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JULY 2011

PLUS Riyadh reform airports onsite jordan’s joint venture


the five year plan set to transform fujairah into the uae’s next construction capital



Contents REGULARS Editor’s letter 4


News bulletin 7 Frontline 16


Thermography expert and LEED AP William Whistler explains the effects of poor insulation

Construction tech 21 Siemens One gives the green light to Qatar’s 2022 World Cup

Talk 33 Chief technical officer for MECSD, Thom Bholen, shares his thoughts on building green


On site 46 Cavotec give their commentary on the region’s airport developments, currently valued at US$ 90bn

Trends 51 Gallagher International and WWA discuss the factors affecting heavy machinery

Tenders 69 Diary 73


Your shout 74

FEATURES 13 News analysis Behind the scenes with Dubai Municipality as the third phase of the Emirate’s new green building regulations are launched this month

26 Riyadh Reform The key developments in KSA capital Riyadh with an introduction from construction expert and author Ted Garrison

30 Project update Diar Consult’s success story; the Dubai villa project Victory Heights

36 Fujairah Ambitious development plans are set to transform the Indian Ocean Emirate of Fujairah within five years

43 Jordan joint venture Advisory coalition member from EC Harris explains Jordan’s asset management strategy

64 Supplier hotseat BASF MD Joerg Schneider on the application of PU products | 3


Publisher Dominic De Sousa Chief operations officer Nadeem Hood

“The next big thing...” The UAE is no stranger to rapid progress. Abundant in both money and ambition, the country has already undergone rapid transformation over the last two decades. Last month I met three people who will be key to transforming Fujairah; an Emirate more famous for its beaches and oil refinery than construction, yet set to become the driving force behind the country’s recovering industry. During our interview, in a lounge overlooking the Golden Sands beach on one side and the rocky mountainside on the other, municipality general manager Mohamed Al Afkham spoke passionately about his plans for his home town. Gesturing over the landscape, he reeled off the names of a number of international hotel chains all planning to open in the area and shared his plans to expand and upgrade the Emirate’s industrial, infrastructure and residential capacities. Far from the heady approach taken in the past, the plans had elements of both restraint and realism; development promises to be sustainable and measured, will not compromise the natural environment and will, if anything, enhance the protected historical and cultural sites, which already draw thousands of visitors to the Indian Ocean city. While many may already be aware of the Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Road, which will link to Dubai and the northern Emirates by the end of this year, few

Associate publisher Liam Williams TEL: +971 (0)4 440 9158 Director business development Alex Bendiouis TEL: +971 (0)4 440 9154 GSM: +971 (0)50 458 9204

know about the sheer scale of construction planned over the next five. Municipality director of projects, Nawal Al Hanaei will oversee a department set to double in the coming months, while liaising with Caroline Tasse of urban planning software specialists Vectuel, to map the developments and promote the area to investors from all sectors on a worldwide scale. Also in this issue, July marks the launch of Dubai Municipality’s third handbook for its green building regulations and specifications. Specifically tailoring best practice in sustainable construction to newbuild projects in the Emirate of Dubai, the regulations will become mandatory from 2014. To mark the occasion, The Big Project, is going green with commentary and analysis from those already setting best practice benchmarks, including Thom Bholen, thermographer William Whistler and Masdar City supply chain consultancy manager Richard Reynolds. Also in this issue, we look at how Siemens One technology is powering the first green World Cup and Jordan is enlisting the help of the private sector to manage its public buildings stock. If you’re planning to escape the heat over the coming weeks, you can keep up to date with all the latest news and analysis via the newly re-launched Until next time bon voyage, best wishes and, if you can, drop by Fujairah

Editor Melanie Mingas TEL: +971 (0)4 440 9117 GSM: +971 (0)56 758 7834 Assistant editor Christine Fashugba TEL: +971 (0)4 440 9116 GSM: +971 (0)55 105 3772 Business development manager Rhiannon Downie TEL: +971 (0)4 440 9152 GSM: +971 (0)50 554 0116 Business development manager Nayab Rafiq TEL: +971 (0)4 440 9153 GSM: +971 (0)55 542 6032 Designer/Photographer Marlou Delaben Photographer Cris Mejorada Webmasters Troy Maagma Jerus King Bation Erik Briones Printed by Printwell Printing Press LLC Published by

Head Office PO Box 13700 Dubai, UAE Tel: +971 (0)4 440 9100 Fax: +971 (0)4 447 2409 Web: © Copyright 2011 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.

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40% of Makkah investment to go to private sector Developments worth SAR 100 billion A string of mega projects under the Makkah Development Plan are expected to generate a 40% contribution from the private sector, according to IIR group director, Deep Marwaha. Speaking ahead of last month’s Future Makkah forum, organisers National Exhibitions Company (NEC) and IIR Middle East, concluded investments worth SAR100 billion, would provide opportunity for regional and international developers, investors, financiers, contractors, architects, designers and infrastructure operators. “Projects worth billions of dollars are being initiated in the Makkah region, especially residential projects that are being undertaken to solve the housing problem in Makkah,” Dr. Abdul-Aziz bin Abdullah Al-Khudairi, deputy governor of Makkah province, who inaugurated the forum, said. “Further, the immediate emphasis will be to prevent project delays and complete unfinished projects,” he continued. “A strategy is also in place to achieve allround development and resolve the problem of population explosion, congestion and overcrowding in major cities. The key is to ease the burden on major cities and support the development of other provinces, making them self sufficient,” he added.

ABOVE: A project rendering of the completed Makkah development.

“The Makkah Development Plan is transforming Makkah into one of the most exciting business destinations in the Middle East with large-scale projects worth over SAR 100 billion being undertaken,” said Future Makkah organiser Hussain Al Harithy, adding they include work in utilities, real estate and tourism. “Investors, contractors, developers and other business organisations are now looking to capitalise on the government’s ambitious spending plans, making Future Makkah the definitive venue to gain direct access to high-profile projects and strike lucrative business deals in the Makkah region,” he continued. Forum sponsors Jabal Omar Development Co, reported involvement in a number of

residential and multi-storey commercial facilities, targeting the increasing number of pilgrims visiting Makkah. “The government’s development strategy for the Makkah Region is expected to gain momentum as it progresses and Future Makkah will certainly be a critically important vehicle to gain strategic insight and have a better understanding of the unique demands and emerging opportunities within the region’s business and investment landscape,” Al Harithy added. More than 5000 local, regional and international investors, high net-worth individuals, and government and municipality bodies attended the forum.

New visa policy threatens KSA workers Employees across all sectors could face six year visa cap Thousands of overseas labourers in Saudi Arabia may lose their jobs after the Kingdom’s officials announced a new policy which would cap working visas for expats at six-years. The decision not to renew the work permits of foreign workers who have spent six years in the country is part of an aggresive Saudization strategy.

“The current situation calls for strong cooperation between the government and the private sector in solving the problem of unemployment, with hundreds of thousands looking for work,” minister of labour Adel Fakieh told the Al Hayat newspaper. It is feared the labour scheme, which states all firms in the country must employ a minimum of

10% Saudi Arabian nationals, will significantly affect labouring industries. More than 80% of all those employed in the Kingdom are non-nationals. The move is being interpreted as an attempt to reduce the Kingdom’s unemployment rate, which according to statistics currently stands at around 10.5%. It has not yet been revealed

when the decision would be implemented, or which sectors of the job market will be affected. In a statement released last month, John Leonard Monterona, Migrante Middle East regional coordinator, is reported as saying the scheme: “Is the right decision or action a government could do if it faces high rates of unemployment among its own citizens”. | 7




107 of the 200 projects listed as ‘on hold’ by RERA belong to Nakheel

World’s largest shopping mall completed in Iran 2500 unit Fars Shopping Complex to open in Shiraz in September 2011 UAE-based conglomerate Royal Star has announced completion of its flagship $ 830 million mall, the Fars Shopping Complex in Shiraz, Iran. The mall, the largest in the world in terms of the number of shops in a single complex, will offer leases on 2500 retail premises when it opens in September 2011. It will also be the world’s fourth biggest mall in terms of total area stretching out to around 420,000 square meters, closely followed by Dubai Mall. “The Fars Shopping Complex ably reflects our growth over the last few years and clearly shows our leadership in the development and creation of world class facilities,” said Hamzah Abu Zannad, director of operations for Royal Star. “Aside from building malls, we have successfully expanded operations to other industry

segments like contracting, banking and finance, food and beverage, hospitality, retail, and exhibitions and convention centres. “Our ventures into the region’s key areas of development complement our vision and mission to be an iconic brand that continuously applies innovative strategies that have been designed to give our customers the ultimate magical experience,” Zannad added. Royal Star confirmed the complex will house a 14,000 square meter Carrefour Hypermarket; six 240-seat capacity cinemas; a 28,800 square meter arcade with interactive video games, bowling alleys with a three-storey billiard hall; a four-storey parking area that can accommodate 5500 cars; an indoor amusement park, and an outdoor park called Iran Land, with roller coasters. Currently under construction, the five star Burj Fars hotel will open in 2012.

ABOVE: the world’s largest mall will open in Iran in September 2011.

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Masdar unit and UN develop energy Scheme to monitor and reduce emissions of Abu Dhabi buildings management framework conferences and live demonstrations to be held alongside 2011 show A new framework has been developed by Masdar Carbon to identify energy efficiency in buildings in Abu Dhabi. One of five integrated Masdar units, Masdar Carbon pioneered the methodology to aid organisations in the monitoring and reduction of emissions from large buildings. Organisations can also claim carbon credits under the Clean Developments Mechanism (CDM) process, a first for the construction industry in Abu Dhabi. The framework has been adopted by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). “According to industry statistics, the construction sector is responsible for around 40% for global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions,” said Bader Saeed Al Lamki, associate director, Masdar Carbon. “However, lack of an appropriate large scale methodology has so far failed to incentivise energy efficiency measures in this sector. Now, Masdar Carbon’s new methodology will enable removal of such barriers for implementation of energy efficient projects in this sector.” According to Masdar, developers worldwide can utilise the methodology and use the sale of carbon credits as a new revenue stream, which will in turn help promote green building initiatives. The framework has been in development since 2009, with Masdar Carbon working closely with UNFCCC and also appointing the German emissions traders Perspective GmbH. “As a Masdar unit mandated to realising profits from a portfolio of carbon credits, Masdar Carbon will continue exploring innovative methodologies that will positively impact the CDM and carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects,” added Al Lamki.

