas in Johannesburg, and then to the company’s office. The unique plant at MTN not only generated electricity from methane gas, but also used a by-product of the process for cooling purposes. The 400ºC exhaust gas is sent through lithium bromide absorption chillers to provide cooling for the building.

Reed Exhibitions’ World Future Energy Summit 2011 (WFES) will take place in Abu Dhabi over four days, from 17-20 January, with the focus on Enabling Future Energy Solutions. It is expected that one of the key discussion topics will be how to utilise the MENA region’s enormous potential to become one of the world’s largest producers of renewable energy. Held under the patronage of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and hosted by Masdar, WFES is a unique business platform aiding the global development and commercialisation of renewable energy solutions. The MENA region is receiving increasing global attention as its potential as a source of renewable energy production emerges. Recent research from Booz & Company indicates that, as a result of high solar radiation levels and good wind resources, the region has the potential to offer 45% of the world’s total renewable energy generation based on measurement of existing generation capacity.

INDIA India’s green building footprint is slowly gaining ground. From 20 000 sq ft in 2004, India’s LEED-certified green building footprint increased to 23 million sq ft in 2009. This upward trend is expected to continue as 45 million sq ft of additional green building space is projected to be completed by 2012, according to a Jones Lang LaSalle study. India currently has two major rating systems: LEED India, run by the Indian Green Building Council, and the Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment (GRIHA), a system developed by TERI and the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy. The GRIHA rating system is slowly strengthening its impact alongside LEED India.


UK After years of technological wranglings, the London Underground will finally get air-conditioning, according to modernisation plans unveiled by Transport for London (TfL) and London Mayor Boris Johnson. The Metropolitan Line will get a fleet of air-conditioned trains, with the Circle, District and Hammersmith and City lines following within the next five years. The lines earmarked are ‘cut and cover’ lines, which lie just below the surface. Plans are also underway to work on deep-level lines such as Victoria, Jubilee, Northern and Central.

Cargill Beef in Wagga Wagga has to introduce a $13 million wastewater treatment system and cut its killing capacity after its sewer treatment system failed last year. Planning New South Wales granted Cargill approval to do works to reduce odours and improve wastewater quality by building a new wastewater treatment system. There are 104 conditions of approval for upgrade.

September 2010 | MEP Middle East 19

Water and Wastewater Treatment

For free fast-track entry, pre-register online today:

In Partnership with:


Organised by:


Ice thermal storage in air-con Klaus Grandegger from Fafco SA of Biel/Bienne, Switzerland and Aslan Al-Barazi from IMEC Electromechanical Engineering of Sharjah look at the key factors involved in making ice thermal storage a success. ce thermal storage units can be the solution to possible problems in modern refrigeration and air-conditioning. In certain cases they are even the most economical investment. Over and above which new research has shown that certain refrigeration systems with ice storage units need even less electrical energy than conventional systems. Ice storage units today represent a popular method to provide refrigeration. Although there is a wide choice of different ice storage systems on the market, the predominant system for air-con applications is the so-called indirect brine system using plastic tube heat exchangers. The advantages of this system are obvious, which makes it the first choice when ice storage is considered.


WHY USE ICE STORAGE? At an ice melting heat of 333 kJ/kg and sole utilisation of the latent energy, there is theoretical storable energy of 84.5 kWh/m³ water as ice available. This is about twelve-fold the storable energy in comparison to direct use of the sensible energy from water – or, looked at differently – the required storage size is only 1/12. In practical use it can be assumed that there is a 50-60 kWh ice storage capacity latent per m³ vessel volume, depending on design and melting method. The ice melting point of 0°C means that typical applications for ice storage units are in the temperature range between +2…+6°C. Ice storage units have the advantage of simple plant technology, the use of an inexpensive and ecologically harmless storage medium and, in many cases, can today be employed economically. The wide range of ice storage unit application opportunities in the temperature range mentioned above is unbeatable. The following aspects are generally pivotal for the cost-effectiveness of ice storage systems: •Basically anywhere where high refrigeration capacity is required; •Where there is a requirement for high refrigeration capacity but short operating times; •Where water-saving, modern, dry cooler systems are used; •Where the annual operating periods are

erally short (purely comfort air-con, low plant utilisation); •Where there is a difference between day/ night tariff for power and where there is demand charge for electricity; •Where an existing plant is to be extended; •Where an outdated plant is being renewed; •Where there are layout constraints;

•Where part loads predominate; •Where there are frequent refrigeration machine cycles (here there is a distinct improvement in efficiency); •Where there are irregular cooling demands (shopping malls, office buildings, universities, exhibitions, stadiums, theatres, museums); •For emergency refrigeration applications,

Aslan Al-Barazi

Klaus Grandegger September 2010 | MEP Middle East 21

ICE THERMAL STORAGE where emergency refrigeration is only required for short periods; and •Where substitution/replacement of absorption refrigeration machines is required, particularly where the transformer station cannot be enlarged or the power source is limited. The use of the latent energy of ice in the form of melting heat thus represents a simple possibility to store cooling energy and to keep the storage space and therefore also the investment cost as low as possible.

ICE STORAGE UNITS IN BUILDING AIR-CON The refrigeration requirement in buildings, which is determined by interior and exterior loads, undergoes enormous fluctuations over a 24-hour period. At night no or very little refrigeration is required, whereas during the day the demand can be very high. The capacity of conventional cooling and refrigeration plants has to be designed to accommodate this peak load. The plants are therefore, in most cases, over-dimensioned for the majority of their operating hours. This means, on the one hand, unnecessarily high investment costs and, on the other hand, a lower degree of plant utilisation as a result of the frequently extreme part loads operation. Research by Hilligweg and

Kalb [1] has clearly shown that especially the part load behaviour, more so than stop-start behaviour of many cooling plants, can lead to an unfavourable degree of annual operating efficiency of the overall refrigeration system.

in [2]. Fig. 1 gives an overview of the different designs which are applicable today. Table 1 shows a summary of the important key data of common ice storage systems.

APPLICATIONS FOR ICE STORAGE UNITS OVERVIEW OF ICE STORAGE SYSTEMS Depending on the application, capacity and performance demands, certainty of reliability and refrigeration temperature consistency, various ice storage systems are used in process refrigeration and air-con. A classification method which is not very common in literature but does nevertheless make sense because it is easily understood breaks down the ice storage units by the type of melt process into direct and indirect ice storage systems. If the return or process water comes directly into contact with the ice, this is referred to as a ‘direct’ ice storage system. If the process water is indirectly cooled by heat exchangers in the storage tank via an intermediate heat transfer circuit, these are known as ‘indirect’ ice storage systems. These systems always use as a convector fluid medium a convector fluid-water mixture (ethylene glycol, propylene glycol or brine). The systems and their characteristics and fields of possible application are described

Ice storage units can be used anywhere that cyclical refrigeration exists. The following conditions are typical for air-con applications in different applications (office buildings, shopping malls, hospitals, exhibitions, hotels, etc.): •Consumer system temperature about 2-6°C; •Discharge capacity corresponding to approximately 6-10 hours discharge time; •Variable daily load profiles dependent on internal and external loads; •Easy handling; •No maintenance staff permanently available; •Very high operating safety required, e.g. district cooling plants [3]. The preferred choice for air-con cooling application is indirect storage systems. The reason why is that those kind of systems offer the best operating conditions at lowest prices. Direct brine systems would be suitable, too. But due to higher operating costs, outlet temperatures and discharge rates which are not required in air-con systems, much more space

Legend: DEX= direct evaporating system HEX = heat exchanger


22 MEP Middle East | September 2010



requirement and higher investment costs, they are normally not the preferred choice. Direct systems are relatively large builds and are considered to be less safe from an operational point of view and less economical in terms of operating costs compared to indirect systems.

INDIRECT BRINE SYSTEMS Ice storage units working on the indirect principle (also called ‘internal melt system’) have only one closed circuit to freeze the water in a vessel as well as to melt the ice. The system structure of such a storage unit, which is generally equipped with heat exchangers made of plastic rather than galvanised steel tubes, is very straightforward, as per Fig.2. During the charging process, that is to say the freezing of the water to become ice, brine at a temperature of approximately –5°C is fed through the heat exchanger, which is situated in the water filled vessel. The ice builds up around the tubes and, by the end of the process, has formed a solid block of ice, as per Fig.3, hence the designation ice bank storage unit. When the ice is melting, that is to say when discharging, the warm brine is fed through the heat exchanger again and the ice around the tubes melts first. As the brine is always fed through the heat exchanger system, the formation of an ice block allows very compact design of indirect ice storage systems. The tank volume can be reduced by 30..40% compared to direct brine systems. The indirect heat transfer means that the discharge rate, depending on design, equipment and discharge temperature, corresponds to a discharge time of up to 3-4 hours, whereas discharging over a period of 6-10 hours would be the standard in air-con applications. The

discharge performance is highest when the storage unit is full and decreases as the load level reduces – that is to say, the amount of ice. Today the achievable discharge temperatures with special equipment (air injection with air blower) even when the storage unit is almost empty is around +2-3°C. Such temperature normally is low enough for air-con cooling applications in buildings. Air agitation in indirect systems is only an option. If there is no need for it (e.g. ice inventory >50 %) it will be kept switched off. Other systems permanently re-

quire air agitation systems with air compressors running all the time during discharging and sometimes also during charging. Ice formation during charging – for example, in FAFCO systems – is perfectly uniform due to reversed return piping arrangement and a very particular heat exchanger design including an orifice device. A perfect ice block is formed at the end of the charging period. There is no necessity to discharge such kind of ice banks frequently. Recharging is easily possible at any time; absolutely no limitations in charging and discharging schedule occur. Furthermore, by changing the water level due to an increased volume of ice in this quasistatic vessel, a simple and very exact ice inventory can be determined. The fully adequate performance data for air-con applications and, at the same time, straightforward installation, simple system schematics and easy operation and maintenance, particularly for air-con applications in buildings, apply and give a favourable advantage to the indirect ice bank systems.

TYPICAL KEY DATA The following chapters highlight typical key data which are relevant for ice thermal storage applications. The better the key data are fulfilled the more successful ice storage can become in comfort cooling applications. Heat transfer surface of heat exchangers One of the most decisive evaluation criteria for ice storage systems today is the available heat transfer surface for the heat exchangers and


September 2010 | MEP Middle East 23



therefore the necessary ice thickness around the tubes or plates in order to provide the desired storage capacity. Indirect storage systems with plastic heat exchangers show clear advantages compared to direct brine systems as far as operating costs are concerned. The possibility to build in an enormously large heat transfer surface of up to 0.43 m²/kWh latent storage energy, using plastic heat exchangers, results in very little ice thickness being needed. Very good ice storage units have a thickness of 9-10 mm of ice at the end of the charge time. Apart from which, tubes allow increase the heat transfer surface during the charging operation by several 100%. The same effect is achieved in discharging; here the effective internal melt surface also increases. The use of steel tube and stainless plates means that, in view of the steep increase in material costs and also naturally for production facility reasons, ice thicknesses of 35-50 mm or even more are applied. As the heat exchanger material is relatively insignificant with a very thin layer of ice on it, the deciding factor for the efficiency of a heat exchanger system is the thickness of ice produced, proportionate to the heat transfer surface. Stainless steel plates with doubtless excellent material properties lose their advantage when they have a layer of ice adhering to them of even a few millimetres. Ice thicknesses of up to 50 mm and more are today almost no longer commercially viable. This is particularly clear from the typical charging temperature in Fig. 4, which is required to charge an ice storage unit of a certain 24 MEP Middle East | September 2010

capacity within a given time. The greater the thickness of the ice – that is, the smaller the available heat transfer surface – the lower the charge temperature drops during the charging period. The median charging temperature of a highly efficient ice storage system today is about -4...-5°C. This temperature relates to an ice thickness of around 10 mm. The median charging temperature becomes worse by some °C at ice thicknesses up to 35…50 mm, whereby plate heat exchangers fair even worse (no growing ice surface by increasing ice cylinder diameter) than tube bundle heat exchangers. The difference can be as much as 3-4°K or even more, which can mean a decrease in the refrigeration capacity during charging of 10-15 % or even 20 %. This means a distinctly longer charge time, which brings with it greater power consumption to produce the same amount of refrigeration – or, in other words, a substantially greater investment cost in refrigeration machines and condensers to achieve the same charge time. This standpoint is frequently ignored today, when ice storage systems are being evaluated. It poses the question as to whether ice storage systems would be significantly more widespread if only highly efficient systems were used. Pressure drop and brine content Another side-effect of the huge heat transfer surface is the fact that plastic tube heat exchangers offer extremely low pressure drops and little glycol content. The indicated heat transfer surface is a result of a huge number

of tubes with narrow diameters arranged in parallel on plastic headers. The huge number of tubes arranged in parallel minimises heat exchanger pressure drop. Heat exchangers manufactured from HDGS steel coils provide much longer coil runs, hence less tubes are arranged in parallel. The pressure drop of such systems is typically much higher compared to those in plastic design. The brine content (normally ethylene-water blend of 30/70 %) shall not exceed a specific value of 0.6 to 0.75 litre brine per kWh latent storage capacity. There are systems available on the market which show brine contents of up to ten times more. Such ice storage systems should be omitted as a huge amount of glycol makes much bigger expansion vessels necessary and increases system investment costs. Maintenance and corrosion aspects The use of several heat exchanger modules affords the best reserve and allows for easy repair and, in extreme cases, the replacement of defective modules. Here plastic heat exchangers have an evident advantage. No special openings and lifting devices would be required. Ceiling height could be minimised as plastic heat exchangers can be bent and removed easily. Due to their weight, they can be carried by hand without any problems. Steel coil heat exchangers, on the other hand, are heavy in nature and impossible for workers to remove manually in case of maintenance such as coil leakage repair. A crane would in most cases be out of the question for clients after the job is complete, particularly when the ice storage is located underground or in an inaccessible location. Plastic-type ice storage heat exchangers with an average weight of 20 kg can be lifted by any worker and, due to its flexibility in material nature, can go through an area as small as 1.5 m X 1 m area for ‘in and out’ accessibility, after project installation and commissioning is complete. In countries like the UAE with highly corrosive atmospheres due to the high humidity with added sea air salt content and high air temperatures, material specifications are higher – that is, steel should be in SS304 or higher grades (SS316), as hot dip galvanised steel would be subject to fast corrosion. Moreover, when an ice storage system uses the air bubble system for increasing the heat transfer efficiency of the system, the air effectively comes in contact with the ice storage heat exchanger surface, which advances the effects of corrosion further. Hence it is recommended that the ice storage heat exchanger material be in either plastic or stainless steel. It is worth mentioning here that, on cooling towers, across Europe and most of the US, the material of

