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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

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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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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

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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

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“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 maximising 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.

STEEL SUPPLEMENT 2014


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”

STEEL SUPPLEMENT 2014

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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

BIGPROJECTME.COM

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.”

STEEL SUPPLEMENT 2014

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


ON SITE KERSTEN MIDDLE EAST

BENDING THE RULES 8

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

STEEL SUPPLEMENT 2014

BIGPROJECTME.COM


ON SITE KERSTEN MIDDLE EAST

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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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ON SITE KERSTEN MIDDLE EAST

BIGPROJECTME.COM

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.

STEEL SUPPLEMENT 2014

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.


ON SITE KERSTEN MIDDLE EAST

BIGPROJECTME.COM

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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STRUCTURAL DESIGN

BIGPROJECTME.COM

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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STRUCTURAL DESIGN

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STRUCTURAL DESIGN

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.

STEEL SUPPLEMENT 2014

BIGPROJECTME.COM

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.”


STRUCTURAL DESIGN

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

STEEL SUPPLEMENT 2014

MIDDLE EAST

“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.”

STEEL SUPPLEMENT 2014

BIGPROJECTME.COM

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

5 7 9

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

http://www.wspgroup.com/en/wsp-group-bim/BIM-home-wsp/ For more information about how we can add value to your project, please contact: For more information about how we canBIM addLead) value to your project, please contact: Gerry McFadden (Middle East Gerrygerry.mcfadden@wspgroup.ae McFadden (Middle East BIM Lead) gerry.mcfadden@wspgroup.ae


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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

B

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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

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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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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.”


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