On Hold

Etihad and Du to share “technical know how”

Etihad’s second MoU with communications company will enhance UAE’s telecoms and railways infrastructure UAE telecoms provider Du has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Etihad Rail to provide “consultation and technical know-how”, for Etihad’s integrated communications solutions. Etihad will employ Du’s telecommunications experience, while Du will in turn benefit from Etihad’s railway infrastructure. “Du exhibits exceptional competence in delivering high-speed, fully integrated telecommunications solutions effectively and efficiently,” said Etihad CEO Richard Bowker. “Etihad Rail aims to provide its customers and equip its network with a telecommunications infrastructure with such qualities,” Bowker added. It was announced in April that Etihad had also signed a deal with data carrier Etisalat to “share best practices in communications network engineering and jointly develop a business model that serves both companies”. Commenting on the deal, Osman Sultan, CEO of Du said: “We are delighted to sign this agreement with Etihad Rail. We see a lot of synergy in this collaboration; while Etihad

Rail gets to benefit by leveraging our telecom expertise and utilising our extensive portfolio of fixed and mobile services, we would benefit from getting access to their infrastructure. Our intention is to grow this partnership to ensure common good — for our customers as well as theirs.” The MoU, was signed between Richard Bowker, CEO of Etihad Rail, and Osman Sultan, CEO of Du, in a special ceremony held at Du headquarters in the presence of executive management members from the two organisations. Etihad Rail was established as Union Rail in June 2009, under Federal Law no. 2. The company has a mandate to manage the development, construction and operation of the UAE’s national freight and passenger railway network. The railway network will be built in phases to link the principal centres of population and industry across the UAE, in addition to forming a vital part of the planned GCC railway network linking the six countries of the GCC.

Highlights from the RERA-issued list of more than 300 projects the body says are officially on hold in Dubai Boris Becker Business Tower BURJ KHALIFA Alternative Capital Invest (Gmbh) Dubai Properties 29 Boulevard BURJ KHALIFA Emaar Properties PSJC Cambridge Business Centre Memon Developments (Fzc) Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority Celestica Syndicate Developer Limited Nakheel Champions Tower 4 Takmeel Investment Limited Dubai Sports City Corporate Tower Sheffield Real Estate Llc DMCC Business Park Dubai Life Style City Dubai Life Style City L.L.C Dubai Land Ivory Tower Sokook Investment Group Dubai Tech and MEF Authority Marina 101 Sheffield Real Estate Llc Emaar Metro Tower Ilyas & Mustafa Galadari For Investment & Development Managment (L.L.C) Dubai Properties M Schumacher Business Avenue Burj Kahlifa Dubai Properties Palm Spring Palm Jebal Ali Damac Properties and Nakheel Co. Park Avenue Gulf Investments (Fzc) Dubai Land Soraya Tower1 New World Investments Limited Nakheel

Etihad Rail CEO Richard Bowker signed the MoU with Du’s CEO Osman Sultan. | 9




debt recovered from Middle East firms by engineering consultancy WS Atkins

Abu Dhabi municipality initiates HSE programme Workshops and literature will cover all municipality activities A comprehensive health, safety and environment strategy has been initiated by Abu Dhabi Municipality, to educate its employees to deliver “quality standards and top class municipal services”. Released last month, the programme includes a number of workshops, supported by literature that will be distributed to employees across all divisions. “These programs are rolled out in the context of the municipality’s strategy and consciousness of the importance of applying all HSE standards at all workplaces and projects,” said engineer Salah Awad Al Sarraj, acting executive director of the town planning sector, at the Municipality of Abu Dhabi City. “The Program, which comprises all HSE elements and deliverables that branch out to

include sustainability as a methodology of work, production and development, is considered the first of its kind among government entities across Abu Dhabi,” he continued. The first workshop will teach skills in workplace first aid; including heat stress cases, the impact of noise, food safety, protection of the respiratory system, classification of chemical material risks and radiation, procedures of emergency and evacuation in the municipality’s main building, skills of dealing with various types of fire extinguishers, PPE and training on the best practices relating to pesticides and insecticides. Abdul Aziz Zurub, municipality director of HSE said the aim was to ensure standards are compliant with federal and local legislations. “The HSE Division aims to educate and train municipal staff to shouldering responsibilities, and ensure that the HSE services are compliant with the federal and local organisational legislations and codes of practices set for building and construction projects in Abu Dhabi. “It also aims at developing the required resources and support that enable the effective management of HSE affairs through all processes and services of the Municipality of Abu Dhabi City in order to ensure the sustained improvement of the HSE system,” he added.

Oman announces $8bn budget for property development Plans fall under 2020 strategy Oman has reportedly approved a budget of US $8 billion for tourism-related property development across the country. Figures released by Oman’s Ministry of Tourism under the country’s 2020 development plan suggest the investment will boost both the construction and tourism sectors, of which the latter is expected to contribute around 3% to GDP this year. Oman’s Ministry of Tourism aims to eventually draw in 12 million visitors a year by 2020 to make the tourism industry one of the country’s

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ABOVE: Salem Al Mamari, DG of tourism promotions.

largest income generators. “The development of the convention centre in Muscat forms part of our efforts to establish Oman as an all-around business, leisure and lifestyle destination,” says director general of tourism promotion at the ministry, Salem Al Mamari, adding the “excellent transport infrastructure” adds to the country’s attractions. The Ministry is organising a number of ‘familiarisation’ tours for potential investors to generate interest in the country’s growth strategy plans.

Bids submitted for New Doha Port Nine companies submitted to second tender

ABOVE: Doha harbour and skyline

Head of the New Doha Port steering committee, Abdul Aziz Al Naimi, has said nine companies submitted bids for the project’s second tender last month. The QR19bn port, located at the North Misaed Industrial Area, immediately south of Wakra, will process 6 million containers per year upon completion. “The committee has started issuing technical documents for the second main tender for the port. The companies qualified for the first phase of the tender have been invited to receive the documents for the second phase,” he said in a press conference last month. The second contract will be signed in November 2011. In January it was announced that China Harbour Engineering Company had secured a US $880m contract to construct the port foundations and breakwater. The completed project will be operational from 2014, according to officials. Qatar already has three ports: Doha, Ras Laffan and Mesaieed, with the latter two owned and operated by Qatar Petroleum, and reserved almost exclusively for the country’s energy industry. The new port will be funded entirely by Qatar’s government, functioning as a catalyst for growth for a planned economic zone. Designs for the facility included provision to incorporate the planned GCC railway. A recent report by EC Harris ranked port development in the Middle East as the best in the world.


After more than three years in development, Dubai is about to launch the third and final element of its own green building regulations. The Big Project speaks to development committee member Adel Mohammed Mokhtar


ince 2008, a dedicated committee at Dubai Municipality — in collaboration with DEWA — has been working on the Emirate’s green building regulations and specifications; a three-part regulatory framework that will become mandatory for all building permit applications by 2014. Currently in the testing phase — with adoption voluntary for the next three years — the 79-point regulations are complemented with further guidance on implementation and sourcing of green building materials. Explained over three books published by Dubai Municipality (DM) the primary point of reference divides the regulations into seven sections, covering everything from ecology and planning to effective use of resources (see box). The regulations, instigated by Dubai’s ruler H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum in 2008, align with the Dubai Strategic Plan 2015 consolidating environmental practices from other codes adapted to the unique requirements of the Emirate, by a team of leading engineers, architects and consultants. The result of an extensive study undertaken by the committee, the current version will be modified significantly over the next three years, according to the committee’s senior architect Adel Mohammed Mokhtar, who works in DM’s qualifications and building studies department. “We worked with a consultant to produce the codes and they aim to improve the ecological footprint of the Emirate and improve design standards. It’s based on LEED and BREEAM but the consultant helped us to tailor these standards to Dubai’s unique requirements,” he explains, adding that while the economy was booming, design faced a “catastrophe”. Continuing to explain that there was a lack of existing information about the climatic conditions which make other codes difficult to apply to the Middle East, Mokhtar says the committee expects to make a number of modifications to the current version and welcomes all those who build to the guidelines to share their feedback and contributions. “While the project is optional until 2014 we expect to make many changes. For it to be mandatory it must be perfect,” Mokhtar says. “We were thinking about enforcing a grey water recycling regulations, but if you look at the planning of Dubai the sewerage systems are

modified so this water is already recycled and used for [non agricultural] irrigation. “It would be a waste of time and money to implement this so it was removed,” he adds.


“While the project is optional until 2014 we expect to make many changes. For it to be mandatory it must be perfect”

According to the handbook, green building is defined as “the practice of creating structures and using processes that increase the efficiency of resource use”, namely energy, water and materials, while also reducing the impact of buildings on human health and the environment throughout their lifetime. The purpose of the regulations is to improve the performance of buildings in Dubai by reducing the consumption of energy, water and materials; improving public health, safety and general welfare; and by enhancing the planning, design, construction and operation of buildings to create “an excellent city that provides the essence of success and comfort of living”. The regulations are introduced as an addition to the current Dubai Municipality Regulations, but revoke: | 13


The future is Green


“Our aim is to turn this away from a business opportunity and towards a building method everybody understands” chapters in Dubai’s environmental regulations

ABOVE: xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx.

• • •

The Administrative Resolution No. 66 of the year 2003, which proves regulations on the Technical Specifications for Thermal Insulation Systems. Circular No. 161 of the year 2003 issued on Implementing Green Building Regulations in the Emirate of Dubai. Circular No. 171 and 174 of the year 2007, issued on implementing Building Green Roofs and facades. The Administrative Resolution No. 30 of the year 2007, issued on Promulgating the Implementing Regulations of the Local Order No. 11 of the year 2003 on Public Health and Safety in the Emirate of Dubai.

The regulations apply to all new buildings; additions, extensions and refurbishments requiring a building permit; existing buildings (where specified); mixed use buildings and buildings which undergo a change in use. “Extremely tall buildings”, large shopping malls, hospital and laboratories are exempt, according to the current handbook, as “in order to preserve the character of these buildings, it may not be possible to meet some of the requirement of the regulations”. Admitting that Dubai’s existing building stock also presents a problem, the Municipality plans to conduct a study into the feasibility of developing a fourth element to the regulations, which will cover retrofits. For now concentrating on future projects, the Municipality reports three contractors are already applying for permits in accordance with the regulations.