ICE THERMAL STORAGE tion used for structure and panels is HDGS, not SS, due to the mild climatic conditions. In the UAE, Qatar and related areas, due to the aggressive climatic conditions, the industry in most cases uses SS304, SS316 or plastic material to make it corrosion-free, not HDGS. It can be said there is a subtle yet parallel condition with ice storage systems, albeit a lesser one due to different thermal conditions and subjection effect of ambient air. Nevertheless, ice storage is still subject to the aggressive air conditions when injecting the air bubble system into the ice storage heat exchanger. Space requirements Surface area is in short supply in ‘investment buildings’. This means that today ice storage systems making the best possible use of available space are in demand. This means it is necessary for ice storage types to have optimum modification and repair possibilities. Compact and space efficient design is preferred. Ice storage units in concrete tanks, which can be installed within or as part of the building and are more or less hidden, are ideal. The number of installed vessels should be kept to a minimum to maximise available space. Ice storage systems which are constructed on-site have enormous advantages with regard to flexibility in the use of space, and allow a more even flow for individual units as well as the units in the whole system. Investment costs Due to the simple structure and inherently smaller tank volume, indirect ice storage systems would have the lowest overall initial cost when all system and related components are considered in the equation. The greater the outlay on refrigeration equipment (e.g. direct evaporative and harvester systems), the greater will be the investment requirement for plant technology and construction. The fact that quite a huge number of manufacturers in the field offer factory-made chillers is also a crucial factor. The pressure in the marketplace to keep costs down is enormous, and means that efficient and inexpensive refrigeration machines have a place in the market. The latter results in the fact that direct and indirect brine systems show the lowest investment costs compared to other systems. Direct brine systems (‘external melting’) are more expensive than indirect systems (‘internal melting’) because much larger tank volumes and a secondary discharging circuit are required (Fig 5).

CONCLUSION Ice storage has become a common way of making refrigeration available. The simplicity of the system structure, the simple operating principle and the low maintenance requirement means that today the use of ice storage systems represents a cost-effective alternative to conventional refrigeration methods. The refrigeration provided by ice storage systems substitutes refrigeration machine cooling at given times, and therefore enables the costeffective operation of refrigeration plants. Care should be taken when selecting a suitable ice storage system that the operating costs are kept as low as possible by having the largest possible heat transfer surfaces and minimum pressure losses. This represents the optimum cost-effectiveness of ice storage plants as employed today. The ice thickness, as a pivotal criterion of the cost-effective use of ice storage, should be a maximum of 10 mm. Tube bundle heat exchangers, whether plastic or steel, are preferable to plate heat exchangers. The increasing heat transfer surface available during ice formation offers enormous thermodynamic advantages. Plastic tube heat exchangers for ice thermal systems offer major advantages over other systems in terms of operating conditions, pressure drop, brine content, corrosion and maintenance. The overall size of ice storage plants today is practically unlimited, whereby the number

of units should be kept to a minimum. Today, modular systems offer the best solutions on the market for the wide range of possible applications for ice storage technology. Only the best ice thermal storage system with optimised properties and minimal investment costs can be successful in air-con applications. This may well be the reason why ice storage systems using plastic heat exchangers have gained their preferred position in the marketplace. Turbines operate more effectively at night due to better thermal conditions, and thus with less energy requirements and less carbon emissions produced. In direct consequence, when turbines are engaged in optimum nighttime operation, not only would the power plant design engineer reduce the sizing of his overall power plant system design, but also from an operating standpoint, the power plant operator would reduce his energy consumption and therefore the power plant’s carbon emissions. For that to happen, however, the utilities need to encourage the consumer side and the district cooling providers to optimise the use of thermal energy storage at night by introducing the daytime/nighttime tariff system, which is still highly anticipated in the UAE region. The daytime/nighttime tariff is already in place in Europe, the US and locally in Saudi Arabia, and awaited in our local region for both the power plant as well as the HVAC industry to reap the mutual advantages of this combined system.


LITERATURE 1 Hilligweg, A., Kalb, A., Less power consumption with Ice Storage, TGA Fachplaner,Alfons W. Gentner Verlag GmbH&CO.KG, Stuttgart, Germany (11/2005), p. 40-44 2 Grandegger, K., Application opportunities for Ice Storage systems. CCN Climate Control News,Yaffa Publishing Group Pty. Ltd., Surry Hills, Australia, 2010, February, p. 38-43 3Schmid, W., Ice Storage unit improves efficiency of district cooling network, EuroHeat&Power, VWEW Energieverlag GmbH, Frankfurt, Germany, English Edition, 4, (II/2007), p. 32-35

September 2010 | MEP Middle East 25


Middle East is a hot spot in renewables market Solahart international business development manager Denis Avery visited the UAE, where distributor Ecoval Trading LLC was recognised as the Australian company’s number one distributor in 2009. olahart CEO Matt Sexton presented Ecoval Trading LLC MD Jim Sebastian with a special commemorative award during the World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi earlier this year. The award also highlights the importance of this region to the Australian manufacturer of solar hot water heating systems. “The Middle East is, and has been, recognised by our company as one of the leading regions globally to recognise the importance of renewable products. This is one of the top three regions that our company will be investing in long-term into the future,” says Avery. This is largely because Avery argues that market penetration of Solahart in the region is unaffected by a general mindset not yet fully attuned to energy saving. “In today’s world, people are far better informed towards energy saving and design. Here in the UAE I have seen a major shift in focus towards energy conservation. That is why we see a proliferation of companies trying to tap into this market.” And the low cost of energy in the region? “One cannot factor in the low cost of energy in the region as being behind a lack of support for renewables. What I see in the majority of markets is the willingness of the public to utilise renewables for other reasons, which just goes to show that price is not everything,” says Avery. An interesting development in this regard is the

ity of solar heating companies being formed, on the same basis as district cooling companies, but to distribute hot water.

September 2010 | MEP Middle East 27


ONE MILLION systems supplied since 1953

MAJOR DRIVER A major driver of this trend is Dubai’s anticipated ‘green’ building regulations, which are expected to make solar hot water heating mandatory for large-scale users such as hotels. “Obviously from our perspective such initiatives are welcome, and we congratulate the vision shown by such organisations. “Companies such as ourselves provide support and advice to all aspects of regional and local governments; we also provide education in schools, which will produce our future world leaders. Green sustainability is a major factor in many organisations. However, the pitfalls are great if one launches a business on the back of such initiatives,” warns Avery. Testament to this approach of longevity and sustainability is that Solahart has had a presence in the region for the past 15 years. It was established in Australia in 1953 when SW Hart & Company began manufacturing storage cylinders for use in conjunction with FC Korwill solar collectors, also an Australian product. “The company SW Hart stretches back to early days in Perth, when it actually used to manufacture rain water storage tanks for local use. From those humble days we now see Solahart as a global leader in solar water heater manufacture and distribution to 75 countries,” says Avery.

An example of a Solahart system

imise and harness the sun’s energy to ensure we have hot water in the harshest of environments – from freezing temperatures in China, Korea and Europe to the hot climates in the Middle East, Europe and Australia.” Indeed, one of Solahart’s main strengths has been supplying systems suited to local climatic conditions. “In this part of the world, one must factor in many conditions when designing a system for a particular project. Our system must be designed to manage the dusty

‘THERMOSIPHON’ PRINCIPLE The secret behind the Solahart system is the ‘thermosiphon’ principle, which Avery describes as “a natural process for heating water. With Solahart’s design, the cold water enters the solar collectors and gathers heat, which rises to the top of the collectors and raises the temperature of the stored water. This is very similar to how the human heart functions in the body.” Another important element of the system is the ‘drainback’ concept. “The ‘drainback’ principle is so simple in its function. It ensures our system does not wet stagnate and overheat; the system will also not freeze in winter and dissipate the heat once the sun goes down. In this way we ensure we max28 MEP Middle East | September 2010

The Middle East is one of the leading regions globally to recognise the importance of renewables. It is one of the top three regions our company will be investing in long-term.“ Denis Avery

climate in the Middle East; it must also cope with high temperature extremes in the summer months. One cannot claim to be totally responsible in renewable energy conservation if our design incorporates additional support just to manage overheating. This is not logical in our opinion, and only adds to the cost and technical aspects of any project.” This emphasis on R&D means a continued focus on innovation, adds Avery. “Our R&D never stops. Our goal is continuous improvement in both design and performance, while we also strive towards new products. No company can, or should, rest on its laurels, as to do so will doom any business. Solahart recognises that in the world we live in, there is always room for improvement, and as such we have a dedicated team of engineers just for this purpose.”

‘SMART’ CONTROLS Some of the R&D trends being pursued by Solahart are ‘smart’ controls and the integration of solar hot water heating systems into BMS. “As the world moves towards carbon trading and investment, such technology will be utilised not only to manage the system via BMS, but it will be a key control to also

PROFILE record and validate system performance,” notes Avery. Another issue is long-term performance evaluation of installed systems. “We have a database that ensures we contact our valued customers regarding system performance, and if we need to revisit a particular installation to review how the system performs. We have systems in Australia that are over 30 years’ old, and that are still going strong.” Avery says Solahart has supplied “well over a million systems since 1953” from its manufacturing base in Perth in Western Australia. Despite this, “our capacity is far from being maximised, and we are currently investing in new plant and machinery to streamline the business,” he adds. The global solar thermal market is dominated by China, Europe, Japan and India at present. “In my personal opinion, China is the largest consumer of renewable solar thermal products by far, followed by Europe and India. Many countries have locally-owned manufacturing facilities, such as China. These are predominantly there to supply the huge local market, which is mainly glass evacuated tube collectors,” says Avery.

CHINESE IMPORTS A problem in the Middle East has been the influx of low-cost, lower-quality products from

I would say it is vital we all play our part in reducing carbon emissions. By simple measures and actions in our own lives, we can help achieve global sustainability.“ Denis Avery China, for example – with some systems said to be up to 80% cheaper. This has impacted negatively on the overall reputation of the global solar thermal industry, particularly when such systems fail, which raises the entry bar for legitimate manufacturers. An unfortunate side-effect of this then is price resistance. “Our global distribution network understands such market forces,” asserts Avery. “It is well understood that such so-called cheap products do have a place in such markets as China. Our goal has always been to educate and offer the best, most cost-effective solution. We have done this in markets where other companies fear to tread.

“Price will always be an issue; we at Solahart have been in the solar water heating market for over 50 years. We stand by our product with our global distribution network and high-quality products backed up by a company that recognises its valued customers. With this uppermost in our minds, we deliver our products and services face-to-face, and we back up our products with a worldwide warranty,” says Avery. Key to this is installation expertise, which is where Ecoval Trading LLC plays such an important role. “This is most vital. Without such expertise, our product is only as good as the installation. Get this wrong, and we will have unhappy customers. Ecoval is part of a global network of businesses ensuring that our world-class products are installed to our exact standards,” says Avery. As for a final message, Avery says the Middle East’s commitment to renewables and solar hot water heating in particular is part of a global trend to cut carbon emissions and conserve valuable resources. “The world we live in has changed much since 1953 when Solahart first started. We are still here today, operating in a global market that understands the damage that global warming has on our fragile existence. I would say it is vital we all play our part in reducing carbon emissions. By simple measures and actions in our own lives, we can help achieve global environmental sustainability.”

Jim Sebastian and Denis Avery

September 2010 | MEP Middle East 29


At the

top Otis GM Sebi Joseph talks about the company’s long involvement in the region, from 1967 in Abu Dhabi, culminating with the iconic Burj Khalifa. Can you give us some background on Otis? Otis Elevator Company is the world’s largest manufacturer and maintainer of people-moving products, including elevators, escalators and moving walkways. With headquarters in Farmington, Connecticut, Otis employs 61 000 people, offers products and services in more than 200 countries and territories, and maintains 1.7 million elevators and escalators worldwide. We are both global and local, serving the needs of our customers wherever they live and do business. For more than 150 years, quality has made Otis the most trusted name in the industry. At Otis, we place a strong focus on continuous research and key trends that shape our sector across the globe. We place a strong focus on customer service and expertise, which is a cornerstone of Otis’ operations, especially given our expansive history and vast global footprint. Therefore our solid expertise and global presence supports the general requirements for large projects. In addition, we focus on green/energy-efficient solutions to support sustainable development, as well as safe and highly efficient transportation for high passenger volumes, specifically for tall buildings and infrastructure needs.

