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ALSO INSIDE SIR JOHN ARMITT ANALYSING OMAN REFORMING FORMWORK DEVELOPERS STAY POSITIVE

A RACE AGAINST TIME

Will the Louvre Abu Dhabi be ready as the clock ticks down to its grand opening?


CONTENTS PAGE 22

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Big Project ME visits the Louvre Abu Dhabi construction site.

APRIL 2014 05 THE BIG PICTURE IRAQ BECOMES THIRD LARGEST PROJECTS MARKET IN MIDDLE EAST $519 billion in projects planned or underway in the country

16 IN PROFILE THE MASTER BUILDER Sir John Armitt tells Big Project ME that there are valuable lessons that Qatar and Dubai can learn from the 2012 London Olympics

22 SITE VISIT: LOUVRE ABU DHABI UNDER THE DOME Big Project ME takes a tour of the region’s highest profile cultural project

32 INDUSTRY FOCUS KEEPING THAT POSITIVE FEELING Big Project ME finds out why property developers are keen on keeping things upbeat

38 MARKET FOCUS: OMAN WORTH THE WAIT Although Oman takes awhile to get things done, it’s always for the right reasons

42 SPECIAL FEATURE: PILING FROM THE GROUND UP Big Project ME pits two opposing schools of thought against each other

50 SPECIAL FEATURE: FORMWORK

NG PREVENTIVELY

THE REFORMING INDUSTRY Looking at quality control and formwork technology in infrastructure construction

54 COMMENT: AUTODESK EIGHT TRENDS SHAPING GLOBAL CONSTRUCTION IN 2014 Hassan Malki outlines some of the major trends shaping the global construction and infrastructure market

60 TIME & MONEY: COINS VALUE FOR MONEY COINS explains how its software solutions can benefit contractors

62 TENDERS BIG 5 SAUDI Big Project ME lists the region’s biggest construction tenders for April

76 CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM MAKE YOUR MARK Gavin Davids says that it’s time to pay more attention to the Omani construction market


EDITOR’S COMMENT

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Head in the clouds A few years ago, an article I wrote was quoted on Wikipedia regarding the construction of what could become the world’s tallest tower. Like a giddy schoolboy I scribbled to the world that the Kingdom Tower would be open and ready to take visitors to the clouds by 2016. How wrong I was. But why? Could market forces be to blame? Well, since then, building tall has fallen out of fashion and Saudi Arabia has, for a number of reasons, shifted its focus to constructing critical and social infrastructure. However, these factors have been largely negligible in terms of Kingdom Tower. To build high you also frequently need to dig deep and following the announcement, it soon became clear that building the super skyscraper’s foundation was going to be a lot more difficult and deeper than at first thought. Although why this was news, considering that a mile-high (1,600m) version was ruled out back as far as 2008, remains unanswered over half a decade later. The Kingdom Tower may look like the Burj Khalifa in style and form but it is being set into very different soil conditions. While the piling contractors manfully carried on with the test piling over the winter of 2011/2012 they did it mostly to no avail as the scale of the job became clearer. As is often the case they had the right equipment but they did not have the right knowhow. (The fact they couldn’t manage it is perhaps excusable when you consider that the Red Sea-hugging tower is so uniquely designed and positioned.) Sensibly the piling work was eventually passed to one of the best in the business and almost a year later in January 2013 Saudi Bauer took on the challenge; eventually pinning 270 piles down 110m. Last month EC Harris and Mace said that above ground works are ready to progress from 27 April. Both UK companies come with an enviable record in project management but Kingdom Tower has already forced us to re-learn a lesson we’ve known for decades: building high is not easy – or as Philippe Dessoy of Besix told me back in 2011: “The higher you go, the more problems you face.” The fun has just begun.

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THE BIGGEST PICTURE

IRAQ PROJECTS MARKET THE THIRD LARGEST IN THE MIDDLE EAST

COUNTRY RANKS BEHIND ONLY SAUDI ARABIA AND THE UAE IN TERMS OF LARGEST PROJECTS MARKETS BY VALUE WITH $519 BILLION IN PROJECTS PLANNED OR UNDERWAY WITH PROJECTS WORTH $519 billion planned or underway in the country, Iraq has emerged as the fastest growing projects market in the region. According to local agency MEED’s Gulf Projects Index as of January 2014, only Saudi Arabia ($1.05 trillion) and the UAE ($713.15 billion) have larger projects markets. 28% of Iraq’s projects are in the oil sector, with the country planning to revitalise its hydrocarbons market through oil projects worth $145 billion. Iraqi Kurdistan, the semi-autonomous region in the country’s north, is viewed as a market with massive potential by investors, with capital Erbil becoming a lucrative spot for foreign firms seeking to enter Iraq. Regions in the country’s south are undergoing rebuilding and rehabilitation programmes following

war and sanctions, and new legislations are expected in the country soon. Some of these include new hydrocarbons and infrastructure laws that are expected to boost investment in the Iraqi market. Earlier this month, construction giant Arabtec Holding had announced its decision to enter the Iraqi market. “We see great potential for Arabtec in Iraq,” Arabtec managing director and CEO Hasan Abdullah Ismaik had stated. “Our physical presence there will enable us to capitalise on the significant new business opportunities that are available particularly in oil and gas and infrastructure. Iraq’s oil sector is benefitting from this renewed investment, with international oil companies committing to long-term construction projects in the country. According to MEED, Iraq earned

STATS n Projects planned or underway in Iraq $519 billion

n Iraqi projects in the Oil sector 28%

n Value of oil sector projects $145 billion

n Amount Iraq earned from oil exports in 2012 $94 billion

n Amount allocated by Iraq government for existing and future power projects $4.7 billion

a record $94 billion from oil exports in 2012, accounting for more than 90% of the government revenue. On top of this investment, Iraq’s government has allocated $4.7 billion in its annual budget to finance its existing and future power projects. “As part of its 2014 plan, the Ministry of Electricity requested a budget of $12 billion to complete existing projects and to sign new contracts to compensate for the fluctuating shortage (of power), but the government only approved $4.7 billion,” said ministry spokesperson Masaab Al-Mudarris. Additionally, the country has approved contracts worth $1.7 billion with Samsung Engineering Co Ltd and Hyundai Heavy Industries to build two power plants in Mosul and another location south of Baghdad, Al-Mudarris had informed local media earlier this year.

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BIG PROJECT ME SPEAKS TO SIR JOHN ARMITT, THE MAN BEHIND THE LONDON 2012 GAMES – PAGE 16 5


THE BIG PICTURE

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WARNING Dubai Municipality has warned against the use of unauthorised subcontractors.

STATE-OF-THE-ART FACILITY TO BE DEVELOPED AT DUBAI HEALTHCARE CITY 200-bed facility to be developed in Dubai’s leading healthcare neighbourhood

DUBAI MUNICIPALITY WARNS CONSULTANTS AND CONTRACTORS NOT TO HIRE UNAUTHORISED SUBCONTRACTORS Warning prompted by investigation into the collapsed roof of a swimming pool that injured four workers DUBAI MUNICIPALITY HAS warned consultants and contractors not to hire unauthorised subcontractors following an accident that injured four construction workers at Al Shabab Al Arabi Club in the city. The roof collapsed during the concrete pouring process, municipality investigators told local media. Engineer Marwan Al Mohammad, acting director of Building Department at the civic body, said that the accident happened because the project consultant violated rules laid out by the municipality. “The technical committee of the department has found that the accident, which injured four workers, is due to the violation of work rules by the project consultant as they subcontracted the work to an unauthorised contractor to work in Dubai,” Mohammad said. “The subcontractor has no efficiency in the construction field and committed serious technical mistakes during the concrete pouring work.” According to the Local Order No III of 1999, both consultant and the main contractor will be responsible for faults and violations in the project execution, Al Mohammad warned.

200 BEDS

TOTAL SIZE OF THE MEDICAL CITY BEING BUILT IN DHC

Construction for a new medical facility in Dubai Healthcare City will begin shortly, following the appointment of the main contractor on the project, the developer has said. Developed by the Dr Sulaiman Al Habib Group, the facility will spread across six floors and more than 16,258sqm of internal space. Arif and Bintoak Architects and Engineers have been appointed as consultant for the

project, and Shapoorji Pallonji International will provide contracting services for the facility. “Having built our first hospital in the UAE in 1980 in Abu Dhabi, we are proud that over thirty years later we continue to support healthcare in the market with the same diligence,” said MD Saini, managing director and chief executive officer of Shapoori Pallonji International. The 200-bed medical facility will feature an integrated centre for cardiac surgery, diagnostic clinics and a cardiac catheterisation unit. The structure is also expected to include three basement levels for parking space. Dubai Healthcare City was launched in 2002 to meet the demand for healthcare in the city.

SEVEN BIDS FOR FINAL BUILD PACKAGE OF SOHAR AIRPORT Sohar Airport’s construction bids were divided into three packages SEVEN LOCAL AND international firms are vying to win the contract for building works at Sohar’s new regional airport. Package III includes the construction of a passenger terminal building, cargo terminal and other buildings related to the airport was opened at the Tender Board recently. Carillion Alawi, Larsen & Toubro (Oman), Strabag Oman, Al Turkey Enterprises, Galfar Engineering and Contracting Co, Oman Shapoorji Construction Co and Joannou and

Paraskevaides Oman submitted the tenders. This package is the final tender for building works on the Sohar Airport project. Package I for the project included civil works, road network, utilities and falaj protection works. Construction of the runway, taxiway, apron, and all other accessories were part of Package II. Both packages were awarded to Strabag Oman. Oman’s Ministry of Transport and Communication refloated the tender for Package III in September 2013.

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BIG PROJECT MIDDLE EAST TOURS THE MAMMOTH LOUVRE ABU DHABI CONSTRUCTION SITE – PAGE 22

APRIL 2014


THE BIG PICTURE

EGYPT TO AID SAUDI CONTRACTORS IN SOLVING LABOUR SHORTAGE CRISIS

FIRST EVER ECO-FRIENDLY MOSQUE AIMS FOR SILVER LEED RATING

Kingdom will work with Egypt labour union to support local contractors in a bid to solve labour crisis after Nitaqat ruling

Intelligent construction techniques have been incorporated to ensure the mosque is environment-friendly

SAUDI CONTRACTORS COULD soon be using the resources of their Egyptian counterparts as the labour shortages in the country push contractors to look at alternative arrangements. Local media reports had earlier revealed that the Kingdom was suffering from a labour shortage following the government’s crackdown on illegal migrants in Saudi Arabia, and its consequent effects on construction activity in the Kingdom. To overcome these shortages, a meeting between the Saudi National Contractors Committee and the Egyptian Union for Contractors was held in Riyadh, where the latter agreed to offer its services following the implementation of a ‘proper mechanism…to obtain visas’. “Many Saudi contractors are utilising Egyptian expertise in technical work that do not require their presence at the site, especially as their services are reasonably priced,” a statement from the committee said. Saudi contractors also added they are suffering due to the Ministry of Labour’s conditions, wherein the contractors are not permitted to hire workers until the construction site is handed over to them.

THE REGION’S FIRST ecofriendly mosque in the UAE is nearly 85% complete, and will be unveiled for worshipers soon. “We are delighted to announce the imminent opening of the Islamic world’s first green mosque to worshipers,” said Tayeb Al-Rais, Secretary General, Awqaf and Minors Affairs Foundation (AMAF). “The mosque will be the largest of its kind in Dubai spread across 105,000 square feet with a built-up area of 45,000 square feet that can accommodate 3,500 worshippers. “Through this mosque, we hope to inspire many more such eco-friendly initiatives that are in line with Dubai’s vision for a sustainable future,” he added. The mosque has followed the directives and specifications laid down for green buildings in the country, and the project is expected to gain LEED’s silver certification for conforming to the

MAG GROUP TO INVEST $4.08BN IN DUBAI REAL ESTATE MARKET Residential projects, art centres expected across Dubai, UAE A $544.5 million development in Meydan district is expected to be built soon by the MAG Group. The project will be a part of the company’s planned investments worth $4.08 billion across Dubai and the UAE. The Meydan project will include 106 townhouses and a residential community comprising of 29 five-storey apartment buildings. A residential project in Sharjah worth $204.1 million is also expected to be built. A $190.5 million-worth art centre in Barsha and a residential project, ‘City of Arabia’ will also be constructed at a cost of $235.5 million. “Now that the city has won the right to host Expo 2020, it has galvanised investment sentiment,” said Moafaq Al Gaddah, chairman of MAG Group. “I am sure that we are not the only company feeling the current wave of overwhelming business optimism.”

3,500 WORSHIPPERS THE ECO-FRIENDLY MOSQUE WILL HOLD

sustainability measures of the US Green Building Council (USGBC). “We have utilised latest green technologies available in the region’s first eco-mosque project,” said Mohammed Hassan, director of investment at AMAF. “The installation of mixers that are in line with the specifications of green buildings will help reduce water consumption. Care has been taken to moderate the speed of water flow from taps in the ablution areas. Used water will be recycled and utilised in washrooms and for plant irrigation.” Besides employing thermal insulation to reduce heat transfer, various other design and construction elements of the mosque are environment-friendly. Some such measures include double-glazed windows with metal coatings to reduce intense solar radiation and the usage of solar panels for water-heating. SUSTAINABLE WORSHIP The project is expected to gain LEED’s silver certification from the USGBC.

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BIG PROJECT ME FINDS OUT WHY PROPERTY DEVELOPERS ARE DETERMINED TO KEEP FEELING POSITIVE – PAGE 32 7


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THE BIG PICTURE

QATAR PROJECTS MARKET RECORDS GROWTH OF 26% IN 2013 $96bn-worth of projects were awarded in Qatar between 2008 and 2013 Qatar’s projects market grew by 26% last year, with a 21% increase recorded in project awards between 2012 and 2013. The country spent $20 billion on various mega-projects in 2013, such as Qrail’s Doha Metro Red and Green lines and metro stations, which made up for 41% of total projects awarded in the country. Between 2008 and 2013, Qatar’s project market accounted for 12% – $96

BIGPROJECTME.COM

billion – of the GCC’s total projects aiwarded value. The outlay per year for this period is estimated to be worth $16 billion. Qatar, in 2008, had awarded over $22 billion-worth of projects across the country’s construction and power industries. These include Barwa City Development and Lusail Development projects. 2014 is expected to sustain Qatar’s growth momentum, with awarded contracts expected to be worth $24 billion as the country prepares to host the Fifa World Cup 2022. Additionally, the country’s public works authority, Ashgal, recently revealed its plans to launch an expressway worth $27.5 billion.

WATERWORKS Passavant-Roediger will build water treatment plants in two Indian states.

$24BN IN CONTRACTS 2014 IS EXPECTED TO SEE CONTRACTS AWARDED

SHAPOORJI PALLONJI TO BUILD LANKAN LUXURY TOWER Design of the 240m Altair Tower is expected to make it a sustainable development SHAPOORJI PALLONJI HAS announced that it will construct a new luxury development in the Sri Lankan capital of Colombo. The Altair Tower development will be 68 storeys tall across 138,817sqm of space. 400 apartments, arranged as three bedrooms, four bedrooms and penthouses will occupy the tower, which is expected to be 240m high and handed over in 2017. “We are delighted to play such a significant role in this project,” said MD Saini, managing director and chief executive officer of Shapoorji Pallonji International. “Once completed the Altair Tower will not only be a landmark structure in Colombo, but also a shining example of a sustainable building.” Architect Moshe Safdie has designed the project, based on a diagrid design to promote efficient use of structural steel, greater structural stability and a column-free interior to optimise internal surface area. As a result of greater airflow due to design, energy savings are expected after project handover is completed.

DSI GERMAN SUBSIDIARY WINS INDIAN WATER TREATMENT CONTRACTS Passavant-Roediger awarded contracts for plants in Gujarat and Rajasthan PASSAVANT-ROEDIGER, A wholly owned German subsidiary of Drake & Scull International (DSI) has announced that it has been awarded two major contracts for water and wastewater treatment plants in India. With a combined value of $13.6 million, the new projects will help the company consolidate its position in the growing water and wastewater treatment (WWTP) sector in the Indian market. Under the terms of the first contract, Passavant-Roediger will undertake the work for Ford India at their new Vehicle and Engine Assembly Plant in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. The company will be responsible for design, engineering, supply, installation and commissioning of all mechanical and electrical works for an Effluent Treatment Plant which has a design capacity of handling 8 million litres of river water per day (8,000 cubic meters per day), and a state of the art wastewater treatment plant of capacity 4,500 cubic meters per day. The plants will make the river water fit for drinking and firefighting purposes as well as for automobile manufacturing. The waste sludge from the water treatment plant as well as sanitary wastewater and process wastewater from the manufacturing plants will be pumped to the wastewater treatment plant which will recycle the wastewater back into the automotive production as well as irrigation for agriculture.

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BIG PROJECT ME ANALYSES THE CHALLENGES FACING THE OMANI CONSTRUCTION MARKET – PAGE 38

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THE BIG PICTURE

SAEED ALABBAR ELECTED NEW CHAIRMAN OF EMIRATES GBC SPEAKING TO BIG PROJECT MIDDLE EAST, ALABBAR SAYS RETROFITTING AND SME INTEGRATION WILL BE HIS FOCUS AS HE BEGINS HIS TERM AT THE HEAD OF THE COUNCIL NEW BUSINESS Saeed Alabbar says he would like to recruit more private sector companies to the Emirates GBC.

THE UAE’S EMIRATES Green Building Council (Emirates GBC) recently conducted elections for the appointment of a new chairman. Saeed Alabbar, then the vicechairman of the council, was unanimously elected to the top position by the board. A mechanical engineer by profession, Alabbar is a LEED and Estidama accredited professional and a Certified Energy Manager. His company, AESG, is a well-known sustainability driven consultancy based out of Dubai. Providing services like energy management, sustainable planning and consulting on various sustainable building codes Alabbar’s previous projects in the region have included the Masdar Headquarters in Abu Dhabi and Standard Chartered’s headquarters in Dubai. Alabbar succeeds veteran construction industry member, Adnan Sharafi, in the role. The young chairman is, expected to build on the EmiratesGBC’s sustainability initiatives in the region. In a telephone interview with Big Project ME, Alabbar revealed his plans for the council and his role there. “I’m mostly looking to continue the good work the committee has done so far,” he

said. “Adnan Sharafi’s role was integral in the initiatives undertaken by the Council. I’m hoping for the same level of cooperation between the board members and participating members as it has been in the past.” Expanding on the need for partnerships between the council and UAE’s various construction players, Alabbar claimed the private sector will be crucial to meet and improve the country’s sustainability measures. “Working with the private sector continues to hold importance in our plans. Our membership figures have steadily increased year-on-year. Going ahead, I’d like to expand this base and involve more companies into the Emirates GBC’s activities. We will continue our partnership with government bodies, and recently even signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Ajman Municipality.” “We’re intent on tying up with academia as well to further our initiatives, and our MoU with the Rochester Institute of Technology, Dubai, is a good step ahead in that direction,” he proudly declared. Alabbar’s greatest challenge, however, will be to embed the concepts of sustainability into

“WORKING WITH THE PRIVATE SECTOR CONTINUES TO HOLD IMPORTANCE IN OUR PLANS. OUR MEMBERSHIP FIGURES HAVE STEADILY INCREASED YEARON-YEAR. I’D LIKE TO EXPAND THIS BASE AND INVOLVE MORE COMPANIES”

the pockets of the country’s construction which employ limited budgets and traditional mindsets. “This year, we’ll hopefully focus on individually-owned units, most of which are found in the residential sector. Explaining sustainability to large developers – who often invest in the commercial sector – is not too challenging. “However, attention needs to be driven towards the singular, small-scale developers who may not yet have fully comprehended the functions of sustainable construction and maintenance.” Evidently, Alabbar is a man on a mission – one he is going to ensure reaches every business in the country, however large or small their operations may be. “Another area I hope to include under the Emirates GBC brand is the SME market in the country – these businesses are what will drive the UAE’s economy, and it is integral that they accept and optimise sustainability in their operations. “In this regard, I’m hoping options such as discount pricing and extended membership timelines will encourage SMEs to attach with the Emirates GBC,” Alabbar concluded.

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BIG PROJECT ME EXAMINES THE OPPOSING SCHOOLS OF THOUGHT IN THE PILING INDUSTRY – PAGE 42 11


NEWS ANALYSIS

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SMALL STRIDES 12

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Big Project ME probes the potential of a nascent construction market hidden away in the UAE’s smallest emirate. Neha Bhatia reports

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NEWS ANALYSIS

F

ebruary 2014 witnessed the completion of a landmark development in Ajman. Worth $27.2 million, the Ajman Marina is one of the largest project to have emerged from the UAE’s smallest emirate. Spanning 1.5km, the project includes tracks for cyclists and runners, recreational facilities for children and amenities such as restaurants and a car park, director general of the Department of Municipality and Planning in Ajman, Yahya Al Reyaysa was reported as saying. The Ajman Marina project serves as a reminder of the emirate’s relativelyoverlooked construction market. While tourism websites list Ajman’s resorts and hotels as the UAE’s finest get-away spots, little is reported – in comparison with its more-active cousins Dubai or Abu Dhabi – about Ajman’s property market and construction potential. Nevertheless, there is a commendable list of projects that the emirate has quietly completed of late. Early in January 2014, Ajman University of Science and Technology (AUST), a wellknown home-grown education provider in the UAE, broke ground on a $16.3 million student residence project, undertaken exclusively for the female students. Spread across a total area of 166,000sqm, the accommodation is due for completion in November 2014. AUST’s project announcement is the second from the Ajman education sector – the Ajman Technology Complex, a subsidiary of The Abu Dhabi Centre for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (ACTVET), comprising laboratories, libraries and workshops, was inaugurated in Ajman’s Al Humaidiya area last May. Affiliated to the ACTVET, the complex is a symbol of the continued support Abu Dhabi has provided to Ajman, as was more recently evidenced by a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the finance departments of both emirates. The collaboration is an attempt ‘to share Abu Dhabi’s expertise and experiences with Ajman’s Department of Finance’, said a report by WAM.