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Ecology and planning:

“Let’s say there is a project and a contractor wants to build a tower in Dubai Marina,” explains Mokhtar. “When the contractors applies for the project there are three steps involving the permits section, architects and mechanical technician within the municipality, and then DEWA for the electric and water elements.”



Ventilation and air quality

Mokhtar is currently involved in raising awareness of the programme by delivering presentations to those on forefront of the industry. As the only architect currently represented on the development committee — and an estimated 35% of the regulations directly applicable to the design stage of a project — he says the most influential elements can often be the orientation of a building and its facade. Part of Mokhtar’s work involves liaising with local educational institutions specialising in design and construction related courses to devise an educational programme and modules in other programmes to teach the next generation how to design and build in compliance with the codes. “Green is the future. These other ratings systems allow a company to market itself as having achieved gold or silver ratings, but how effective is this really? Do they save energy or water or is it just showing off?” “Our aim is to turn this away from a business opportunity and towards a building method everybody understands.” The full handbook is available from Dubai Municipality offices, Deira

Pollution Microclimate and indoor comfort Responsible construction Environmental impact assessment Building vitality:

Thermal comfort Acoustic comfort Hazardous materials Daylight and visual comfort Water quality Resource effectiveness: Energy building fabric Building systems Commissioning and management Onsite systems: generation and renewables Resource effectiveness: Water conservation and efficiency Commissioning and management Onsite systems: recovery and treatment Resource effectiveness: materials and waste and materials and resources Waste management

in le n b a o ail So Av one iPh


“We are building refrigerators inside ovens” William Whistler, LEED AP, Estidama PQP and managing director of Green Building Solutions International, explains how thermography is used to maximise the energy efficiency of buildings


he issue we see with buildings here in the desert climate of the UAE is that villas and commercial structures which are not properly airtight allow climate and weather factors to greatly increase energy wastage, lower interior air quality and accelerate building deterioration. The energy required to comfortably cool and maintain a stable range of humidity in buildings increases dramatically due to uncontrolled air transfer through the building’ exterior fabric. Standard practice in this climate is to design buildings with slightly positive pressure; however, this approach is limited in its ability to ensure that uncontrolled infiltration will not occur. In addition to the immediate effects on energy wastage, ‘leaky’ buildings allow increased moisture infiltration, more rapid deterioration of building materials, poor indoor temperature and humidity control, contribute to mould infestation and compromised fire and smoke protection measures. Buildings in the hot, harsh climate of the GCC and MENA regions are particularly at risk to the effects of building envelope air leakage because a combination of intense solar heat radiation and excessive dependence on mechanical air conditioning put great thermodynamic stress on a building’s skin or fabric. We are, in effect, building refrigerators inside an oven.

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“A combination of intense solar heat radiation and excessive dependence on mechanical air conditioning put great thermodynamic stress on a building’s skin or fabric” Testing envelope performance

The tools and methods to determine the correct air tightness of buildings have until this time been developed in colder or more moderate climates than we have here in the Middle East and North Africa region. The physics of air movement, humidity and thermal transfer are of course the same. Here, however the emphasis must be placed on the ‘reversed’ conditions we find in intensely hot climates. For example, heat energy always goes from warm to cool. In colder climates the usual energy usage problem is to contain mechanically produced heat from escaping to the colder outside air; this is called exfiltration and is

tested by producing positive pressure in the interior of a building. Typically in the UAE 60-70% of our energy usage is expended to produce mechanically cooled and humidified air; a building’s ‘skin’ must protect our interiors from the sun’s heat and the infiltration of hot desert air. Any testing of the effectiveness of a building’s envelope and its contribution to energy savings must be based on this critical difference. The combination of professional non-invasive procedures — infrared thermography, fan pressurisation and smoke (vapour) path analysis is cost effective and timely in identifying where and how much remediation might be required.



LEFT to RIGHT: Heat leaking from a poorly insulated roof; thermal imaging of the Burj Khalifa and Downtown district in Dubai shows the affect of urban heat islands; infra-red photography shows the different quality of insulation in various city buildings and typical weaknesses in thermal insulation in warehouses.

Although the use of these technologies is not widespread in this area, air tightness testing is referred to in both the Abu Dhabi Estidama Pearl Rating System and the new Dubai Green Building Regulations and Specifications.

Testing procedures

Fan Pressurization Testing. A standard fan pressurisation test will indicate the relative size of the air leakage and the rate of airflow as measured against the total building envelope. To locate where the leaks are this test should be used together with infrared thermal imaging and smoke (vapour) path analysis.

Infrared Thermal Imaging

Infrared thermal imaging is a non-invasive inspection process. This greatly reduces the time and cost of determining actual as built conditions. Correctly calibrated by a trained professional, an infrared imaging inspection can also be used to detect: - moisture intrusion

“Building envelope testing allows a view into poor building performance and will demonstrate the root cause of the problem, not simply test the symptoms�

- insulation installation verification - thermal energy loss - missing grout in CMU walls - leaking water piping - roof waterproofing - thermal bridging of building materials - likely areas of mould growth

Smoke Path Analysis

Smoke (vapour) path analysis can be a highly cost effective method of identifying and isolating the locations and intensity of unwanted and uncontrolled air flow. State of the art testing uses traceable water vapour (similar to a smoke effect in a nightclub) to determine the air leakage travel path.

Building in ovens

Building air tightness is especially critical here in the UAE because the large temperature difference between the hot outdoor air and the mechanically cooled interior air puts great stress on the building fabric.

Unplanned leaking of building air due to either poor design or construction flaws has enormous impact on energy usage over time and invites moisture intrusion causing mould growth and other problems. Remediation is generally straightforward once the problem is identified. Much like a medical diagnosis, building envelope testing allows a view into poor building performance and will demonstrate the root cause of the problem, not simply test the symptoms. A combination of the three testing procedures provides the most accurate air leakage analysis. The goal is to produce reliable, practical information that can be used to reduce energy waste, remediate building flaws and contribute to the sustainability of the local environment. For more information on thermal imaging you can visit: | 17

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Construction technology

The Arch stadium in Durban, utilised Siemens’ OSRAM LED lighting.

ElectroWorld Cup

ABOVE: The Siemens Video wall in the stadium control room.

Thomas Brodocz , vice president of corporate development with Siemens One, gives Christine Fashugba an insight into the technology behind the games

F ABOVE: Thomas Brodocz.

“State-of-the-art venues are also key, as today’s fans are looking for more entertainment and information at a big sporting event”

ollowing the controversy surrounding the Qatar bid team’s 2022 World Cup victory and the possibility of internal FIFA committee investigations, Qatar’s officials continue to forge ahead with the country’s infrastructural, hotel and eco-friendly stadia development and construction, at an estimated cost of around US$55 billion. Electronics are at the forefront of the preparations with 13 companies already having registered interest in the next phase of goal-line technology tests in a bid to ensure the game’s goals are genuine. However, critics are more concerned

about how the environmental issues attached to hosting the event in the desert country will be addressed. With Siemens having supplied building technology for fire safety, video surveillance and lighting to previous World Cups in Germany and South Africa, Thomas Brodocz, vice president corporate development for Siemens One International Projects, is keen to offer technical solutions for the next hosting country. “As Qatar has a desert climate, a nonsustainable level of natural water resources and finite energy resources, the key success factors for a sustainable | 21

Construction technology

“We believe technology and infrastructure systems are a key enabler for a sustainable society and can help to make required behavioural changes easier such as through automation and monitoring”

$55billon the estimated value of total World Cup projects in Qatar

Seimens Stadium Cape Towns Green Point Stadium efficiently illuminated with OSRAM Opto Semiconductors LEDs.

future and therefore important concepts for Qatar 2022, are sustainable solutions for power generation and distribution, including concepts like renewable energy such as concentrated solar power plants, photo-voltaic, wind and smart grids for renewable integration, flexible tariffs and demand response incentives,” says Brodocz. He highlights how the combination of stateof-the-art, long-lasting building material for architectural structures with infrastructural and energy solutions could be used for the development of Qatar’s stadium and confirms efficient water technology can incorporate the reuse of condensing chiller water and grey and black water separation as well as purification using bioreactor and nano filters. Buildings can also become more sustainable with environmentally compatible chillers for district cooling, coupled with solar thermal power usage stadium emissions can be reduced to almost zero. From a financial perspective Brodocz is keen to ensure each stadium does not become an “idle object” during the 340 days a year when it is not being used; believing prevention of this means multipurpose usage of the stadia and its new applications and technologies in an attempt to attract and maintain high visitor

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numbers and secure a high return on their investment. “State-of-the-art venues are also key, as today’s fans are looking for more entertainment and information at a big sporting ABOVE: Seimens LED technology was utlised in Cape Town. BELOW: Solar panels event,” Brodocz says. were supplied by the company to the Nuremberg stadium, Germany. “In addition to this, venues need to not just safety solutions, Brodocz suggests how such be comfortable, but also iconic, as this creates electronics reflect an outlook for future social the best conditions for the athletes to achieve behaviour and the implications such changes top performances and thus they become emowill have on infrastructure and technology. tionally attractive to the society,” he adds. “For Siemens, sustainable solutions which Sports venues are more structurally complex involve advanced technology and change, the than commercially used buildings due to their [social] behaviour are focus objectives. requirements; including around 50 technical “We believe technology and infrastructure subsystems and about 80 interfaces. systems are a key enabler for a sustainable sociBrodocz is convinced the full alignment of ety and can help to make required behavioural the stadia technical concepts and mechachanges easier such as through automation and nisms will not only considerably impact monitoring,” says Brodocz. investments but also operations and Qatar’s “These technologies and solutions are so ecological footprint. important for Qatar because they will contribHaving presented at the “Stadium Design ute not only for the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar and Development Summit 2011” in Qatar where but beyond this event to a green and maybe even Siemens demonstrated the latest technology, CO2 neutral state,” he concludes. including lighting, building and