September 2010 | MEP Middle East 31

THE BIG INTERVIEW What is its involvement in the Middle East? Otis Elevator Company is represented directly in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. In Qatar, Oman, Bahrain and Yemen, Otis operates through agents managed by Otis’ Arabian Gulf Branch in Kuwait. The first Otis elevator was installed in the UAE’s capital, Abu Dhabi, in 1967. In addition to the UAE, we have implemented our innovative solutions across key markets, including the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Bahrain, to name just a few. The Burj Khalifa is the culmination of Otis’ legacy in the region? As the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa is certainly a landmark installation for Otis both in the Middle East and worldwide. We are proud to have had the opportunity to apply our innovative solutions and expertise to meet the challenges of this unique project. Can you elaborate a bit on the Gen2 system supplied for the Burj Khalifa? Among the 73 elevators Otis provided for the Burj Khalifa, there are 22 energy-efficient Gen2 machine-roomless units, which are up to 50% more energy-efficient than convention-

The polyurethane-coated steel belts are patented

al systems, enabling developers and owners to manage the building more economically, as well as benefit from lower building costs and increased rentable space. In addition, the Gen2 system’s flat, polyurethane-coated steel belts and gearless machine do not require any additional lubrication, making the system cleaner for the environment. Like all Otis products, the Gen2 systems are designed to ensure safety and reliability. The patented polyurethane-coated steel belts are highly flexible, allowing Otis to design and utilise a highly compact and efficient gearless machine. As a result, the Gen2 system allows for energy-efficient performance while saving space and offering outstanding design flexibility. Today, the advantages of Gen2 technology are available for a wide variety of building applications, from low-rise residential to highrise. For example, the Gen2 Comfort elevator is well suited to low-rise residential and small-scale commercial buildings, whereas the Gen2 Premier elevator is ideal for luxury low-mid-rise commercial and residential buildings. What were some of the logistical challenges as-

Otis reached new heights with the Burj Khalifa

OTIS ACHIEVEMENTS AT BURJ KHALIFA • Lift with the longest travel distance in the world (504 m) • Highest elevator landing in the world (638 m) • Fastest double-deck elevator in the world (10 metres/second)

32 MEP Middle East | September 2010

sociated with the Burj Khalifa? Otis leveraged its vast expertise to meet the challenges that come with designing and installing elevators for the world’s tallest building, such as machine hoisting, rail installation and alignment, and ensuring optimal passenger traffic flow. For example, elevators are strategically grouped to align with the floor layout, offering passengers a direct express service to their sky lobby destination by bypassing other floors. Each elevator zone serves different audiences – from visitors to office workers, to hotel guests, to residents – maximising their efficiency as a result, and saving time, by the use of a sky lobby system. The sky lobby is an intermediate floor where residents, guests and office staff will change from an express elevator to a local elevator, which stops at every floor within a certain segment of the building. How important is the Middle East to Otis? The Middle East region is of great importance to Otis. We are continuously working to identify the requirements from our local customers, and to proactively address their needs by providing the innovative and efficient solutions they require. What are some of your other major products? We offer gearless elevators for high-rise buildings, and geared and gearless elevators for mid-rise buildings (up to 20 storeys). Our Skyway gearless elevator system incorporates high-speed, large load-carrying capacity, and the Double-Deck and Super Double-Deck high-speed models. Skyway is not only fast, but quiet and smooth. Such an impressive performance derives in part from the analysis of platform, ceiling and ventilation components, and also from the aerodynamics of the car. Skyway also establishes new parameters in safety design. Key to this achievement has been the development of a hi-tech alloy with unmatched temperature, strength and friction characteristics. Used on the wedge face of the safety brake shoe, the high friction properties and low wear rate have proved to be both highly cost-effective and robust. In addition, the Compass destination management system offers tenants and visitors personalised elevator service, while improving the flow of building traffic. Instead of pressing traditional up or down buttons, passengers enter their destination floors using keypads or interactive touch screens before entering an elevator. The Compass system instantly directs each passenger to a specific car assigned to the requested floor, and passengers


73 22

Otis lifts for the Burj Khalifa

of which are Gen2

profile events such as CityBuild Abu Dhabi – which bring together industry suppliers, manufacturers, distributors, architects, engineers, importers and procurement decision makers – is a true reflection of the stability of the region’s construction sector.

Gen2 lifts are machine-roomless units, up to 50% more energy-efficient than conventional systems

We are now starting to see signs of recovery in terms of new equipment, and remain positive about the opportunities in the Middle East region, including Abu Dhabi, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Kuwait specifically. “

What are your challenges and opportunities? The global slowdown in the worldwide construction market has presented some challenges for Otis in terms of the new equipment business. Otis’ service business, however, continues to be a key strength, with 1.7 million units under maintenance worldwide. However, we are now starting to see signs of overall recovery in terms of new equipment, and we remain positive about the opportunities represented by the Middle East region, including Abu Dhabi, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Kuwait specifically.

Sebi Joseph

REFERENCES Recent Otis projects in the UAE • Burj Khalifa • Yas Island • Mirdiff City Centre • Dalma Mall Global Otis projects • Eiffel Tower, Paris • The Sony Centre in Potsdamer Platz, Berlin • Oriental Pearl Radio & TV Tower, Shanghai • Shanghai World Financial Center, Shanghai • Petronas Twin Towers, Kuala Lumpur • Incheon Airport, Korea • CN Tower, Toronto • Luxor Hotel, Las Vegas • Four Times Square, New York • John Hancock Center, Chicago

ling to nearby floors are directed to the same car. The main benefit is that passengers benefit from reduced wait and travel times, less crowded cars and fewer stops per trip. Lobby traffic flow improves, and lobby areas are more organised. What impact has the slowdown had? The construction boom may have slowed down within the UAE and GCC region, with companies – including Otis – considering new strategies in terms of the approach to development. However, there is still reportedly about US$114 billion worth of construction and infrastructure projects due to be awarded over the next 12 months. In addition, the market is being driven by many solid projects in Abu Dhabi. For example, UAE capital accounts for more than half of the top ten infrastructure projects by value in the Gulf at present. The demand for high-

What are some of the latest trends? The Middle East market has its challenges, which vertical transportation companies need to keep up-to-date with. With an increase in urbanisation and buildings being constructed in the Middle East, the demand for energyefficient and high-speed lifts and escalators as a smooth and fast way to move people and cargo continues to rise. What training and maintenance do you offer? Otis offers complete support, starting from the design stage and traffic analysis, including expertise in terms of recommending energy-efficient and innovative solutions. Otis continues this support throughout installation, and offers comprehensive maintenance programmes to ensure safety and reliability over a product’s lifecycle. Otis continues to incorporate the latest in innovative technology to maximise equipment reliability for our customers, who at the end of the day place a solid trust in our leading solutions. September 2010 | MEP Middle East 33



maintenance Sarah Blackman looks at the critical issue of lift maintenance, and how this impacts on health and safety issues in vertical transportation. roken air-con in the office or at home causes extreme discomfort, especially in the hot and humid climate in the Middle East. But broken or malfunctioning lifts are an entirely different matter altogether. The implications of neglecting a building’s plant and equipment can entail deadly consequences, particularly when it comes to lifts. Due to the vital role these play in transporting people and goods in the modern urban environment, the need for appropriate maintenance and repairs is a pressing matter. This is because of the safety-critical nature

of lifts. “In our business, safety is absolute. If air-con breaks down, it is uncomfortable but not life-threatening. Therefore we have to ensure our lifts are maintained properly, using genuine parts, and serviced by properly trained professionals,” says Al-Futtaim Engineering Elevators Division GM Syed Shamsul Haq. While the ideal situation is for lifts not to break down at all, this is unlikely due to the complexity of the equipment concerned and the heavy demands placed on it. Two recent media reports highlight the fatal consequences of what can go wrong. In central Cape Town, South Africa on Friday 17 July, electrical engineer Leigh Kenton Roomes (26) fell four storeys down a lift shaft, succumbing to his injuries at hospital,

which included a fractured skull. The lift apparently became stuck between the third and fourth floors, whereupon Roomes and his four friends pried open the doors. Roomes attempted to reach the third-floor level, but apparently slipped and fell. On Thursday 16 July, it was reported that an elderly couple in Georgia in the US succumbed to heat exhaustion when their home lift got stuck between floors. Their bodies were only discovered four days later. In Dubai on 11 January, a tour to the At The Top observation deck of Burj Khalifa turned into a nightmare for 15 visitors when they became stuck between floors in a high-speed lift, and had to be rescued via a service lift. Apparently the problem was only a ‘stall’, and September 2010 | MEP Middle East 35

LIFTS & ESCALATORS hence not a major problem, but neither Burj Khalifa nor lift supplier Otis has issued any statement to date about the incident.

COMPLEX TECHNOLOGY “A lift should not be seen as a box moving up and down. Behind them is complex technology that needs to be monitored and maintained. Regular preventative and proactive maintenance can avert breakdowns to a large extent, even though they cannot be eliminated totally,” says Joseph Anil Paul, product line manager for Schindler’s lift department. “It is the responsibility of the owners to ensure that their equipment is in the safe hands of a professional and capable maintenance provider.” Rajkumar Viswanathan, service manager for Al-Futtaim Engineering’s Elevators Division, says the cause of breakdowns should be separated into those incidents that are controllable and those that are not. “From a lift maintenance perspective, controllable breakdowns have a technical cause, which might come down to the quality of produc-

tion, installation or maintenance, while those that are uncontrollable are caused by misuse, vandalism or power supply problems, for example.” Viswanathan explains that the breakdown rate is the accumulation of these factors and the incidents that arise. In general, lifts need to be maintained on a monthly basis, but frequency of services and repairs can depend on the lifecycle of components. Lift maintenance includes a thorough inspection, which is based on the manufacturer’s recommendations, while other necessary adjustments are carried out as need be, according to Viswanathan. “Services include cleaning the car tops, door mechanisms and machine rooms to keep dust and grime from getting into the equipment. The technicians should also inspect the machine room and ensure that the drives are working properly,” he explains. Check-ups can also include different tests of the lift’s operation, such as levelling, door operation, ride quality, operation of buttons, signal fixtures, door sensors, interphone, alarm

AED83M LIFT CONTRACTS FOR AL-FUTTAIM Al-Futtaim Engineering’s Elevators Division has won AED83 million worth of orders for 79 lifts and 12 escalators for a range of projects, namely Nation Towers and the Investment Council Headquarters in Abu Dhabi, and the Al Hikma Tower project in Dubai. “The three projects further endorse Al-Futtaim Engineering’s core competencies as one of leading vertical transportation solution provider in the UAE,” said Al-Futtaim Engineering MD Dawood Ozair. The 64-floor Nation Towers project in Abu Dhabi will be supplied and installed with 45 Hitachi lift units and eight escalators. This mixed-use project includes a 350-room five-star hotel, serviced apartments, loft apartments, office space and an up-market niche retail destination, with a total built up area of 300 000 square metres. The project, awarded by Arabtec and National Projects & Construction (NPC), is expected to be completed by end 2011. The 29-level Investment Council Headquarters project (pictured top right) was awarded by Al-Futtaim Carillion. Al-Futtaim Engineering will supply 22 Hitachi lifts and four escalators, which feature destination control selection technology. This allows guests to select the floor on an LCD terminal on the landings. The system then directs them to the most suitable lift, thereby reducing waiting and travel times. The contract was awarded in April, and completion is scheduled

36 MEP Middle East | September 2010

Rajkumar Viswanathan

and emergency landing devices, among others. In order to get a first hand account of the maintenance routine, we spoke to ETA-Melco technician Jaffar Sadiq during a routine lift inspection in Dubai. “Lifts need to be inspected once a month. We are checking the ropes, carrying out an oil and grease service and checking the buttons, et cetera. We are giving the lifts a full service,” he reports.


for mid-2011. Al-Futtaim Engineering will also supply 12 high-speed lifts with destination control technology for the 61-floor Al Hikma Tower project in Dubai. The contract, awarded by China State Construction, was won in April this year, and is expected to be completed by October 2011. The contract awards are the latest in a string of successes since the Elevators Division was established in 1973, anticipating the trend for high-rise construction in the UAE. “We are at the high end of the market, involved with complex and demanding projects. Mostly lifts are custommade for particular projects. We assist from the design and traffic-analysis stage, determining how many lifts are needed, and what capacity and speeds,” said Elevators Division GM Syed Shamsul Haq.

However, in terms of overall maintenance programmes, there are various options that can be selected, says ThyssenKrupp vicepresident of product planning Rory Smith. “All service programmes fall inbetween two extremes, which are commonly known as full maintenance (FM) and oil and grease (O&G). FM is essentially an extended warranty whereby all parts and labour, including ‘trouble’ calls, are covered. O&G contracts only cover preventive maintenance and consumables such as oil, grease, rags and solvents. All parts and labour, including ‘trouble’ calls, are provided at extra cost,” explains Smith. “Between the extremes of FM and O&G are many variations with many names that can be misleading. Some contracts include minor parts and minor trouble calls. Others cover all but the most expensive parts such as ropes, motors, and variable speed drives.” There are advantages and disadvantages associated with each type of contract. However, FM has a high initial cost. With O&G contracts, the initial cost is lower, as the basic monthly cost of an O&G contract is about 50% of the cost of a full maintenance contract. “The total cost of a service, in the long run, should be the same for both O&G of FM agreements. The big difference is that major repairs, such as rope replacements, are costly


and most likely will be an unbudgeted surprise,” says Smith. There are also different service providers: the manufacturer, which undertakes maintenance of its own equipment; the independent third-party service provider, a small company that offers service on many brands of lifts, and a multinational third-party service provider, a manufacturer which offers services on competitors’ lifts. However, the latter is a potential minefield in and of itself.