The MoU aims to rectify one of the crucial problems that is stagnating Ajman’s construction growth – project financing. Tariq Farah, executive manager of Advance Building Construction Company, says most of Ajman’s property development depends on the financing fluidity – or lack thereof – that the emirate has had to manage since the market crisis of 2008. “The market now is resuming the projects that were stalled following the crash of 2008,” Farah explains. “Most of those projects have been rebooted, and the emirate is currently focusing on completing those projects. The critical issue is fundgeneration for these projects, and that is the reason Ajman is rebuilding slowly. “Fortunately, however, the government has chosen to resume full-capacity construction only after it has accumulated sufficient funds, and will not depend on borrowings to take on these projects,” he adds. The bulk of these revenues and benefits are expected to be generated through increased emphasis on the emirate’s residential sector. As of 2009, Ajman has nearly 250,000 residents, according to a report titled ‘Ajman in Figures’ (2010). With a population influx expected into the UAE following the announcement of the Expo 2020 winning bid, Ajman’s developers are counting on a multitude of real estate variables to turn their emirate into a first choice home for the UAE’s current and future residents. “As the nature of the market in the country goes, Dubai and Sharjah precede other emirates as options for homeowners,” says Farah. “However, both these markets are booming, and factors such as overpopulation or increasing rents could be vital in promoting Ajman as an alternative housing choice. “Ajman’s advantage is its proximity to Dubai,” replies Farah, when reminded of Abu Dhabi’s scope for residential developments. “An increase in the market demand for Dubai’s properties will translate into a gradual trickle down effect for Ajman, and its attractiveness will spike due to affordable rentals and better recreational

“A JMAN’S TOURISM QUOTIENT HAS CONSISTENTLY RISEN OVER THE YEARS. LEADING HOTELIERS HAVE ESTABLISHED PRESENCE AROUND THE A JMAN BEACH”

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MARKET RESUMPTION Ajman’s construction market is on the road to recovery after the crash in 2008.

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NEWS ANALYSIS

OPTIMISM GROWS Developers are confident that Ajman’s continued development will attract residents.

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THE RISING RESIDENTIAL There is high optimism surrounding Ajman’s residential sector, which is becoming a preferred area for developers to renew and undertake new operations in. Adnan Mulk, director of Mulk Holdings says: “Ajman city is gradually developing; most amenities, such as shopping centres, supermarkets and so on are solidifying their presence in the emirate. These factors have made Ajman more conducive to potential homeowners, and existing market conditions sustained, Ajman’s residential sector will unquestionably grow in the next few years.”

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facilities – this is what had happened in the runup to the boom of 2008; things could similarly improve again for Ajman, but it will need time.” Naturally, there is immense scope to transform Ajman’s residential units into holistic and integrated property market offerings. The Ajman Beach is often regarded as the UAE’s best beach, and it would serve the emirate well to build on that reputation as a means to expand its residential platform, as did its counterpart Dubai, with Jumeirah Beach. Pivotal to Jumeirah’s development was the construction activity that was undertaken by the government in the late 1990s and early 2000s. A huge leap ahead for the city was the transformation of its skyline – highrise towers found their way into the

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emirate, and Sheikh Zayed Road rapidly became a hub for business in Dubai. An active member of the Ajmani construction landscape who understands – and hopes to emulate – this trend is Adnan Mulk, director of Mulk Holdings, a construction conglomerate in the UAE. Revealing that high-rise structures will be his focus for residential construction in the emirate, Mulk tells Big Project ME that he is optimistic about Ajman’s potential to evolve into a competitive player in the UAE’s property market. “Tourists visiting Dubai often find it is predominantly brick-and-wall oriented where its architecture is concerned,” says Mulk. “In contrast, the UAE’s northern emirates, like Ras Al Khaimah, Ajman and Umm Al Quwain

are far more scenic, and present themselves as better locales for holidays and vacations. “Ajman’s tourism quotient has consistently risen over the years. Leading hoteliers have established a presence around the Ajman Beach, and there is a lot of scope to build on that reputation. I am keen on expanding Mulk Holdings’ cladding portfolio to more high-rise residential projects in the emirate, which will surely find takers in the market given Ajman’s relaxed ambience.” Unquestionably, then, infrastructural advancements will become imperative to the growth of Ajman’s construction sector. The Nuaimiya Bridge was opened in the first week of March 2014, as was promised by Al Reyaysa – a development that both, Farah and Mulk agree will facilitate convenient transportation between Dubai and Ajman. Farah insists the construction of better road networks, and a revamp of existing ones, will accelerate activity into Ajman’s construction market. “The government has considerably steered its efforts towards these expansions,” says Farah. “While the residential market had few takers earlier due to poor electricity and water setups, local Ajmani authorities are consistently working on the improvement of the facilities they make available to developments in the emirate.” Looking ahead, Ajman has a lot to prove given the many project delays it has become infamous for. The emirate’s long-overdue airport – plans for which were first announced before the market crash – is in its tender stage now. Mulk reveals his company has placed a bid for the cladding work for the airport. Uncertain about the need for an airport that may not evolve to compete with Sharjah’s. Farah says: “Ajman cannot build on its reserves. The emirate needs funds before it can take the decision to construct any more projects. Until there is a larger population base and solidified need for an airport in the emirate, the plan should be kept on hold.” In stark contrast, Mulk is completely confident about not only the need for an airport in Ajman, but also its value-adding ability. “Think about it like this – the northern Emirates; Ras Al Khaimah, Umm Al Quwain, Ajman and the like could eventually become alternate holiday spots in the UAE. Given their natural landscape, each of these emirates will make for excellent tourism hubs, and an airport that caters to these, from Ajman, will be an unquestionably lucrative addition to the emirate.” n


IN PROFILE SIR JOHN ARMITT

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THE MASTER BUILDER

Big Project ME is invited to lunch with Sir John Armitt, the man behind the 2012 Olympic Games. He tells Gavin Davids that there are lessons that Qatar and Dubai must pay heed to as they gear up for their own mega-events

W

hen you’re the man charged with delivering the stadia and infrastructure for an event as huge as the Olympics, you’d be forgiven for having a few sleepless nights as you juggle dealing with government bureaucrats, construction contractors, consultants and the demands of an expectant public, all while the national press helpfully cover your every move and count down your deadline for you. However, if you’re Sir John Armitt, that probably wouldn’t faze you in the slightest. Not after you’ve been the chief executive of Network Rail, the owner and operator of Britain’s rail infrastructure. If there’s one thing that’s guaranteed to get any Brit’s hackles up, its delays to their beloved rail systems. So if you can deal with that, you’d be able to deal with anything. Sir John Armitt is probably the most recognisable and recognised engineer in the UK today, having been knighted for his services to the country in the build up to the London Olympics in 2012. As the chairman of the Olympic Delivery

Authority, he was the face of the $8.74 billion construction effort that would deliver the venues, infrastructure and legacy of the London Games. Appointed to the role in 2007, Sir John has previously been the chief executive of Network Rail, as mentioned (since October 2002 to 2007) and the chief executive of Railtrack PLC (from December 2001). From 1986 to 1993, he was the chairman of the Laing International and Civil Engineering Division, a company he joined as a graduate in 1966. From 1993 to 1997, he was the chief executive of Union Railways, the company responsible for the development of the highspeed Channel Tunnel Rail Link. In 1997, he was appointed as chief executive of Costain. So say that he has extensive experience in the building, civil engineering and industrial construction markets is to somewhat understate his achievements. He is also the vice-president – International – of the Institution of Civil Engineers, on whose behalf he was in Doha, Abu Dhabi and Dubai to deliver a series of lectures entitled: ‘Developing Modern Infrastructure’.

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“FOR US, ONE OF THE BIGGEST RISKS WAS CONTRACTORS STARTING AND THEN NOT BEING ABLE TO COMPLETE (THEIR PROJECTS) BECAUSE THEIR BUSINESS WAS IN FINANCIAL TROUBLE”

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It was in this capacity that Big Project ME met him over lunch to hear his thoughts on the build up to the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar and the 2020 World Expo in Dubai. Over the course of an afternoon, a picture emerges of a deeply intelligent man whose greatest strength is his ability to bring people together to get work done. Proof positive, if the delivery of the best Olympics in recent history wasn’t enough, that he was the right man for the job. “Back in 2006, the industry (in the UK) was humming. Everybody had more work than they could cope with,” Sir John says of the time before construction began for the London Games. “For the contractors, it was a case of: ‘Do I want to take the risk of doing this very high profile contract? Where if it goes wrong, I’m not going to want to be there, so I think I’ll stay out of it!” “So it was interesting that Sir Robert McAlpine came forward wanting to do it (the Olympic Stadium). If you ask why they wanted to do it, well it’s because they built Wembley Stadium and they had this attitude that they wanted to be back at the forefront of major stadiums. “They had just finished the Emirates for Arsenal Football Club, which had gone very well and so they were feeling very confident about things. As for us (the Olympic Delivery Authority), at the time, it became quite difficult because there wasn’t that much tension or competition. So it became a case of ‘how do we get a decent price out of McAlpine?’ They could have said that ‘We’re the only guys in town, we can milk this!’


IN PROFILE SIR JOHN ARMITT

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HELPING HAND Sir John Armitt says risk can be managed when contractors are paid on time.

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So that’s why we then went into a profit-sharing, target-form of relationship with them,” Sir John Armitt relates. “But by the time it came to the Olympic Village, which was in 2008 or 2009, the market had completely changed. We had six or seven contractors who all wanted to bid for each block. So then it was quite difficult to resist the temptation to say: ‘Here’s your lump sum, it’s your responsibility.’ (But I think), the way you start is going to dictate the way you’re going to finish,” he asserts. “For us, one of the biggest risks was contractors starting and then not being able to complete (their projects) because their business was in financial trouble. So we said: ‘Don’t we have a responsibility here to ensure that they don’t get into trouble?’ We did that by paying them regularly. By doing that, it helped them run their business. It was in our own self-interest as well. If we paid the contractors regularly then we were managing the risk. “The next problem we had was to ensure that the contractors we were paying were passing that benefit to their supply chain. So again, we had to be quite proactive in encouraging people to tell us if they were suffering and be proactive with the main contractors and say: ‘Look, this isn’t good

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enough. We’re helping you out, but we’re all in this together. We’re expecting you to pay your guys on time’.” So what can Qatar and Dubai learn from his experiences in London? With Qatar planning to spend $140 billion and $200 billion on transport infrastructure and construction projects respectively, there is a huge responsibility to get things right the first time around.

“THE BEAUTY OF THE OLYMPICS WAS, IN A SENSE, WAS THAT IN SOME WAYS, IT WAS A CRISIS. YOU’VE GOT AN ABSOLUTELY FIXED DEADLINE, THERE’S NO WAY YOU CAN GET OUT OF IT AND THE WORLD IS WATCHING. THEREFORE, YOU’VE GOT TO PERFORM”

“We’ve had a lot of meetings with the Qataris, explaining what did work and what didn’t work,” Sir John says. “It was the same with the Brazilians, we had endless meetings with the Brazilians about how we organised the games. You can see that at the end of the day, they had their own challenges, their own issues,” he points out. “All of this starts with the governance. Who makes the decisions, how those decisions are made and very often, and this is in any country, it can be pretty confusing. You’ve got competing departments, competing agencies and competing personalities. Getting all of them to come together and work together as an overseeing body is not easy. “The beauty of the Olympics was, in a sense, was that in some ways, it was a crisis. You’ve got an absolutely fixed deadline, there’s no way you can get out of it and the world is watching. Therefore, you’ve got to perform. All of a sudden, people realise that it’s in their best interests to cooperate rather than fight one another, otherwise they’re all going to suffer the embarrassment of not finishing,” says Sir John, making an extremely valid point. This then leads to a core component of any construction project in the GCC. Given that most construction crews are made up of people from


IN PROFILE SIR JOHN ARMITT

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TOUGH DECISIONS Choosing the right people to work on a project is important for its success.

CONSULT THE RIGHT ONES Sir John Armitt points out that one of the best ways for governments and clients to save money when developing megaprojects is to appoint the right consultant in the first place. “If I want to produce a cheaper building, one way of doing that is to spend more money on a more expensive consultant, because that consultant, from the way he designs that building will save you an enormous amount in terms of material costs and he’s more likely to give you something that looks good and is cost effective,” he says. “The weakness of design and build, to my mind, is that sometimes the contractor’s view of value is too dominant and so you sometimes get a poor design for the user. I think you can go to any halls of residence, in any university in the UK, and you can tell that it’s design and build the moment you walk through the door.” “Everything is cheap plaster and the corridors are narrow, that’s a way of saving money. Value engineering is the rule. But the value is simply that short term value, it’s not thinking about what this

all over the world, having the right leadership onsite and in the boardroom can be the difference between success and failure. When you’re building for a multi-national event that will have billions of people paying attention to not only the event itself, but the lead up to it, any sense of disharmony will be pounced upon, as Qatar is learning. Therefore it’s crucial that the best person for the job, at any level of significant responsibility, is chosen, as the ex-head of the Olympic Delivery Authority explains. “One of the other challenges on big projects is that I think that sometimes you have to move people out even though they have a fantastic

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“FOR US, ONE OF THE BIGGEST RISKS WAS CONTRACTORS STARTING AND THEN NOT BEING ABLE TO COMPLETE (THEIR PROJECTS) BECAUSE THEIR BUSINESS WAS IN FINANCIAL TROUBLE”

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reputation. But if they’re just not gelling with somebody on the client’s side or whatever, then at senior level, people have got to sit down and say: ‘Look, this just isn’t working out is it? You’ve got to take your guy out or I’ve got to take my guy out.’ And that’s the difficult bit, because people don’t like to admit that their person might be the one causing the problem. But you have to recognise that someone can do a great job with a group of people on a different project, and then when you bring them over to a new one, it doesn’t work.” “It can just be people rubbing each other up the wrong way, and they don’t want to collaborate, they don’t want to work and before you know it, the whole project is suffering.” Having just come from a visit with the leadership of Etihad Rail prior to our interview, Sir John is full of praise for how the heads of that multi-billion dollar project are taking control of the construction and development process. However, he is quick to offer a note of caution, citing his own experiences from his long and storied career. “I think a lot of what we heard from our meeting with Etihad Rail was very aware,” he relates. “They were very sophisticated ideas. But of course, one of the problems in any organisation is that ideas from the top take a long time to filter down.” “Even in the big organisations in the UK, we could be saying one thing in terms of what

place will be like to live in or to work in for the next 20 years,” he tells Big Project ME. Conversely, he says, if you got to a good consultant straight away and set them a challenge, you’re more likely to get a better result. “I would say to them, ‘look, you’re meant to be so flipping brilliant, why can’t you give me a design that’s architecturally and from an engineering point of view excellent, for 20% less?’ They of course will take that as a challenge and will go away and come back with another design which they’re just as proud of as the expensive one. They can do that because they’re good and will take the challenge on,” he asserts.

we thought the philosophy, the attitude of the company was, but the procurement guys, they didn’t want to hear it. Their view was, ‘the way we’ve procured things is the way that’s driven (our success).’ So to change that behaviour is very difficult,” he cautions. However, he remains confident that both the UAE and Qatar’s construction industries will rise to meet the challenge laid out in front of them, pointing out that people should look at what these sort of events offer their host countries. “I think that part of the (appeal of the) Games was the opportunity to create these iconic buildings. Great cities need iconic buildings,” he says, laying down the challenge.


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ON SITE LOUVRE ABU DHABI

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ON SITE LOUVRE ABU DHABI

UNDER THE DOME

Project Name

Louvre Abu Dhabi

Project Developer

Tourism Development & Investment Company

Total Size:

64,000sqm

Project Manager

Turner International

Project Contractors

JV between Arabtec, Constructora San JosĂŠ and Oger Abu Dhabi

Foundation Construction

Bauer International

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MIDDLE EAST

Big Project ME is invited along to a tour of the Louvre Abu Dhabi, possibly the most exciting cultural project ever undertaken in the Middle East, Gavin Davids reports from Saadiyat Island

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ON SITE LOUVRE ABU DHABI

T

he Louvre. The very words themselves conjure up visions of history and culture, of art and science, of knowledge and learning. It is, with little exaggeration, the most famous museum in the world. Every year, more than 8 million visitors pass through its halls, while leading cultural critics have consistently ranked it as the number one museum in the world. Home to Leonardo Da Vinci’s most famous works, including the Mona Lisa, the museum holds some 380,000 objects and displays around 35,000 works of art. Of this at least 7,500 are paintings. It is truly worthy of its title as an ‘iconic building’. So then, who would be daring enough to take on the mantle of this famous institution and create a successful, fully operational and most importantly, worthy counterpoint to it? Step forward, Abu Dhabi. Seven years ago, the governments of the UAE and France signed off an intergovernmental agreement that would link Abu Dhabi with the name of the Louvre. The agreement stated that the UAE capital would be the home of the first international branch of the museum, which would display works of ‘historical, cultural and sociological significance, from the most ancient to the most contemporary. A museum of the world and for the world.’ Of course, this would mean that any building being built to showcase these monuments to

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humanity would have to be something truly spectacular, a work of art in itself, so to speak. It was with this in mind that Jean Nouvel, the Pritzker Prize-winning architect, was awarded the contract to design the ‘museum city’ of Louvre Abu Dhabi. It was he who envisioned the building’s geometric lace dome, the 12,000 tonne canopy which is made up of 85 supersized elements that stretch out the length of two football pitches. “I wanted this building to mirror a protected territory that belongs to the Arab World and this geography,” he says in a statement, adding that the roof’s complex pattern is inspired by the interlaced palm leaves traditionally used as roofing materials in the Emirates. The geometric design is repeated at various sizes and angles in eight different layers – four external and four internal – an arrangement that gives the dome a lattice-like effect, creating a ‘rain of light’ for visitors to the galleries. With the Louvre Abu Dhabi scheduled for completion by the fourth quarter of 2015, the pressure is on for the construction team working on the project. In order to highlight the significant amount of work that has been done, the Tourism Development and Investment Company (TDIC), the master developer of major tourism, cultural and residential destinations in Abu Dhabi, invited Big Project Middle East and other media to a tour of the Louvre Abu Dhabi construction site.

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“WHAT’S AMAZING ON THIS SITE IS THAT EVERYONE KNOWS WHAT THEIR JOB IS AND THEY’RE ACTIVELY DOING THEIR JOB. WE REALLY FIND THAT THE PRODUCTIVITY IS REALLY GOOD. EVERYONE KNOWS WHAT IT IS THAT THEY’RE SUPPOSED TO BE DOING”

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MEGAPROJECT The Louvre Abu Dhabi project covers a staggering 64,000sqm of total area.


ON SITE LOUVRE ABU DHABI

LOUVRE ABU DHABI: A YEAR IN REVIEW n January 2013 TDIC awards Louvre Abu Dhabi to Arabtec-led joint venture with Constructora San Jose SA and Oger Abu Dhabi LLC.

n February 2013 Contractor mobilization on site.

n March 2013 Construction work on the ground kicks off.

n April 2013 The site witnesses the first concrete pour of 800 cubic concrete metres for one of the four piers that are to hold up the museum’s iconic dome.

n May 2013 A double-layer waterproofing membrane is installed below the foundation slab areas.

n July 2013

Peter Armstrong, project manager for Turner International – the construction managers for the 64,000sqm project. “From month-to-month it shifts focus depending on what particular activities are going on at the time and where the majority of work is deployed. In the summer months, we’ve got the combination of heat and the reduced summer working hours, so more people will be working the night shift.” “But at this time of the year, we’ve got people working on the day shift, with a lot of trades on the outside,” he adds, explaining that there are 5,300 workers currently on site and that one of the biggest challenges the contractor faces is keeping them all engaged. “What’s amazing on this site is that everyone knows what their job is and they’re actively doing their job. We really find that the productivity is really good. Everyone knows what it is that they’re supposed to be doing.” Armstrong attributes this to the work done by the Arabtec-led joint venture that is handling the main construction contract for the project.

n December 2013 The first super-sized dome element is raised into place on-site by a 1600tonne capacity crane.

n March 2014 Construction completed for the first permanent gallery.

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Located in the heart of the Saadiyat Cultural District, the Louvre Abu Dhabi will be flanked by the Zayed National Museum (set to open in 2016) and the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi (set to open in 2017). The first package of enabling works was executed by Bauer International in January 2010. 503,000 cubic metres of earth was excavated to accommodate the museum basement while infrastructure work encompassed marine, excavation, piling and substructure works. More than 4,000 steel and reinforced concrete piles – a total volume of 21,000 cubic metres of concrete – were driven into the ground to serve as the base. Although the project only mobilised a year ago, TDIC has announced the completion of construction of the largest permanent galleries. Construction of the interior walls is well underway, along with the installation of mechanical plants, water pipes, electrical cabling and security systems. “The construction activities have been going 24-hours a day, seven days a week,” says

Louvre Abu Dhabi receives a Three Pearl Design Rating Certificate, awarded by the Urban Planning Council (UPC) as part of its Estidama Pearl Building Rating System. It is the first certificate to be provided for a cultural development of this scope and design in the region.

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ON SITE LOUVRE ABU DHABI

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MEGACRANE The Terex CC9800 has a 160m long boom and a lifting capacity of 1,600 tonnes.