The Dos and Don’ts of Working in Saudi Arabia Ahead of the second of our three-part Market Explorer special on Saudi Arabia, industry expert and author of Construction 3.0 Strategies, Ted Garrison, gives his tips on working in the Kingdom


n a recent NCS Radio interview with Professor Saleh Mubarek, the chairman of the civil engineering department at Qatar University, I asked, “What advice would you offer a company that wants to work in the Middle East for the first time?” He responded that they should partner with a local company that understands how business is done. This would allow them to learn local customs while avoiding embarrassing situations. During my career, I moved from one state to another in the United States. A superintendent who moved around with me observed an action he didn’t like and told the worker, “That’s now how we do it in Texas.” The worker smiled and answered defiantly, “Maybe but this isn’t Texas.” It seems to be universal that people resist outsiders’ telling them they are wrong. There is nothing wrong with offering new methods and ideas, but first you need to understand why the local practice is used. There may be a good reason. One colleague advised that trust and integrity are important when doing business in Saudi Arabia. It’s important to be honest, clear and straightforward if you want to be respected and earn people’s trust. This may seem obvious to many, but quite a few people conduct business in a non-transparent manner. Unfortunately this doesn’t contribute to a good working relationship in Saudi Arabia. Related to trust is the fact that the culture is built around networking and relations. Saudi businessmen expect to have face time with those they will be dealing with because they want to get to know the people. Therefore, if you aren’t prepared to put the necessary effort in to get to know the people you will be working with, you will struggle. The dos and don’ts start with common sense, namely treat people with courtesy and respect. When you’re a guest in someone’s home or country, it just not polite to criticize or complain about the way they do things. If you can’t accept the culture or lifestyle, then you shouldn’t go. When you visit anyone, you should adapt to them, not expect them to adapt to you. By following that simple advice, I can report that on my trips to the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the people I encountered were

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Top Tips on Saudi Arabian Business Culture by World Business Culture No business deal will ever be discussed without reference to the Almighty and His Prophet Mohammed. The utmost respect must be given to such devoutly held religious beliefs and accommodations made to allow people to observe religious rituals of prayer and fasting. It is often found that strong hierarchies develop in organisations, with elder male relatives at the head. When setting a new commercial unit in Saudi Arabia, try and show the government not just how you would benefit from the project but also how your project can provide social welfare benefits to the people of the country.

Construction expert, Ted Garrison.

“It’s important to be honest, clear and straightforward if you want to be respected and earn people’s trust. Quite a few people conduct business in a non-transparent manner” friendly, courteous and helpful. The religious culture of the country puts a prohibition on alcohol and drugs. The restrictions on women’s actions, such as dress, the right to drive and their interaction with men outside their families are generally well known, but it’s best to review these issues if you are visiting for the first time. Men must recognize it is a very conservative culture and avoid wearing shorts cut above the knee in public. However, beyond these generally known issues, I’ve provided a few additional recommendations from my connections living in Saudi Arabia. Contacts offered all kinds of additional suggestions ranging from live close to work because of traffic to make sure you know who you are going to work for before you get there. However, in this limited space, I can’t list all of the suggestions. But one colleague suggested you get a copy of the book Don’t They Know It’s Friday? He said it’s great and offers a wonderful perspective on business protocol and Saudi Arabian culture.

Try to find out the relationship tree of any company you wish to do business with. Power may not reside with a functional head if that head is not a family member or has poor relationships at the top. Use your contacts at the influential and powerful places such as the Embassy of Saudi Arabia, the chief Saudi Arabian Chamber of Commerce and any other important business organisations. Saudis do not like to say no or deliver negative news and it can be difficult to fully understand exactly how interested people are in your propositions. Loud and aggressive discourse denotes engagement and interest - not anger or hostility. Do not be frightened or worried if the noise levels in meetings start to grow; also, levels of eye contact are very strong and strong eye contact denotes sincerity and trustworthiness. Avoid touching anybody with your left hand or pointing feet at people as both of these are seen as extremely rude behaviour. Do not comment on the political situation in the Middle East or make any adverse comments about the influence of Islam.

Ted Garrison is a construction expert who writes, speaks and consults on the future of the construction industry. He is also the host of the Internet radio program New Construction Strategies. He can be reached at and followed on Twitter @ TedGarrison.


Riyadh reform As Saudi Arabia goes through a series of changes including the much debated expat residency reformation Christine Fashugba investigates what lies in store for its capital


espite Saudi Arabia recently sparking an expat residency debate with a proposed six-year visa cap, its leaders remain focused. While the rest of the Middle East wonders how crucial infrastructural services will continue to be performed under the proposed legislation, Riyadh’s officials remain positive about achieving the city’s long term vision to attain sustainability in planning, and build a beautiful and functional city for the future. “The new provisions should have little impact as there will clearly be a transition period where workers can still be brought in for construction projects and service start-ups,” says Emad A. Bin Harshan, of the ArRiyadh Development Authority. “The main challenge will be establishing the facilities and procedures for technical and vocational training for Saudis taking on more technical and operational tasks than has typically been the case,” he adds. Bin Harshan also confirms that there are already tens of thousands of Saudi Arabian nationals who have received or are enrolled in programs of technical education, both within the Kingdom and internationally; mostly in the USA, Australia and Europe. “Under current government plans these numbers will continue to grow

“The immediate vision for Riyadh is for a busy working capital of a busy and growing Kingdom, but also for a big city that operates on a human scale” 26 |

each year, providing a substantial well-trained Saudi workforce to meet the needs of the future,” he adds. The city’s goals were set out in the Metropolitan Strategy (MEDSTAR), reviewed in 2008-09 and adopted as a policy in 2011. Obstacles have since arisen, including a recent major setback to relations between Riyadh and Jakarta, after the Indonesian government suspended recruitment of migrant workers for Saudi Arabia. Yet despite the difficulties the city’s vision now faces, including the impact of an expected population boom from its current amount of about 5 million people to around 8.5 million by 2031, Riyadh’s officials remain positive. ArRiyadh Development Authority is responsible for the socioeconomic, cultural, and environmental development of the city; devising plans and procedures to improve the standard of services and facilities provided to residents. The body has also recognised the importance of infrastructure to the city’s future as well as its liveability, and as a result is about to commence the development of an infrastructure plan for Riyadh, covering the next two decades and addressing future priorities across the metropolitan region. “While this represents a major challenge in terms of managing urban growth and providing infrastructure, it is also a major opportunity to provide Riyadh with the very latest in infrastructure services and technologies — something that slow-growth, established cities find it difficult to finance,” Bin Harshan says. As the vision is long-term and broad, Bin

Harshan confirms several immediate initiatives have been set up to assist in its achievement. These include the restoration of Wadi Hanifah, one of Riyadh’s few natural green spaces and one of the largest environmental rehabilitation projects in the world; construction of the King Abdullah Financial Centre at the heart of Riyadh’s emerging financial services sector; and the completion of the master plan for King Khalid International Airport. In addition, major water supply and sewerage reticulation projects will continue across the city; projects identified as a crucial challenge in the MEDSTAR plans. “The immediate vision for Riyadh is for a busy working capital of a busy and growing Kingdom, but also for a big city that operates on a human scale. “For the coming year our vision is to improve Riyadh’s rankings on competitiveness measures among the cities of the world and especially the cities of the Middle East,” Bin Harshan says.

Green goals

Bin Harshan confirms the greatest contemporary challenge ArRiyadh Development Authority faces in helping Riyadh achieve its vision, is the introduction of a city-wide rapid, efficient and attractive public transport that can meet people’s travel needs in a culturally appropriate and affordable way. Despite a significant increase in new roads, air travel and improvements in air transport infrastructure for both cargo and commercial purposes around the Middle East in recent years, Sultan Faden head of founding group, Saudi Green

Below: Aerial view of the Peace Park.

Building Council, says the lack of a complete public transport system in Riyadh significantly obstructs the chances of the city running sustainably. “It’s difficult to define a how green a city is. If I am to define, it would be by counting how many green products or the percentage of infrastructure a city has. Riyadh’s infrastructure is about 70%; there is no public transportation so that’s what makes it weak as a green city,” Faden says. “Riyadh has a number of green projects at the moment compared to other cities but not enough and it should be more than that. It’s all dependent on limited transport which is 99% cars and 1% irregular bus systems,” he adds. Faden believes public projects in Riyadh are


Below: Riyadh is home to 29 of Saudi Arabia’s 44 LEED accredited projects.

BELOW: The mosque of Imam Mohammed bin Saud Dir’iyya.

heading towards becoming sustainable albeit at a slow pace; with 29 of the Kingdom’s 44 LEED accredited projects being initiated in the city. “If we recognised LEED projects as an indication for green projects, then Riyadh has the highest number of LEED registered projects in Saudi Arabia,” Faden says. Although the Kingdom’s transport projects have yet to commence with many awaiting government financial approval, plans are fully developed for two initial stages of a light rail network — the first a 32-kilometre north-south line with 23 stations and the second a 14.5-kilometre line with 13 stations to be supported by a sophisticated network of collector and route buses that cover the whole metropolitan area. “Transport is hugely important to a city like Riyadh, which is expanding and developing to facilitate ease of moving not only people but freight. King Abdullah Financial District (KAFD) should be linked to the main city and the country needs to link with other major Saudi cities though the rail network,” says Andrew Jackson, director of SAS International, metal ceiling designers and manufacturers on King Saud University, Al Imam Muhammad Islamic university and the ministry of higher education. “The development of transport infrastructure is a chance to implement solutions that are known to work but can also make a real impression and statement,” Jackson adds. Suggesting transport development options for Riyadh, Jackson asserts that building solutions and product materials today can allow the region to create fresh new transport hubs which would not only be modern and efficient but also sensitive to the urban realm. “I would suggest both a Railway network and


“Very few cities internationally and no others in the Kingdom have such infrastructure plans covering an entire metropolitan region and all infrastructure sectors”

metro should be implemented. The metro should be brought into the city linking with KAFD,” Jackson continues. “All different schemes have to be integrated for an initiative to be planned correctly. Communication is key. Architects, main and sub-contractors, engineers and manufacturers should all work together as a team for an element of joined up thinking,” he adds. Progressive improvements to Riyadh’s overall infrastructure include the privatisation of telecoms, energy supply, water supply and sewerage treatment with backlogs in these services having been or currently being substantially eliminated. Much has also been done in environmental coordination and management. There are 45 projects and studies that have been undertaken in the past three years by more than 12 agencies, coordinated by a High Committee for the Environment supported by the ArRiyadh Development Authority. “With this experience, Riyadh can now proceed with confidence in further developing its environmental management capabilities. Of 75 major studies and projects approved recently by the High Commission for the Development of Riyadh, 25 address environmental issues,” Bin Harshan says. Bin Harshan confirms that a major study has been commissioned to prepare an infrastructure plan for the city for the next 20 years. The research is due to commence this year. “Very few cities internationally, and no others in the Kingdom, have such infrastructure plans covering an entire metropolitan region and all infrastructure sectors,” Bin Harshan concludes. | 27