SPECIALISED “This is a highly specialised area, which is why we only maintain products that we are the agents for, where we are confident we can provide a service that will let the customer sleep well at night and not have to worry. Some companies do try and maintain other brands. We know how difficult it is simply maintaining our own lifts, and the technical skills required,” says Shamsul Haq. “We provide preventative maintenance on a monthly basis, which is the normal servicing. At the same time we try to look at things in a more proactive manner by providing predictive maintenance. We do not wait for problems to occur in order to respond. Ideally we like to repair or change things before problems become manifest.” In addition, every problem or breakdown reported is analysed properly in order to ascertain any trends or commonalities. “Sometimes after we analyse two to four calls we will reach a conclusion that this is a type of problem in a particular area, for example. Our focus is on areas related to the technical aspects, which is in our control. We have a sufficient inventory of spare parts because all

Rory Smith

In our business, safety is absolute. If air-con breaks down, it is uncomfortable but not life-threatening.“ Syed Shamsul Haq of our contracts cover comprehensive maintenance. That means we assume total responsibility is ensuring our lifts are operational 24/7/365,” says Shamsul Haq. So which type of contract is most applicable? “The type of service programme we opt for, when it comes to maintaining lifts, has to be carried out according to the international standard check list, which tests the running condition, door operation, cabin equipment, interphone, hall equipment, shaft equipment and optional equipment,” says Portland Middle East FM GM Abdelaziz Rihani. “Human lives are at risk, and if things go wrong, the FM provider is the only responsible party.” Portland Middle East chooses the original manufacturer to service the lifts inside the projects it manages. “It saves time for the FM provider in terms of follow-ups, as it is their product, and no one could know the product better than the manufacturer or the main supplier,” says Rihani. But isn’t opting for the manufacturer to carry out maintenance works more expensive than an independent third-party provider? “There are three important elements in a project, which a FM provider should not compromise on: the lifts, the fire system and the air-con system. If these things are not taken care of, then serious issues can occur. Therefore we would prefer to pay for quality services. Yes, it is quite costly, but it is a part of the whole FM cycle.”

Syed Shamsul Haq

“Lifts are designed and manufactured to serve a minimum period of 25-30 years, subject to equipments being maintained by the manufacturer’s trained personnel and hours of operation,” responds Viswanathan. “The equipment should also be upgraded in order to extend its life.” Shamsul Haq says that energy efficiency and green building are having a significant impact. “In terms of lifts getting old, and their energy efficiency not being what could be expected, we can propose modernisation for certain brands. We do not replace the entire lift; instead we replace some parts and the control systems basically, so a more efficient system is in place at the end. All the worldclass brands now have variable voltage, variable frequency (VVVF) type controls, while regeneration is also possible with some lifts, whereby the energy consumed is put back into the system.”

COMPETITIVE “In today’s competitive marketplace, and in an age of increasing technical advancement, customers’ expectations of their lift equipment are high. Throughout every property sector, building owners and tenants expect even greater standards of safety and reliability, and higher levels of performance and aesthetics,” notes Otis LLC GM Sebi Joseph. “Modern technology evolves naturally. If owners and managers do not follow a continuous improvement programme, the building and its performance may decline accordingly. Passenger and building owner comparisons with new lift equipment will quickly establish that contemporary performance, safety and aesthetic standards are not being achieved. This can reduce the building’s value.” In order to meet such expectations, Otis has devised the concept of ‘Phased Modernisation.’ As part of an ongoing investment, this aims to protect the efficient and rental value of a building. While comprehensive service programmes help maintain a lift’s performance as installed originally, this approach ensures timely technical, safety and stylistic upgrades are performed to protect the equipment investment. As a result, new lift technology can be incorporated in phases to offer increased reliability and many advantages to building owners, particularly avoiding a major upheaval in the building. September 2010 | MEP Middle East 37


At the heart of infrastructure We talk to a range of manufacturers and vendors about the latest trends and opportunities that have emerged in the downturn, and the benefits for contractors. ne of the most unique players in this diverse market is 3M, which encompasses both the telecoms and electrical sectors in its Electro & Communications Business (ECB). “Basically we specialise in cable accessories for the data and power side. There is some commonality, but different products in some areas,” says ECB Middle East region marketing manager Martin Parsons. “On the electrical side, we provide cable accessories for low, medium and high voltage applications in utilities, oil and gas and construction. We carry a wide range, from joints and terminations to insulation and sealing tapes and electrical-supply, consumer-type items such as cable ties, sprays and connectors.” Parsons says 3M is particularly renowned for its premium PVC insulation tapes, which it invented more than 60 years ago. Such innovation has long been the mainstay of the company, as with its new resin kits, which are environment-friendly (Scotchcast #40), and fully compliant with EU directive 2002/95/EC (RoHS) and EU regulation 1907/2007/EC (REACH). Resin 40 has hydrophobic properties, which make it ideal for use in the presence of water. It is also available in a bag with a pouring nozzle, which means one less step in the preparation process. Another example of the company’s ongoing product development is its Cold Shrink technology for joints and terminations. “In the past when a medium-voltage joint and termination was carried out, you needed a cable with a connector, you needed to replace the

3M’s Cold Shrink technology for joints and terminations removes the need for heat shrinking

insulation layers, and then finally you needed an outer jacket to protect the cable. Cold Shrink for single-core applications provides the connector, insulation and outer jacket protection all in a single design. No heat shrinking is involved, so installation is a lot safer and quicker,” says Parsons.

DUBAI A LEADER In terms of overall trends, Parsons says the Middle East “is in some cases ahead of Europe. I think Dubai is a leader. It is a market that readily accepts new things. We have often sold products here first, compared to the European market where they were developed

initially.” Still, this remains a ‘tough’ market, as “there are a lot of low-end entrants, mainly from China and Asia, with no-name brand products, and it does make it harder to compete and demonstrate value. “But I think it has improved tremendously compared to a decade ago. The region is on the right track to improve standards and boost quality. After the construction boom and subsequent downturn, it has learnt to approach business differently,” says Parsons. This vindicates 3M’s faith in the region. The company has been represented in the Middle East for 35 years, originally setting up in Cyprus before moving to Lebanon, Sharjah September 2010 | MEP Middle East 39

CABLES & WIRING and then finally Dubai. “The region is very important to 3M. It is earmarked as one of its fastest-growing markets globally. We are setting up an Innovation Centre for customers, which demonstrates its long-term commitment,” says Parsons. Another indication of the importance of the region is that the Middle East and Africa market now has its own VP, based in Dubai. “Each region now has its own expertise and skills set to support the region. So we are becoming less dependent on the US and European market to develop and support the region over here. In the years to come we will have even stronger technical support, product development and local manufacturing coming through.” Parsons says “3M did extremely in the downturn. Of course, we were not immune locally, but globally it did fantastically. This is largely due to the opportunities offered by its broad product range and technology offering. As a division, we were hit last year, but not as badly as our competitors. I think we weath-

ISO-compliant Cat 6A connector from R&M

58-YEAR-OLD CONDUIT SPEC STILL BEING USED Many projects in the Middle East are using substandard flexible conduit based on the out-ofdate standard BS 731, says Ian Gibson, Flexicon technical director and chairman of the European and IEC committees that prepare conduit standards. BS 731 was first published in 1952, and withdrawn in 2001. It has been replaced twice since, by EN50086 and then IEC EN61386 (BS EN61386), the latest update. Flexible conduit protects power and data cables, so sub-standard product is a risk to both the continuity of electrical or data supply and people. Whilst many consultants continue to specify q y this obsolete standard,, some ppoor-quality urers compound the manufacturers problem by claiming their products meet an outdated ion. “If they are specification. not aware of the latest nal standards, international st be serious there must questions about the quality of ucts,” says Gibson. their products,” 61386 focuses IEC EN61386 nical on mechanical strength, ure, temperature, electrical s, properties, resistancee to ingress

40 MEP Middle East | September 2010

of solids and water, corrosion resistance and fire performance. It cites recommended tests and performance ranges. BS731 only specified galvanised steel flexible conduit with no mention of plastic coatings. For BS731 conduits used with metric threads, this often caused problems due to the restriction in the bore size. With the latest standards and the new European sizes, the internal diameter of the conduit can be optimised to obtain the maximum bore right through the conduit assembly. Sub-standard products may fail for a number of reasons. Metallic conduit is typically manufactured from stainless or galvanised steel. If inferior steel is used used, there could be structural issues. During installation installa or use, it could unravel or fracture, leaving ca cables unprotected, or even leaving sharp edges, which could damage the cables it should be protecting. p Another issue is differing standards in the galvanising process. Higher-specification galvanised g conduit is hot-dipped after manufacture, man which means it has both internal and external heavy protection to maximise corr corrosion resistance. The application and thickness of the galvan galvanised layer is important. SubSub-standard coatings may look ‘shin ‘shiny’, but can begin to flake afte after a short time, leaving the pr product open to the elements a corrosion. and

ered the storm far better and came out the stronger for it. We did not see any retrenchments or downsizing, and have had a tremendous turnaround this year. “We beat expectations in the first quarter, and showed double-digit growth in the second,” says Parsons. Last year was a totally different kettle of fish: the oil and gas sector was suffering due to the drop in the oil price, and utilities were putting power projects on hold. This made for very tough market conditions. “Dubai is still under pressure, but Abu Dhabi is picking up, and Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Oman are doing very well.

BACK ON TRACK “In general, the countries not as badly impacted as Dubai are doing well. Oil and gas projects are back on track and the utilities are investing in infrastructure again, so there has been a tremendous recovery from our point of view – far better than what Europe or the US has experienced,” says Parsons. On the telecoms side, “what we sell is basically connectivity, internal or external, from point to point,” says Roula Eid, Lebanon branch manager, Communications Market: Gulf. “We focus on passive infrastructure, and have a full product portfolio for both copper and fibre connectivity.” 3M covers telcos, outside plant and enterprise applications such as typical home and office applications. “We are one of the few companies with such a total range,” says Eid. In terms of latest developments, Fibre Lock is similar to Cold Shrink in that it is a mechanical splicing

CABLES & WIRING technology that dramatically reduces installation time and boosts worker safety and efficiency at the same time. “For more than 50 years, products from 3M have formed the backbone of the telecoms industry. Global customers have come to rely on 3M quality to connect and protect their infrastructure.” The 3M Communications Markets Division connects smart grids to smart phones, wind farms to server farms, greenfield to brownfield and wireline to wireless. Today 3M is taking fibre further in terms of mobility and maximising networks. Another company focusing on the structured cabling sector is Reichle & De-Massari (R&M) of Switzerland, which also regards the Middle East as a vital market for product development. “While Europe has gone through the entire cycle of copper through coaxial and finally fibre-to-the-home (FTTH), here they are leapfrogging that and going straight to the latter. We start ahead of the game, and in many cases ahead of Europe,” says Andrew Sedman, technical director for the Middle East and Africa. “Abu Dhabi aims to be the first capital city fully connected by FTTH. This will be to the benefit of the entire region.” Such constant advances are essential, especially as cabling is a critical part of infrastructure, says MD Jean-Pierre Labry. “In terms of a typical data-centre solution, the servers, software and routers have an average lifespan of about three to four years, whereas the cabling solution has a lifespan of 20 to 25 years.

OPPORTUNITIES “We are still convinced that companies, even though we are in challenging times, will avoid compromising on infrastructure. This is where we believe there are opportunities for us. We believe cabling provides the backbone for any data network, and with all the innovative products we are launching, we

Jean-Pierre Labry

believe companies will not make the mistake of compromising on the cabling, or Layer 1, infrastructure,” says Labry. He describes R&M as a specialist passive cabling company offering copper as well as fibre solutions. “For us it is really important to offer both copper and fibre, as they complement each other. Copper used to be more important than fibre in the past, but this is changing slowly. We believe in selling not just a box, but value-added services. We do not sell you a product, but a solution, which makes a lot of difference,” says Labry. As an example of the company’s ongoing development and commitment to total product quality, Sedman points to its newlylaunched Cat 6A connector. “Other manufacturers already have such connectors, but in terms of best performance, it is important to note we generally follow ISO or European as opposed to TIA or American standards. The former only ratified its requirements down to component level in February this year, which is why we released our ISO-compliant connector in March.” Sedman says the general difference between the European and American standards “is that the ISO is typically more stringent in its performance requirements.” This means significant variations in the testing requirements for factors such as near-end crosstalk. Some manufacturers have been able to comply with the ISO specifications with a shielded connector. “To date, as far as I am aware, we are the only manufacturer that has achieved the ISO performance requirements in an unshielded connector.” The Cat 6A connector from R&M combines effective simplicity with maximum performance. “We have managed to separate the pairs so there is no noise from one pair to the next by employing all four sides of the connector. They are separated physically by a metallic crossplate, which also serves to decouple the

Andrew Sedman

signals from each other,” explains Sedman. “The cable-handling part is colour-coded for easy placement of the pairs in the right order, whereafter the two parts are simply combined. Another feature is that the wires are cut automatically, which reduces the risk of differences in individual termination technique. What we have effectively managed to do is reduce or remove the human element of difference in how it is terminated.

STABLE PERFORMANCE “You cannot feasibly terminate this in any different kind of style. Whoever does so terminates it in the same way. As it is terminated automatically, those wires are cut at precisely the same distance and length with every single pair, every single time. It makes for a very good, consistent, stable performance for every single jack that is terminated on an entire job,” says Sedman. “The performance characteristics are good. It is easy to handle, to follow the same guidelines as previously, where we ensure you can tie the cable off to the connector so you are not relying on the IDC connections to hold it in place. Naturally it is backwards compatible with all our existing range, with simple snapin plates. It has a small footprint comparable to the RJ45, which in terms of future trends allows for high density, including security options on the connectors. So we are not moving away from our original aim of modularity, usability and flexibility,” says Sedman. The new ISO-compliant connector represents a major step for R&M, particularly as Cat 6A “is now becoming the de facto standard that everyone upgrades to.” Sedman adds that Cat 6A also “pretty much means the end of the lifespan of copper, because with Cat 7 already being bandied about, the problem then becomes non-standard connectors. This means we will move inevitably away from RJ45 as a technology, but from a performance perspec-

Martin Parsons

September 2010 | MEP Middle East 41

CABLES & WIRING Ducab has been honoured for the second consecutive year by Superbrands, a powerful endorsement ... It is one of the very few recognised industrial brands.“ Andrew Shaw Ducab MD Andrew Shaw and chairman Ahmad Bin Hassan Al Shaikh

tive it will not provide any significantly greater data speeds. Thus the next challenge will be the move towards fibre in order to obtain higher speeds.” “What we always remind our customers of is that, while we may know what the future holds, we do know what the past entailed. Ten years ago we were talking about the Internet in terms of kilobytes. Now Cat 6A guarantees 10 Gb up to 100 m. This is a huge leap in that space of time. Hence it is really important to tell our customers not to compromise on infrastructure, and to try as much as possible to put in the best infrastructure from the beginning. It is easy to replace a computer and a server, but it is very challenging to replace a cable,” says Labry. From structured cabling to power cables, and what is described as the UAE’s leader in cable manufacturing and services. “Ambitious is a fitting description for Ducab, which began operations 30 years ago as Dubai’s first power-cable manufacturer. From being a pioneer in the UAE’s emerging industrial landscape in the 1970s, Ducab has gradually evolved into a flagship company and pride of the nation as a wholly-UAE owned partnership between the governments of Abu Dhabi and Dubai,” explains MD Andrew Shaw.