Consisting of Arabtec, Constructora San Jose and Oger Abu Dhabi, the joint venture is expected to complete the museum’s concrete frame by the first quarter of 2014, while the gigantic steel dome will be finished by the end of the year. The final construction stage, which will include marine works and the removal of temporary land platforms, will be done by 2015. “It’s been a very significant challenge, but one that the contractors have been very successful in overcoming,” he points out. “Ideally we’d stagger or sequence the work so that we could complete the substructure and then after that we could do the dome. But that would mean that there would be many areas of the site that would be idle at any one time. It is a very tight construction programme with 974 days so we do have overlapping activities.” Ali Al Hammadi, deputy managing director at TDIC, adds: “We’re happy with where we are today. To date, more than 10 million man hours have been dedicated to Louvre Abu Dhabi, reflecting the amount of foundation work that the museum requires. Despite the challenging

and complicated design, construction on the ground has been progressing steadily and on schedule. Over the course of one year, we’ve moved from construction at 7m deep to above ground construction of the galleries.” What was also a significant challenge was maintaining the concrete pour rate on the massive project. Although 117,000 cubic metres of concrete have been poured so far, Armstrong says that the rate of concrete pouring has been slowed down as a consequence of progress. “We’re now into the much smaller areas, doing the columns and walls,” he explains.

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“RIGHT NOW THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE IS WITH THE DOME PROCEEDING IN A COUNTER CLOCKWISE DIRECTION. THE CONCRETE BUILDING MUST BE COMPLETED SO THAT WE CAN PUT THE TEMPORARY TOWERS ON TOP OF CONCRETE BUILDINGS”

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“But we’re also limited on this project by how much concrete can be poured at any one time. It’s unlike typical projects where you might see one massive concrete pour. Here we’re actually limited to a maximum size of 500,000 cubic metres for any one pour. And then there’s the nine-day wait between the adjacent concrete pours,” he continues. The heat is a major concern, he adds. Given temperatures in summer can reach as high as 50° Celsius, care has to be taken over the pouring of concrete to ensure that no moisture is lost from it, which could have potentially catastrophic consequences. “Not only do we need to make sure that the air temperature doesn’t exceed the maximum limits, (but we also have to note) that the temperature of the reinforcing steel actually exceeds the air temperature. So we need to monitor the reinforcing steel to make sure that it’s cool enough to make sure we can put wet concrete against it, so that it doesn’t rapidly evaporate any moisture in it.” As things stand, the majority of work for the museum’s basement levels have been completed, including the underground buildings, such as the Energy Centre, which houses the pumps, generators, transformers and other MEP services. The Security Screening Facility, a highly secure 7m deep basement that will allow authorised vehicles to transport all the artwork that will be displayed and stored in the museum has also been completed.


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ON SITE LOUVRE ABU DHABI

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Armstrong explains that most of the galleries will be linked, which will allow the art pieces to be transported from the delivery area straight to the galleries where they’ll be exhibited. “There’s significant conservation areas developed, while underground, there’s also secure tunnels that are built under the galleries. We have these underground structures to create corridors throughout the entire site for the secure artwork delivery,” he elaborates. The Louvre Abu Dhabi will encompass 9,200sqm of art galleries. The largest is the 6,681sqm Permanent Gallery, which will house the museum’s permanent collection. The Temporary Gallery will be a dedicated space of 2,364sqm that presents temporary exhibitions from all around the world. While work on the project is progressing smoothly, the Louvre Abu Dhabi’s mammoth dome is set to consume most of the project team’s immediate attention. As construction work on the galleries is being conducted in parallel with the installation of the dome, the need for it to go smoothly and quickly is essential, says Armstrong. To hold up the weight of the dome as it is being constructed, the contractor has erected 120 temporary towers. However this poses a few challenges, as Jassim Al Hammadi, head of Projects and Infrastructure, explains. “You can consider the galleries complete but we’ve intentionally kept one small part of the ceiling open because we needed the temporary towers (for the dome). But the rest of the gallery is complete,” he says, adding that the dome will be complete in September of this year. At present, he estimates that 20% of the structure is in place. “The dome activities go on 24 hours a day. The availability of the temporary towers or the super-sized elements, or even crane-time, is also something that poses a logistical challenge. The large crane (a 160m, 1,600tonne capacity Terex CC9800) is used solely for the purpose of erecting

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BIGPROJECTME.COM

the dome,” explains the project manager of the Louvre Abu Dhabi. “Right now the biggest challenge is with the dome proceeding in a counter clockwise direction,” Armstrong says. “The concrete building must be completed so that we can put the temporary towers on top of concrete buildings. But then there’s the problem with the temporary towers passing through the skylight openings (in the display galleries).” “That means that the skylight will be on hold for another eight months (until the dome is completed). We’re trying to keep all the critical path activities moving at one time and there’ll be some areas left idle while concurrent activities are happening at the same time,” he explains.

WATERPROOFING THE LOUVRE A double-layer waterproofing membrane was installed below the foundation slab areas. That step is taken after the 3,200 steel piles located in the museum’s build-up site are given a special electrical charge that prevents steel corrosion using a system known as cathodic protection. Completion of three massive foundations piers each measuring 16 x 16 metres which form the base of the dome support towers. This is to ensure that they will be able to hold up the museum’s iconic dome.

The dome has a diameter of 180m and is expected to weigh a total of 12,000 tonnes – 7,000 tonnes will be the steel structure and 5,000 the aluminium cladding. Once the museum is complete, the steel structure will be supported by four points only. It will rest 9m high at the entrance of the museum and will reach up to 30m high on the inside of the structure. In December of 2013, the first super-sized dome element was raised into place. The supersized crane alluded to by Armstrong is being used in this process. Each of the dome’s 85 segments weigh between 30 to 70 tonnes and it is built from more than 100 square steel tubes – 5 to 7 metres long and 5 metres deep. These are joined together in repetitive horizontal, vertical and diagonal pattern. In total, 10,800 square steel tubes have been used to build the dome. The pieces of steel are cut to length and welded in factories in Jebel Ali, Armstrong says. They are then shipped to site and assembled in a fabrication yard close to the project. They


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ARCHITECT: ATELIERS JEAN NOUVEL - DEVELOPER: TDIC

ON SITE LOUVRE ABU DHABI

HEAVY LIFT Lifting the giant jigsaw pieces of the museum’s canopy into place is a matter of balance, agility and strength.

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TOWERS OF STRENGTH

STRUCTURE

Louvre Abu Dhabi’s 12,000 tonne canopy will rest on just four towers, each of which are 125m apart.

Louvre Abu Dhabi’s canopy is not a traditional dome but a space frame, a form of construction commonly seen in industrial buildings, cars and aircrafts.

Concealed within the architecture of the museum, the towers will be invisible to visitors, despite being nine metres high.

It is more than 90 m from the carefully prepared crane positions around the edge of the site to the centre of the canopy, and special crawler cranes, one of which has a lifting capacity of 1,600 tonnes, are needed to complete the task.

CANOPY CONSTRUCTION: STEP-BY-STEP PROCESS

Completion of the museum’s concrete foundations, walls and basements

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are then placed on a flatbed trailer and driven to within reach of the Terex crane, creating a continuous supply of material for the dome construction crew. Once completed, the dome will feature three layers – a steel frame and an eight metre thick aluminium lattice above and below it, creating the ‘Rain of Light’ effect envision by architect Jean Nouvel. This is intended to offer shade and a comfortable micro-climate for visitors. The final layer will be a transparent glass roof that will allow natural light into the galleries, while keeping out the worst of the elements. As far as the engineering of the dome goes, the margins for error are miniscule, with 1mm of tolerance allowed for the joints, says Armstrong. As a result, the subcontractor and engineers for the dome had to be extremely careful when doing the computer models to ensure that they got things right the first time around.

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Install “anchor bolts” for temporary towers

Erect temporary towers —four are required for each super-sized element

“IDEALLY WE’D STAGGER OR SEQUENCE THE WORK SO THAT WE COULD COMPLETE THE SUBSTRUCTURE AND THEN AFTER THAT WE COULD DO THE DOME. BUT THAT WOULD MEAN THAT THERE WOULD BE MANY AREAS OF THE SITE THAT WOULD BE IDLE AT ANY ONE TIME”

Known for elegance, rigidity and impressive strength-to-weight ratio, space frames use interconnected struts to form a three-dimensional matrix that can span long distances without the need for support.

Fabrication and painting of structural steel components in Jebel Ali

Transportation of structural steels to Saadiyat Island

“We’re fortunate to have a steel subcontractor who’s experienced with complex steel structures,” he says. (Waagner Biro are the steel subcontractors). “It started with the structural engineer, Buro Happold,” Armstrong continues. “They designed the dome, the geometry and the size of the steel members. They then determined, using their computer models, that everything would work.” “That computer model then went to the steel subcontractor. They reviewed the computer model but also made their own model, and took that from Computer Aided Design to Computer Aided Fabrication. So we see that this type of thing couldn’t have been done to this level of accuracy if it wasn’t for computerised automated manufacturing,” he enthuses. “Everything is done to the highest level of accuracy and so far we haven’t had any problems where the pieces don’t fit together.


ON SITE LOUVRE ABU DHABI

PROTECTIVE VEIL

To allow the canopy’s internal structure to be built piece-bypiece, Louvre Abu Dhabi’s engineers have devised a giant, threedimensional jigsaw of 85 super-sized structural steel pieces, each of which is five metres deep and weighs between 30 and 70 tonnes.

Louvre Abu Dhabi’s canopy consists of three layers, an internal steel frame that is clad above and below in a complex lattice, eight layers thick.

The lift: cranes hoist super-sized elements onto temporary towers

That gives us a great level of confidence, as we complete the 360° dome, that all the pieces will fit together. But we check that step by step so that each piece is put in the precise location and if there is any error, we correct it in that location, so that the errors don’t magnify through the process,” the project manager asserts. “When it comes to the aluminium cladding, it is highly repetitive and it’s much lighter to work with. We don’t need the large crane to do the cladding. So they’re pre-fabricating sections of the cladding and then styling those sections. But again, they need to fit up with that 1mm or less than 1mm accuracy for the cladding because we’re going to have a lot of gaps as well.” Once all the work on the museum is completed, there remains one considerable engineering challenge remaining. Having originally been envisioned as an island, the Louvre Abu Dhabi is currently being constructed

The fit: crews join super-sized elements together using steel connecting pieces

As the sunlight passes through this, it will be reflected and refracted by the canopy’s steel and aluminium members, creating a dynamic “rain of light” as well as a shaded and sheltering microclimate for visitors walking through the museum precincts below.

Repeat: the 85-piece jigsaw is now installed in a counter-clockwise direction

on land reclaimed from the sea that surrounds Saadiyat Island. The final stage of construction will include marine works and the removal of temporary land platforms. That’s scheduled to take place in 2015, says TDIC. Armstrong explains that this will entail quite a bit of work: “I’ll put it this way, the architect’s vision is for the museum to be floating over water, but it’s the engineer’s job to make sure it doesn’t float out to sea!” “We have had to install tension piles that are structured down below the sea level, because there are basements under the ground.” “Then there are perimeter walls which are built deep below the sea level that create this island that will remain in place for many years. It is a significant engineering challenge and there’s a lot of attention to detail to constructing the concrete works, the foundations and the

A giant steel bearing is installed at the top of each permanent tower

Completion: the temporary towers are removed and the canopy is lowered

waterproofing (works),” he explains as the site tour draws to a close. Once all this construction and engineering work is done, and everything is in place, only then will work start on bringing the artworks and exhibitions to the museum itself. This in itself represents a whole new set of logistical challenges, but it’s safe to say that if the construction of the building is any indication, then the Louvre Abu Dhabi is in safe hands. “It is not just the building of a museum that we aspire to,” says Rita Aoun-Abdo, executive director, Culture Sector, Tourism and Culture Authority Abu Dhabi. “By reaching out to both the local inhabitants of the emirates and an international audience, by imparting to them the universal philosophies at the heart of this endeavour, Abu Dhabi’s cultural vision is not just for the future of the Emirates and the Middle East, but, in a very real sense, for the world.”

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The jigsaw begins: super-sized elements are pre-assembled on-site

A JIGSAW IN 3D

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FEATURE DEVELOPERS

KEEPING THAT POSITIVE FEELING

Six months since Dubai won the World Expo 2020, developers are keen to keep the market feeling good for the next six years. Big Project ME’s Neha Bhatia finds out why “The (project) plans are more measured and there is an awareness on phasing projects over years, in line with the demand of end-users. Approaches to funding real estate, price expectations and excessive new supply will require careful management (while moving) towards 2020.” This is especially pertinent since Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, head of Dubai’s Supreme Fiscal Committee has said that an infrastructural investment of $8.1 billion would be made ahead of the Expo. Speaking to Big Project ME, Craig Plumb, head of research for MENA at Jones Lang Lasalle, advises that sentiments surrounding the expo bid must be considered within timely parameters. “The Expo’s impact in 2014 has been generally overstated,” he says. “However, it will have a major positive impact over the next six years. The greatest benefit will be to infrastructure (metro and airport developers), with the best impact on real estate being for tourism, hospitality and logistics or warehouse projects.” The country’s leaders, pre-empting this trend, have started focused on infrastructure projects. The UAE’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has made several project announcements since the Expo bid victory was announced, and major

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ost large-scale events, in their victories, evoke a sense of elation within their followers and participants. In the contemporary context, two events can be credited for having grasped their audience through their triumphs – Dubai’s winning bid (2013) for hosting rights of the World Expo 2020, and the Indian national cricket team’s World Cup in 2011. While the Indian cricket team has, since its unexpected victory in Mumbai, struggled to reach those highs, Dubai has done a remarkable job of setting tangible targets – and achieving them too. An intelligent social media campaign, coupled with promising theoretical plans and a history of ambitious construction has helped Dubai’s government to realise its vision. While one can be almost certain that Dubai’s delivery on its potential and reputation will far exceed a champion cricket team’s followup performances, it wouldn’t be unwise, six months on, to review where Dubai and the UAE’s construction and property markets will be headed over the next six years. “Expo 2020 (bid) has influenced changes in the perception of developing properties,” says Miguel Guadalupe, chief operating officer at Pacific Ventures, a developer firm based out of Dubai.

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PRICE BRACKETS Mohammed Nimer says MAG is diversifying its portfolio across various price brackets.

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infrastructural undertakings, such as the Etihad Rail development and Dubai Metro expansion are on-track for completion. “Around $25 billion will be invested (in rail transport) by the UAE,” Dr Nadhem bin Tayer, executive director of the National Transport Authority had told Big Project ME earlier this year. “In the rail industry, we have two undertakings; light trains, which includes metros, monorails, trains; and heavy rail, which takes passengers and freight. “Etihad Rail is around $11 billion of that investment. We have an expansion which is worth $2 billion in Dubai,” Dr Tayer had said, putting into perspective how infrastructure demands are being dealt with by the country. As unquestionable as Dubai’s willingness and passion to host a world-class event are, the city will have to take quantifiable actions if it wishes to attract and sustain foreign investors. Hossam Al Rashoudi, CEO of Saudi Arabian developer firm Maskan Arabia firmly believes infrastructurebuilding should be the UAE’s top priority as it readies itself for the Expo. “The UAE’s main focus will be undertaking and completing infrastructural projects,” he expresses. “Preparations for the Expo mean the city will be almost doubled to its current capacities, and will need the backing of utilities such as road networks and power and water supplies. Given the existing population in the country – and further increases expected – this may prove to be an interesting challenge for the UAE.” A parallel growth cycle is expected in construction activity across the UAE, and

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PRIORITY BUILDING Hossam Al Rashoudi says that the UAE should make infrastructure building a priority ahead of Expo 2020.

“THE NEGATIVE IMPACT FOR DEVELOPERS IS THAT THE WINNING OF EXPO 2020 HAS INCREASED LAND OWNERS EXPECTATIONS OF LAND VALUE – THIS WILL HAVE A NEGATIVE IMPACT ON THE FINANCIAL RETURN FROM DEVELOPMENT” developers operating in the country have already made budgetary allocations to build on the anticipated trade influx due to the Expo 2020. Mohammed Nimer, CEO of Moafaq al Gaddah (MAG) Group, when asked about his company’s plans for the Expo 2020, tells Big Project ME about his diverse areas of focus for the near-future. “Our portfolio is currently worth $1.36 billion. We have residential developments planned across Meydan, Business Bay (Burj Khalifa area), Jumeirah Village and International City, amongst many others.” “We are trying to diversify our developments across various price brackets, and not just focusing on high-priced developments,” Nimer continues.

“The idea is to attract as many investors as we can in the pricing category that best suits them.” MAG is only one of the many private developers to have joined the bandwagon basing its activities on expected Expo returns. A recurring debate in the industry has been regarding the need and demand for the many planned construction projects, with some sections questioning the economic sustainability of these structures after the exhibition concludes. Authorities in charge of the event have revealed that construction of permanent structures for the expo will be kept to a minimum. “There will be very few permanent buildings built as part of the Expo 2020 – the idea is to not create white elephants,” Chris Scott, director of investment and development management at Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC), the body in charge of the Expo 2020 site recently said to media. What, in that case, could be the agenda of private developers looking to capitalise on the Expo? “The question is asked a lot – ‘what happens to the construction and developments after the Expo?’” claims Nimer, a seasoned member of the UAE’s construction industry. “This was even asked earlier, when Dubai initially began its development work in 1999-2000. ‘Who will use all these hotels?’ people asked, but look at the demand for them now. Today, the entire region recognises the importance of Dubai in the construction segment.” Too much construction is not the only worry within the market – a supplier, one day before the final bid announcement, had shared with


FEATURE DEVELOPERS

Going forward, just make sure that fundamentals continue to drive it; do not let yourself be overtaken by a degree of exuberance.” The “act” that Ahmed attributed to the Dubai government was, in fact, one taken collectively by the UAE’s highest financial authority. The UAE Central Bank has issued regulations restricting the amount of cash homebuyers can borrow. The mortgage caps, applied as a measure to control rising property prices, restrict home loans to expatriates at 75% and UAE nationals at 80% of a property’s value for a first investment of less than $1.36 million. Additionally, the Dubai Land Department had, in September 2013, doubled the registration fee charged on real estate transactions to 4% as a move to curb excessive speculation. Hailed as welcome moves by some parts of the construction industry, Big Project ME found some developers and market experts are hoping for more such measures to prevent another bubble. Speaking about the mortgage caps, Craig Plumb says: “These new laws are welcome in that they attempt to reduce the level of debt and ensure that purchasers have sufficient equity in their own homes. However, given that only 20%-25% of all residential sales in Dubai are financed using mortgages, these regulations have had little or no impact upon demand and therefore the operations of developers. In some ways, these new regulations are targeting the wrong sector of the market - end users rather than speculators who are much less likely to rely upon mortgages,” Plumb adds. Quality concerns, one may predict, will play an amplified role in construction processes, and it will be integral that developers do not get swayed from feasible completion rates to inflated unachievable ones in pursuit of the ‘2020’ tag. “Property developers are urged to maintain standards and comply with regulations that are laid out,” says Pacific Ventures’ Guadalupe. “There is an increase in competition between property developers and it has become difficult for a few to keep pace. Project plan, project completion, luxury elements and stakeholder satisfaction is what property developers should be striving to accomplish.”

“APPROACHES TO FUNDING REAL ESTATE, PRICE EXPECTATIONS AND EXCESSIVE NEW SUPPLY WILL REQUIRE CAREFUL MANAGEMENT (WHILE MOVING) TOWARDS 2020”

FOUR QUESTIONS FOR ZIAD EL CHAAR, MANAGING DIRECTOR, DAMAC PROPERTIES n

On the effect of tourism on construction: “There is substantial growth in tourists here Y-o-Y with or without the Expo and we’ve seen the number close to 11 million tourists – at the same pace, we’ll eventually achieve the target of 20 million tourists here.”

n

On promising sectors for the future: “An influx of tourists will require that hospitality move from the current 85,000 hotel units to 145,000 in 2020. This can be easily accommodated two-three years after the Expo finishes, because tourism will continue to boom.”

n

On market fundamentals for the industry: “There could be some inflation in cost of contractors and material prices, but there shouldn’t be an impact on the market as a whole. Rentals are rising, which means the demand for ready properties is increasing and it means people are actually occupying them. This is a healthy, real demand.”

n

On the government’s role: “The government has already taken major steps in reducing speculation; increasing registration charges was a good move. Because there are no nonresidential mortgages in the market, we hope the banks introduce an alternate mortgage to encourage the real buyers.”

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Big Project ME, his concerns about rising costs in the wake of the win. Choosing to remain anonymous, he went so far as to say material costs could rise by “10%-15%” after the announcement. Six months down the line, these concerns persist in the market – Al Rashoudi offers a panGCC perspective to explain how increasing costs could affect the UAE. “With an increase in the number of projects to be completed on shorter deadlines, one can definitely expect a change in industry dynamics. Qualified contractors will be busy – not just with the Expo in the UAE, but also the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar and Saudi Arabia’s consistent construction boom.” “The Kingdom is already restricted with its manpower supplies, and a similar situation could hurt the UAE – material costs can well be expected to go up,” Al Rashoudi warns. These construction costs, in their upward movements, could adversely impact developers through both – construction costs and end-user responses. “The negative impact for developers is that the winning of Expo 2020 has increased land owners expectations of land value – this will have a negative impact on the financial return from development,” explains Plumb. “This will also add further cost pressures and contribute to the likely increase in construction costs over the next five years.” Furthering these concerns is the persistent worry that Dubai’s property markets will head for a repeat of the 2008 boom-bust cycle – it would seem, however, that both, the local and national governments are focusing on ensuring is no repeat. Weeks before the largest announcement of November 2013 – about Dubai’s Expo hosting rights – came two significant others, each of which were directed to the UAE’s construction markets. Masood Ahmed, IMF’s director for the MENA region had – ten days before the bid declaration – warned Dubai’s investors against over-optimism regarding its property market boom. “When you begin to see very rapid increases in any asset prices, then you just need to be prepared to act,” he was quoted saying by Reuters. “The government of Dubai is already beginning to act.