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PROJECT UPDATE | Victory Heights

A cosmopolitan victory Just a month after successfully completing Dubai-based villa project Victory Heights, Diar Consult has already occupied 771 of the homes

I “We are offering a housing project that suits many cultural requirements, ways of life and lifestyles, and has raised the bar in Dubai for community living” 30 |

n response to the drastic increase of foreign workers in the UAE since 2006 – reaching a total of 8.26 million, representing 88.5% of the population – Diar Consult took responsibility for the master planning and design of Victory Heights, a 961 unit, cosmopolitan villa community project spread over 25 million square feet, in Dubai. With 771 of the Mediterranean, European and Andalucian (Spanish) style villas already sold, the architectural, engineering and interior design consultants are continuing to target middle and upper income families to occupy the remaining 192 homes. “We believe Victory Heights has been a success because of the quality of the end product,”

affirms chairman and design principal for Diar Consult, Samir Daoud, continuing: “There have been many issues with regards to the end product in Dubai for various reasons; either a mismatch with budget expectations, or quality of performance and capabilities.” “We were talking about a budget of AED 1.5 billion or thereabouts and we have kept to that, so there has been a lot of effort with regards to cost control but not at the expense of quality,” he adds. The units comprise a selection of 270 to 650 square metre detached, semi-detached and terraced villas, built across seven villages and around an 18 hole golf course designed by world renowned South African golfer Ernie Els. The project is a reflection of the cosmopolitan

The project also offers numerous amenities and recreational facilities including swimming pools, gymnasiums, retail outlets, community centres and children’s play areas. “I think the end result has taken care of the social and cultural requirements of Dubai’s demographics. The various cultures and backgrounds represented each have requirements met and satisfied in a variety of combinations in the models offered. “We are offering a housing project that suits many cultural requirements, ways of life and lifestyles, and has raised the bar in Dubai for community living,” Daoud concludes.

spectrum of Dubai’s Arabian, European, Indian and sub-continent residents. The units offer a choice of open-plan styles, with the kitchens open to the living room and a media or ‘grand room’ extension leading to the dining room and beyond in the larger villas. However, the consultants have also catered for cultures requiring enclosed kitchens for their type of cooking. “Because there is a cosmopolitan mix in Dubai and each cultural background has its own requirements for how they use their homes, the planning of the villas has been flexible,” says Daoud. “With regards to living rooms, various

cultures use living rooms differently; Indians different to Arabs and Arabs different to Europeans. So we have offered some living rooms which are private for cultures where the family zone needs to be separated from the formal guest zone, whereas other cultures do not require that strict-degree level of privacy and separation,” he says. For clients wishing to “go all the way” with built-in technology, the SMART home concept is also offered, giving residents control of their villa’s appliances from central or laptop control stations; including installations such as air-conditioning, lighting, external security systems, garage doors and irrigation systems.

Victory Height facts Total site area: 2,278,000 M2 Total number of villas: 961 Number of villas sold: 771 Villas pending construction: 173 Total golf course area: 863,000 M2 Total build up area of villas and community buildings: 463,800 M2 Other green space: 425,000 M2 Road: 141,000 M2 | 31

PROJECT UPDATE | Victory Heights

“There have been many issues with regards to the end product in Dubai for various reasons; either a mismatch with budget expectations, or quality of performance and capabilities”



Thom Bohlen, Chief Technical Officer and LEED AP at the Middle East Centre for Sustainable Development, explains why the greenest buildings are those which already exist


ver the next decades catastrophic events due to climatic changes caused by global warming may render our earth inhospitable for millions of people, and disrupt human society and other life on the planet to the point of extinction, unless timely corrective action is taken to mitigate the effects of climate change through a “Green Renaissance for Human Development.”

MECSD and “The Green Renaissance”

The Middle East Centre for Sustainable Development (MECSD) is leading “The Green Renaissance” in sustainable human development in the Middle East and across the globe. The Green Renaissance is a “new awakening” or “rebirth” of a new era of intellectual transformation in the arts, architecture, science and technologies, commerce and across all sectors of human society, as well as in the human consciousness and the relationship of humanity with our planet earth. The greening of the development industry – and in turn the greening of all human activity – is happening everywhere around the globe. The information revolution and the convergence of Information Technology with Energy and Environmental Technology have made it possible for humans to interact with each other and the planet in a way never before thought possible. To secure “The Green Renaissance” on earth will take not only the greatest advances in technology, research and implementation known to mankind ever in our history, but it will also take great political and social will and cooperation and collaboration among the nations of the earth and their populace never before experienced or even contemplated. This is the challenge of this century, and meeting this challenge rests with the current generation and how we as leaders of this generation are able to make this grand transition.

Ecological Footprint of the UAE

The ecological footprint is a measure of our impact on the Earth’s resources. Based on statistics provided through the World Wildlife Fund’s “Living Planet Report for 2010”, the UAE’s per capita footprint is 10.8 global hectares, while the average footprint per capita worldwide is 2.8 global hectares. This footprint is high in UAE due to the high demand for fos-

ABOVE: Bholen says that the greenest buildings are those which have already been built.

of energy. One of the largest challenges, but also one of the greatest opportunities, is the current stock of existing buildings, and how we can make them more efficient to operate.

Embodied Energy of Existing Buildings

ABOVE: MECSD chief technical officer Thom Bholen.

sil fuel resources (80% for power and transit). According to the Dubai Electrical and Water Authority (DEWA), the average individual electrical usage is 20,000 kwh per annum, and the individual water usage is 130 gallons per day, placing Dubai and as the among the cities with the highest consumption of these precious resources in the World. The same averages can be assumed across all of the emirates. Stemming the effects of climate change will require a world-wide effort to replace our wasteful, inefficient energy practices with new strategies, inventions, and collaborative human relationships that will quickly result in much greater efficiencies in the use and conservation


Greening the existing building stock of the UAE

The value of the existing building stock is their inherent “embodied energy” that is representative of all the resources — labour and materials — that have already been consumed to create them. In addition, existing buildings also embody cultural and sometimes historical value, but always economic value. It is arguable that the greenest buildings are the ones already built both because of the enormous amount of energy and materials already locked into buildings (embodied energy), and the significant carbon emissions they represent. Embodied energy is the energy consumed by all of the processes associated with the construction of a building, from the acquisition of natural resources to product delivery. This includes the mining and manufacturing of materials and equipment, plus their transport. Embodied-energy calculations have had little influence on the old-versus-new building debate because it was believed that the embodied energy content of a building was rather small compared to the energy used in operating the building over its life. Most conservation efforts were, therefore, put into reducing operating energy by improving the energy efficiency of the structure. | 33


250,000 estimated building stock of the entire uae, comprising multi-family residential, industrial, commercial, government and educational units

“The value of existing building stock is their inherent “embodied energy” that is representative of all the resources that have already been consumed to create them”

Today it is accepted that embodied energy can be the equivalent of many years of operational energy, and that new construction requires enormous expenditures of energy and materials. A recent study by the US Environmental Protection Agency estimated that 30 to 40 % of natural resource extraction goes to the building industry annually. However, it is also true that most existing buildings can be upgraded, refurbished, and or adaptively reused to significantly reduce their energy and water consumption, improve their indoor air quality, and increase overall operations and maintenance efficiencies.

Building Data in the UAE

Much of the building stock of the 22nd Century already exists. In industrialised countries, the ratio of existing buildings to new is roughly 10 to 1. Conservatively, there are estimated to be over 250,000 existing buildings (exclusive of single family villas) in the seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates. These buildings include multi-family residential, industrial, commercial, governmental, institutional, and educational facilities, among others. Many of these buildings have been constructed without much regard for energy and water efficiency. To make serious impact upon the sustainability of our UAE built environment, this existing building stock must be brought up to new standards, particularly in energy and water efficiency. Water is included because most of the UAE’s water comes from desalination, which is energy intensive in its production. Indeed, energy required for water desalination is projected to consume 20% of the total energy demand in the UAE by 2030. Based on recent estimates for 2010, 75.5 billion kilowatt hours of annual power is consumed by the entire Country, of which approximately 70% of the energy produced is consumed by Buildings, which equates to 52.85 billion kwh. Retrofitting all existing buildings in the UAE with energy conservation measures (ECMs) can result in a potential average savings of a minimum 20% across the board, which is equivalent to10.57 billion kwh of power which translates at a rate of 0.33 AED per kwh to 3,488,100,000 AED annually). This cost savings also translates to the elimination of approximately 5,306,140 metric tons of CO2 annually, based upon a gas fired plant emission rate of 502 grams of CO2 per kwh.

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ABOVE: In industrialised countries the ratio of old to new building stock is 10:1.

But where to start this seemingly immense task?

Achievement of a restorative economy and a sustainable society will only happen through the accumulated efforts of billions of individuals, learning to do more with less. Paul Hawken refers to “actionable intelligence supporting sensible outcomes”. This is how the greening of the existing building stock in the UAE will be accomplished-one building at a time. Each existing building owner must realise that it is their responsibility to upgrade their facility, and that when they do; they will be paid back many times over the initial improvement costs in only a few short years. It is only a matter of time before governments will make mandatory the upgrade to existing buildings. Why wait? Smart building owners will get in front of the curve because they will recognize the benefits of retrofitting their building with energy and water saving methodologies. This is actionable intelligence supporting a sensible outcome.

Each building is unique

One of the most important concepts we have learned through our MECSD green building experiences that applies also to existing buildings is that each building is unique unto itself in terms of its building systems and the

“This is the challenge of this century, and meeting this challenge rests with the current generation and how we as leaders of this generation are able to make this grand transition” behavioural aspects of its occupants. This uniqueness makes it very difficult or nearly impossible to compare the improvement of efficiencies achieved across a group of existing buildings-instead each building is measured against its benchmarked prior self, after the green building improvements have been implemented. As unique as each building is however, there are a set of sustainability solutions that can be applied across the spectrum of existing buildings that can be repeated with amazing regularity, cost effectiveness, and success.