‘POWERING’ THE UAE Established in 1979 to meet the anticipated and rapidly expanding infrastructure needs of a young nation, then on the threshold of both economic and industrial development, Ducab has since been ‘powering’ the UAE into the fold of industrialised countries. The company’s own growth and development has essentially mirrored that of the UAE itself. Ducab has a range of manufacturing facilities. Ducab Jebel Ali is the company headquarters, set in an area of 590 000 m², and was 42 MEP Middle East | September 2010

inaugurated officially in 1979 by HH Sheikh Rashid Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, former Ruler of Dubai. This factory has one of the longest CCV lines in the world, and manufactures a range of high-voltage cables up to 132 kV, medium-voltage cable systems from 11 kV to 33 kV, low-voltage cables, instrumentation and control cables. At its PVC compounding plant in the same facility, Ducab produces flexible PVC compounds for insulation and sheathing of electric cables. Ducab Mussafah 1 in Abu Dhabi is equipped with the most advanced production machinery and testing equipment from across Europe. This factory was inaugurated in 2005. Occupying a 220 000 m² area, it manufactures building wires and low-voltage cables, as well as housing the world’s first horizontal lead sheathing line supplied by Folke Sandelin of Sweden. Mussafah 1 recently announced a record production capacity of 825 tonnes a day. Ducab Mussafah 2 is an 109 000 m² factory manufacturing building wires and flexible cables. Inaugurated in 2008 by HH Sheikh Hamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, it also has a CCV high-voltage insulation line that can produce cables up to 220 kV. The AED125 million Ducab Copper Rod Casting Plant, the first of its kind in the UAE, was inaugurated in June 2008 by HH Sheikh Hamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan. This plant converts raw copper cathode into high-quality 8 mm diameter copper rod, the key raw material for cable manufacture. Besides providing all of Ducab’s rod requirements, the plant has enough capacity to serve the regional market as well, reducing the need for imported copper rod, thereby cutting costs. Ducab HV, adjacent to the Jebel Ali headquarters, will be manufacturing cable systems in the voltage range 66kV to 400kV, covering

the highest voltage currently used in the GCC. This is the first dedicated high-voltage facility in the region. A JV between Ducab, ADWEA and DEWA, the 22 000 m² facility will be opening in mid-2011. It will have a production capacity of 30 000 tonnes of high-voltage cables a year once fully operational.

IGD CONTRACTS Following a series of overseas negotiations, Ducab recently announced winning its second contract to work on Abu Dhabi’s Integrated Gas Development (IGD) Project, raising the company’s total order for GASCO’s Habshan 5 project to just over AED126 millon. Ducab’s most recent agreement with Japan’s JGC Corporation, valued at AED51 million, is for the supply of custom power cables to the new Habshan 5 Gas Processing Plant. This follows the signing of a contract with Hyundai Engineering & Construction for supporting the utilities and off-site part of the development, a AED75 million agreement which could see Ducab supplying up to 70% of the associated facility’s total power cable requirements. The IGD project is an AED33.8 billion plan which aims to increase offshore gas production and provide a permanent link between ADNOC’s offshore Umm Shaif field and new onshore processing facilities at Habshan and Ruwais via Das island. Ducab’s oil, gas and petrochemical (OGP) sector is supported in large part by the Ducab Special Cables Unit. It has a production capacity of 3 000 cubic tonnes a year, and the end product conforms to BS and IEC standards. Using cutting-edge European production technology and processes, the unit can both design and produce high-quality instrumentation as well as pilot and auxiliary cables based on specific customer requirements.


Cable management Cable-management specialist Marshall-Tufflex has strengthened its presence in the Gulf with the appointment of Svetislav (Bata) Bulajic as international technical sales manager. We talk to Bulajic about technical standards in the region and the latest trends.

The MT32 power distribution system from Marshall-Tufflex is a fast-track plug-and-play power connection solution that eliminates hard-wiring on-site and permits much faster installation times for electrical contracting services.

What is your background? I worked for EKA Building systems (EBS) until my move to Marshall-Tufflex (MT) earlier this year. I have been working with modular wiring systems, underfloor busbar power distribution and underfloor air-con systems for almost 15 years. My work with EBS in the GCC market was during the rapid expansion of the raised-access floor market, especially here in the UAE, and along with it complete acceptance of ‘intelligent’ building systems such as modular wiring systems, underfloor-to-desk solutions and flexible air-con systems. What is your role at MT? My role is international technical sales manager serving the GCC countries, plus Iran, Iraq and Yemen. With my background in design through to commissioning of a range of solutions, together with my knowledge of local standards and project requirements, I 44 MEP Middle East | September 2010

am supporting our clients to meet their ever more demanding needs through what are virtually bespoke design solutions for power and data provision. Modularity and flexibility are our key design parameters, and it is my role to interpret clients’ requirements to provide realistic and successful solutions. How important is the Middle East region to MT? Growing our business in the Middle East is a key strategy, and led to the creation of my role to serve our customers here from a UAE base. For the last three years we have exhibited at the Middle East Electricity Show, and will be doing so again in 2011. This focus is underpinned by our experience of almost 30 years in the Middle East market, and recognising that modern building practices are being adopted here with a renewed passion. What are your opportunities and challenges?

Our main opportunities are coming from the need for reliable, safe and, maybe most importantly, fast and trouble-free power distribution installations using products like our MT32 and MT 507 systems. With our new business – Marshall-Tufflex Energy Management Ltd – our Voltis, Ipsis and Sinergy ranges are ready to make a significant contribution to the UAE green building regulations and energy-saving initiatives. Our continuing challenge is to gain acceptance of total cost-saving models over piecemeal comparisons when alternative solutions are being considered. How does this market differ from more established regions like the UK and Europe? I think I could write a book and still not be sure if I have given the right answer to that question. The truth is, as always, somewhere inbetween. The largest international consultants are present in this market – that means

CABLES & WIRING that they should bring their experience to the region and specify the best solutions available globally for their clients. At the same time, existing client requirements, cost expectations, comparable local experience and local regulations, as well as climate, can sometimes slow down the adoption of alternative technologies. However, what we do have here, which is often lacking in the UK and Europe, is the vision to push the boundaries and find solutions to technical problems that seemed insurmountable. In many ways, this region is the biggest technical playground in the world and a great place for us to demonstrate and apply our innovation and experience from almost 70 years in business. Do sub-standard and cheaper imports still pose an entry barrier? Is the market still particularly price-sensitive following the downturn? The market here is no different to any other market when it comes to these products. Our main target is developers who recognise that the cost-to-build is just a small fraction of the total lifecycle cost of a building. We are not in competition with lower quality, cheaper products. Through sharing experiences with developers, consultants and contractors, we are able to demonstrate the value our products and service bring to a project. The market is still price-sensitive, but with the comprehensive range of products MT offers, as well as ou ca support, suppo t, we ep o de our tec technical provide a level of service our competitors struggle to match. Has the downturn affected key markets? Education and healthcare are increasingly important to us, and through our tailored ranges we are seeing great success, especially here in the UAE. We have not seen a downturn in international business. Even

though we recognise the market has shrunk, we have been able to grow our business through our proactive approach. New product ranges, especially in the fields of power distribution and energy management, have supported our growth, as well as continually applying our strengths of quality, service and, above all, flexibility to meet clients’ needs in tight timescales and the ability to provide solutions to add value to their projects. What is your outlook for growth? Our outlook in the short term is stability in our traditional ranges of PVCu cable management and steady growth in our power distribution solutions that are being slowly accepted here in the Gulf for all the benefits they bring. We do foresee an improvement before 2011; indeed, we are already doing so. In many ways, the market over the last two years has sharpened project manager and client focus on newer technologies that can deliver total cost improvements, add value to the project, especially on the ‘green’ issues, by reducing waste, improving recycling and re-usability, and enhancements that minimise health and safety risks for contractors. With our energy-management portfolio, we are basing our strategy on the fact we are ready to make a huge contribution to energy saving and the green issues of our time. e pproduct oduct de e op e ts Anyy new developments? We are seeing increasing popularity with our bio anti-microbial trunking solutions and have a new twin-compartment range being launched that meets the increasing requirement for more data than power cables being carried in surface-mounted cable management. The range has adjustable bends to accommodate uneven

Svetislav (Bata) Bulajic

corners and is compatible with our Sterling systems to provide a comprehensive solution. We are also launching our new range of MT-branded, IP-rated switches, sockets and RCDs called Tuffmaster. The range has a special memory seal to cope with any profile of cable, is robust and durable and suitable for the commercial and domestic market. Adding Tuffmaster to our portfolio continues to extend our power distribution offering. We do now offer a range of energy-management solutions: intelligent voltage optimisation (Voltis), sub-metering (Sinergy), and hardware and software based electricity management and measurement products (Ipsis). With many of the Gulf states using 230 V to 240 V supplies, we believe there is a great market here for clients to realize the 15% to 25% electricity savings our systems can offer, as well as meeting the carbon reduction targets local governments have set. Modular wiring seems to be a trend as contractors seek to cut costs, reduce labour and boost health and safety? Apex Wiring Solutions and Marshall-Tufflex jointly developed the patented miniature connector, rated to 32 A, that can be passed through 25 mm conduit, with Tyco Electronics. For those that have these systems already, they will note our logo as well as Apex’s on the connector body. Our solutions for prefabricated wiring incorporate all our cable management ranges, as well as offering in-wall, above ceiling and underfloor applications. In fact, when combined with our underfloor busbar range 507, MT32 provides a total package for today’s modern commercial premises. Prefabricated wiring solutions are not new, but have been previously confined to the lighting and heavier commercial applications due to the connector sizes. Our MT32 provides a real alternative to conventional wiring that reduces total project costs, reduces the labour requirement of qualified electricians, enables non-electricians to install the wiring and eliminates waste on-site, as all solutions are designed and manufactured to the client’s specification, and eliminates installation injuries as all units are factory-tested, connections are foolproof by being keyed, and all applications are re-wireable. Anything else you would like to add? I would like to underline once again that our technical and sales teams are dedicated to our customers and this market. We are proactive and offer the best solutions to the most demanding challenges.

September 2010 | MEP Middle East 45


Lessons from the old and the new Piping systems are a fundamental component of urban infrastructure. We speak to one of the most established players about how it is adapting its business model to counter the downturn, as well as to one of the newest players in the market about its challenges. ne of the most established and experienced piping systems and fittings suppliers and manufacturers is Hepworth PME LLC, part of Corys, the holding company owned by the Abdul Ghaffar Hussein family. Corys was formed to establish various joint ventures with some of Hepworth’s principal partners. Hepworth PME LLC has agreements with about 15 international companies, including Hepworth Building Products of the UK (owned by Wavin Holland) and Georg Fischer Piping Systems of Switzerland, representing a range of premier products. “As a logical progression, George Fischer JV Corys was formed to manufacture highvolume items such as fittings locally in order to get away from high transportation costs. in the region. Cost pressure is a specific issue in this day and age,” comments Georg Fischer Piping Systems Dubai sales office GM Wolfgang Ronfeldt. Georg Fischer has been collaborating with Hepworth in the Middle East specifically for about 35 years, and established its own office within Hepworth PME LLC since 1999. Hepworth PME LLC deputy GM Alan McKeown says the latest development on the manufacturing front is to target rubber seals through another joint venture, namely Corys MDS. “We obviously import a lot of rubber seals for our pipes and fittings, so the next move was to manufacture our own. We brought MDS of Germany in as a technical partner,” says McKeown. Hepworth began manufacturing GRP and uPVC pipe locally in 1991. “In those days we started with one uPVC and one GRP ex46 MEP Middle East | September 2010

truder, and still imported all the fittings from the UK and Europe. This was because we saw ourselves as not just a pipe manufacturer, but as a total solutions provider.” McKeown says the local manufacturing component of the operation has expanded steadily over the years, with over 20 extruders at present in total and a size range of 16 mm to 630 mm. The company has manufacturing facilities in Dubai and Qatar, and branch offices in Bahrain, Oman, h and Al Ain. Abu Dhabi, Sharjah

COMPLETE PACKAGE AGE “We supply whatever ver is necessary for a stems package,” says complete piping systems Ronfeldt. “We do not want to deter omers due to some any potential customers ble to supply. This extras we are unable vantage of Georg is a particular advantage ve a catalogue of Fischer, as we have h makes us one of 65 000 items, which the biggest plastic piping component he world.” In addimanufacturers in the tion, the company has the flexibility and expertise to be able to cater for any nts. special requirements. d with Hepworth’s inThis is combined se in the complete range ternational expertise als. “Hepworth products of plastic materials. nage side, and Georg cater for the drainage Fischer products cater for the nce whatever pressure side. Hence goes into and out off a building ome from could potentially come nt. That a single supply point. osophy is our overall philosophy oach,” of a total A-Z approach,” says Ronfeldt. n the Commenting on ness prevailing business feldt environment, Ronfeldt

says: “I see the first green shoots. I think we have passed the trough. I do not like to look at it too negatively. There are still some constraints on cash flow, that is clear, but at the end of the day there is some relaxation and there are developments going ahead.” A key focus area at the moment for the company is infrastructure, as well as refurbishment of existing building stock, especially hotels, says McKeown. “What happened in the past is that many consultants from areas as diverse as Australia and the UK specified products they were familiar with, but which were ultimately not suited to the region. This has resulted in a potentially lucrative market,” says Ronfeldt. “We are in the process of refurbishing 15 five-star hotels in Dubai alone right now, where we are replacing less suitable systems or cheaper

Alan McKeown from Hepworth PME LLC

ww www ww w connst stru ruc ucttio io ionweeeko k nliine. nee com co


Wolfgang Ronfeldt from Georg Fischer Piping Systems

products that are no longer performing accordingly after only five years. We have very much taken advantage of this situation in the midst of the economic crunch, which has meant we progressed from a new build to a refurbishment focus and did not suffer along with the downturn, as we were able to compensate nicely,” says Ronfeldt.