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Al Garawi Group an authorized distributor of the following licensee for Saudi Arabia, U.A.E., Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, Jordan, Lebanon, Kuwait and Yemen. Wolverine World Wide, the global footwear licensee for Caterpillar Inc.


Medco

P.O. Box: 17301, Jebel Ali, Dubai, U.A.E. Tel.: +971 4 881 8821 Fax: +971 4 8818944, Showroom: Al Kwakeb Building, (B-Block) Sheikh Zayed Road, P.O. Box: 2904, Dubai, U.A.E Tel.: +971 4 343 7400 / 343 7500 Fax: +971 4 3437600 email:medcodxb@emirates.net.ae


MARKET REVIEW OMAN

WORTH THE WAIT

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Big Project ME examines the Omani construction market and finds out why the Sultanate prefers to take things slow. Gavin Davids reports

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oasting a cultural history that is hundreds of years old, the Sultanate of Oman has always been regarded as a cradle of Arabic civilisation. As early as the 19th century, the Omani empire conducted trade with places as far flung as Eastern Africa and South-East Asia, while its influence was felt in the royal courts of countries like Iran and Bali. Despite this rich legacy, or perhaps because of it, Oman has never quite captured the imagination of the construction world like its GCC neighbours. While contractors rushed to be the first on the ground in the cities of Dubai, Doha and Riyadh, Muscat continued serenely, content to move at its own pace, secure in its ability to develop according to its traditions and cultures. However, the last half-decade has shown that the ‘slow-and-steady’ approach favoured by the Sultanate is no longer as feasible as it once was. With large-scale infrastructure projects such as the GCC railway well underway in Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, Oman must now catch up quickly if it doesn’t wish to be left behind. Already, Dr Abdulla Behaif Al Nuaimi, chairman of the National Transport Authority, has warned the GCC states that he expects there to be ‘significant delays’ in the completion of the railway network due to the slow nature of work in Oman, Bahrain and Kuwait. While Oman’s Ministry of Transport and Communications has responded by appointing Italferr, the Italian State Railways Group’s engineering firm as the consultant for the preliminary design of the national railway project, there remains much to be done. At the moment, three international engineering firms and consulting companies have submitted their financial offers for the project management consultancy contract. No final decision has yet been made for the awarding of the contract, though South

“THIS PLACE HAS HUGE POTENTIAL, BUT IT’S ALSO BALANCING BETWEEN GOING TOO FAR, TOO FAST AND MAKING SURE THAT LOCAL SOCIETY ADJUSTS TO THE NEW WORLD”

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ANCIENT LEGACY Oman has always preferred to advance its development according to its own schedule.

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AIRPORT EXPANSION The $1.8 billion expansion of the Muscat International Airport is one of the many infrastructure underway in the Sultanate.

CEMENTING DEMAND Oman’s cement demand is projected to grow at an annual rate of 6% for the next four years, thanks to a surge in demand, driven by mega infrastructure projects and tourism ventures. A research report by Al Maha Financial Services said that the Sultanate’s long-term plans and initiatives to develop transport infrastructure, tourism facilities and industrial zones will provide the required stimulus for the continuing growth of the cement industry. The value of contracts awarded across the sectors is expected to double from an estimated $6.75 billion last year to about $12.67 billion in 2014, according to industry reports. With a rise in the number and scale of construction projects in the Sultanate and the region, demand for cement is expected to grow at the same pace.

Korea’s Dohwa Engineering is the front runner thanks to its lowest bid of $277.4 million. What’s illustrative about this announcement is that in August of last year, five companies were short-listed to submit their technical offers for the PMC contract. Around 29 companies had evidenced interest when the tender was floated in June 2013. Once again, the Sultanate has shown that it will not be rushed into a decision. “This place has huge potential, but it’s also balancing between going too far, too fast and making sure that local society adjusts to the new world,” says Marco Malpiedi, managing director of Atkins Oman. “When I came here, this place was very simple in its approach,” he relates, drawing upon his experience of the country, having worked in Oman from 1988 to 1999. He returned to Oman in September 2013 to take up his new role at Atkins. “When I returned, what I found was that the place has changed in that it’s gotten bigger, but the Omanis have still got the same approach. Some days, I find it a little bit difficult, because there’s almost a naivety about some of the business, but on other days, I find it a breath of

fresh air that there’s a bit more personal type of relationship. Of course, in today’s market and with the size of the projects, everything has to be contractual and things have to work in a certain way,” Malpiedi tells Big Project ME. He admits that going slow can be quite frustrating sometimes, but is quick to point out that having a relaxed way of going about business ensures that the right decisions are made and that trust is built up between client, consultant and contractor. It is estimated that Oman will be awarding as much as $65 billion worth of projects between 2013 and 2017. This is double the combined value of projects awarded over the previous five years, so building up this trust should be considered as one of the most vital functions a construction company can undertake in the Sultanate. Among the projects at the forefront of Oman’s aggressive expansion programme are BP’s $15 billion Khazzan tight gas project, the development of a $10 billion refinery and petrochemical complex at Duqm and the previously mentioned nationwide railway construction project. “The construction and projects market in Oman is in good health,” says a report by Dentons & Co, Oman, a law firm that has published its overview of Construction and Projects in Oman. “Bearing in mind Oman’s relatively small population of only 2.8 million people, the scale of the construction and infrastructure development projects that have already been committed or are under construction is impressive,” says David CourtneyHatcher, one of the authors of the report. “The public sector is by far the largest procurer of construction services in the Sultanate of Oman. In the 2011 budget, the government announced Oman’s eighth five-year plan, to run from 2011 to 2015. It envisages a total capital outlay of $79 billion, of which the bulk is to be invested in large construction projects across the country.” While this paints a rosy picture for the future of Oman’s construction industry, there remain issues that need to be addressed. Chief amongst them is the issue of workforce.

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“IT’S VERY DIFFICULT TO PERSUADE OMANIS TO COME AND WORK IN THE PRIVATE INDUSTRY, TO GET LOWER SALARIES AND TAKE A LOT OF HASSLE. BUT AT THE SAME TIME, THE GOOD ONES, THEY APPRECIATE IT BECAUSE THEY REALISE THAT THIS IS SOMEWHERE YOU CAN ACTUALLY LEARN SOMETHING”

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While the Omani government has followed the GCC’s lead in pushing for localisation, there are concerns over the viability of this push. “There have been directives that have come out in the press recently, about how the number of expats will need to be reduced in Oman,” says Peter Willmott, project director at Faithful + Gould. “Really, if you’re increasing construction, then that (number) needs to increase because the Omani population, the national population, isn’t very interested in construction.” Malpeidi agrees with this, pointing out that one of the biggest competitors with the private construction industry is the Omani government. “The construction industry is not so comfortable. Contractors, in particular, work long hours and the locations aren’t exactly the most salubrious. Trying to attract them (the Omani people) into the industry is a little bit difficult then. At the same time, you’ve got expats working here who are working on quite low salaries. “So for contractors and consultants like us, to take in someone who’s not necessarily 100% on board with putting in the extra hours and who then sees people in the public sector working fewer hours, earning more and getting pension schemes after 15 years, it’s difficult.” “It’s very difficult to persuade Omanis to come and work in the private industry, to get lower salaries and take a lot of hassle. But at the same time, the good ones, they appreciate it because they realise that this is somewhere you can actually learn something,” he asserts. However this doesn’t mean that there isn’t the desire to hire Omanis, Malpeidi is quick to point out. In fact, he insists it’s quite the opposite. “We want to reflect the country, we want not to just meet the 30% target (set by the Omani government), but make it even as much as 70%. We don’t want to bring in talent from the outside, we want to see what’s here.” “The problem that we have is that we take

HIRING DILEMMAS The construction industry in Oman finds it difficult to retain its local workforce due to government competition.

MAJOR PROJECTS Major projects already under construction or in advanced stages of engineering, design and/or planning include:

n Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre. This has a project cost of $1 billion, and an estimated completion date of 2016.

n Sohar Airport. This has a project cost of $500 million, and an estimated completion date of 2014.

n Salalah Port expansion. This has a project cost of $450 million.

n Oman’s national rail network. The project cost is not yet known, and the estimated completion date is 2018.

n Duqm city, drydocks and refinery. The project cost is a total of $20 billion.

n Ghubrah Independent Water Project. The project cost is $380 million, and the estimated completion date is 2014.

n Batinah Expressway. The project cost is $2.59 billion.

n Muscat & Salalah International Airport expansion. The project cost is $5.2 billion.

n Salalah Medical City. The project cost is $1 billion.

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“BEARING IN MIND OMAN’S RELATIVELY SMALL POPULATION OF ONLY 2.8 MILLION PEOPLE, THE SCALE OF THE CONSTRUCTION AND INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS THAT HAVE ALREADY BEEN COMMITTED OR ARE UNDER CONSTRUCTION IS IMPRESSIVE”

in graduates and undergraduates, they work for us for three years and then they go because they want a higher position and we say, ‘no, if you want to build the muscles, it has to be natural, otherwise it won’t happen.’ But that just means that they can get a job elsewhere, or they can start their own company or they can go into the Ministry and get a high position, because they’ve got the Atkins stamp.” Despite these concerns, there remains much to be positive about Oman’s potential in the construction industry. The vast expenditure in transportation infrastructure, which includes the $1.8 billion development of Muscat International Airport, the $12 billion Port of Sohar investment (one of the largest in the world) and the $12.9 billion being spent on the Oman National Railway project, is going to fuel a surge in construction throughout the country. What will be certain though, is that Oman won’t be rushed into making any rash decisions. This is a country has been around for centuries, and clearly intends to be around for a while more.

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Big Project ME looks where the piling and foundation is headed as the industry debates the need for new technologies and techniques

FROM THE GROUND UP

SPECIAL FEATURE PILING AND FOUNDATIONS

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SPECIAL FEATURE PILING AND FOUNDATIONS

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uilding a structure of any kind is a complicated business. The slightest miscalculation can lead to expensive and time consuming delays. Given that the majority of construction projects in the region work to tight schedules, this could be catastrophic. As such, it makes sense for contractors to get things right the first time around. Nowhere is this more important than with groundwork. It’s better to spend up front and do a careful survey and analysis of the site than to start doing ground work and find your initial estimates and assumptions have been fatally flawed. When it comes to piling, this is doubly important, given that it costs valuable time to install and operate piling machinery onsite. Not only do contractors need to choose the right technology, but they also need to take into consideration what they’re building and the type of land they’re building on. Therefore, choosing the right piling technology can be considered as the key to having a successful build. Perhaps it is this need for caution and conservatism that is stopping the adoption of new piling technologies and methods. As Peter Titus explains, there are fixed ideas in place in the Middle East, ideas that have helped the piling industry to achieve the levels it has today, but that have also held it back from pushing forwards. “There are a large number of companies active in the sector,” says the managing director of Total Foundation Solutions. “If we’re talking about piling, I think you’ll find that the majority of the companies working in the GCC use the rotary bored-piling technique.” “There’s very little of what is called CFA (Continuous Flight Auger) and if there is, it’s mainly used for small diameter, shallow piles such as housing projects. Whereas in the West, particularly in the UK, France and the US, CFA has been the dominant piling technique for the last 30 or 40 years. It’s much faster and lower in cost because of its speed, especially when compared to rotary bored-piling.” “However, engineers in the Middle East, or shall we say geo-technical consultants, are a little bit behind the times on that. They’re not aware, it seems, that in the West there are piling machines that can drill down to 41m and are about 1.5m in diameter. They can cover a huge spectrum of the main piling requirements on projects and therefore it’s an opportunity that’s still being missed despite it not being a new technique,” he asserts during a phone interview with Big Project ME.

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COMPLICATED BUSINESS Piling can be a complicated and expensive business if it’s not done right the first time around, experts say.

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A QUICK GUIDE TO PILING The different types of piling can be differentiated from one another based on the choice of material used or the specific method/ technique adopted for piling, etc.

“IF WE’RE TALKING ABOUT PILING, I THINK YOU’LL FIND THAT THE MA JORITY OF THE COMPANIES WORKING IN THE GCC USE THE ROTARY BORED-PILING TECHNIQUE”

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Usama Fawzy, branch manager for the Dubai operations of Bauer Spezialtiefbau, points out that it’s not as simple as saying that there is a lack of awareness in the industry. He says that for the most part, piling contractors and consultants are constrained by the nature of the soil that they have to deal with. “The majority (of piling works) are common bore piles. In some light structures or villas, they’re going for steel plate, if the foundation is okay to work with steel plate. There are no driven piles here because of the rock formation. You cannot drive piles here. There is some sort of special projects offshore that uses steel piles. But it’s still not driven, it has to be drilled because of the rock base,” he insists. “All piles serve the same function, but you decide what type of pile to use according to the soil formation. Here in the UAE, after 4m, you find rock. Because of this, driven piles are not the solution. Driven piles work on pure sand soil formation where you can drive the piles in and the piles can take the load. In our situation, we can’t do this because you can’t drive it further, because of the rock.” While Titus concedes this point, agreeing that there are situations where CFA might not be applicable, he asserts that the reluctance to try new methods is founded on a sense of conservatism that is prevalent throughout the construction industry. “It’s really about traditions. The old criticisms of CFA existed when I was in university, and I’m in my fifties now!” he proclaims. “They’re still being upheld by senior geotechnical engineers as being the reason (why they’re not using the technology.) Even if they’ve come from those European countries (where it’s been in use for years), they’re reluctant because it’s so well established here.”

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TRADITIONAL THINKING Groundwork contractors are reluctant to embrace new methods of piling and foundation, Peter Titus says.

n

Driven Piles: This technique makes use of a Pile Driver which is used to drive in prefabricated piles into the ground. Most driven piles are made of wood, concrete, or steel and the driving technique leads to soil displacement.

n

Drilled Piles: Drilled piles are also called Castin-drilled-hole piles (CIDH piles) and use extensive boring techniques to drill into hard earth. These include: Auger Cast Pile also called Continuous Flight Auger Piling (CFA), Underreamed piles, Pier and grade beam foundation, Tripod Piling and Mini Piling.

Some of the most commonly used Piling Devices include:

n

Pile Driver: A mechanical device used to insert or drive piles into the soil.

n

Hydraulic Hammer: A modern and state-of-the-art piling hammer for inserting/driving timber piles and pipes, etc into the ground.


SPECIAL FEATURE PILING AND FOUNDATIONS

PILING THE LOUVRE The first package of enabling works,

NOT SUITABLE Some groundwork experts believe that micro-piling is not suitable for new buildings under construction.

executed by Bauer International, was completed after 503,000 cubic metres of earth had been excavated to accommodate the museum basement. The Louvre Abu Dhabi achieved major developmental milestones with the finishing of the building’s detailed design and the completion of its infrastructure, which encompassed marine, excavation, piling and substructure works. More than 4,000 steel and reinforced concrete piles – a total volume of 21,000 cubic metres of concrete – were driven into the ground to serve as a base for the Louvre Abu Dhabi building.

You can also make a jet-grout slab. So if you imagine that you’ve got to create a basement, without excavating from ground level immediately, you can create your basement wall using jet-grout columns. You can create your bottom plug and then you can excavate with minimum dewatering. It’s very widely used in all forms, anything with metros, tunnel systems – areas where you’re excavating below the water table, and where you’re trying to keep water away from your excavation or minimise the influx of water,” he explains further. What is also an issue for the industry is that the government has tightened up regulations on the insertion of pilings, says Fawzy. This in turn has pushed contractors to be more conservative when conducting their estimations and analysis for groundwork. While there have been advocates for the greater adoption of micro-piling in the region, he points out that there are some considerations that have to be taken into account. “They’ve changed the zoning criteria for the UAE,” he tells Big Project ME. “The lateral

“VERY OFTEN, YOU’LL FIND A CFA SPECIFICATION IN THE TENDER DOCUMENT BUT NO ONE ACTUALLY ADDRESSES IT BECAUSE THEY DON’T ACTUALLY HAVE THE BIG CFA MACHINES HERE, BECAUSE OF THE TRADITIONS THAT THEY HAVE”

load has become a little high and we’ve started analysing the main load on towers. When it comes to micro-piles, it’s not easy to take these kinds of loads because micro-piles are in diameters of 100mm to 250mm and you cannot get a proper sheer reinforcement to take the lateral load. Micro-piling makes for an efficient solution in case you’re making a remedial solution for an existing building, like if you’re adding an extra floor and the foundation is enhanced by micro-piles. But for new projects, you can’t use it,” he states emphatically. Peter Titus is quick to disagree with this viewpoint, stating that it has been used in many forms, just under different names. “Micro-piling is purely a description of the size of the pile. It is a form of piling where you’re literally coring. It tends to be under 300mm in diameter. You might micro-pile into rock, so you use a rotary core drill or you could use percussion drilling, a down the hole hammer, or an at-the-top hammer, where you’re literally driving a hammer into the ground with brute force. It’s fast. Micro-piling is used in the Middle East,” he insists. “You know, a micro-piling machine is the same as you use for anchoring, there’s a lot of anchoring machines in the Middle East. You anchor retaining walls, you anchor slopes, but when you use it vertically, it’s called a micropile. Very often, you might use a micro-pile for tension piles. You would put a vertical or even inclined anchor into a hard strata. There is micro-piling in the Middle East, I’m selling a number of machines in Saudi Arabia!”

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MIDDLE EAST

“Very often, you’ll find a CFA specification in the tender document but no one actually addresses it because they don’t actually have the big CFA machines here, because of the traditions that they have,” Titus continues. These aren’t the only issues that the foundation and groundwork industry faces, he says. There are issues concerning the uptake of new technologies like jet grouting. Jet grouting is when a micro-piling machine is used to drill a micro pile, down to a certain depth (usually 20m). A slotted tube is the inserted into the hole and high-pressured grout is fired through, often at pressures of as much as 250m per second. “You’re using the grout to cut the soil, so it’s a form of soil mixing. You then retract the pipe out of the ground and you’ve created a mixed soil-grouted column which is a pile. It’s called a ‘jet-grout column’. Typically it can be used as a pile, although it’s unreinforced of course. So it has limitations but you’re using the soil in place. You can make that column into a wall by making the columns adjacent to each other.

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GLAZED THINKING Faรงade design in the Middle East has moved towards glass curtain walls despite its environmental failings.

APRIL 2014

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SPECIAL FEATURE SUSTAINABILITY

SUN SCREEN

Dr Philip Oldfield, course director for Masters in Sustainable Tall Buildings at the University of Nottingham, reveals a futuristic yet vernacular tower for the Middle East example, found that in highly glazed buildings, an average of 59% of the façade area had been covered by blinds or shades by the occupants. Naturally, these issues are exaggerated in the harsh desert climate of the Middle East. With increasing consideration of sustainability, and building environmental performance, it seems strange that a design idea proposed for Europe almost 100 years ago is still the primary influence for tall building façade design today, even in some of the most extreme climates in the world. However, glass itself is not to blame and there is clearly the need to balance the opposing requirements of view, daylight and connection to the outside world, with restricting unwanted thermal transmissions. Instead, the finger has to be pointed at a lack of innovation in highrise façade design and laziness on behalf of architects, who seem to consider never-ending glazing as the only option for high-rise cladding. It is against this backdrop that the Mashrabiya Tower design-research project was initiated by Amna Shahid and Adriana Villegas, graduates of the University of Nottingham’s Masters in Sustainable Tall Buildings. The brief called for the design of a residential tall building on Abu Dhabi’s Corniche that takes

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ather than following the fully-glazed international style pioneered by Mies Van Der Rohe in the 1920s, the first tall buildings in the Middle East took inspiration from ideas of shade and opacity in local vernacular architecture. Buildings such as Dubai World Trade Centre (Dubai, 1979), Deira Tower (Dubai, 1980) and National Commercial Bank (Jeddah, 1983) displayed façades of stone cladding with smaller punched windows. However, this phase of façade common sense was short-lived, and today the glass curtain wall is king in the Middle East and other global cities. A skyline full of gleaming crystalline towers is seen to reflect prosperity, but what is the impact of this? The environmental failings of the fully glazed curtain wall are widely recognised; they allow the transmission of unwanted solar gain and external heat into the building, forcing the air-conditioning system to work harder, using more energy. Visual glare can also be a problem, often resulting in the drawing of blinds and in turn negating any daylight and view benefits that were there in the first place. A recent study by the Urban Green Council in New York, for

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inspiration from the region’s climate, culture and context. The challenge is that the tall building is truly a global typology, perhaps more so than any other form of architecture. How then can we balance this global form with ideas of local character and performance, in order to create cities with identity rather than monotony? The façade plays a key role in this, as it is the aspect of the building that people first see and identify with, while also controlling the experience, comfort and atmosphere of internal spaces. Shahid and Villegas’ starting point was an examination of local Middle Eastern architecture and in particular the role of the mashrabiya. This traditional vernacular shading system of Islamic patterns is used to provide shade but also privacy with its dense patterning allowing views out, but blocking views in. The Mashrabiya Tower examines if this smallscale vernacular concept can be reinvented to provide environmental comfort and cultural identity to a skyscraper in the Middle East. The result is a simple rectangular form, wrapped in an aluminium mashrabiya, acting as an environmental veil to the internal spaces. The geometry of the patterning at first seems random, but is actually more complex and considered, with the density of patterns designed to open up towards key views, but to become more solid in areas that need additional privacy and shade, such as bedrooms. The simple form also hides a complex, fragmented interior with apartments set around a central atrium. Careful consideration is given to the design and organisation of the apartments themselves, with internal corridors minimised to reduce overlooking of spaces and maintain privacy.

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TALL CHALLENGE Façade designers in the region are tasked with coming up with new ways of thinking.