The Greening of the Existing Building Stock can be addressed in six important areas 1. IMPROVING THE BUILDING ENVELOPE Although it is not easy to significantly alter an existing building envelope, i.e. the walls, roof and glazing, there are some relatively cost

effective methods that can reduce summer heat gain, improve thermally efficient, and reduce air and moisture and windblown sand infiltration. These include Cool foor upgrades; tinted window film, re-sealing the building and increasing insulation.


Lighting power reduction is one of the broadest, simplest, and effective methodologies for energy reduction within existing buildings. Broadest in application from simple day-night shut-off controls to replacement of out-dated bulbs and inefficient fixtures. Measures can include: replacing bulbs and fixtures, automating controls and installing efficient equipment such as Emirates Energy Star rated appliances.


Cooling loads in the UAE are the largest energy hogs within existing buildings. Increasing the efficiency can be simple or more complex, with corresponding capex increases to be offset by opex decreases. Typically, investigative measures in the form of an energy audit and retro-commissioning must occur first, followed by recommended energy conservation measures (ECMs) to strategically improve the building’s overall performance. Finally, an on-going measurement and verification process must be put into place. The above methodology is based on the old saying “if you can’t measure it you can’t manage it”. Sinple steps include retro-commissioning systems or conducting an existing building energy audit. Typically an audit report will be generated after the baseline is established and a building walkthrough is conducted. The audit report will include: • Project building current consumption figures and established energy benchmark • All possible energy conservation measures with anticipated energy and cost savings • Costs for implementing each measure • Estimated time and schedule to complete ECM implementation • Estimated payback period and ROI.

4. RENEWABLE ENERGY SOLUTIONS To date, it is difficult to add significant on-site

renewable energy systems to existing buildings. Difficulties range from simple lack of space for these systems on existing roofs or sites that are already filled with equipment or functions needed for the existing building, to the lack of interior access for installation of new conduit, piping, or other systems required by the potential renewable. Also high initial costs prevent many building owners from making the renewable energy choice.These renewable energy solutions such as solar hot water, PV panels for lighting, wind turbines or solar exterior lighting can reduce grid based energy consumption. Simple costs savings and payback periods can be determined by the amount of renewable energy produced by each system. Typical ROIs can range from 2-5 years for solar thermal solutions and 15-45 years for Solar PV solutions. Targets should be for 1%-10% of total consumption.


Adding low –flow water saving devices to plumbing fixtures and improving the exterior landscape irrigation are water reducing methodologies that can have a good ROI. The most popular are low-flow fixtures, which can reduce consumption from between 15-30%, and drip irrigation, with proper control valves, timers and distribution systems with controllable emitters.


Behavioural modification is oftentimes forgotten or undervalued in the process of greening existing buildings. Awareness is the first line of offence in the game of green operations and maintenance. MECSD has found simple awareness can result in a quick decrease in energy and water consumption of between 2% and 5%. This is without changing anything physical in the building, and is the result of the green awareness being supported by a green educational program, which leads to the formulation of new green O&M policies and their eventual implementation. The fascinating thing about green behavioural modification is that its associated costs are extremely manageable because most of these activities can be performed by the existing staff, with only some guidance from green professionals.

the measurement in global hectares of the UAE’s per capital footprint for natural resources; five times greater than the global average

Companies like MECSD can help

Building Owners who have taken the small leap of faith to take action to “green” their existing building can find help from green building specialists such as MECSD to use green building programs to guide them through the maze of potential energy and water conservation measures, of which only a few I have listed above. The USGBC LEED for Existing BuildingsOperations and Maintenance (LEED EBOM) Is one such program that is being utilized over the world and right here in the U.A.E. Another program, the Estidama Pearl Building Rating System, will soon launch a similar program for existing buildings in Abu Dhabi. In addition, Etisalat has teamed with Pacific Controls Systems to form Emirates Energy Star, a managed energy services program geared specifically for existing buildings across the UAE.

The Future is literally in our collective Hands

All existing building owners in the UAE should consider greening their buildings and begin the process immediately. It can start with just developing green awareness through green education with the management staff and building occupants. Once people have been made aware and take even small steps, there is no turning back to old wasteful ways-this is the way of the human spirit. Let us hope that we can, over the next few decades take the actions necessary to achieve the sensible results, so that we and our progeny can live in “the best of times” and that the world can indeed enter into a “Green Renaissance for Human Development.”

Thom’s full article can be read at

The benefits of greening the existing UAE building stock are numerous: •

Reduced operating costs and consumption for energy and water.

Lower carbon and ecological footprint, and lower emissions of GHG.

Enhanced building performance.

Enhanced occupant comfort and health.

Extended life of existing buildings. | 35



“Smart building owners will get in front of the curve because they will recognise the benefits of retrofitting their building with energy and water saving methodologies”

Following in the footsteps of its famous neighbours, Fujairah is to become the UAE’s next construction capital. With huge commercial, residential and infrastructure ambitions in the pipeline, The Big Project speaks exclusively with the three people who will lead the transformation of this essential Emirate

Municipality GM Mohamed Al Afkham.

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You should be here...

"We are placing everything in this project and everything we do will also promote our development"


s famous for its miles of picturesque coastline, as it is for its oil and aggregate production, the Emirate of Fujairah is a mass of contradictions. Hidden on the far side of the UAE’s only mountain range on the Indian Ocean coast, the weekend getaway destination of choice for expats throughout the UAE, is preparing itself to compete with its world famous neighbours Dubai and Abu Dhabi. With detailed plans to overhaul everything from the road into the Emirate to the lives of the people living and working there; Fujairah Municipality has bold ambitions. A number of projects are in the advanced planning stages, with others already tendered

and, in collaboration with urban mapping specialists Vectuel, the municipality is pushing ahead with a mega-project that will change Fujairah forever. Putting a deadline of five years on his dream, general manager of Fujairah Municipality, Mohamed Al Afkham says his vision for the future of the Emirate began years ago. “Since I was young, I always had this feeling that I wanted to do something for my home town. Many people want to move away from where they grow up to do big projects in places that are already world-famous. “But I say don’t think about the rest of the world, just concentrate on your home town,” Al Afkham asserts, philosophically elaborating: | 37


176,825 the Total population of the emirate in 2010

“Look at what you see, be good in what you do to it, and people will talk about it.” Having assed all the elements that contribute to Fujairah’s unique vitality, Al Afkham enlisted French urban software providers Vectuel to create a digital city — the first planning project of its kind in the Middle East. Two years ago Vectuel regional branch manager Caroline Tasse was enlisted to produce a survey of 50 landmarks in the Emirate including the two most iconic mosques Al Bidya mosque — the oldest in the UAE — and Sheikh Zayed — the second largest in the country. In addition, the urban plan incorporated a number of historic and cultural sites. Using a software programme called VStory, Vectuel then extended the initial survey to incorporat the wider Fujairah City, creating a sprawling scale model of 10,000 buildings on which to plan the extensive developments now being realised. Al Afkham says that mapping the project in such a way has not only assisted in the planning stages, but has also promoted the Emirate to potential investors and developers, while also ensuring the feasibility of the plans. Of the projects deemed workable, perhaps the most vital will be the AED 1.6bn Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Road, due to be fully operational by the end of 2011. Built to solve what the municipality refers to as a “major infrastructure issue”, the road will provide a shorter route between Fujairah and Dubai, Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah. Connecting the central region of Fujairah to Dubai via Al Gazirmi locality, Wadi Sahm, Asfeeni, Mamdooh, Kadra and the Shawka valleys in Ras Al Khaimah; the route will end at Maleeha Road in Sharjah. It will slash travelling times between Emirates, not only aiding the convoys of heavy vehicles transporting Fujairah's aggregate, but further adding to the appeal for weekend visitors and day trippers. “Most Emiratis want to do something for the country, because the country has been so good to us. Our leaders allow us the opportunity to achieve whatever we want,” Al Akfam says. “I studied in the US for five years but I chose

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LEFT: Vectuel's VStory software was used to map 50 top landmarks, including mosques, hotels and heritage sites. It was then used to map the wider Emirate, incoporating a total of 10,000 buildings in the plans.

to come back and use my education to build my country into something great. If you notice from five years ago until now there have been big changes, because we all want to do something for this country.”

From the ground up

Starting at the very roots of the Emirate’s development, the municipality’s building department is to double in size to provide the required resources to deal with the increased construction activity. Headed by director of projects Nawal Al Hanaei, the department has confirmed a number of elements linked to the overall plans for Fujairah (see box), some of which are to be financed by a multi-million dirham grant from UAE president Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahian. Industrially, these include: an aluminium factory; waste management and sewerage plants; expansion of the national grain storage programme; a 370 kilometre oil pipeline; oil storage; power stations for electricity and water;

and development of a sea port set to become so huge it will compete with Rotterdam. The city will also benefit from the GCC rail project, executed in the UAE by Etihad Rail. Commercial, residential and touristic plans will see the creation of a number of malls and tourism resorts — including eco-tourism projects in Fujairah and Dibba — and the restructuring of residential housing in the primary industrial area, where more than 30,000 different plots will be divided into neighbourhoods with capacity to accommodate all existing and future residents. Additionally a new mosque, Sheikh Zayed, has been built in the centre of the town; at 182,885 square metres, it is also the second largest mosque in the country. The number of building permits issued has been rising steadily for months, with the residential and

News Fujairah- The Landmarks Bithnah Fort A majestic reconstructed fort that once defended the route via Wadi Ham through the rugged Hajar Mountains to Fujairah. Hail Palace Situated 13 kilometres west of Fujairah in the scenic Wadi Al Hail, this old castle and watchtower in an enclosed compound was the summer palace of the Fujairah sheikhs. Archaeology remains indicate the area was settled as far back as the Iron Age, between 1300 to 300 BC.

commercial projects comprising the bulk of activity in 2010 (see chart). “The most exciting part is that everybody will now know about Fujairah,” says Al Hanaei. Having worked for the municipality for eight years, Al Hanaei holds a Bachelor of Honours in civil management and a Masters in urban planning. Promoted from head of the building department to director of projects this year, she says there is an atmosphere of anticipation within the department. “The whole plans are very exciting and will bring more tourists and investors, not only from outside the country but also from within the UAE,” she continues adding that tourism in particular will help to increase the rate of investment in the Emirate. “When in the past people have only known about Dubai and Abu Dhabi, now they will see what is in Fujairah; and it will also renew excitement in the Middle East if Fujairah becomes a new holiday destination,” she says. Since welcoming a number of tourists diverted from Egypt during the recent political unrest, Fujairah’s profile has already received a boost this year, albeit an unexpected one. Yet even in 2010 three new hotels opened, bringing the total number in operation to 13, with a combined total of 1684 rooms. The number of visitors arriving solely through the Emirate’s airport also increased.