APPLICATION FOCUSED Another factor to the company’s ongoing success in a difficult market is that it is “very much application focused and not just a fittings maker.” This has inevitably meant a different approach to securing business. “What we have tried to do is ascertain everything that falls under a particular project umbrella. For example, piping systems for hospitals

have traditionally only covered hot and cold water, but we have identified 22 other areas where we can supply products.” This means working proactively with clients to help overcome problems and find solutions for potential problem areas, as well as introducing plastic piping into areas reserved formerly for metal systems, for example. “This approach has been very well received by government ministries and consultants,” says Ronfeldt. “We are approaching our business a little bit more intelligently, from a total solutions perspective, rather than just selling elbow-to-elbow components.” “There is no getting away from the fact that business in Dubai has shrunk dramatically. A lot of our business was in new build. We have had to take the blinkers off to a certain extent in order to see what else we can do,” says McKeown. This new approach has been helped by the fact that plastic piping systems have come a long way, and are constantly making inroads into sectors dominated previously by ductile iron and copper. “We also have a local raw material supplier in Borouge. The supply chain is right and the

pricing is right, which is why more and more consultants are opting for plastic piping systems. Copper is still a widespread material, which will boost the future refurbishment market,” says Ronfeldt. Of course, quality materials is also closely aligned to quality workmanship. “The reason why some hotels have had to replace piping systems after not even two years is not necessarily because they used copper, but has also been due to poor installation and cheap materials. Quality is our foremost focus. Hepworth is the first company outside the UK to obtain Kitemark Certification,” says McKeown. Ronfeldt says that quality has been a focus

PIPEX Pipex was established in 1975 by Alan Smith, and is a privately-owned family run business. With a 100 000 square foot state-of-the-art factory facility, Pipex innovates and manufactures ‘one stop’ solutions for a variety of market sectors, including rail, government, offshore and pharmaceutical. The Pipex ethos has always been protecting the environment through minimising the impact of its manufacturing operations. It comprises four trading divisions: • Pipex Drainage & Civils: A specialist designer and fabricator of thermoplastic polypropylene and high-density polyethylene (PP-H & HDPE) range of products, including manholes and chambers, pumping stations, packaged pipe systems (both single and dual contained), bespoke tanks, vessels and structures, storm flow products and thermoplastic products and fabrications; • Pipex Composite Pipes: A specialist designer and fabricator of GRE (Glass Reinforced Epoxy), GRP (Glass Reinforced Polymer) and GRV (Glass Reinforced Vinylester) pipes and fittings; • Pipex Structural Composites: A specialist designer and fabricator of FRP (Fibre Reinforced Polymer) grating and flooring, handrails and ladders, balustrades and parapets, access structures, decks and platforms, baffles, barriers/bunds, bridges and components and bespoke structures; • Pipex Project Services: A specialist installer of both high-quality thermoplastic and composite products, as well as providing on-site training.

Sub-contractors are becoming increasingly important

September 2010 | MEP Middle East 47

PIPES even during the downturn, as this will “help us a lot after the crunch to maintain our level of business and clients.” In terms of opportunities and challenges, Ronfeldt says closer ties need to be forged between developers, contractors and owners so as to address the total cost of ownership, which includes maintenance. “A problem here is that contractors are only liable for a year, whereas in Europe it is for a minimum of five years. This ensures contractors take care of what they are buildcute it. ing and how they execute astic pipe systems marThe fact that the plastic yant is indicated by the ket is still quite buoyant west player. This is the appearance of the newest ween the UK-based Ranew joint venture between dius Systems and thee Senaat Group of Abu Dhabi, which will havee a manufacturing facility in that emirate.

PREMIER PARTNER Dr Raed Al-Zubi, CEO O of the RadiuSenaat JV, explains that Radius Systems has a 40-year history as a premier partner and supplier of he UK. “That know-how the utility sector in the o a local context,” is being transposed to he says. Senaat is a private interestvestment company interestastics ed in downstream plastics tions. manufacturing operations. oned “The group has positioned estor itself as a premier investor cs in in downstream plastics not only Abu Dhabi, but on,” the UAE and the region,” says Dr Al-Zubi. ure The new venture will serve the local and wider GCC market. “It Dr Raed Al-Zubi will be a hub in terms of es. products and services.

We will welcome expansion plans if they happen. It depends on the marketplace, but we feel optimistic that at least we are at the right place at the right time in Abu Dhabi.” Dr Al-Zubi says the Abu Dhabi 2030 Vision was a major positive factor in the decision by Radius Systems to enter into the JV. “When Radius Systems was researching the expansion of its international presence, the Abu Dhabi 2030 Vision was a major factor. It is an honour and a privilege to be able to contribute to this initiative, and to see Abu Dhabi develop into a regional, as well as a global leader.” He says the JV is “a kind of meeting of minds”, with Radius Systems looking to expand globally, and Senaat with its strong background in plastics. “They are both passionate about the sector, so coming

together was a natural process that made perfect sense. Senaat has other JVs in compounding and master batching, so there are synergies we can take advantage of.” Radius Systems CEO Stuart Godfrey concurs: “We were looking for a professional partnership to expand our international operations. The fit with Senaat was perfect.” Dr Al-Zubi explains further that the JV “has been established to serve the utility, infrastructure and telecommunication sectors through its products, technical know-how and installation and site services.” The initial field installa plan is to in introduce high-performance plastic pipes and fitting systems for “the key growth areas” of p potable and non-potable water, gas and telecoms, telecom in a range of sizes. “We will start with the more commoditybased prod products, but will be able to cover all market seg segments. Our competitive advantages will b be a reflection of those of Radius Systems. W What we shall be bringing to this region is th the cultivation of a long history of delivering iinnovative, cost-effective and reliable products produc and services.

CAPACITY The manuf manufacturing capacity will be in line with the different di phases and expected demand, adds Dr Al-Zubi. In terms of establishing a local manufacturing presence, he says RadiuSen RadiuSenaat has embarked upon the process of o obtaining the requisite approvals from the various authorities. “The process in that regard has started. term of timeline, our goal is to do that In terms in the shortest possible time. I cannot give dates when we will be operational, o strategy is an aggressive one, but our and it will be as soon as possible. In term of size, RadiuSenaat has been terms

NEW NE EW ROLL-GROOVING TOOL FROM VICTAULIC Victaulic, a leadin leading manufacturer of mechanical systems, has a new tool available to pipe-joining syste prepare pipe for efficient and reliable flame-free joining. The VE460 shop fabrication roll grooving tool is designed for use with pipes from 100 100-1500 mm/4-60" in diameter, depend depending on pipe material. It is suitable for preparing p pipes to be joined with Original Groove Groov System (OGS) couplings for 100-300 mm/4-12" mm/4-1 sizes or the Advanced Groove System (AGS) rangin ranging from 350-1500 mm/14-60". The fully-motoris fully-motorised, semi-automatic tool is equipped with a heavy-duty he 5 HP three-phase motor wired for 400 V (it can be rewired for 230 V.)

48 MEP Middle East | September 2010

It comes complete with safety guards and safety foot switch and is supplied with rolls for OGS from 100-300mm/4-12" and for AGS from 350-600 mm/14-24". All rolls are enhanced tracking rolls (ETR) to prevent pipe ‘walkoff’ and make grooving short pipe lengths easier. Three optional kits provide rolls for grooving 650-900 mm/26-36", 1000-1 200 mm/40-48" and 1 250-1 500 mm/50-60", along with the pipe stands, railing, platform kit and support bases required for each pipe size range. “The new VE460 grooving tool enables more of our customers to reap the benefits of our Style W07 and W77 AGS couplings now that the range has been extended,” says Mark Gilbert, VP and GM for Europe, MENA and India. “It has been designed specifically for the wedge-shaped AGS grooves that deliver high-pressure ratings, and can roll a groove on standard wall, large diameter pipe in five to seven minutes. That means that installers can prepare pipe and install couplings in a fraction of the time it takes to weld.”

PIPES This part of the world is now a technical leader with regard to our market segments.“ Dr Raed Al-Zubi created to become a leading player and service provider for high-density polyethylene plastic piping systems.” Dr Al-Zubi says the mooted capacity of the manufacturing facility “will be in a manner that will allow us to consistently support the local and GCC market with quality and innovative products and services. Our strategy is multi-phased, and a smart one. We did not start the JV to be conservative or cautious. We believe in the value our products and services will bring to the local market and the region in terms of future growth.” This has inherent benefits for the local supply chain. “The expectation is that the impact will be positive in terms of allowing us to procure at more cost-effective structures and lead times. The UAE and GCC are becoming more and more the centre for polyolefin raw material, with many production expansion plans completed and/or underway. They are positioning themselves to be the global player in this field. This, we believe, will have a direct and positive impact on our supply chain and logistic costs. “So yes, being local will help in terms of significantly reducing lead times,” says Dr AlZubi. “Being in Abu Dhabi, we have the privilege of having Borouge so close by, which will be an added advantage.” “We will, from day one, be aligned with international standards and specifications. It is in the process of starting the qualification process for the products it will produce locally. With the support of Radius Systems, we will be establishing a dedicated in-house testing facility to be equipped with the latest testing technology.”

MANUFACTURING HUB The new manufacturing hub will also be a boon for local employment and skills development. “I think the job opportunities will be good, and will be at the level that the business requires to deliver cost-effective products and services. The numbers will be slowly populated as we progress through the different growth phases.” In terms of training, Dr Al-Zubi says: “We already offer certified training for welders.” Radius Systems is the agent for McElroy butt

fusion welding machines from the US. “It also has its RadiusPlus programmes for on- and off-site services. Internally, training is central to the development of Radius Systems. That culture of investing in our most precious asset, which is our people, will continue.” How does the Middle East compare technically with established markets like the UK and Europe? “The answer is it fares very well. In fact, the experience of the past couple of years, independent of the downturn, demonstrates that this part of the world is now a technical leader with regard to our market segments,” says Dr Al-Zubi. “I do not believe what we have witnessed in terms of mega projects, and the complexity that comes with implementing them, could have been achieved without having a strong technical foundation, as well as being accepting of new products and applications. As far as trends are concerned, we are seeing the evolution of piping systems to a more multi-layer format than the standard commodity-based, one-layer structure. This allows for a more focused design that results in higher physical properties, as well as more productivity, reliability and safety during site installation.” An example is the Profuse system from Radius Systems for gas and water networks. “In general, what we are witnessing today is an increase in plastic polyethylene raw materials performance and capability to withstand higher design requirements. This effort is being led by the resin suppliers, in partnership with plastic converters and manufacturers, and we see it continuing. This explains the increasing penetration of polyethylene piping systems into more traditional steel and fiberglass markets,” says Dr Al-Zubi. Commenting on the impact of the global financial crisis, he says: “It is no secret that the overall business environment has witnessed a downturn. However, what this slowdown brings is an opportunity for the market to refocus itself on the need to have quality suppliers that understand how to bring their solutions in a reliable and cost-effective manner. The market will redefine and reposition itself to the emerging new realities – or, more accurately – to the new level of business that has come out of the downturn. “We believe the downturn is a temporary condition. The governments of the UAE and those of the region are still committed to improving the quality of life of their citizens, and to take their place on the world stage. One outcome of this is a continuation in investing in the infrastructure of their respective countries for many years to come. We want to be part of that, and that’s what excites us about the future,” concludes Dr Al-Zubi.


MagiCAD is a BIM-compatible software package with modules for Heating & Piping, Ventilation, Electrical and Sprinkler design. It is developed by the Finnish company Progman Oy, which has a 25-year history and 60 employees. During the last ten years, MagiCAD has captured the lion’s share of the Northern European market for MEP design software. It is now being introduced in the Middle East, where MEP design using BIM software is still a relatively new concept, says Timo Nurminen, country manager for MagiCAD in the UAE. MagiCAD functions as an add-on to the wellknown AutoCAD and Revit platforms. It does most of the calculations automatically, including sizing, balancing and flow rate. Other features include automatic collision detection, automatic generation of bills of quantity, and easy co-ordination and cross-referencing. Another advantage is that MagiCAD boasts Europe’s largest product database, with over 200 000 product models in 3D. All product models are designed according to real specifications. If the piping system works in MagiCAD simulations, it will work in reality.

GULF DURA INDUSTRIES The technical suitability of PPr for water delivery systems is well proven. Environmentfriendly and hygienically-enhanced potable water pipe systems made from PPr, available from Gulf Dura Industries, is physiologically and microbiologically harmless. The Thermoconceprt pipe system is designed for continuous temperatures of 0°C, short-term peak temperatures of up to 100°C and a service life of minimum 50 years. The Thermoconcept pipe system carries a ten-year warranty for possible material faults.