Apartments are larger than those typically found in high-rise, accommodating extended families, with planning also separating guest areas from the more private family living spaces. Each apartment also has a small courtyard on the building’s perimeter, shaded by the mashrabiya. At the tower’s apex sits a public mosque, twisted off grid to face Mekkah. Here the mashrabiya not only provides shade, but the filtered light passing through contributes to the spiritual quality of the spaces, reflecting the atmosphere of local souks and mosques. While these ideas may seem somewhat radical, many built and proposed towers in the region have begun embracing similar

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“THE FINGER HAS TO BE POINTED AT A LACK OF INNOVATION IN HIGH-RISE FAÇADE DESIGN AND LAZINESS ON BEHALF OF ARCHITECTS”

APRIL 2014

philosophies. Jean Nouvel’s Doha Tower, for example, is wrapped in a mashrabiya-like screen of intricate geometric patterns that vary in density depending on the sunpath. This, it is estimated, reduces cooling loads by 20%. Aedas’ Al Bahar Towers in Abu Dhabi goes one step further, using a dynamic mashrabiya façade that opens and closes in response to the sun-path. The result is both environmentally responsive, with a 50% reduction in solar gain and CO2 savings of 1,750 tonnes per year, but also surely more visually striking than a fully glazed tower. As the region continues to be a front-runner in skyscraper construction, clearly there is an opportunity to reinvent high-rise façade design and move away from the all-glass approach to one which embraces shade and privacy. Reinventing vernacular concepts such as the mashrabiya is just one possibility, with the field clearly ripe for innovation. This result will be skyscrapers that not only use less energy and are more comfortable, but are truly rooted in the region’s history, culture and lifestyle.


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SPECIAL FEATURE FORMWORK

APRIL 2014

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SPECIAL FEATURE FORMWORK

THE REFORMING INDUSTRY

Big Project ME looks at quality control and the scope for formwork technology in the infrastructure construction market. Neha Bhatia reports which suitable products (such as ladder ways and protection systems) are incorporated right from the start. “Efficient usage of formwork systems is achieved not only by the features themselves, but even more so by using their components correctly. This is why high-quality documentation, such as formwork

“FORMWORKS HAVE TO BE USED REPETITIVELY, WHICH MAKES THEM AN INVESTMENT THAT REQUIRES CONSIDERABLE THOUGHT. MOST FORMWORK SETUPS CAN BE REUSED UP TO 300 TIMES”

utilisation plans, instruction manuals and safety data sheets are such an important basis for a safe site,” expands Vogel about the improved tools for the creation, installation and use of formwork systems. Technological and safety advancements in the region’s formwork industry will attract increased interest and investment in the upcoming years. Massive infrastructural developments are due to be completed – in less than a decade – for the two landmark world events in the GCC. As the UAE prepares for the Expo 2020 and Qatar for the FIFA World Cup 2022, it will be critical to not only avoid delays in completion, but also enhance the pace of construction at every stage of the building process. Additionally, extensive road and rail networks have been planned in all GCC countries, leading formwork manufacturers to extend the utility of their product and service offerings towards infrastructure building, such as roads and bridges. Ahmed Elhadidy, Gulf regional manager for Acrow Co. Formwork Technology, provides insights about the temporary structures market in the growing construction hub of Qatar. “The Qatari market is a big challenge for all formwork companies, with an expected spending

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notable statement was handed out by a Singaporean court early last month for a workplace accident that occurred nearly two years ago at the construction site of a link-way roof, where sub-standard installation and erection of formwork structures on site saw two workers lose their lives. The subcontractor for the project, Sin Herh Construction, was held culpable by the Ministry of Manpower as it was in charge of erecting the formwork structure which was later discovered to have had gaps that required plugging. Three workers were fixing these gaps – through which concrete had begun to leak – when the scaffolding collapsed with tragic consequences. “A holistic understanding of safety begins right from when formwork systems are still under development,” explains Peter Vogel, director of Doka Group Middle East. “This begins with the choice of materials for the system components, and with the documentation on how the product is used. The use of high-grade materials for all formwork components not only makes them last longer, it makes them safer too. “In-depth analysis of the initial situation provides the basis for individualised solutions, in

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of $150 billion on the infrastructure sector for the next eight years before the kick-off of the World cup 2022,” he says. “One of the biggest hurdles in Qatar is the tight deadline and the need to provide a cost-effective formwork solution that will accommodate the fast construction schedule. Since some of the major (infrastructural) projects were announced, a lot of formwork companies have been trying to establish a strong presence in the country, and existing companies are trying to strengthen their presence to be ready for the incoming billions of infrastructure projects which will shape Qatar’s hosting capacities for the event.” “Projects that have already been announced include a $20 billion investment in roads and $25 billion in railways and light rail transit,” he adds. Doka’s Vogel offers a unique perspective on how technology can be combined with formwork to make for their optimal utilisation for infrastructure projects. “Infrastructure and building projects are becoming increasingly complex. Continual growth in population and urbanisation have led to an increased demand for residential units and social infrastructure that challenges both, urban planners and construction companies. Meeting the demand for speed, dimension and safety is a responsibility for formwork technology as well. At the same time, investors are particularly interested in a construction process that is efficient and safe.” To Peter Vogel, it is crucial that both software and hardware technology works in collaboration to further the benefits offered to – and by – formwork products and systems. “The demands placed on formwork technology lie in the ever-increasing speed of construction accompanied by increased mechanisation of the construction site. As a result, customers expect a product range supplemented by a comprehensive service portfolio.” “During project and construction site planning, everyone from architect to formwork supplier will be part of an electronic network. Thus, a uniform software standard is needed. Trends in BIM-5DPlanning (Building Information Modelling) are already in their prototype phase,” Vogel adds.

APRIL 2014

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SUSTAINABILITY CONSCIOUS Using BIM could add sustainability advantages to the formwork industry.

DOKA FORMWORK SYSTEMS FOR INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS Austrian building firm Doka has extended its formwork line to facilitate construction for infrastructure projects. The company’s Load-bearing Tower system SL-1 is suitable for demands presented by tunnels built in accordance with mining practice, the cut and cover method and especially for underground railway stations and long caverns. Notwithstanding form and load, the modular configuration of SL-1 ensures speedy and economic construction progress. Similarly, the company’s new tunnel formwork, DokaCC, allows for quick, efficient and safe construction of various traffic tunnels, in particular in the initial approach and gathering area of the underground railway.

The application of BIM could, potentially, be an added advantage to the sustainability-conscious formwork industry. As the region broadens its definition of ‘sustainability’ to include economic and environmental savings, BIM will, while primarily aiding the reduction of material wastage, also ensure contemporary formwork models find takers for their unconventional features. Flying form systems have, of late, been replaced by modular slab formwork types. Made of prefabricated beams and modules, their most-valued facet is the lack of crane machinery requirement during their installation. Traditionally made out of timber, these are now being built using steel or aluminium for the environmental savings and monetary advantages – through increased reusability value – that they offer to clients. “The formwork market is quite costcompetitive,” says Rajesh Baadkar, executive sales director (MENA & East Africa) for MFE Formwork Technology. “Formworks have to be used repetitively, which makes them an investment that requires considerable thought. Most formwork setups can be reused up to 300 times,” he reveals. The advantages of aluminium-based formworks, Baadkar believes, are many – given their low density, they eliminate the additional crane costs that often accompany the installation of steel- or timber-based systems. “Most construction sites in the UAE have more than one crane,” explains Baadkar. “If the need for them can be reduced through the employment of lightweight formwork that does not require cranehandling, it can result in huge cost savings for the client,” he asserts. With traditional timber-based formwork systems losing followers for their environmental drawbacks and other construction site risks, it is understandable if the formwork market looks to move towards solutions that offer ancillary benefits at a high pace and low price. As a technique, formwork is evolving from being a mere structural ingredient to one that can advance infrastructural projects, and the GCC construction market stands to greatly benefit from this transition.


COMMENT AUTODESK

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HASSAN MALKI

Eight trends reshaping global construction and infrastructure in 2014 and beyond Hassan Malki of Autodesk, outlines some of the major trends that are likely to impact the global construction and infrastructure industries over the coming years

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CLOUD TECHNOLOGY There has been a fundamental shift in the industry's approach to BIM.

APRIL 2014

onstruction and civil infrastructure represent two of the biggest – and most economically vital – sectors of the UAE economy. Major projects throughout Asia Pacific, such as the Shanghai Tower, Cyber City Gurgaon in India, Kitasato University Hospital in Japan and the Huangdeng Hydropower Station in China, not only employ thousands of people but they set the stage for long-term economic recovery and growth. What can we expect to see for construction and infrastructure in 2014? Several transformative trends are already underway. Among many

considerations, two crucial keys to the success of these industries in 2014 and beyond are advanced technologies and innovative financing. For the construction industry, 2014 will be characterized by the continued rapid adoption of Building Information Modelling (BIM) technologies to drive greater productivity. With that starting point, here are four key trends to watch develop in 2014 and beyond: 1. First, the breakthrough we witnessed in 2013 with cloud technology enabling the virtual extension of the office into the field will continue to gain traction in 2014.


COMMENT AUTODESK

“BY 2020, WE EXPECT BIM WILL BE UBIQUITOUS AND A STANDARD PART OF THE WAY ALL DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION TASKS ARE CARRIED OUT IN A COORDINATED WAY WITHIN A SINGLE MODEL” Real-time access to data now allows project managers to realise new efficiencies that weren’t possible before. We’re witnessing a fundamental shift in the industry’s approach to BIM as our customers discover new ways to positively impact processes in the field. 2. Mobile, cloud and BIM workflow-based technologies and practices will continue to enhance collaboration in the field across AEC disciplines. Forward-thinking companies will use the technology to further validate design decisions and track issues in the field. Utilising iPads and tablets in the field will become the new standard. 3. In 2014, and for the next five years, we predict a major expansion of BIM’s role

of helping AEC professionals collaborate by sharing intelligent models, which will transform how projects are designed and managed. By 2020, for example, we expect BIM will be ubiquitous and a standard part of the way all design and construction tasks are carried out in a coordinated way within a single model. With the rapid adoption of BIM across the entire project lifecycle, the connection between design and construction will become even stronger, eliminating re-work and improving accuracy. 4. We believe that by 2020 rapid advancements in file-to-fabrication may result in the ability to produce building components via off-site. Also, on-site digital fabrication

will become the norm for the industry. With regard to civil infrastructure, BIM and related technologies will continue to transform the way it is built much like buildings. But another key trend in infrastructure financing will also continue to reshape the industry. Throughout 2014 and beyond, watch the global infrastructure industry continue to address what can be called the “infrastructure gap” – the estimated $30 trillion gap that needs to be closed between the worldwide demand for new or retrofitted infrastructure (eg: roads, bridges, rail systems, seaport improvements and water/wastewater facilities) and available funding needed for projects. We believe that innovative financing, such as the approach embodied in Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs), is vital to solving the funding shortfall. Here are four factors to watch in 2014 and beyond on the PPP front: 1. As government budgets shrink, PPPs will continue to rise. PPPs are a contractual arrangement whereby the resources, risks and rewards of both the public agency and

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BIM EXPANSION by 2020, BIM is expected to be ubiquitous in the region, experts say.

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private company are combined to provide greater efficiency, better access to capital and improved compliance with a range of government regulations. Shifting the procurement off the public balance-sheet through a partnership with the private sector is an attractive alternative to raising taxes or further loading up on debt. 2. This increase in demand for PPPs is being met by highly competitive funding programmes from around the world. It’s no longer the case that private investments are locally sourced. Instead, the competition for funding is now global, which fundamentally changes how PPPs traditionally operated a decade ago. For example, increased competition for private capital will result in a global move away from funding projects based on a first-come-first-serve basis and will award funding to projects with the best business case. Today, PPPs are being implemented in both developed and developing countries including the US, Australia, Canada, the UK, France, Germany, Spain, Portugal, the UAE South Africa, India, Brazil and Columbia, and new PPPs will

APRIL 2014

continue to emerge in other countries – with the intent of sourcing capital globally. 3. Watch for PPP funding priorities to be assigned to projects that offer the greatest "holistic return," accounting for not only the financial, social and environmental aspects of a specific project, but also, given recent impacts of natural disasters, the resiliency of that infrastructure while ensuring approaches are viable and equitable as well. Project

“WE BELIEVE THAT INNOVATIVE FINANCING, SUCH AS THE APPROACH EMBODIED IN PUBLICPRIVATE PARTNERSHIPS (PPPS), IS VITAL TO SOLVING THE FUNDING SHORTFALL”

owners will take a full lifecycle approach with projects, where they visualise and simulate future conditions, not basing design solely on today’s existing environment. 4. Modern planning, design and delivery tools will significantly improve PPPs in 2014. The coupling of private infrastructure investments with a strategic and innovative use of 3D technology will not only provide infrastructure owners and investors with a better understanding of the scope and complexity of the investment, but can also help them to route efficiency gains made from this change toward financing future projects. While the challenges that lie ahead for the construction and civil infrastructure industries are difficult, our customers are meeting these head on with advanced technology and innovative funding. Together, PPPs, cloud, mobile and BIM technology will continue to displace outdated processes – and make way for a more efficient path forward. 2014 will be a year of change and we’re excited to watch these trends unfold. n Hassan Malki is Major Accounts sales manager, AEC at Autodesk


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TIME & MONEY COINS

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Helping you make the smartest decisions

PROCESS SUPPORT COINS OA has been developed to support the processes within the construction industry.

VALUE FOR MONEY 60

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Big Project ME speaks to Construction Industry Solutions (COINS) to find out how its software solutions can benefit contractors looking to manage their projects APRIL 2014

HOW DOES COINS HELP ITS CUSTOMERS ACHIEVE OPTIMUM RESULTS ON THEIR PROJECTS?

COINS OA is an ERP application that has been developed specifically to support the processes that occur within a construction business and is staffed primarily by construction industry professionals that understand those processes and the terminology that the industry uses. This means that there is not a protracted education process that has to be gone through to explain how a customer needs the software to operate nor is there a need to make expensive software changes to fit the process or, worse still, for a customer to


TIME & MONEY COINS

KEY DATA COINS OA has a central repository that stores key data about employees, suppliers, subcontractors and clients.

change their process to fit the software! COINS OA is involved at all stages of a construction project from marketing, estimating and tendering through budgeting, procurement, project management, project cost control, subcontractor management, application for payment, finance, human resources, time and attendance, payroll and facilities management. Customers can start with a small part of the system and build on it according to their priorities. COINS work with their customers – it is one of the reasons we have one of the lowest attrition rates in the industry.

At the heart of COINS OA is our central repository. This is where key data about projects, employees, suppliers, subcontractors and clients is stored. This data is then, subject to security controls, available everywhere in the system. This is one way that data rekeying is eliminated, saving time and therefore money. COINS is also designed around the need of the project team to control budgets, costs and revenue as well as the finance team to report financially. This means that COINS has developed a very flexible coding structure so that both teams get data in the formats that they need. No longer do the project team need to wait until after month end to see their costs – the system is updated minute by minute in a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) so they can see true “through the gate” costing. HOW ACCESSIBLE IS THE SOFTWARE FOR ALL STAKEHOLDERS INVOLVED WITH THE PROJECT?

There are a number of technological advancements that will change the way that contractors use software in the future. Certainly the cloud is one of those but there is also a demand to make data available at anytime and anywhere so

we have been working on both cloud offerings and making more available to mobile devices. Within COINS OA today, a project manager can login and see what documents are awaiting approval and they can approve online using a iPad or an Android or Windows device. We also make our Business Intelligence Dashboards and reports available in this way so that Key Performance Indicator (KPI) data is instantly available. WHAT ADVANCEMENTS ARE YOU MAKING TO TAKE THE SOFTWARE FURTHER?

The development of COINS OA never stops! As a global business with customers in over 40 countries across the globe, we need to be cognisant of the changing needs of the industry in all of those locations. Certainly we will keep increasing functionality in the core product but will also add to the number of “apps” that are available to the core product. It is important to our customers that we also continue our policy of making the system interoperable with other systems – ERP is the heartbeat of a construction company but it also has to supply information to, and get information from, other 3rd party applications. For example,

“WITHIN COINS A MODEL CAN BE USED NOT ONLY TO TAKE-OFF QUANTITIES AT ESTIMATE STAGE BUT ALSO TO CHECK MODELS FOR ISSUES SUCH AS CLASHES AND THEN TO CREATE THOSE ISSUES WITH OUR PROJECT MANAGEMENT MODULE”

we have been working with Building Information Modelling (BIM) for many years now including 3D models. Within COINS a model can be used not only to take-off quantities at estimate stage but also to check models for issues such as clashes and then to create those issues with our Project Management module. This allows the Project Team to see what issues are outstanding, when they are due for resolution, what risk is attached to the issue and so on. It is also possible to use that base data to potentially raise variations or to manage an Extension Of Time (EOT) claim. WHAT RESPONSIBILITY DOES COINS FEEL IT HAS TO THE WIDER COMMUNITY IN THE GCC?

Whilst COINS is successful commercial organisation, we care deeply about the communities we work in. We established a Foundation many years ago because we feel strongly that with any privilege comes a responsibility. We are privileged to have some great customers and we are a profitable business, we should do something good for our community. In Dubai we support the Widad Centre which opened in October 2013. The Widad Centre provides an alternative education programme and offers inclusion for neurotypical children and children with various cognitive, learning and physical difficulties and exposes them to functional education and life skills, while focusing on their abilities and strengths. Widad Centre has been very successful and we will continue to support it while also looking for other opportunities for similar initiatives. n

APRIL 2014

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HOW DOES IT HELP REDUCE WORKLOADS AND CONTROL COSTS ONSITE?

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PROJECT NAME SHAYBAH ARABIAN LIGHT CRUDE INCREMENT PROJECT

POSTAL/ZIP CODE 12 PHONE (+965) 2537 1000 FAX (+965) 2537 1420 / 1421 / 1422 EMAIL webadmin@energy.gov.kw WEBSITE www.energy.gov.kw DESCRIPTION Engineering, Procurement and

PROJECT NUMBER WPR122-U REGION Abu Dhabi, UAE CLIENT Aabar Properties L.L.C (Abu Dhabi) ADDRESS Abu Dhabi Trade Centre (Abu Dhabi Mall), East Tower, 4th Floor POSTAL/ZIP CODE 37624 PHONE (+971-2) 222 2233 FAX (+971-2) 222 2333 EMAIL info@aabarproperties.com WEBSITE www.aabarproperties.com

PROJECT NUMBER WPR112-U REGION Dubai, UAE CLIENT Deyaar Development (Dubai) POSTAL/ZIP CODE 30833 PHONE (+971-4) 395 7700 FAX (+971-4) 395 7711 WEBSITE www.deyaar.ae DESCRIPTION Construction of a twin tower comprising (350) serviced apartments and (219) residential units. PERIOD 2017 STATUS New Tender

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www.ccsgulf.com | Tel: +971 4 346 6456 | info@ccsgulf.com

APRIL 2014


Ten Tips

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CONSTRUCTION

MIDDLE EAST

November 2013


TENDERS

BIGPROJECTME.COM

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UAE BURJ VISTA TOWERS PROJECT - DOWNTOWN DUBAI DISTRICT

PROJECT NUMBER MPP2894-U TERRITORY Dubai, UAE CLIENT Emaar Properties PJSC (Dubai) ADDRESS Emaar Business Park, Bldg No 3, Near Interchange No 5, Shaikh Zayed Road POSTAL/ZIP CODE 9440

Tel +9712-6348495 Web www.MiddleEastTenders.com Email sales@MiddleEastTenders.com

PHONE (+971-4) 367 3333 FAX (+971-4) 367 3000 EMAIL customercare@emaar.ae WEBSITE www.emaar.com DESCRIPTION Construction of two residential towers, one comprising (65) floors and the other (20) floors.