Creative ideas

Ironically, the only obstacle to the development plans is also a major source of economic stability; the mountainside. While the terrain — which accounts for around 80% of the Emirate’s total land — provides the aggregate produced for markets throughout the UAE and sometimes even further afield, it also limits how far the town can physically expand. That said an ambition which knows no bounds simply works around the dilemma. Feasibility studies are exploring a huge renewable energy project, which could see photo-voltaic solar panels or even wind turbines built into large areas of the steep terrain, with the dual benefit of powering the Emirate and also freeing up more of the oil refined there for sale. Al Hanaei also reports planners in the department are looking to other mountainous regions, around the world, to learn how to build into the slopes and maximise the land, ahead of an influx of new businesses, residents and visitors. “We need creative ideas to use the mountains as accommodation for the people in the new and existing industries and internationally we are looking to other countries to see how they build into mountains,” she says.


"We need creative ideas to use the mountains as accommodation for the people in industry and we are looking at other international countries to see how they build into mountains"

Fujairah Fort This reputedly 360-year-old fort lies on a hill at the edge of the date gardens, surrounded by the remains of the old town houses. The fort was severely damaged in the early twentieth century by a British bombardment but has been recently restored to its former glory. Fujairah Heritage Village Near Fujairah Fort, this heritage village has a good selection of traditional houses (‘arish) and fishing boats (shasha) made from palm fronds, providing an interesting backdrop to its living reconstruction of traditional life on the east coast. Bidiya Mosque Bidiya Mosque, the oldest mosque in the UAE that is still in use, is a unique construction with four small domes held up by central pillar. The mountains in the background dwarf two small watchtowers on the hill behind the mosque. Nearby is a long tomb dating to the Late Bronze Age. | 39


1488 KM


"When in the past people have only known about Dubai and Abu Dhabi, now they will see what is in Fujairah; it will renew excitement in the Middle East"

total area of the Emirate

Municipality GM Mohamed Al Afkham.

Vectuel ME branch manager Caroline Tasse.

With such strong focus on population and economy, Fujairah cannot afford a land shortage. It also cannot afford to over-develop the landscape, which in itself plays a pivotal role in so many of the plans; if the authorities are to promote both Fujairah’s industrial and natural attributes, a balance will have to be struck to preserve the environment. “We can still develop the industrial capacity while preserving the natural beauty and will always protect the landscape and preserve the environment for the coming generations,” Al Afkham says, naming sites such as the Heritage Village, fort and Hail Palace, as well as the reservoir, coral reefs and wildlife. Fujairah’s heritage has even drawn the attention of UNESCO, which has protected some of the historic sites and also established an office for its International Theatre Institute (ITI) in the Emirate. In addition to preserving existing ecosystems, a number of the new developments will be constructed to meet sustainability criteria. The first such community, comprising 35 bungalows, was recently completed in a suburb called Mudhab. The AED 6 million project was part of comprehensive municipality plans to provide high quality housing and social security; the houses use no timber products and feature highgrade heat insulation to reduce energy consumption. “We have a lot of work to do, but we have to also balance it and preserve the environment,” Al Akfam adds.

Director of Project Nawal Al Hanaei.

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Industrial revolution

In stark contrast, the establishment via Emiri Decree, of the Fujairah Oil Zone (FOZ) in April this year, renewed interest in a robust local economy based on oil refinement. Run by a new entity, Fujairah Zone for Petroleum Industry will be responsible for all petroleum products, hydro-carbon industries and oil and gas, while also providing infrastructure and buildings for investors at the site. The free zone facility will be operational from 2012. The sector will receive a further boost this year when the Habshan–Fujairah oil pipeline is commissioned; reportedly in Q4. Other major industries booming in the Emirate include quarrying, mining, manufacturing and of course, construction. Already producing power for the Emirates and processing Abu Dhabi’s oil in its huge plants and refineries, Al Afkham says there are “many other new ideas in the

pipeline”, including an extension of the existing national grain reserve project, which could become commercial, and expansions at the already enormous Port of Fujairah; one of the three largest bunkering points in the world. “We have a lot of other ideas that use Fujairah as an oil hub or sea port. The sea port is expanding rapidly and with this pace of development in a few years it will over-take Rotterdam,” he says. Both Fujairah’s shipping and petroleum industries will continue to be strengthened according to speakers at the bunkering and fuel oil forum, FUJCON, held in March of this year. The biannual forum was attended by more than 250 representatives from related industries, who heard the Emirate’s minister for environment and water, Dr. Mohammed Saeed Al Kindi, speak about the importance of PPP contracts during Fujairah's current period of development.

allocated for the development of the rural areas of the Emirates

Currently restricted to no more than 49% ownership of any business in the Emirate, foreign companies are now flocking to the local free zones, based on models similar to Dubai’s Jebel Ali, to establish operations ahead of the increased industrial activity.

Grand plans

Not since Dubai’s gold rush days have such huge ambitions been unveiled in the UAE. More than mere tenders or contracts, Fujairah’s plans aim to transform everything from the life of its residents to the perceptions of the Emirate and wider Middle East on the world. “I’m not trying to promote Fujairah simply as a destination but I also want to promote its people,” says Al Afkham. “Around the world, a lot of people have been misled about Arabic culture and I want to take advantage of this opportunity to open people’s minds and change their perception of the Middle East,” he adds. The digital mapping produced by Vectuel is the first step in the promotional strategy and has already been taken as far afield as Germany, to showcase the

"The sea port is expanding rapidly and with this pace of development in a few years it will over-take Rotterdam More and more we are moving towards digital cities in planning" Emirate's potential to investors in addition to the organisations already enjoying a presence there such as UNESCO. Unlike Vectuel’s other projects in the region — which include complete mapping of Abu Dhabi’s Masdar City — the Fujairah project is the first to map an existing city and incorporate such close collaboration with a municipality. “The reason this project is different is because we are working with the government on a strategic level. It’s a territory management project,” says Tasse. “The government has ideas and they know what they want, so these can be tested here," she adds. “More and more we are moving towards digital cities in planning. For example Doha is developing a 3D model, but the plan for Fujairah is different because it is being used as a promotional tool on many levels,” she continues. On June 16, Al Afkham took H.H. Sheikh Hamad bin Mohammed Al Sharqi, supreme council member and ruler of Fujairah, on a guided tour of the sites already and soon to be developed. “Sheikh Mohammed has a vision. When he sees something like this; the place, the plans and the software, he sees the value of it and the fact it is working. You can make 10 mistakes on a piece of paper but this software shows you the ideas and what will work on a scale not seen before.” “The plan is not only for promotion but also for further planning to help us see if our ideas are suitable for the architects and designers. This is a long term project,” Al Hanaei elaborates. With the scope of projects underway and multi-million dirham investment funds, the five year project deadline set by Al Afkham may be achievable, but it is unlikely to be the end of his vision. “We are placing everything in this project and everything we do will also promote our development,” he concludes.

Fujairah- the projects The Hilal City The first project of its type in Fujairah, Hilal City will feature 130 towers, in line with residential, commercial and tourism development. The city will also have a huge commercial centre comprising a five-star hotel, luxury hotel apartments, a commercial shopping centre and hyper markets. A total of 40% of the area will be open and green spaces. A network of paved roads will also be landscaped, and a number of easy-access roads and bridges will also be constructed. Sheikh Zayed Mosque Funded with money from Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahian’s AED 190 million grant, the Ministry of Public Works designed the mosque — the second largest in the country. The two-storey mosque will be built in the centre of the city, in an area of 182, 885 square metres, featuring an outer yard surrounded by four colonnades and topped by 35 small domes; six 107 metre high minarets, clad in white marble will rise from each corner of the courtyard. The Fanar Towers Overlooking the Gulf, the Fanar complex is set in landscaped gardens, and one residential and two 30-storey commercial towers. The project also includes a retail centre with restaurants, cinemas and leisure facilities. The Al Fajer Port (Harbor) In addition to the industrially focussed expansion of Fujairah Sea Port, the Al Fajer Port will be developed as a leisure destination with boat mooring facilities and promenades. Fujairah Mall Located on the road leading into the Emirate, this 100,000 square metre project comprises a commercial centre, hotel, shops, restaurants, cinema, health club and swimming pool. Work on the project began last summer and is due for completion towards the end of December 2012. The Golden Sand Beach Inclusive of a 250 room hotel, luxury villas available for rent, a commercial centre with retail outlets and an aqua leisure resort , a number of international hotel brands are due to be constructed along the coast, including Grand Hyatt and Intercontinental. | 41



News in focus | JORDAN review

Public property With news that Jordan is to revolutionise its use of public facilities, EC Harris partner Bernie Devine explains how its private sector advisory coalition will manage the country’s public sector assets

“The contract is to centralise the management of their properties portfolio; establishing an efficient process is a critical component to maximising the return on investments”

$54.4 b The value of PPP projects across the gcc in september 2010


aced with the challenge of competing with its lucrative neighbours without the unlimited sovereign wealth funds, the Jordanian government has recruited British consultancies McBains Cooper and EC Harris to revolutionise how it manages its public buildings portfolio. Working on behalf of the government’s privatisation commission, the coalition — along with consortium partners K&L Gates and the Jordanbased Darat Consulting — will deliver a public sector property review. The aim of the exercise is to increase the efficient use of Jordan’s public buildings portfolio; driving greater return on the public funding invested in it. International built asset consultancy EC Harris, will act as programme managers and technical advisors to the Directorate of Government Buildings. “The Jordanian Government is one of the few governments in the region to recognise the need

to improve how they manage real estate,” says EC Harris partner, Bernie Devine. “The contract is to centralise the management of their properties portfolio. Establishing an efficient process is a critical component to maximising the return on investments. We’re at the start of the process and we are helping them to understand how to manage the portfolio better,” he adds. Funded by the World Bank, the project will involve creating and implementing a “comprehensive property database and management strategy” to enable the property department to realise the full value of its assets; a property maintenance strategy; and procurement guidance. The strategy will also identify potential maintenance projects to be financed through PPP; methods to ensure projects are attractive for investors; and an overall review of the department and its resourcing. ”Jordan is facing a number of issues, such as | 43

news in focus | JORDAN review

”This isn’t just ‘consult and go’, it is an institutional change; we don’t want to give them a fish dinner we want to teach them how to fish” strategic land use decisions, aligning asset decisions with service delivery needs and how they manage the portfolio; looking at utilisation of space; setting design standards; getting assets classified and getting a cost performance base in place,” Devine recalls. “We will also help to implement new systems and processes, which will lead to improving the supply chain. It’s a positive outcome all round; rather than saying what is wrong with how they are currently working we will work on things with them help them improve these elements,“ he adds. McBains Cooper director Anthony Coumdis calls the project a “crucial” piece of work which will: “Drive significant change and efficiencies in the way government-owned buildings are managed, operated and maintained”.