September 2010 | MEP Middle East 49


NON-FERROUS METAL PRICES The London Metal Exchange (LME) is the world’s premier non-ferrous metals market. The LME offers futures and options contracts for aluminium, copper, lead, nickel and NASAAC, among others. Many of these materials are indispensable in the MEP sector. The latest historical data from the LME is presented to give readers insight into this dynamic trading market. For further information visit


Cash Buyer Cash Seller & Settlement Cash Mean 3-months Buyer 3-months Seller 3-months Mean 15-months Buyer 15-months Seller 15-months Mean 27-months Buyer 27-months Seller 27-months Mean

Primary Aluminium (dollars)

Aluminium Alloy (dollars)











1,987.30 1,988.27 1,987.78 2,006.02 2,007.00 2,006.51 2,101.64 2,106.64 2,104.14 2,175.77 2,180.77 2,178.27

1,983.55 1,991.77 1,987.66 1,965.05 1,974.64 1,969.84 1,977.50 1,987.50 1,982.50 2,031.82 2,041.82 2,036.82

6,734.00 6,735.25 6,734.63 6,759.11 6,760.57 6,759.84 6,773.64 6,783.64 6,778.64 6,622.05 6,632.05 6,627.05

1,835.82 1,836.98 1,836.40 1,856.11 1,857.66 1,856.89 1,896.32 1,901.32 1,898.82 1,877.05 1,882.05 1,879.55

19,508.18 19,517.50 19,512.84 19,567.27 19,588.41 19,577.84 19,469.77 19,569.77 19,519.77 18,869.32 18,969.32 18,919.32

18,174.55 18,191.36 18,182.95 18,182.05 18,216.36 18,199.20 18,159.77 18,209.77 18,184.77

1,924.41 1,932.16 1,928.28 1,943.86 1,953.73 1,948.80 2,026.82 2,036.82 2,031.82 2,098.64 2,108.64 2,103.64


THE FOLLOWING STERLING EQUIVALENTS HAVE BEEN CALCULATED, ON THE BASIS OF DAILY CONVERSIONS: Copper Cash Seller & Settlement: Copper 3-months Seller: Lead Cash Seller & Settlement: Lead 3-months Seller:

Settlement Conversion Exchange Rates

£4,405.87 £4,423.73 £1,201.44 £1,215.35

Stg/$ $/JY Euro

1.5283 87.53 1.2774

$6894 Copper 3-months seller


Euro Settlement Conversion Rate

Primary Aluminium


Aluminium Alloy











Cash Buyer Cash Seller & Settlement Cash Mean 3-months Buyer 3-months Seller 3-months Mean 15-months Buyer 15-months Seller 15-months Mean 27-months Buyer 27-months Seller 27-months Mean

Primary Aluminium (dollars)

Aluminium Alloy (dollars)











1,930.66 1,931.39 1,931.02 1,960.05 1,960.95 1,960.50 2,060.91 2,065.91 2,063.41 2,136.00 2,141.00 2,138.50

1,836.86 1,842.70 1,839.78 1,843.59 1,853.18 1,848.39 1,898.18 1,908.18 1,903.18 1,954.77 1,964.77 1,959.77

6,498.02 6,499.30 6,498.66 6,528.16 6,530.00 6,529.08 6,569.77 6,579.77 6,574.77 6,445.45 6,455.45 6,450.45

1,702.82 1,703.95 1,703.39 1,727.23 1,729.05 1,728.14 1,765.36 1,770.36 1,767.86 1,746.45 1,751.45 1,748.95

19,377.73 19,388.64 19,383.18 19,440.68 19,464.09 19,452.39 19,256.59 19,356.59 19,306.59 18,335.00 18,435.00 18,385.00

17,303.86 17,319.77 17,311.82 17,332.27 17,360.68 17,346.48 17,454.32 17,504.32 17,479.32

1,871.45 1,879.36 1,875.41 1,894.59 1,903.50 1,899.05 1,984.09 1,994.09 1,989.09 2,056.14 2,066.14 2,061.14


THE FOLLOWING STERLING EQUIVALENTS HAVE BEEN CALCULATED, ON THE BASIS OF DAILY CONVERSIONS: Copper Cash Seller & Settlement: Copper 3-months Seller: Lead Cash Seller & Settlement: Lead 3-months Seller:

£4,405.59 £4,425.98 £1,154.81 £1,171.70

Settlement Conversion Exchange Rates Stg/$ $/JY Euro

1.4752 90.94 1.2210

$6724 Copper 3-months seller


Euro Settlement Conversion Rate

Primary Aluminium


Aluminium Alloy










Neither the LME nor any of its directors, officers or employees shall, except in the case of fraud or wilful neglect, be under any liability whatsoever either in contract or in tort in respect of any act or omission (including negligence) in relation to the preparation or publication of the data contained in the report.

50 MEP Middle East | September 2010


Top MEP projects in Bahrain A showcase of major MEP projects underway in Bahrain, courtesy of research consultancy Ventures Middle East LLC of Abu Dhabi. ERA TOWER IN SEEF Client: Era Group Consultant: Syrconsult Consulting Engineers Main contractor: CSCEC MEP contractor: Almoayyed Airconditioning Value: US$120m Status: Under construction Type: Residential

BFB TOWER Client: Bin Faqeeh Investment Company Consultant: Andalus Engineering Consultancy Main contractor: Master Construction & Maintenance Co; MEP contractor: Al Moayyed Contracting Value: US$80m Status: Under construction Type: Commercial

AMWAJ GATEWAY Client: Amwaj Gateway Company Consultant: Davenport Campbell Middle East, Bahrain Main contractor: Garantikoza/Cukurova Construction MEP contractor: EMCO Value: US$183m Status: Under construction Type: Mixed-use

Bahrain Financial Harbour

Value: US$70m Status: Under construction Type: Hotel SHOPPING MALL IN HIDD Client: V.K Universal Property Management Company Consultant: Global Engineering Bureau Main contractor: Al Namal Construction MEP contractor: Namco Value: US$40m Status: Under construction Shopping Centre SUKOON TOWER IN JUFFAIR Client: Tashyeed Properties Company Consultant: Syrconsult Consulting Engineers Main contractor: Tashcon MEP contractor: In-house Value: US$138m Status: Under construction Type: Residential

Amwaj Islands in Bahrain

VILLAMAR AT BAHRAIN FINANCIAL HARBOR Client: Gulf Holding Company (GHC) Consultant: Norr Group Consultants/COWI Main contractor: Al Hamad Contracting MEP contractor: In-house Value: US$650m Status: Under construction Type: Residential Type: Commercial buildings

34-STOREY BUILDING IN SEEF Client: Mr. Essa Bukhowa Consultant: Arabian East Bureau Main contractor: Al Ghanah Contracting MEP contractor: Al Moayyed Contracting Value: US$31-100m Status: Under construction Type: Commercial

BEACH HOTEL AT ZALLAQ Client: Zallaq Resort Company Consultant: Halcrow Group Main contractor: CSCEC MEP contractor: In-house Value: US$133m Status: Under construction Type: Hotel

MARINA WEST Client: Ahmad Janahi Holdings Consultant: Ahmed Abubaker Janahi Architects Main contractor: Al Hamad Contracting MEP contractor: In-house Value: US$700m Status: Under construction Type: Mixed-use

AMWAJ WAVES Client: Lona Real Estate Consultant: Davenport Campbell Middle East Main contractor: Charilaos Apostilides (Chapo) MEP contractor: Bemco Value: US$396m Status: Under construction Type: Residential

Marina West Bahrain

BAHRAIN ROTANA HOTEL IN MANAMA Client: Banader Hotels Company Consultant: Aedas/MSCEB Main contractor: G.P. Zachariades (GPZ) MEP contractor: Bemco

ARCAPITA HEADQUARTERS Client: Arcapita Consultant: W.S. Atkins/SOM Main contractor: A.A. Nass/Murray & Roberts MEP contractor: Mercury Value: US$160m Status: Under construction Type: Commercial September 2010 | MEP Middle East 51


PROJECTS IN BAHRAIN MEP Middle East and Ventures Middle have teamed up to provide you with essential project information. SHAZA HOTEL’S MIXEDUSE DEVELOPMENT, BAHRAIN BAY

Bahrain Bay

Consultant: Shaza Hotels Ltd. Consultant: Tilke GmbH Main contractor: Not Appointed MEP consultant: Not Appointed Value: US$2.5 billion Status: Under design Contact: 04 437 6460, Shaza Hotels in the Middle East has signed major land-purchase agreements across the region to develop signature hotel properties that it will own and manage. The group has purchased prime properties in Cairo, Bahrain and Marrakech, and will act as both investor and operator of Eastern-inspired hotels in each of these key gateway cities.

Shaza Hotels chairman Mohamad Hammour said these new developments are just the fi rst of a series of projects the hotel group has in the pipeline. “We are successfully forging ahead with our ambitious development plans and will continue to extend our regional footprint, with aspirations to eventually spread the

Shaza brand worldwide,” said Hammour. Part of the large-scale waterfront reclamation project in Bahrain, the Shaza Manama Hotel in Bahrain Bay will be built on about 43 000 m2 of land, and comprise a 285-room hotel, along with 20-25 high-end serviced apartments. The project in the heart

Project Title



Main Contractor

MEP Contractor

Luxury Apartments in Juffair

Ms. Aysha Almoayyed

Not Appointed Not Appointed

project under construction

Residential Buildings

Ithmaar Development Company Ithmaar Development Company Ministry of Education

Al Moayyed Contracting Not Appointed

16 - 30

Reflections of Bahrain

Mazen Al Umran Consulting Engineers DP Architects

101 - 250

project under design

Mixed Use

DP Architects

Not Appointed

Not Appointed

101 - 250

project under design

Residential Buildings

Not Appointed

Not Appointed

2.5 - 15

project under design

Educational Facilities

Al Moayyed Contracting Nasser Al Fadel Electrical & Construction Not Appointed

Not Appointed

101 - 250

project under construction


Not Appointed

16 - 30

project under construction

Residential Buildings

Not Appointed

31 - 100

project under design

Commercial Buildings

Not Appointed

16 - 30

project under construction

Mixed Use

Not Appointed

31 - 100

project under design

Commercial Buildings

Light of Bahrain Abu Obida Al Jarrah Primary Girls School Twin Towers in Juffair

Value (US$. Mn)

of Manama includes residential, retail and commercial developments. Located in an upscale district of Marrakech and a short walk from La Mamounia, the Koutoubia Mosque and Jama’a El F’naa, the Shaza Marrakech Hotel will be in close proximity to a number of popular restaurants and attractions.

Project Status

Type of Project

22 Storey Residential Building at Hoora

Mr. Nasser Al Fadel

Dheya Towfiqi Engineering Bureau Mazen Al Umran Consulting Engineers Modern Architects

Edamah Headquarters

Bahrain Real Estate Investment Co. Mr. Yousef Fakhro

Syrconsult Consulting Engineers Modern Architects

Albaraka Banking Group Head Quarters in Bahrain Bay Shaza Hotel's Mixed Use Development in Bahrain Bay Road Plaza

Albaraka Banking Group (ABG) Shaza Hotels Ltd.


Kooheji Contractors WLL Not Appointed

Tilke GmbH

Not Appointed

Not Appointed


project under design

Mixed Use

Mr. Faisal Sharaf

Mashtan Engineering

Not Appointed

2.5 - 15

project under construction

Residential Buildings

Future Bank Head Quarters

Future Bank

Middle East Architects

Faisal Sharaf Engineering Al Ghanah Contracting

Not Appointed


project under construction

Commercial Buildings

Bahrain Polytechnic Campus in Rawdat Residential Compound at Al Murqh Survey & Land Registration Bureau HQ Sakana Busaiteen

Ministry of Works & Housing


Not Appointed

Not Appointed


project under design

Educational Facilities

Fakhro Tower

Y.K. Almoayyed & Sons

Mr. Saud Kanoo

Middle East Architects

Bassman Contracting

Not Appointed


project under construction

Residential Development

Bahrain Real Estate Investment Company Sakana Holistic Housing Solutions BSC

Saudi Designers Engineering Consultants Akbari Architects

G.P. Zachariades (GPZ)

Not Appointed

2.5 - 15

project under construction

Commercial Buildings

RP Construction

Not Appointed

101 - 250

project under construction

Residential Development

Note : The above information is the sole property of Ventures Middle East LLC and cannot be published without the expressed permission of Ventures Middle East LLC, Abu Dhabi, UAE

For the latest Middle East MEP project information, visit 52 MEP Middle East | September 2010 m