DIALYSIS CENTRE PROJECT - SHEIKH KHALIFA MEDICAL CITY

CLOSING DATE March 25, 2014 STATUS New Tender TENDER CATEGORIES Prestige Buildings TENDER PRODUCTS High-rise Towers, Residential Buildings

CLIENT Abu Dhabi General Services Company PJSC (Musanada) ADDRESS 3rd Floor, Bldg. C6, Al Bateen Towers, Bainuna Street POSTAL/ZIP CODE 33700 PHONE (+971-2) 404 2222 FAX (+971-2) 404 2221 EMAIL info@musanada.com

PROJECT NUMBER WPR076-U TERRITORY Abu Dhabi, UAE

WEBSITE www.musanada.com DESCRIPTION Construction of a new state-of-the-art Dialysis Centre at a Hospital. PERIOD 2016 STATUS Current Project MAIN ARCHITECT Leo A Daly (Abu Dhabi) DESIGN CONSULTANT Burt Hill (Abu Dhabi) PROJECT MANAGER Allen & Shariff International (Abu Dhabi) MAIN CONTRACTOR Al Faraa General Contracting Company (Abu Dhabi) SPECIALIST CONTRACTOR Pindi General Transport L.L.C (Abu Dhabi) TENDER CATEGORIES Medical & Healthcare, Construction & Contracting TENDER PRODUCTS Hospital Construction

CORP AL KHOORY HOTEL AL BARSHA 1

PROJECT NUMBER WPR115-U TERRITORY Dubai, UAE CLIENT Mohammed Tayyeb Khoory Real Estate L.L.C (Dubai) POSTAL/ZIP CODE 114555 PHONE (+971-4) 314 6166 FAX (+971-4) 340 0107 DESCRIPTION Construction of three-

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APRIL 2014


TENDERS

star comprising 2 basement levels, a ground floor, (6) additional floors and a roof in a built-up area of about 19,000 square metres. BUDGET $25,000,000 PERIOD 31/08/2015 STATUS Current Project MAIN CONSULTANT Al Baha Engineering Consultants (Dubai) DESIGN CONSULTANT Al Baha Engineering Consultants (Dubai) MAIN CONTRACTOR Naresco Contracting (Dubai) TENDER CATEGORIES Hotels TENDER PRODUCTS Hotel Construction

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POSTAL/ZIP CODE 500200 PHONE (+971-4) 391 5100 FAX (+971-4) 391 6790 WEBSITE www.hiltonworldwide.com DESCRIPTION Construction of a fivestar hotel comprising (125) rooms featuring a range of facilities, including a fitness centre and an outdoor pool PERIOD 2016

STATUS New Tender HOTEL CONSULTANT Faisal Al-Ansari Contracting (Saudi Arabia) TENDER CATEGORIES Construction & Contracting, Hotels TENDER PRODUCTS Hotel Construction

integrated industrial complex for the production of petrochemicals from crude oil STATUS New Tender TENDER CATEGORIES Industrial & Special Projects TENDER PRODUCTS Chemical Plants

INTEGRATED INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX CONSTRUCTION PROJECT

OMAN YANQUL COPPER MINE DEVELOPMENT PROJECT

PROJECT NUMBER ZPR1301-SA TERRITORY Saudi Arabia

PROJECT NUMBER NPR038-O

CLIENT Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) CITY Riyadh 11422 POSTAL/ZIP CODE 5101 PHONE (+966-1) 225 8000/ 225 9701 FAX (+966-1) 225 9000 EMAIL info@sabic.com WEBSITE www.sabic.com DESCRIPTION Construction of an

TERRITORY Oman CLIENT Oman Oil Company S.A.O.C. ADDRESS Al-Harthy Complex CITY Muscat PC 118 POSTAL/ZIP CODE 261 PHONE (+968) 2457 3100 FAX (+968) 2457 3101 EMAIL info@oman-oil.com WEBSITE www.oman-oil.com

SAUDI ARABIA HILTON GARDEN INN HOTEL PROJECT - AL JUBAIL

PROJECT NUMBER WPR124-SA TERRITORY Saudi Arabia CLIENT Hilton International (Dubai) ADDRESS Dubai Internet City, Bldg. 15, Office 101-111

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APRIL 2014


TENDERS

DESCRIPTION Development of Yanqul copper mine. STATUS New Tender TENDER CATEGORIES Industrial & Special Projects TENDER PRODUCTS Mining & Metals

QATAR FACILITY D IWPP & IWP PROJECT

PROJECT NUMBER WTR3684-Q TERRITORY Qatar

million imperial gallons a day (MIGD) along with a new Industrial Desalinated Water Facility (IDWF) Independent Water Plant (IWP) with production capacity of approximately 45 MIGD of desalinated water using Reverse Osmosis (RO) technology, including site infrastructure and layout designed for ultimate capacity of

95 MIGD. BUDGET $2,000,000,000 CLOSING DATE April 3, 2014 PERIOD 2016 TENDER CATEGORIES Power & Alternative Energy, Water Works TENDER PRODUCTS Independent Water & Power Plants (IWPP), Independent Water Plants (IWP), Water Desalination Plants STATUS New Tender TENDER CATEGORIES Power & Alternative Energy, Water Works TENDER PRODUCTS Independent Water & Power Plants (IWPP), Independent Water Plants (IWP), Water Desalination Plants

KUWAIT KUWAIT SCHOOLS DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP PROJECT

PROJECT NUMBER MPP2895-K TERRITORY Shuwaikh, Kuwait CLIENT Partnerships Technical Bureau (Kuwait) ADDRESS Touristic Enterprises Co. Bldg., 2nd Floor, Al-Jahra Street PHONE (+965) 2496 5900 / 2496 5902 FAX (+965) 2496 5901 EMAIL infor@ptb.gov.kw WEBSITE www.ptb.gov.kw DESCRIPTION Development of nine schools, including five kindergartens, three elementary and one middle school, a residential building for female teachers and an Olympic-size swimming pool STATUS New Tender TENDER CATEGORIES Construction & Contracting, Education & Training TENDER PRODUCTS Educational Development

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APRIL 2014

MIDDLE EAST

CLIENT Qatar General Electricity & Water Corporation (Kahramaa) ADDRESS Corniche Street, Number 61, Sheraton Roundabout, Dafna Area POSTAL/ZIP CODE 41 PHONE (+974) 4484 5484 FAX (+974) 4484 5496 EMAIL contactus@km.com.qa WEBSITE www.km.com.qa DESCRIPTION Construction of a new Independent Water & Power Plant (IWPP) with production capacity of 2,400 MW and 130

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BAHRAIN YASMEENAT SAAR VILLAS PROJECT

PROJECT NUMBER WPR104-B TERRITORY Manama, Bahrain CLIENT Naseej B.S.C (Bahrain) ADDRESS 46th Floor, East Tower, Bahrain Financial Harbour POSTAL/ZIP CODE 1383 PHONE (+973) 1655 7999 FAX (+973) 1655 7990 WEBSITE www.naseejproperties.com DESCRIPTION Construction of (32) villas on an overall plot size of 17,000 square metres STATUS New Tender MAIN CONSULTANT Mohammed Salahuddin Consulting Engineering Bureau - MSCEB (Bahrain) DESIGN CONSULTANT Mohammed Salahuddin Consulting Engineering Bureau - MSCEB (Bahrain) TENDER CATEGORIES Construction & Contracting TENDER PRODUCTS Villas Construction

IRAQ BAZIAN REFINERY EXPANSION PROJECT - PHASE 3

PROJECT NUMBER MPP2888-IQ TERRITORY Erbil, Iraq CLIENT Qaiwan Group (Iraq) ADDRESS 4th Floor, Sulaymaniyah Mall

PHONE (+964-53) 319 0248 EMAIL contact@qaiwangroup.com WEBSITE www.qaiwangroup.com DESCRIPTION Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contract for the expansion of a Refinery to increase production capacity from 34,000 barrels a day (b/d) to 84,000 b/d. PERIOD 2017

STATUS New Tender FEED CONSULTANT Technip (France) TENDER CATEGORIES Gas Processing & Distribution, Oilfields & Refineries TENDER PRODUCTS Offsites & Utilities, Oilfields Exploration & Development

INTEGRATED ESTIMATING, PROJECT CONTROL AND ERP SOLUTION FOR CONTRACTORS

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APRIL 2014


INDUSTRY EVENT SWEETT KARTING CHALLENGE

INDUSTRY EVENT

BIGPROJECTME.COM

SWEETT FINISH Sweett Group took the honours at the Sweett Karting Challenge held at Dubai Motor City.

SWEETT KARTING CHALLENGE

GO-KARTING RACE HELD FOR CONSTRUCTION PROFESSIONALS AT DUBAI KARTDROME

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SWEETT GROUP, MCLAREN and Brookfield Multiplex took the glory at the Sweett Karting Challenge last month as some of the region’s top construction and property firms engaged in friendly competition at the Dubai Kartdrome in Dubai Motor City. The three firms took the podium positions, beating out a field of more than 15 teams. Property and infrastructure consultancy Sweett Group hosted the go-karting competition at the Kartdrome, a popular race track in Dubai Motor City. More than 70 industry professionals gathered at the outdoor track and competed in the race to win the grand trophy. “This is the second Sweett Karting Challenge we have organised,” said Dima Qumsieh, business development manager

APRIL 2014

for the company’s MENA operations. “To our pleasant surprise, the response has been fantastic and the interest keeps growing. “It’s a great way to gather with our peers in the industry in a light-hearted, friendly race. That said, there were some keen racers and the competitive spirit on the night was electrifying,” she added. The event commenced with a safety briefing session held by the Kartdrome management. This was followed by an initial practice race and a qualifying race. The participants then lined up for the main event, a keenly contested group race that saw Sweett Group emerge as winners for the evening. The construction company, McLaren Group, come in a

close second while contractor, Brookfield Multiplex, completed the podium finishers. “Go-karting is an exciting choice of activity for an industry event,” said Guy Source, a member of Macdonald & Company’s participating contingent. “The atmosphere is amazing with plenty of good drivers to compete with.” On being asked about the relevance of such events, Source said: “The construction industry here (the UAE) is huge and constantly growing, so such events are always a welcome opportunity to meet new people.” Sweett’s recent effort highlights the significance placed on informal networking meetings by the construction industry in the UAE, and specifically in Dubai.


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INDUSTRY EVENT BPME GOLF DAY

BIGPROJECTME.COM

INDUSTRY EVENT

BIG DAY OUT Particpants gather for a photoshoot before hitting the Faldo Course at Emirates Golf Club.

BIG PROJECT ME GOLF DAY

72 PARTICIPANTS TAKE PART IN THE CONTRACTORS CUP 2014 AT EMIRATES GOLF CLUB THE FIRST Big Project Middle East Golf Day of the year was held on April 2, 2014 as the leading contractors in the GCC returned to the Faldo Course, Emirates Golf Club – Dubai, to duke it out for the Contractors Cup 2014. Representatives from some of the most prestigious construction contracting firms in the region took part in the day-long event, which featured intense, yet friendly, competition. Companies that took part included ALEC, Arabtec, Al Jaber and BK Gulf, amongst many others. All told, 72 participants took to the Faldo course. Raz Islam, publishing director of

CPI Media Group, said that he was delighted Correya with 58.2. Third place was taken by with the industry’s turnout forCMYK the event. Nico Van Niererk, Malcolm Hawksby and - PRINTING PROCESS “We hold these Golf Days to provide a James Grisdale who had a net score of 58.7. relaxed, fun environment where the construction Additionally, there were individual prizes given industry can network and indulge in a bit of out to participants with Jonathan Eveleigh taking friendly rivalry. We’ve had some excellent the Nearest the Pin prize on the 8th Hole. Tyrone feedback from the participants and the event Evans hit the Longest Drive on the 16th hole. has been the success we hoped it would be.” Thank you to all our sponsors, Alubond Drew Colford, Neil Davies, Andrew Harvey (Lead Sponsor), Hyder Consulting, CCS and Albert Quraismi were the team that took Gulf, Coins, Famco, WSP, Autodesk, top spot, with an average net score of 55.5. Aconex, Energy Advantage and First Gulf In second place was Alex McDonald, James Company. The Consultants & Architects Cup Jackson, Ramnath Venrateswaran and Clevin will be held on October 30, 2014.

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INDUSTRY EVENT BPME GOLF DAY

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INDUSTRY EVENT BPME GOLF DAY

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HAPPENING THIS MONTH Project Qatar 2014 will be held from May 12 - May 15 at the Qatar National Convention Centre (QNCC). It is the 11th International Construction Technology & Building Materials Exhibition. The event attracts key buyers and industry leaders looking for the most up-to-date technology and state-of-the art equipment available on the market.

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Project Qatar 2014 will also feature the yearly concurrent events: “Qatar Stone-Tech” and “Heavy Max”. This year’s event will feature the Project Qatar Conference Series that will include “LightingTech Qatar” (12-13 May), “HVACTech Qatar” (14-15 May) and will be followed at a later stage by “Future Interiors Qatar” (8-9 September).

APRIL 2014


FOAMGLAS® Insulation

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Al-Masjid al-Haram or the Grand Mosque surrounds one of Islam’s holiest places, the Kaaba. It is located in the city of Mecca and is the largest mosque in the world. In 2011 Saudi Authorities launched work on a new historic $10.6-billion expansion, increasing its capacity to more than 2.5 million worshippers. The total area of the existing Haram Mosque is 356,000 m2 accommodating 770,000 worshippers. Moreover, other plans were included to expand the mataf (the circumambulation areas around the Holy Kaaba) and provide air-conditioning for all parts of the Grand Mosque. In 2007, the entire mosque was fitted with air conditioning so that worshipers could perform their prayers in comfort. More than 100,000 m2 of the new extension will have FOAMGLAS® boards on the roof to ensure an efficient use of the energy. The high compressive strength of the thermal insulation FOAMGLAS® will enable the use of the roof for the pilgrims and is at the same time the most durable insulation with zero degradation of the thermal performance over generations. FOAMGLAS® can never get wet due to the homogenous and close cell structure which is produced with more than 60% recycling glass.

Grand Mosque extension, Mecca, Saudi Arabia Architect Dar al Handasah Construction 2012, ongoing Application FOAMGLAS® FLOOR BOARD T4+, 50 mm, about 125,000 m2, loose laid as inverted roof Finish Marble tiles

Build-up 1 Corrugated steel decking 2 Reinforced concrete 3 Waterproofing membrane 4 FOAMGLAS® FLOORBOARD T4+, 50 mm

5 Separating layer 6 Cement-sand mortar bedding 7 Marble tiles, 40 mm. Flat Roof, accessible to foot traffic

7 6

5 4 3 2 1

High compressive strength for highest flexibility. Web: www.foamglas.ae Email: info@foamglas.ae Dubai office Tel: +9714 434 7140 Doha office Tel: +974 465 5360


CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM

BIGPROJECTME.COM

GAVIN DAVIDS

Make Your Mark Gavin Davids says that companies looking to create a dynastical presence in the region should be looking at the slowly awaking Omani construction market

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EARLY LAST MONTH I had the opportunity to travel to Oman for a couple of site visits. One was the Kempinski Hotel, part of the Wave development in Muscat. The other was a tour of the Alila hotel in Jabal Akhdar, which we’ll be covering in the coming months. While I was utterly captivated by my time in Jabal Akhdar (if you haven’t been, do go, it’s well worth a visit), what really grabbed my attention was the conversations I had with people involved in the Omani construction industry. Given how the UAE, Saudi Arabia and latterly Qatar, have dominated the regional construction landscape, it’s become an accepted fact that the way they do business is the way things are done in the GCC. Not so in the Sultanate of Oman. Things tend to move at their own pace there, with careful and considered deliberation the rule of thumb. In fact, almost everyone I spoke to during my trip said that they preferred the way Oman operated as opposed to the rest of the GCC. Yes, things move a lot slower, and if you’re looking to make a quick buck, this probably isn’t the market for you.

APRIL 2014

But if you’re looking to establish yourself for the long term and create a dynastic presence, then Oman would be the place to be. Everyone - from local contractors to international consultants - working in the market, have said the same thing. As Marco Malpeidi, managing director for Atkins Oman, points out in this month’s Market Analysis, Oman has huge potential, but it’s also wary of growing too far and too fast. This is a country with an ancient history and a keen sense of self, it has existed as a regional hub for trading and commerce for centuries. It is not about to sacrifice that for short-term gains, no matter how lucrative they may be. In my opinion, that’s an attitude that a lot of economies in the region should emulate if they

want to continue to be relevant as the global economy continues to shift and change. A city that is certainly taking its time to do things the right way is Abu Dhabi. As this month’s Louvre site visit shows, the UAE capital is determined to do things right. It may have taken four years to get started on construction, but they’ve certainly not wasted that time. With just over a year to go before the museum opens in the fourth quarter of 2015, the extensive planning and design process that took place before the start of construction has helped ensure the smooth operation of a truly mammoth construction site. Furthermore, the continuing close cooperation between consultant, contractor and client ensures that there is a strong framework in place to ensure minimal disruption to work. With a slew of major projects set to begin in Qatar and Dubai and the workload on contractors set to increase, the examples set by Abu Dhabi and Oman could be exactly what is needed for the industry to learn from.

“IF YOU’RE LOOKING TO ESTABLISH YOURSELF FOR THE LONG TERM AND CREATE A DYNASTICAL PRESENCE, THEN OMAN WOULD BE THE PLACE TO BE”


STEEL SUPPLEMENT 2014 ALSO INSIDE STEEL BENDING CORROSION PROTECTION SUSTAINABILITY AND STEEL BIM AND STEEL STRUCTURES

STEEL WORKS Big Project ME takes a closer look at the most vital of all construction materials


EDITOR’S COMMENT

M MIDDLE EAST

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GROUP CHAIRMAN AND FOUNDER DOMINIC DE SOUSA

THE STELLAR STEELER

GROUP CEO NADEEM HOOD GROUP C0O GINA O’HARA

PUBLISHING DIRECTOR RAZ ISLAM raz.islam@cpimediagroup.com +971 4 375 5483 EDITORIAL DIRECTOR VIJAYA CHERIAN vijaya.cherian@cpimediagroup.com +971 4 375 5472 EDITORIAL GROUP EDITOR STEPHEN WHITE stephen.white@cpimediagroup.com +971 55 795 8740 DEPUTY EDITOR GAVIN DAVIDS gavin.davids@cpimediagroup.com +971 4 375 5480 ASSISTANT EDITOR NEHA BHATIA neha.bhatia@cpidubai.com ADVERTISING COMMERCIAL DIRECTOR MICHAEL STANSFIELD michael.stansfield@cpimediagroup.com +971 4 375 5497 SENIOR SALES MANAGER YASIN ALVES yasin.alves@cpimediagroup.com +971 4 375 5496 SENIOR SALES MANAGER NITESH PATEL nitesh.patel@cpimediagroup.com +971 4 375 5483 MARKETING MARKETING MANAGER LISA JUSTICE lisa.justice@cpimediagroup.com +971 4 375 5498 MARKETING ASSISTANT BARBARA PANKASZ barbara.pankasz@cpimediagroup.com +971 4 375 5499 DESIGN ART DIRECTOR SIMON COBON CIRCULATION & PRODUCTION CIRCULATION AND DISTRIBUTION MANAGER ROCHELLE ALMEIDA rochelle.almeida@cpimediagroup.com +971 4 368 1670 DATABASE AND CIRCULATION MANAGER RAJEESH M rajeesh.nair@cpimediagroup.com +971 4 440 9147 PRODUCTION MANAGER JAMES P THARIAN james.tharian@cpimediagroup.com +971 4 440 9146 DIGITAL DIGITAL SERVICES MANAGER TRISTAN TROY MAAGMA WEB DEVELOPER JOEL AZCUNA PUBLISHED BY

Heavy metal culture Having had limited exposure to the steel industry prior to the writing of this supplement, I confess that I would have been sceptical if I had been told that it could have a major impact on the sustainability of the project. After all, given the massive amounts of energy expended in manufacturing the material, it’s hard to believe that this could in fact be something that would be considered sustainable. How wrong I was, as this supplement shows. Not only is the manufacturing process a lot more streamlined than I thought, but the steel industry itself is taking its own steps to ensure that its products are carefully sourced and environmentally friendly. This is achieved by promoting a culture of recycling, of adopting technology and of preventing problems before they occur, all of which are covered in this supplement. I hope you learn as much as I did about this fascinating, and at times underappreciated, facet of the construction industry. Happy reading!

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BENDING THE RULES

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COMBATTING CORROSION

Registered at IMPZ PO Box 13700 Dubai, UAE Tel: +971 4 440 9100 Fax: +971 4 447 2409 www.cpimediagroup.com

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Printwell Printing Press LLC © Copyright 2014 CPI All rights reserved While the publishers have made every effort to ensure the accuracy of all information in this magazine, they will not be held responsible for any errors therein.

Gavin Davids Deputy Editor

BIM STEPS UP STEEL SUPPLEMENT 2014

MIDDLE EAST

PRINTED BY

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SPONSOR COMMENT HADLEY GROUP

BIGPROJECTME.COM

MERV RICHARDS

Rolling out a sustainable lifecycle Merv Richards, managing director of Hadley Industries (Middle East) FZE, the Middle East’s largest cold rolled steel manufacturer, explains why the use of steel is both a logical and a sustainable choice for construction projects and how Hadley Group’s experience within the region suggests positive growth in both the application of steel and the construction sector in the short-and-medium term

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DURABLE STRENGTH Steel's durability, strength and stability is well suited to construction in the Middle East.

STEEL SUPPLEMENT 2014

n construction we know cranes on the horizon are a good indicator of growth. They herald new building projects, but also point to the need to develop communities in responsible and sustainable ways. Central to the sustainability of buildings is the need to consider each in terms of its total lifecycle from its foundations to end of life. It is an attempt to maximise its resource efficiency, provide cost effectiveness in maintenance, consider dismantling and recycling and minimise carbon output, including embodied carbon which is present within all raw materials. To this end the total lifecycle cost and resource efficiency of steel is proven. Steel is renewable.

Steel’s strength, durability and stability is especially well suited to construction and especially relevant to the Middle East in comparison to timber and concrete alternatives. Less than 1% of steel ends up as waste compared to 58% of timber and 5% of concrete. Steel is both 100% recyclable and indefinitely recyclable meaning you can recycle it time after time, use after use. The steel frame and sections for one building could ultimately be recycled and used in as many as you need in the future. Embodied carbon is also higher within concrete and timber than in steel and given the recycling credentials of steel, virtually all of its embodied carbon is neutralised with future use. Hadley Group’s structural steel framing solutions are recognised as a logical and sustainable way to build within the Middle East. Unlike concrete structures, steel frame buildings are not reliant on wet trades and in a geography where access to water can present very challenging logistical and carbon footprint obstacles. The use of steel framing enables the weathered envelope to be rapidly completed, reducing pollution, transportation impacts and on saving labour costs and movement. Equally, access to timber is problematic in the region and, with typically only 13% of timber recycled from a building’s structural frame compared to 20% of concrete and a rewarding 99% of steel sections. Overall, timber fails to deliver as effectively in total lifecycle terms compared to steel. With Expo 2020 centred on Dubai, the Middle East is once more a focal point with cumulative growth in the construction industry in Middle East and North Africa set to reach 80% over the next decade surpassing global industry growth


SPONSOR COMMENT HADLEY GROUP

FRESH IMPETUS The award of Expo 2020 has given the construction industry a boost, Merv Richards says.

at 67%. In addition, both infrastructure and construction projects in Qatar will be boosted by the hosting of the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Our Estidama accreditation and the adoption of Hadley cold rolled steel sections for use in the Masdar City project in Abu Dhabi is a further indication that steel and sustainability share a common voice. As the world’s first carbon neutral, zero-waste city, Masdar City’s renewable buildings will establish principles that can be adopted by the world. Hadley Group’s significant contribution to Masdar City is in the use of our patented, Queen’s Award winning, UltraSTEEL® process for steel construction sections. UltraSTEEL is a cold rolled pre-forming process that locally work hardens the base metal, making it stronger. Because the process is applied to the standard base metal and in-line in the cold rolled forming process, it is does not increase manufacturing cost and is ideal for high volumes. The simplicity and flexibility of the UltraSTEEL process make it suitable for an incredibly wide range of applications, from construction

profiles, through to automotive and high tolerance bespoke components. The UltraSTEEL products approved and supplied for Masdar City include: Cable management steel profiles (cable tray and cable trunking); ceiling furring sections and UltraGRID profiles; dry wall framing profiles (studs and tracks); Hi Strut support channels and UltraSTRUT support channels, plus Hadley Steel Framing. This process alters the characteristics of the raw material thus imparting a uniformed strengthening across the metal which substantially increases the load bearing capacity. As such products manufactured using the UltraSTEEL process will use less metal, which of course reduces the impact the business has on the environment. It also results in products that are lighter so higher volumes can be shipped on each load, thus lowering transport related pollution. Over 1 billion metres of UltraSTEEL product are manufactured globally each year by Hadley Group and its licensees for use in various construction projects.

Merv Richards is managing director of Hadley Industries (Middle East) FZE

STEEL SUPPLEMENT 2014

MIDDLE EAST

“LESS THAN 1% OF STEEL ENDS UP AS WASTE COMPARED TO 58% OF TIMBER AND 5% OF CONCRETE. STEEL IS BOTH 100% RECYCLABLE AND INDEFINITELY RECYCLABLE"

UltraSTEEL is also an example of how steel can be refined and developed as a raw material. We have a dedicated technology centre aimed solely at innovating new cold rolled form products that further reduce raw material use. For instance, co-operation between Hadley Group and one of the largest manufacturers of cement roof tiles in South East Asia has resulted in a range of innovative, ready-made steel roofing products aimed at the dynamic Thai building market. The susceptibility of timber to fire in South East Asia is a concern and our steel roof truss range offers exceptional strength to weight ratios and is pre-engineered for rapid installation and value for money. Hadley Steel Framing in Dubai has completed a series of construction projects across the Middle East using the lightweight steel framing process. Hadley UltraSTEEL dry walling sections have been specified on a number of prestige projects in the Middle East including New York University and Mafraq Hospital. The award of Expo 2020 has given the region fresh impetus and we are already experiencing a confidence that has been lacking during the past 5 years with many projects already announced and many more in the pipeline. Hadley Industries (Middle East) FZE looks forward to working with our key partners in maximizing the tremendous opportunities that lie ahead. n

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IN PROFILE ABU BUCKER HUSAIN

BIGPROJECTME.COM

THE STELLAR STEELER

Big Project ME speaks to Al Ghurair Iron & Steel’s Abu Bucker Husain, a grounded CEO with high-flying plans for steel manufacturing in the UAE

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umerous steel and metal dealers dot the Industrial City of Abu Dhabi (ICAD)’s premises. Prominently located in one of its many zones is the humble – yet striking – warehouse where some of the region’s best qualities of galvanised steel are rendered. The massive blue-painted production facility belongs to Al Ghurair Iron & Steel (AGIS), a steel coldrolling and galvanising specialist in the country. At the crux of AGIS – through its early days of filing paperwork for permits, to the rigmarole of financial blockages during the market crash, and the much-needed leaps the firm has taken since – is the company’s grounded chief executive officer, Abu Bucker Husain. In his cozy office that silently flaunts his many academic and entrepreneurial achievements, Husain has grand, but realistic and achievable plans for the firm he has built and weathered through a storm.

“Nothing compares to that period,” he recalls, “It doesn’t matter which industry you look at; steel, construction, commodities – every company was part of the hyperinflationary phase that 2007 was. What you see today is the real market demand.” “2007 was mostly built on speculation – we’re happy with what we’re doing today and that’s why we’re going for the expansion. There is obviously sufficient demand in the market and capacities are available too. However, numerically, it isn’t the same as 2007,” he states. Initially a family business, AGIS now operates as ‘a professionally-managed entity’ – crucially however, is that AGIS remains one of the few, young survivors of the market crash in 2009, which occurred in the same year as its commencement of commercial production. With a current capacity of 200,000 tons per annum, Husain now has his eyes set on developing a line expansion for AGIS. Presently in its

manufacturing stage, it is due to be completed by next year. “Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corporation (NSSMC), one of the world’s largest steel producers – the best in terms of quality – owns 20% of our operations, and the rest is controlled by Al Ghurair Group,” Husain proudly reveals about his company, asserting that AGIS is by no means a negligible member in the country’s steel sector. Nevertheless, Husain is realistic about the role of AGIS in the backdrop of the larger UAE market – notably, he understands that his is one of the few companies in the UAE that actively deals with steel in industrial capacities. A student of economics, Husain quickly comprehends the dynamics of a ticking commercial city like Dubai and its capability – or perceived lack of – to produce industrial capacities. “The promotion of any industry is not a standalone activity,” he says. “It requires relevant and

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SURVIVAL PLAN AGIS is one of the few young survivors of the market crash in 2009.

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IN PROFILE ABU BUCKER HUSAIN

“WE HAVE TO BE VERY CAUTIOUS WHEN CHOOSING A VENDOR OR A CONTRACTOR. WE DON’T WANT ‘THE BEST IN THE MARKET’, WE WANT THE BEST THAT WORKS FOR US”

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appropriate government policies that can facilitate the right business environment and adequate local market demand-capacity levels.” “The UAE is often viewed as a ‘western country in the Middle East’, and that has increased the influx of international players into the local market. This has begun to alter the business models in the region, which were typically family-owned local companies and had the comfort level of functioning in their own country – to multinationals like NSSMC coming into the region.” Husain’s reading of the UAE market and its industrial potential borrows greatly from what is often viewed as a regional limitation in this part of the world. With narrow steel production capacities in the GCC, the UAE has ample scope to graduate into a leading steel manufacturer for the region – an opportunity Husain is eagerly anticipating. “The region itself is a net importer of steel. The UAE, especially Dubai, has always been a trading

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IN PROFILE ABU BUCKER HUSAIN

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MADE TO ORDER AGIS tailors production against specific orders from customers.

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hub, and is most preferred by soft industries such as tourism, banking, finance and insurance. International players operating – or looking to invest – in the UAE realise that capacities here are short and cannot satisfy local demand (which has further been boosted by the Expo win in Dubai, Qatar FIFA 2022 World Cup and other infrastructural developments in countries like KSA). There is definitely scope to develop the country and the region into an industrial hub.” A refreshing aspect of Husain’s business style is his concise approach to cost concerns. A sprawling production plant, with another underway, has not swayed Husain’s take on value-for-money, as he explains to Big Project ME. “Steel production is a dirty industry,” he claims. “It isn’t confined to an office environment – most of our operations involve labourers operating machines. Some amount of hard technology is definitely required at every stage; however, I can’t say processes revolving around steel production or fabrication have changed much in, say, almost 100 years.” Unsurprisingly – and keeping with Husain’s personality – AGIS’ method of cost analyses and computation is characteristically simple, and marketing budgets are restricted to the least required amounts. “Cost management is a very company-specific concept – we always try to ensure that we get two dollars if we’re spending one. That is why we don’t mass advertise – our clients already know us, and if there’s a particular target market we have in mind, we approach them directly,” he explains . “We have to be very cautious when choosing a vendor or a contractor. We don’t want ‘the best in the market’, we want the best that works for us.”

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His honest approach to cost-management might well be a reflection of his experiences at AGIS – as a firsthand witness to the 2009 crisis, Husain is wary of overspending where not needed. “For us, the initial part of 2006-2007 was a piece of cake, mostly because banks were chasing us to borrow and spend. It changed after the crisis – it was very difficult, especially with our major banking partner having insisted that they be the sole source of working capital. “It was a difficult time since we had to keep juggling various financial decisions and factors. We managed our stock and procedures in a way to ensure we didn’t incur losses. Our policy was to maintain the bare minimum stock required for operations, which was contrary to what the market was following at the time through their speculation and inventory-reliant approach. Broadly speaking, we always knew and prepared ourselves for the worst case scenario, and hoped for the best.” A natural extension of Husain’s cost-conscious approach is the emphasis he places on the quality of operations at AGIS. Significantly, Husain does

“EVERY COMPANY WAS PART OF THE HYPERINFLATIONARY PHASE THAT 2007 WAS. WHAT YOU SEE TODAY IS THE REAL DEMAND IN THE MARKET”

not only work towards delivering high-quality and appropriately-priced products and services from AGIS – he also demands the same. “Quality depends on the purpose of the product,” Husain says. “Our raw materials are sourced from Nippon, Bluescope in Australia and Hadeed (as our local producer). But because we base our production on customer needs, we buy the raw material at commercial grades – not automotive or white-goods grade– and in relevant, minimum-required quantities. “We do have customers who say our services are overpriced, but we don’t target them. The $20$30 premium on our products over the next best in the market is because our customers value the quality of products and services we offer them – they understand that our standards reflect in their operations,” he adds proudly. Husain is, in all likelihood, one of the rare breed who are inherently – without too many consultants and calculations – watchful of their company’s spending. In a buoyant market expecting signficant activity from the Expo 2020, Husain intends to – and can be safely assumed to, with success – sustain his tried-and-tested modus operandi of achieving realistic targets through affordable budgets. “My vision for AGIS is to get the second production line completed by 2015. To produce at full capacity from both lines is a definite aim. Production to us doesn’t mean the stocking of what we’re churning out. We produce against specific orders, so we have to sell first and then produce the materials. We’ll be busy with these operations for the next few years, and may look into a vertical or backward integration thereon,” he says, confident about what lies ahead.


PROFILE BENDING The European standard produced in the Middle-East

Steel, Stainless Steel and Aluminium

Heavy beams up to 1000mm Hollow section up to 500mm

www.kersten.ae

Street F7, Al Hamra Free Zone P.O. Box 86416 Ras Al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates

T +971 (0)72437174 F +971 (0)72432524 E rak@kersten.ae


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Big Project ME visits newly flown-in bending specialists, Kersten Middle East, at their production plant in Ras Al Khaimah

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NEW MARKET Kersten Middle East aims to take advantage of a lack of competition in the UAE market for its services.

o the naked eye, construction is a fairly simple process – hand over the materials needed for building a structure to a given number of people who can best use these products, and you’re most likely to end up with a minimally inhabitable building. Set in Ras Al Khaimah’s industrial zone, however, Kersten Middle East provides valuable insights into the intricate specialities that construction operations have branched out as. With an elaborate portfolio of European projects and clientele, steel-bending specialist Kersten Europe recently moved to the UAE to expand its impressive Middle East project repertoire. “We started operations in 1961, and the group of companies is owned by the two brothers Ron Puyn and Marc Puyn,” says Mike Minten, general manager for the company’s Middle East wing. “Kersten Middle East is the first fully dedicated company in the GCC region for bending of section and tubes in steel, stainless steel and aluminium. A range of highly advanced European bending machines were installed in October 2013 at our brand new production facility in Ras Al Khaimah’s Al Hamra Freezone.” Kersten Group currently has 170 employees across its production locations in The Netherlands, Germany, Poland and the UAE. “All of them (production plants) are equipped to undertake different functions, and have relevant specialised equipment for different types of bending,” Minten proudly explains. “In The Netherlands and Poland, we can undertake plate, profile and aluminum bending in addition to some added value services like complex robotic 3D cutting, qualified welding and surface treatments. “The Germany operations are fully focused on aluminum bending, with additional services such as complex cutting, heat- and surface treatment and machining of aluminum extrusion parts offered,” Minten adds, before revealing Kersten’s capacities from its UAE branch. “Our machines in Ras Al Khaimah are cold bending machines, which enable the bending of small to large profiles such as tubes 60.3mm to 508.0mm, square or rectangular sections up to 500mm and beams 100mm to 1,000mm.” Relatively new as it might be in the UAE market, Minten insists Kersten Middle East is in a good position to accept and adapt to projects in the region, stating Kirsten’s involvement in some of the GCC’s largest developments as a measure of its potential. “Kersten Europe has undertaken operations in UAE before,” he stresses. “Since 2006, we have had

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FUTURE PLANNING Mike Minten says he aims to target projects in the industrial, infrastructure and construction sectors.

“THE IDEA IS – IF SOMEONE NEEDS A BENT PIECE OF STEEL, STAINLESS STEEL OR ALUMINUM, THEY COME TO KERSTEN MIDDLE EAST”

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a sales office in Jebel Ali Freezone. In the past, we have delivered bent pieces for landmarks in the GCC region, such as large profiles for the front façades of Burj Al Arab, 273 mm bent tubes for the Ferrari theme park in Abu Dhabi, and over 3,500 pieces of 273 x 2/5/10mm stainless steel tubes for the building maintenance unit of the Burj Khalifa. “These tubes were delivered as complete ready to build in parts, cut to size, (with) a weld in connectors and brackets for mounting on the building. Even the complete polish finishing of the tubes was part of the scope,” continues Minten. Kersten has previously worked on projects in the Middle East through its production lines in The Netherlands, he adds.

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Critical to Kersten’s aims in the region is the company’s idea of service differentiation in the market, and Minten is intent on ensuring the group’s skillset is viewed and appropriated in the industry as the highly precise function it is. “Companies here in the Middle East mostly handle fabrication, and few of them (even) have bending machines within their facilities. But the specialised technical knowhow, experience, tools and equipment we’ve gathered in 53 years is what we can offer to the market,” he states. Buoyed by the construction activity of late, Minten knows there will be plenty of opportunities for Kersten to optimise its resources and gather accolades in the market.

He is, therefore understandably, watching all sectors in the industry with keen interest. “UAE’s construction is very adventurous with its architecture and design. The Aldar Headquarters Building in Abu Dhabi, popularly known as the Coin Building, is an example of how the country’s architecture is different from what is typically found in Europe or elsewhere. It is an exciting place for us to be in.” Minten further elaborates on his plan for Kersten Middle East: “We’re also looking for projects in industrial sectors such as oil & gas, storage tanks, pressure vessels, infrastructure and landscaping jobs. We’re quoting for several projects, and our portfolio will be a combination of projects – we’re looking at the complete market – not any one sector. “The idea is – if someone needs a bent piece of steel, stainless steel or aluminum, they come to Kersten Middle East.” Clearly, Minten is prepared to face the challenging – yet rewarding – GCC markets all guns blazing. His confidence to succeed in the market arises largely from the quality backing Kersten’s services have from the company’s experiences in Europe. “Our strategy (for the Middle East) is to produce high quality products,” says Minten. “Of course, the price levels are different than what are found in Europe. Labour is cheaper here, but the machines needed for steel bending are still very advanced, as are the tools and equipment required for the activity. Bending knowhow and experience is of great value in this region. “The value of the materials we are given to work with is usually much higher than our services, so it is our responsibility to ensure we keep up productivity and the quality of our services,” Minten states. He also stresses on the importance of specialised bending units and operations in the larger picture of structural construction. “Bending is a substantial part of the total scope and an important one too, especially when you look at the architectural requirements and the visibility of the bent parts in construction. “Architects want to see smooth, nice curved shapes, without any deformations, damages or deflections,” Minten explains. If Minten is to be believed, though, the journey into the region was a long overdue one – Kersten Europe’s earliest plans to enter the GCC emerged shortly after completing projects in Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. However, these plans were put on hold following the GCC market collapse.


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OVERCOMING HURDLES While Kersten Middle East faces any hurdles faced by a new business, Minten says he’s optimistic about its success.

“We tried to enter the market in 2007, but decided to wait after the crisis of 20082009 hit the region,” reveals Minten. “We were hoping the market would develop and economy would grow; unsurprisingly, it did recover. “In 2011, we started negotiations with one of our clients, Kelly Steel Engineering, a fabrication company operating in the GCC that focuses on complex constructions. With them, we worked on ‘The Magic Carpet’ project for the Bayt Abdullah Hospital in Kuwait,” Minten continues, explaining how Kersten’s inroads into the GCC were finally created. “The project was the go-ahead for starting up a joint venture between both companies. “Currently, both companies hold 50% shares in the company – Kersten provides knowhow,

equipment and staff from Europe. We began our regional operations and were up-and-running in the Middle East by late last year, and are now looking to work with our existing clients while finding new ones in the market,” Minten explains. Nevertheless, Kersten’s establishment in the Middle East has come at a fortuitous time, Minten believes, with the Expo 2020 win granting the company more opportunities in the market. “We’ve obviously come at a good time since the Expo win has boosted activity in the country. However, we always had the intention to move here, and the win is only an added benefit for us,” Minten states. Kersten Middle East is possibly the youngest player in the UAE’s steel industry at the moment. Typical steel players in the country – local and international – provide an array of steel-driven

services, and Minten realises the challenge he is taking on as he works to make Kersten an integral part of this competitive market. “Besides a slight initial hesitation as is with all new entities, I’m very happy with the jobs and samples we’ve churned out here so far,” he explains. “Kersten’s facility in UAE includes trainers who started it up nearly 15 years ago from Europe – they’re now here with their experience and training skills, ensuring high quality is sustained here. “There are the usual hurdles of doing business, such as the high time consumption legal processes and paperwork often take, but that is something we have learnt to accommodate and work our way around,” he concludes, bullishly confident of the future.

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“COMPANIES HERE IN THE MIDDLE EAST MOSTLY HANDLE FABRICATION, AND FEW OF THEM (EVEN) HAVE BENDING MACHINES WITHIN THEIR FACILITIES. BUT THE SPECIALISED TECHNICAL KNOWHOW, EXPERIENCE, TOOLS AND EQUIPMENT WE’VE GATHERED IN 53 YEARS IS WHAT WE CAN OFFER TO THE MARKET”

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BIM STEPS UP

As the market for technology integration expands in the UAE, Big Project ME examines the scope for BIM in the steel industry

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hen the Dubai Municipality announcement mandating BIM on all special projects was made in November 2013, the question that followed it was an expected one – could the software one day be made compulsory for projects in the private sector, and encourage small and mediumsized construction firms to adopt it too? Taking deliberate and methodical steps from hereon in would be understandable as, for a considerable part of the UAE’s construction industry, BIM remains a purchase of luxury – optional and costly. While acclaimed for facilitating and easing in multi-disciplinary activities during the project process, BIM has yet to fully penetrate the more intricate sectors of the industry, most notably non-users who claim the software’s high price and considerable know-how requirements could be more trouble than its worth. Stakeholders and beneficiaries of Building Information Model – BIM, as it has come to be identified as over the years – include development owners, project managers, multidisciplinary engineers, architects, contractors, sustainability consultants and the like. The most notable of the lot, however, are those in the supply chain; fabricators, in their crucial role as material manufacturers and providers, are greatly impacted by the detailed insights BIM allows for – more so than the contemporary market would have one believe. The conceptual origins of BIM are debated, making it fairly uncertain as to what its original intended application was. Some sections

of the industry also claim a widespread misunderstanding of the complete benefits offered by the software. According to the website of National BIM Standard – United States, a project committee of the buildingSMART alliance, ‘early definitions which assert that BIM is simply a 3D model of a facility are far from the truth and do not adequately communicate the potential of digital, object-based, interoperable building information modelling processes and tools and modern communications methods’. Clearly, then, there must be aspects to the program that the industry has failed to capture. Greg Bentley, CEO of Bentley Systems, discussed this in detail during an exclusive interview with Big Project ME. “The traditional aim of BIM has been to reduce project risk and accelerate project benefit for owners,” explains Bentley. Claiming a redefinition of the very terminology, he continues: “BIM can not only make for better-performing assets, but also better-performing projects. There is more than just ‘building’ to BIM.” “Additionally, the information moving through the project lifecycle can be advanced from what it was during the software’s initial conception – traditional information modelling can evolve to provide more than just 3D designs and visualisations. “The Middle East has the potential for a higher level of information modelling, which can provide a greater depth of intelligence and stimulation in terms of asset behaviour, asset performance and so on,” Bentley adds.

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“BIM CAN NOT ONLY MAKE FOR BETTER-PERFORMING ASSETS, BUT ALSO BETTER-PERFORMING PROJECTS. THERE IS MORE THAN JUST ‘BUILDING’ TO BIM”

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AUTODESK TO LAUNCH SPECIALISED STEEL SOFTWARE IN 2015 In October 2013 Autodesk announced that it had acquired technologies from Graitec, a structural engineering design solutions group from France. Recently, Autodesk announced the launch of the first product developed through this acquisition, called ‘Autodesk Advance Steel 2015’. The software is expected to benefit structural steel detailers, fabricators, engineers and contractors with 3D modeling tools that support BIM processes. “The introduction of Advance Steel 2015,” revealed Joy Stark, Senior Industry Marketing Manager, Autodesk, “which will be available for purchase soon, is an example of Autodesk’s commitment to support the AEC industry with technology that provides end-to-end BIM workflows for building projects.” Advance Steel, it is understood, will automatically generate shop and general arrangement drawings, create bills of materials and produce CNC files directly from designs, leading to quicker fabrication activities. Interoperability between other products from Autodesk, such as Autodesk Revit and Autodesk Navisworks, besides other BIM software products, is expected to further the software’s effectiveness during design and construction stages. Other features of Advance Steel include model view enhancements, flexible main settings’ management and improved documentation processes.

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EFFECTIVE IMPLEMENTATION BIM ensures that drawings are implemented according to the structural steel design.