Incorporation of

REFERENCE Dennis Brand from Traprain Consultants looks at what is meant by ‘incorporation of reference’ in contract terms. hat is ‘incorporation by reference’? Put simply, it is a means by which the parties to a contract make reference to a standard form of contract conditions, technical specifications or similar publication without the need of having to retype the whole of that document in order for it to form part of the documentation which together forms the contract between the parties. Incorporation by reference is to be distinguished from an implied term because reference is made to a specific document or publication.Contrary to popular belief, only nationals of the UAE have an inherent right to work in the UAE. Where a position becomes vacant or is created that can be performed by a national of the UAE, then in the event that a national is available a work permit will not be granted to a foreigner in respect of that position. Many standard forms of contract published by the various industry bodies and organisations concerned with the construction and engineering industries often include a form of agreement together with a set of general conditions and an appendix which has inserted in it projectspecific data, e.g. start and finish dates, limits of liability, levels of liquidated damages, required insurance values, bonding requirements, etc. Changes to be made to the general conditions are often done in the form of special conditions or conditions of particular application. In point of fact, once signed, the main interest of the parties, when looking at the contract, scope and specification aside, will be the general conditions, special or particular conditions and the appendix; little attention is paid to the form of agreement, although that is the document which makes the liabilities and obligations of the parties as contained in the other documents legally binding, i.e. the contract. The form of agreement is a basic contractual document. It is often quite short, sometimes little more than a page. In the US, such forms of agreement are often referred to as ‘signature

agreements’ because they provide no information concerning the obligations of the parties apart from a statement from each party confirming the intention to form a legally-binding agreement with the other. The form of agreement will generally contain little more than the names, addresses and descriptions of the parties, what is intended concerning the work or services required and to be provided, a list of the documents which together form the contract, a confirmation of the effective date of the contract for commencement of the work as well as the date for completion and, finally, the provision for signature by the authorised representatives of the parties. Where the form of agreement lists the documents which together form the contract, the list is often preceded by words similar to: “The following documents shall be deemed to form and be read and construed as part of the xontract …” Sometimes that wording is expanded to confirm the order of priority, e.g. “The following documents shall be deemed to form and be read and construed as part of the contract and in the order of precedence in which they appear hereunder …” By far the most important element of the form of agreement relates to the documents which are listed as forming part of the contract, and where it is intended that the general conditions of a particular body or organisation, often in a printed form, has been incorporated in into a contract – e.g. FIDIC, IChemE or NEC, etc; those general conditions are what is termed ‘incorporated by reference’. When it is intended to incorporate by reference, then the wording to be used must be absolutely clear that the parties intend to incorporate the specific document – e.g. form of conditions of contract or technical specifications – using such wording as: “The following documents shall be deemed to form and be read and construed as part of the contract …”For the purposes of avoiding any misunderstanding, it is important that the specific document to be incorporated be described accurately, as well as

stating the correct version – e.g. “FIDIC Conditions of Contract for Construction for Building and Engineering Works Designed by the Employer (ISBN2-88432-022-9) First Edition 1999”. Finally, when one is incorporating a specific document by reference, it is important to determine, with the other documents which form the contract, the order of precedence. For example, where the parties are intending to incorporate by reference a form of general conditions of contract, then in terms of priority they would be high on the list, probably just below the form of agreement. A particular technical specification, however, although important, would be included further down the list at the upper end of the list of technical documents. It is quite unusual for one to find a printed form contract in which the provisions of one standard form is incorporated by reference into another. A rare example of this is the FIDIC Subcontract 1994. Clause 12.1 provides: “The provisions of Clause 54 of the Conditions of Main Contract in relation to Contractor’s Equipment, Temporary Works or materials brought onto the site by the Subcontractor are hereby incorporated by reference into the Subcontract as completely as if they were set out in full therein.” Of course, the reference to the “Conditions of Main Contract in Clause 12.1 as a FIDIC publication” refers to FIDIC 4th Edition – Conditions of Contract for Works of Civil Engineering Construction. The series of conditions of contract published by FIDIC in 1999, often referred to as the ‘Rainbow Suite’, did not include an updated form of its Subcontract 1994. However, a ‘test edition’ of the FIDIC Subcontract to complement the Rainbow Suite was published in 2009. In conclusion, here in the UAE where the Civil Code provides (Article 259) that “There shall be no scope for implication in the face of clear words”, a clear statement of the parties’ intention to incorporate by reference a document with an accurate description in order that it can be identified and not confused with any other is essential. September 2010 | MEP Middle East 53


Lulu is the latest compact design from Dornbracht

THREE-HOLE BASIN MIXER The new Lulu three-hole basin mixer with a single rosette reflects a compact design combining different basic geometric shapes such as cubes and cylinders. Also new from Dornbracht is the Lulu wall-mounted four-hole bath mixer with a single rosette. Dornbracht has also unveiled a square rain sprinkler variation designed specially for the Lulu series, with rounded corners as a feature. Lulu will continue to be offered as single-lever taps for basins, walls, bathtubs, showers and bidets, and

will be available in chrome and platinum finishes. In addition, corresponding accessories will also be offered for the fittings series. The product was designed by Sieger Design. With its headquarters in Iserlohn, Dornbracht is a globally-active manufacturer of highquality fittings and accessories for bathrooms and kitchens. The company regularly receives international design awards for its product designs.

ELECTROMAGNETIC FLOWMETERS ABB FlowMaster flowmeters are helping Riyadh cut leakage in ITS water distribution network by 40%. ABB’s market-leading range of FlowMaster flowmeters have been selected on three separate occasions as part of a large-scale project to modernise this network. Riyadh is a sprawling city that stretches over some 536 km², an area more than fi ve times the size of Paris. About 60% of Riyadh’s valuable water supply is lost through leakage in the 10 000 km of pipes that transport water to the city’s 4.5 million population. The target set by the government-owned National Water Company is to reduce the volume of water and revenues lost to leakage to a

WaterMaster and AquaMaster are part of ABB’s FlowMaster range

54 MEP Middle East | September 2010

more sustainable 20%. One of the most important tools to achieve this target is the 900 ABB AquaMaster and WaterMaster flowmeters. “These projects required a compact, robust and maintenance-free solution that would measure pressure as well as flow, and transmit the data via the GSM telecommunications network to the NWC’s central control room,” explained Adel Al-Sammak, ABB’s local business manager for instrumentation in Saudi Arabia. The solution had to be exceptionally robust; and, for those locations where connection to the power network was not possible, batterypowered technology had to be used. Both AquaMaster and WaterMaster share the same features of unparalleled accuracy, ease of use and advanced data communications. The strong, durable design of the flowmeters ensures a long maintenance-free operating life under the most difficult conditions. They can be buried directly in the ground or submersed in water without the need for costly protective chambers. Their measurement accuracy in both flow and pressure applications enables the NWC to know exactly how much water is flowing through the main pipeline and to detect leaks as and where they happen.

Passive ‘vacuum-assist’ technology that delivers a less noisy flush at just 0.8 gallons has been utilised by Niagara Conservation of the US in its latest toilet design, dubbed Stealth as a result. Unlike ‘pressure-assist’ toilets that use compressed air at the top of a sealed tank to push water through the flush valve at a high velocity, the ‘vacuumassist’ Stealth toilet pulls the contents of the toilet bowl down the trapway from below. The Stealth toilet’s innovative features have helped it in earning the EPA WaterSense label for ultra highefficiency toilets (UHETs). Successfully passed all IAPMO requirements, this new design pushes waste 40 feet along the drainline upon being flushed. Niagara Conservation claims that the system is not affected by fluctuating water pressure levels, and contains fewer parts than a conventional toilet. According to its calculations, it will reportedly save 37% more water than a standard high-efficiency toilet, which translates into as much as 20 000 gallons a year. Despite the small amount of water it uses, the company claims that the powerful vacuum action will always clear the bowl in one flush. In addition, it is being billed as featuring ‘the quietest flush on the planet’.

The Stealth toilet’s innovative features have helped it in earning the EPA WaterSense label for ultra high-efficiency toilets


A DeWalt safety product demo

SUB-COMPACT RANGE Leading industrial power tool manufacturer DeWalt has launched its all-new 10.8V sub-compact range featuring a lightweight slide pack battery system. With lithium ion technology, the new range not only addresses common applicational needs for power, balance and compactness, but has been designed specifically to give professional users an optimum package, allowing them to complete jobs faster and with ease.

The newly-designed soft grip has a slim-line design to fi t the hand, offering total comfort and control for any application. The range also benefi ts from a flat foot designed base rarely seen in other units, allowing the user to place the tool in the upright position and store safely. The new DCD710S2 drill driver boasts features that offer a real advantage to the professional user. With a range of 0-400/1500 RPM and an intelligent trigger, this powerful drill driver ensures complete control throughout the job. With an improved ratio between power and speed and a 1.5 mm to 10 mm chuck, the drill has the power to drive 20 mm clearance holes and 80 mm fasteners without stalling the motor. The new DCF610S2 screwdriver is able to drive 6 mm to 80 mm fasteners, suitable for common job-site tasks. The compact unit is less than 165 mm front to back. The drop-in load ¼ inch Hex allows for one-handed use and accepts 25 mm tips. Furthermore, the ultra-bright three LED light provides outstanding visibility whilst eliminating shadows. The new DCF815S2 impact driver boasts 107 Nm of torque and a shorter length body, giving the user more control and the ability to work in confined spaces such as kitchen cabinets, or to get closer to applications such as stud work. Also within the range is the ultra-bright DCL510N LED flashlight featuring a 180° leftto-right, front-to-back rotating head and threeway multi-attachment functionality. DeWalt has also launched two different combo kits: the DCK210S2 kit features the screwdriver and impact driver, two batteries, charger and a soft kit bag, while the DCK211S2 kit features the impact driver and drill driver, two batteries, charger and a soft kit bag.

ENTRY-LEVEL THERMAL IMAGING SCANNER Fluke Corporation has introduced its new entry-level TiS thermal imaging scanner for building diagnostics. Designed specifically for building and home inspectors, electricians, energy auditors, HVACR professionals, insulators, roofers and window installers, the TiS is the perfect tool to identify hidden issues, find moisture intrusion, detect energy losses or missing insulation and spot overheating in electrical components. The TiS is the most affordable thermal scanner to meet the proposed RESNET infrared standards. It has the highest resolution (120x120) in its price class and the largest display size (3.7 inches), which is 30% larger than comparable imagers. It is the only imager in its class with versatile manual focus. The award-winning design includes a three-button menu designed for intuitive operation and navigation.

An example of a thermal imaging scanner from Fluke


An example of a Grohe faucet, which combines optimal water use with aesthetic appeal.

As part of the Grohe WaterCare campaign entitled ‘The more you save, the more you enjoy’, and in co-operation with DEWA, Grohe is aiming to increase the awareness of watersaving possibilities even further. In conjunction with Sesam Business Consultants, it started the Green Mosque project in 2009. This entailed the donation and installation of 20 Contropress self-closing mixers for the Abou Hamed Al Gazali Mosque in Dubai. As one of the most visited locations in the UAE, mosques face issues in terms of visitors’ efficient use of water. It has been reported that the UAE consumes more than 500 litres of water per person a day, in comparison to France’s figure of 250 litres per person a day, for example. It is also estimated that flushing of toilets may be using as much as

5% of available fresh water in the UAE. The Contropress mixer can be adjusted to a flow time of 7.15 and 30 seconds. The water flow stops without the user needing to turn off the mixer. The latest data from the Green Mosque project reveals that the mosque’s average consumption a month prior to the Contropress installation was 45 509 gallons, declining to 30 205 gallons, a 30% average monthly saving. From an investment point of view, 20 Contropress mixers retail at about AED8 400. At a rate of AED0.035/gallon, the return on investment is achieved after only 15 months. In addition, Grohe offers other quality fittings such as flow limiters, self-closing devices for public areas and watersaving mousseurs. September 2010 | MEP Middle East 55




MEP contractors suffer disproportionately more from claims of delay, argues Hill International delay claims managing consultant Dr Jay Palmos. Last month, Deutsche Bank estimated that as many as 30 000 new units will enter the Dubai residential market this year, decreasing demand for new and existing units. A Union Bank of Switzerland study predicts rental prices could decline by as much as 30% during the course of fi nancial year 2010 due to overcapacity in the sector. These reports paint a bleak picture for current developments. Developers know that, to increase the probability of successfully renting space, they must enter the market at the earliest possible opportunity. Due to the immense pressure to complete their projects, developers are reticent to grant extensions of time, and continue to rely upon strict liquidated damages provisions to force contractors into timely completion. To this end, the prime contractor must exert pressure upon its subcontractors and suppliers to complete on time. Of all the participants on a construction project, MEP contractors are most often blamed for project delay. The reasons are many and varied. However, the most common areas of blame stem from the fact that the MEP contractor is heavily dependent upon the performance of others for its own success. Some scenarios where a MEP contractor is affected include: 1. The MEP contractor is selected late in the nomination process, thereby reducing its overall time of performance (this issue is of-

56 MEP Middle East | September 2010

ten compounded by unrealistic programme requirements); 2. Late access to site or critical parts of site such as the roof level (due to design change or delay in construction progress); 3. The MEP scope is the technical heart of any project, and therefore it is linked to many other disciplines requiring long co-ordination and/or approval periods for submittals; 4. Due to the ubiquitous nature of MEP work, installation must be co-ordinated expertly to reduce congestion between subcontractors of different disciplines. There can be no doubt that MEP contractors suffer disproportionately more from a sub-standard project manager; 5. Finally, even low-value MEP scope variations can have an enormous impact on completion if it affects a critical area of the scope. For example, an upgraded chiller system can impact the electrical requirements and ducting throughout the site – with the necessary utility co-ordination. Delays have been reported as the most common and costly problem encountered on construction projects (Const Mgmt and Economics 1996). In normal economic conditions, contractors are compensated for delay caused by others through the extension of time provisions. However, in today’s market, it is increasingly difficult to obtain an extension of time. The most recent

Of all the participants on a construction project, MEP contractors are most often blamed for project delay.“ – Dr Jay Palmos Middle Eastern academic research (Eng, Const & Architectural Mgmt Vol 16, No. 1, 2009) listed reasons where failure to provide adequate evaluations subsequently led to delay claims as: 1. Lack of awareness of site staff to detect a delay; 2. Insufficient skilled personnel for detecting a claim; and 3. Inadequate contract knowledge. This research is particularly concerning for MEP contractors because most general contractors and developers are unfamiliar with the technical nuances of MEP scopes of work. Therefore it is often extremely difficult to convince general contractors of entitlement to an EOT. To this end, MEP contractors must support their prime contractor by providing clear claims which demonstrate entitlement. The conclusions of the research, in combination with the impending squeeze on developer’s profit mar-

gins created by the global fi nancial crisis, is clear: protect your interests by having personnel specially trained in delay identification and contract interpretation available to you. Early identification and prevention is the key to avoiding unnecessary costs. The survival of many contractors will depend upon the timing and total costs associated with their present contracts. Only time will reveal which companies survive the ‘balance sheet test’ looming on the horizon. However, to be best positioned to pass this test, developers and their contractors must ensure that they have the best-qualified construction delay professionals available in order to streamline projects. Dr Palmos has been lead expert witness in delay litigation on over 30 occasions. He can be contacted at for consultation on any delay issue.

MEP Middle East - Sept 2010  

MEP Middle East - Sept 2010 - ITP Business

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you