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Bentley’s remarks highlight how the software has the ability to transcend its known parameters and extend its scope to the construction industry in unprecedented ways. Thus, the first step to enhancing BIM lies in gaining a rounded understanding of its potential. Paul Wallett, area business director for Tekla Middle East firmly believes this is yet to happen. “BIM is a generic software,” says Wallett. “There is a market misconception about BIM, in that most companies view it from an eagle’s eye point of view, almost.” “Holistically, BIM includes several advanced elements and programmes for various construction parties, such as designers, architects, MEP and so on. The large domain that it is can be broken down into numerous specialised applications that provide in-depth, non-generic solutions for each party in the project,” he adds. To further probe the scope for BIM – in its current capacities and potentially advanced versions – in the steel industry, Big Project ME reached out to Djordje Grujic, design manager for City Diamond Contracting, and a self-confessed BIM enthusiast. With over 15 years of experience in BIM handling, Grujic has an insider’s perspective on how BIM can enhance steel fabrication.

“BIM’s most obvious advantage is during the design stage,” he says. “If the steel components are being designed and fabricated by two separate companies, the drawings can be sent over to fabricators for clarity in their operations. “The steel layer in the model can be coupled with various other corresponding layers, such as architectural, MEP and so on – this coordination facilitates a concise review of

BIM FOR STEEL ARCHITECTS “There has always been a small communication gap between architects and engineers which is now getting smaller thanks to BIM,” says Nabil Sherif, founder of Dubai-based NGS Architects. “BIM ensures drawings are implemented efficiently after giving the engineers a detailed explanation about the structural steel’s design. This ultimately allows the architect to communicate his design idea across to the engineer in all ways possible. Architecture has evolved from the past in to more dense shape grammars, and these are best designed through a system that can produce different outcomes to be compared in a very small time frame – BIM caters to this need.”


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AUTOMATED INTEGRATION Companies can link both the design and fabrication processes.

BIM FOR SUSTAINABILITY Unarguably, there are two aspects to sustainability in the modern construction industry – while processes have to be environment-friendly, they must also allow for greater economic sustenance. In that regard, BIM is becoming widely popular for the recyclability calculations it facilitates through third-party programmes, which are increasingly relevant for the steel industry. “BIM allows the integration of thirdparty programmes, which often specialise in material analyses, energy modeling, LEED calculations and so on,” says William Bsaibes, green initiative manager at Amana Buildings (UAE). Furthermore, Djordje Grujic, design manager at City Diamond Contracting and a long-term BIM user points out the high recyclability of steel, making it essential that BIM be applied to fully optimise the material. “Steel is one of the most recyclable construction materials today, and BIM allows for not only accurate recyclable values of the material, but also provides accurate estimates of material requirements in the project to ensure minimal wastage.”

OUTSOURCED BIM The widespread presence of small-sized steel dealers has led to an increasingly popular trend in the local BIM market – specialised BIM experts have begun to setup independent design agencies, wherein they undertake solely BIM processes and activities. “Many companies – specialised detailers – have sprung up in the region of late,” says Amr Atef, general sales manager for Kirby Building Systems – UAE. “It ensures that companies on a restricted budget do not have to incur the costs of finding an operator, buying software licenses and so on – the detailers can mostly be trusted to do a good job.”

– steel fabrication, although an extremely detailed part of the larger steel industry and even broader construction market, involves a multitude of activities that are often exclusive to the companies undertaking them. One instance of this setup is Kersten Middle East, the local subsidiary of a European firm that exclusively handles steel bending. Could the elaborate steel fabricating setup, therefore, possibly be justified in its argument for the lack of a real need for BIM? “When overseeing the design and build operations for an architectural firm earlier in this city,” Djordje recollects. “I had exchanged our architectural BIM drawings with the steel fabricators we were working with at the time. This went a long way in removing any glitches that could have affected collaboration at a later stage. “However, I agree that smaller companies don’t necessarily require BIM if they are subcontracting their operations. It would be illogical for a bar-bender to invest in the software and user-training, especially in a fluid employee market where the BIM operator could leave for a better job,” Djordje agrees. Another aspect in the debate against BIM’s utility is that limited budgets frequently take the blame for a lack of substantial investment in BIM. PS Manoj, managing director of ISCON, a local steel engineering and fabricator, is of many who believe that larger budgets are

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“THERE HAS ALWAYS BEEN A SMALL COMMUNICATION GAP BETWEEN ARCHITECTS AND ENGINEERS WHICH IS NOW GETTING SMALLER THANKS TO BIM”

the structure, the exact materials needed, error detection and correcting them before fabrication or construction have even begun. “Companies who undertake both, design and fabrication, can link the designing software directly to the fabricating machines, which ensures a higher automated integration in the entire process,” Grujic explains. Automation, Wallett claims, provides more than just high speed. “When we talk of ‘automation’, it is not an easier or faster way to generate a 2D fabrication drawings, but the ability to handle revisions changes, automate the administrative tasks such as materials and parts listing, integrate to the shop floor machinery and manage the production lifecycle through to execution on site,” he says. Given its diverse advantages, one is compelled to wonder why BIM has not been accepted in a region as ambitious with its construction as the UAE. This is even more surprising given the release a Dubai Municipality mandate on the use of BIM across special construction projects in the emirate. Despite prominent government backing for the technology, does the steel sector not want to experiment with BIM? Or is it convinced that there are little to no benefits BIM can add to their operations? Both sides of the debate are equally potent

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required to accommodate for BIM purchases. “Small companies cannot afford to buy the required technology and hire relevant experts to operate it,” he says. “For instance, one of our international clients has an extensive research and design department which creates all their designs and collaborates with us based on those. “Our company has an annual turnover of $8.1 million - $10.8 million, but the cost of the software could be as high as $13.9 million,” Manoj unhesitatingly calculates. “Unless an independent body for the steel industry – akin to the Emirates Green Building Council for sustainability – is set up, or we have some windfall gains, I don’t see us investing in these technologies. I can’t predict BIM will get any cheaper, but I certainly hope it does,” he adds. Cost concerns are conceivably the leading reason for the limited reach BIM has established in the local steel market, and as the man behind Tekla’s regional operations, Wallett is well-versed with this situation. He further expands on the need for BIM in the steel industry. “We have consistently encountered questions regarding the need for technology in steel,” he says. “The initial cost of using the technology may be termed as slightly high – however, it is a long-term cost that can be written off through the value it adds to the projects.” BIM, adds Wallett, can offer more advantages to the multiple disciplines that actively handle steel, provided companies pick the right

BIM FOR MEGAPROJECTS CEO of China State Construction Engineering Corporation Middle East (CSCECME), Yu Tao explains how BIM technology aided operations on the Midfield Terminal project. “In the UAE, every part of the construction process – such as design, approvals, tendering and so on – requires detailed planning and no part of the construction process can afford to slip. This is especially important in steel construction as the design and construction of steel structures are very complicated activities. In our ongoing structural steel roof project for the new Abu Dhabi Airport Midfield Terminal Building (MTB) which involves 9000 metric tonnes of structural steel, a roof span of 180m, height of 50m and a profile of arches in three dimensions (3D), Tekla and Bentley were used to produce more than 10,000 drawings, without which it would be impossible to get timely approvals of the relevant authorities.

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Additionally, BIM was used in the creation of a prototype that allowed us to check for accuracy and consistency pre-installation.”

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software – or a combination of programme elements – after due consideration is given to their needs and what they want to achieve. “The software being used differs based on the kind and size of operations undertaken by the company – if the company only works according to simple repetitive designs and construction methods, then the need for a specialised tool is reduced as compared to when handling diverse operations that require system integration and automation of an increased capacity,” he elucidates. “Most companies view the ‘value’ of their cost in a large machine that they can place in their plant – essentially, the tangibility of a product is what they are looking at. They need to be reminded and educated that the real value of a product or expense extends beyond the tangibility of a product they spend on,” he adds. The need – and applicability – for BIM in the steel sector is a vastly multifaceted aspect the local market continues to grapple with. The seemingly-inexhaustible debate on whether or not steel dealers need BIM can, indeed, be resolved following a systematic strategy by both BIM manufacturers and potential BIM users. While manufacturers cannot ignore the limitations of the highly specialised steel industry, the time has come to agree to think innovatively. “It is basic human instinct to resist change,” says Gruijic. “But BIM is less scary to use than people think.”

BIM FOR STANDARDISATION Following the release of a document in November 2013 by the Dubai Municipality, BIM tools have become mandatory for application on architectural and MEP operations in government projects and special structures. “This mandate will force contractors to utilise BIM tools, who so far have not been using such packages,” says Nadia Wallett, business development manager at AceCad Software Middle East. “Furthermore, there is a current drive in the region to review and move away from contracts that are based on FIDIC. Governments are currently working with independent organisations in the UAE and Qatar, in particular, to find ways of encouraging collaborative associations in construction projects,” she adds. Nadia’s perspective makes a case for BIM expansion into the critical sub-contractors sector in the UAE, which, industry sources claim, is yet to fully embrace 3D BIM. At a time when the global industry is toying with a potential 6D BIM model, the traditional, 2D-compliant sub-contractor market – laggards, as a marketing expert might tag them – could jeopardise construction projects in the event of unambiguous drawing models, unclear liabilitysharing and other such similar hurdles.

COST CONCERNS Smaller companies are wary of investing in BIM due to the high initial costs.


WSP 10 truths about BIM

truth

TAKING DESIGN TO THE NEXT LEVEL

ut tr

STAR DESIGNERS USE THE TOOLS

h

DON’T FORGET THE ‘I’

don’t forget the ‘I’ bIM Is More than pretty pIctures

BIM IS MORE THAN PRETTY PICTURES

taKIng desIgn to the next level star desIgners use the tools

THE COLOUR OF BIM IS GREEN

the colour of bIM Is green bIM WIll use less, Waste less and pollute less

tru

BIM WILL USE LESS, WASTE LESS AND POLLUTE LESS

BRINGING IN A TROJAN HORSE

th

BIM WILL DESTABILISE THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY

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WAITING FOR THE TIPPING POINT

truth

GOVERNMENTS MUST ACTIVELY PARTICIPATE

WaItIng for the tIppIng poInt governMents Must actIvely partIcIpate

truth

NO MORE LONE RUNNERS COMPANIES MUST WORK AS ONE

truth

no More lone runners coMpanIes Must WorK as one

A TALE OF TWO HANDSHAKES

SOFTWARE AND PROFESSIONALS MUST WORK TOGETHER

8 truth

THE OWNERSHIP SPAGHETTI

a tale of tWo handshaKes softWare and professIonals Must WorK together

truth

4 6

truth

brIngIng In a trojan horse bIM WIll destabIlIse the constructIon Industry

WE WILL NEED NEW CONTRACTS

the oWnershIp spaghettI We WIll need neW contracts

THE DIGITAL LANDSCAPE TAKES SHAPE THE SOFTWARE PLATFORM IS AT A CROSSROADS

truth

the dIgItal landscape taKes shape the softWare platforM Is at a crossroads

THE DNA OF FUTURE CONSTRUCTION

BIM WILL BECOME THE PLATFORM FOR THE WHOLE INDUSTRY

the dna of future constructIon bIM WIll becoMe the platforM for the Whole Industry

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ADVERTORIAL CONARES

BIGPROJECTME.COM

BHARAT BHATIA

Conares focuses on sustainable measures in steel manufacturing Bharat Bhatia, CEO of Conares, a major steel manufacturer based in the UAE, says that steel manufacturers can contribute towards promoting sustainability in the GCC region

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uildings and infrastructure are responsible for almost half of the carbon emissions in the Middle East region. The efforts towards developing buildings that are zero carbon in operation are a huge challenge to the construction industry at present. It’s highly important for the construction steel sector, which plays a key role in the infra-development, to adopt sufficient steps to overcome this challenge. Conares is the leading provider of downstream steel products in the Gulf market and beyond, adopts measures to focus on reducing the impact on the environment, with its energy-efficient and environment-friendly steel mills. The Rebar Mill Division of Conares has recently received Sustainable Constructional Steel Certification by the UK Certification Authority for Reinforcing Steels (CARES) for operating in accordance with the CARES product certification scheme, and operating a documented environmental management system that satisfies the requirements of ISO 14001. The Sustainable Reinforcing Steel Certification scheme provides Conares an independent certification of the environmental performance of steel products. Now constructional steel products made by Conares are fully traceable, from production to delivery. This will also allow Conares rebar to be easily compliant to ESTIDAMA, BREEM, LEED requirements. Conares, operational in two major segments of the steel industry, is the only private sector steel manufacturer in the UAE. “We are happy to receive the Sustainable Reinforcing Steel Certification by UK CARES. This is a testimony on our commitment to adapt sustainable standards in manufacturing downstream steel products that facilitate the region’s infradevelopment sector, eventually contributing to the economy and supporting the measures to reduce eco-footprint.” “Using products from CARES SCS approved

STEEL SUPPLEMENT 2014

SUSTAINABLE ASSURANCE Conares provides its customers with the assurance that sustainability is being pursued in their supply chain.

firms enables the industry to demonstrate the responsible sourcing of construction products and its commitment to sustainable development. Reinforcing steel products produced by CARESapproved firms are fully traceable and uniquely identifiable, allowing a chain of custody throughout the whole supply chain, from mill to site. "This unbroken chain provides an assurance that sustainability is being pursued in their supply chain, so allowing the end-user to know the source and manufacturing processes used as well as the post-industrial use, recovery and recycling processes," Bhatia says. When manufacturing constructional steels, Conares uniquely marks the product. Providing full product traceability saves money – it makes the site manager’s job of checking provenance much easier and it allows the use of the product without the need for further testing. This will create advantage for our sales team to market our products. The dynamic framework of CARES’ SCS is aimed at improving the energy and environmental performance of products and providing a robust and transparent mechanism for communicating

the environmental performance of steel products to designers, specifiers and clients. The environmental criteria were developed by a group of industry experts, and cover the entire supply chain from the production of the steel through its processing to the delivery of the finished product to the construction site. “The implications of this changing approach to decision-making in construction procurement are that the supply chain must be able to clearly demonstrate it is managing these issues to improve sustainability performance. The CARES SCS scheme is formally set up to do this through its scope, objectives, principles and the way it operates.” Mr. Bhatia adds. “Focusing on sustainable infrastructure development, we introduced Continuously Galvanized Reinforcement, a first-of-its-kind sustainable approach in the Middle East region towards the infrastructure development,” Bhatia concluded. n Dubai-based Conares is a premier provider of steel products, with a total manufacturing capacity of more than 700,000MT annually.


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CORROSION PROTECTION

BIGPROJECTME.COM

COMBATTING CORROSION

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Big Project ME looks at how steel corrosion can be prevented to make for higher structural lifecycles

STEEL SUPPLEMENT 2014


CORROSION PROTECTION

A

sk any steel structure specialist to list his pet hates and the chances are that corrosion will be high on his list. When working with steel elements which way several tonnes, or will be bearing loads of several tonnes, the last thing you want is it to be weakened, however marginally. Given that corrosion is a natural process caused by the reaction of metals to their environment, this can be extremely tricky to combat, especially in humid, highly saline environments, such as found in the GCC. In that regard, it is commendable to note that Dubai and the UAE, while justifiably famed for their architectural masterpieces, have also admirably avoided – if not completely eliminated – the corrosive consequences of their geographic proximity to the Arabian Gulf and the prevasiveness of saline groundwater over here. Traditionally, coatings have been the rescuer of global construction professionals dealing with steel structures. Various factors determine the appropriate type and relative effectiveness of the coating employed – a smooth and clean base surface is critical to ensure subsequent coating layers do not penetrate through cracks, making room for corrosion to occur. Creatively shaped structures, such as welded bars or elaborate designs, demand further attention to detail while the surface is being prepared and during the application of the coating. Generally, paint coatings are applied in multiple layers – each gradient carrying its own corrosion-resistant or other utility properties – to create a stacked barrier against aggressive environments. Primer coats are the first layer to be applied on the steel surface – these can also be used in case metallic coating systems have been used to cure the steel, such as through hot-dip galvanising or thermal spraying. Intermediate coatings are applied next, and the key factor considered here is their thickness on the steel surface – a thicker layer of intermediate coatings is preferred for their decreased permeability and porousness to external elements, such as water and oxygen. Finishing coats are then applied

for appearance purposes, and they are usually prepared as the immediate guard for the structure against climatic conditions, such as exposure to sunlight, moisture and so on. The quality and composition of the coatings, however, is pivotal to ensuring corrosion is warded off for the longest possible duration. Both, metallic and paint coatings have sustained their markets over time, each preferred over the other for a specific purpose it fulfils – while metallic coatings are frequently chosen for their adhesive corrosion-resistant feature, paint coatings have evolved to create a market for their aesthetic value, provided through their pigments. “For some companies,” explains Jan Weernink, marketing director for Dow Coating Materials in an interview with Big Project ME. “Paints are the preferred choice of coating because they allow for an extension of the brand image onto their products. “All John Deere tractors, for instance, are painted yellow and green. That has become their global brand recall value, and as paints now feature additional utilities – such as corrosionresistance – their application on steel structures and products has risen,” he adds. Epoxies are the typically predominant ingredient in paint coatings for their ability to provide a tough coating that dries quickly on the surface. “In the past, solvent paints were the preferred choice for the industry,” explains Weernink, “but the drive towards sustainability has led us toward seeking other environmentfriendly and less impactful technologies. “For instance, the carbon emission from acrylic technology is far lower than that from epoxies. Eventually, creating coating solutions depends on the region’s needs and priorities, and tailoring products accordingly,” he adds. Additionally, polyaspartic products are finding their way into the highly advanced coatings market due to the climate protection they offer through reduced solvent emissions. Dinesh Patel, regional technical manager for coatings, adhesives and specialties at Bayer Middle East explains how his company has

STEEL SUPPLEMENT 2014

MIDDLE EAST

“FOR SOME COMPANIES, PAINTS ARE THE PREFERRED CHOICE OF COATING BECAUSE THEY ALLOW FOR AN EXTENSION OF THE BRAND IMAGE ONTO THEIR PRODUCTS”

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CORROSION PROTECTION

employed polyaspartics to further their protective coatings line. “Compared with conventional systems,” says Patel, “formulations based on polyaspartic raw materials contain roughly 40% fewer VOC. The coatings can be applied to a thickness of as much as 400 micrometers in a single step. This enables one layer of the previous three-layer coating structure to be eliminated, reducing application costs and boosting efficiency.” The advantages of polyaspartics, claims Dinesh, extend beyond mere monetary gains, and also result in additional critical savings, such as those of time. “Furthermore, the complete process – from application of the primer until the topcoat is dry – takes just six to eight hours at room temperature. This is a clear productivity advantage over the use of conventional coatings, for which the entire process (including drying) takes 24 to 36 hours. “This enables the coated parts to be used without restriction much sooner. Reduced downtimes increase the cost effectiveness,” Patel explains further. As an increasingly critical ingredient of most contemporary structures, it has become essential

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COST ISSUES Coating solutions are usually the most cost effective when protecting steel elements.

STEEL SUPPLEMENT 2014

BIGPROJECTME.COM

“COMPARED WITH CONVENTIONAL SYSTEMS, FORMULATIONS BASED ON POLYASPARTIC RAW MATERIALS CONTAIN ROUGHLY 40% FEWER VOC”

to reduce – if not completely avoid – the wastage of steel during and after construction. Corrosion, in its very nature, challenges the lifecycle of steel, leading the industry to seek out alternatives that can eliminate its hazards. One such popularly-accepted option by the construction industry, has, of late, been stainless steel. Shiv Mittal, president of business development and marketing at Mittal Corp Limited, tells Big Project ME that there are advantages in using stainless steel for construction. “Stainless steel is recommended for highly saline environments,” explains Kumar. “Additionally, areas where the metal might be in contact with acidic elements should also utilise stainless steel.”

Given his expertise from working with one of India’s largest steel manufacturers, Kumar’s suggestions regarding the employment of stainless steel in structures is extremely holistic and intelligently mapped out. Claiming stainless steel can sustain a lifecycle almost five times higher than that of carbon steel, Kumar makes the case for using stainless steel in the construction of bridges: “In stacked structures, such as decks for parking lots or bridges, stainless steel may be used on the outer surfaces of the deck, so as to prevent the corrosive effects of the external environment, whilst the rebars used in the decks may be made from carbon steel. “Since stainless steel does not corrode easily, it saves the cost of repairs that usually accompany carbon steel that has been coated – there are costs of recoating a structure monetarily, but, say for instance a bridge made out of carbon steel needed repairs,” continues Kumar. “In that scenario, the bridge would have to be shut down for a period of at least one month, if not more. “Meanwhile, additional costs – besides those of structural repairs – would also need to be incurred, such as the cost of traffic divergence, alternate route-creation and so on. All of these indirect costs affect the budget, and can be averted if stainless steel is viewed as a one-time investment in the construction of a structure,” he adds. However, it might be a while before the industry embraces the idea of stainless steel. Weernink, when probed, said the use of coatings would continue, given the sustainability of costs and utilities they offer. “Stainless steel is a fantastic substrate, but it won’t stand up to saline impacts unless you buy extremely high-grade variants. It corrodes too, but the difference is that corrosion on stainless steel stops after a given point, but carbon steel continues to be eaten away.” “I understand the argument in favour, but for me it’s a cost issue,” Weernink continues. “A bridge made out of stainless steel will, no doubt, look nice and shiny, but if the costs are too high, you have to come back and look for appropriate coatings solutions.”


CONSTRUCTION AND SUSTAINABILITY AWARDS OF EXCELLENCE NOVEMBER 18, 2014 JUMEIRAH EMIRATES TOWERS, DUBAI www.bigprojectme.com/awards/2014

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Big Project ME April 2014  

Big Project ME, your one-stop guide to construction developments in the region, The Big Project is the Middle East’s leading monthly B2B tit...

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