Behind the scenes

The tender process began in 2010, with EC Harris and McBains then working with the relevant authorities throughout Q1 2011 to negotiate on the specifics of what is needed and how to achieve it. “They knew what they wanted but didn’t really have all the details,” says Devine. Naming one of two primary challenges as “focussing budgets”, the process will be implemented within months, providing other governments in the region with a best practice model. Devine says the remit is to “set up all the major gate-way processes”, including contract works and procurement, yet he says the changes will take longer than the 12 months allocated to the project to filter through to all government departments. “There are a few governments in the region who recognised that they need to address similar issues and we are working with them also. “The real challenge is that Jordan needs to be very focused on its budgets. We are working towards implementing the processes within months, which will get them down the road, but there’s a lot to do,” Devine comments. A major priority still on the ‘to-do’ list is addressing the lack of trade-based certification training; in short, the fact that no tradesman operating in the country is actually ‘certified’. A problem at the best of times but, as Devine elaborates, a particular sticking point when there is a portfolio of thousands of buildings to manage. “The government has been very receptive. One value they have realised is that this is a

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Bernie Devine

great way to drive training and employment into the national economy; it will help to manage buildings and also create economic growth and jobs,” Devine says. Likening the process to producing a road map, Devine maintains it is a collaborative effort, requiring huge amounts of work from all involved parties. “This isn’t just ‘consult and go’, it is an institutional change; we don’t want to give them a fish dinner we want to teach them how to fish. It is working quite well,” he continues.

Working together

The concept of PPP was first introduced to the region almost two decades ago, for a power project in Oman. Although establishing the contractual details can be time consuming, it has since been deployed aggressively, across a number of projects and is considered a vital method of funding for institutional, social and civil infrastructure projects. As of September 2010, the value of PPP deals in development in the GCC alone stood at US $54.4bn; also at that time Egypt, Jordan and Syria were in the process of developing framework guidelines for partnerships. In addition Kuwait is developing a PPP strategy to be used on the construction of its $7bn metro system. During his time as Prime Minister, Tony Blair employed the concept across a number of

sectors in the UK, admitting the private sector was inherently more efficient than the public; and able to provide solutions, and money, where the public sector could not. “Jordan doesn’t have as much money to support major investment like the GCC Oil States, and that will be the biggest challenge,” Devine observes. “We will show them the best practice models but if you cannot afford it you cannot achieve it. One of the key things we are defining is a prioritisation model – if you have limited funds to spend, the best way to improve things is to encourage the private sector to invest,” he advises. Saying the model will be provide a strong incentive for new players — both regional and international — to enter the Jordanian market, Devine says part of the work EC Harris and McBains will undertake includes pitching innovative solutions to encourage such investment. “The thing we are most excited about is that this is a great opportunity to improve asset performance for the country and demonstrate how, in this market, you can improve the quality of government services through very focussed asset management,” he says.

Jordan’s Economic outlook 2010 v 2011 COMPILED BY Oxford Business Group 4.2% predicted GDP increase in 2011 3.5% rise in GDP in 2010 $1.5b current budget deficit, 5% of GDP down from 5.3% in 2010 8.5% the 2009 budget deficit in relation to GDP $ 7.36 b forecast for total state income in 2011 $6.9b total state income in 2010 $426m will be paid to Jordan in foreign grants in 2011 $610m in foreign grants received in 2010 15.9% rise in export trade in 2010, following a 19.8% decline in 2009 5.5% predicted inflation in 2011

Material experts tell Christine Fashugba how the revolutionary non-toxic graphene could change the construction industry


s unlikely as it is an elephant would ever sit on top of a building, potential investors and construction management in particular may take interest in the fact that it would actually take an elephant “ balanced on a pencil” to break through a clingfilm-thick sheet of the revolutionary material grapheme. Those were the words of Columbia University’s James Hone, who headed a research project into the material before it won a Nobel Prize in 2010. According to Lux Research Inc analyst Alex Carter, despite being in its early stages the non-toxic, 2-dimensional, hexagonal array of sp2-bonded carbon atoms tipped to eventually replace steel, could be a material for largescale production companies to watch. Developers are currently investigating the application of graphene for electronics on medical implants due to its high bio-compatibility. “Graphene is a pure carbon material and is non-toxic to humans and animals. If graphene were to reach large-scale production there would be little issue with its disposal,” Carter says. “Total lifetime environmental costs in terms of the chemicals necessary to produce graphene nanoplatelets (GNPs) and the greenhouse emissions related to the energy necessary for graphene production, are still unknown and may not necessarily be an improvement over conventional construction materials, however graphene synthesis and processing methods are still being invented today,” he adds. Dr Yu-Ming Lin research staff member Nanometre Scale Science & Technology IBM, dispersed any environmentalists’ concerns regarding the material’s use. “Graphene is inert and therefore, is not likely to cause negative environmental effects,” she says. Graphene is mostly known for its strength, which is believed to surpass that of steel, a property which is likely to attract construction industry management. However, Carter

“Graphene is highly conductive, flexible, and transparent. Therefore, one could imagine mixing graphene into construction materials to enhance its properties”

ABOVE: Lux Research Inc analyst Alex Carter.

“Graphene is a pure carbon material and is non-toxic to humans and animals. If graphene were to reach large-scale production there would be little issue with its disposal”

asserts it is too early for graphene to have a significant effect on the sector. “Graphene has not entered into any commercial construction materials yet. The three largest graphene nanoplatelet producers in the US; XG Sciences, Vorbeck Materials and Angstron Materials, also known as Nanotek Instruments, simply do not have the production capacity built up at this stage,” Carter says, adding: “Expect graphene to appear in specialty electronics, energy storage, and automotive composites before moving to even higher volume applications such as construction.” Electronics industry leaders Samsung and IBM are already taking advantage of the material’s string of benefits including resistance to erosion from powerful acids and alkalis, the ability to produce faster, cheaper, thinner and more flexible devices and transparent electronic digital applications. One of the biggest investors in graphene research, Samsung, has demonstrated a 25-inch flexible touchscreen using the material which has a transistor believed to have limitless speed capability while IBM has created a 150 gigahertz (GHz) transistor. According to BBC News the quickest comparable silicon device runs at about 40 GHz. Despite the material already creating an impression most notably winning its experimental researchers Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov the Nobel Prize in Physics last year much is still being said about its potential including a role a significantly sharper “reading” role in DNA sequencing. Although Lin’s research mostly focused on electronic applications showing graphene’s mechanical strength property to usually only valid in a microscopic scale i.e. about several microns, because large area graphene generally consists of patches of small domains or flakes, she believes the use of the material within the construction industry could further develop its properties. “It remains to be seen how graphene will be used in construction industry as a replacement of steel. “There are, however, other properties of graphene that may be of interest to the construction industry,” she said. “Graphene is highly conductive, flexible, and transparent. Therefore, one could imagine mixing graphene into construction materials to enhance its properties,” she concludes. | 45


Stronger than steel


Flying high With the value of current airport projects in the region valued at US$ 90 billion, The Big Project speaks to Cavotec; one of the few companies working across them all


uring the 11th annual Airport Show, held in Dubai last month engineering group Cavotec reported a number of achievements, including a contract to supply its advanced ground support for the world’s largest Emirates Airlines terminal and an award for the best emerging market airport equipment service provider — focussing specifically on the environmental impact of airports. The company’s current projects span new airport developments in Muscat and Doha; as well as Bahrain International airport and further work in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, Iraq and Senegal. Contracted to projects involving the design, manufacturing, system integration, installation, testing and commissioning of systems, Cavotec is one of the only firms to be involved with the majority of the region’s airport programmes. Among the ground systems equipment (GSE) provided are the bespoke utility popup pits, hatch pits, fuel hydrant pits and valves, pre-conditioned air (PCAir), 400Hz frequency converters, 28VDC systems, and wet services distribution for aircraft, which includes potable water, blue water and waste water systems. The systems in use in the Middle East, North Africa and India, are designed by dedicated R&D teams, based in Germany; one of eight centres of excellent owned and operated by Cavotec. The company says considerable resources are dedicated to improving electrically powered GSE and that new innovations are regularly introduced to the region. Worldwide, 120 dedicated engineers, consultants, designers, technicians and manufacturers are employed to bring their individual expertise on airport projects to this vital aspect of the region’s continued infrastructure upgrades. “For airport operators, we deliver solutions for the distribution of utilities that are required for aircraft, such as fuel, water, power, and air conditioning. We are different from traditional airport equipment manufacturers,” explains managing director and regional manager for the Middle East and India, Juergen Strommer.

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ABOVE: The new Doha International Airport, Qatar will be able to accommodate 24 million passengers upon completion.

ABOVE: Juergen Strommer, MD and regional manager.

“For airport operators, we deliver solutions for the distribution of utilities that are required for aircraft, such as fuel, water, power, and air conditioning”

“We take an organic and consultative approach to our customers and partners. We ask a lot of questions and crucially, we listen. We listen to our customers and we also listen to our customers’ customers. “We develop long term relationships with all our customers to better understand how their businesses operate and what objectives they have,” Strommer continues. And with a positive outlook for the years ahead, he adds: “There are several indicators that suggest we are at the threshold of an unprecedented period of growth in the airports industry; with mature markets needing to upgrade existing infrastructure and emerging economies needing to construct new airports.” “Despite the recent financial crisis, people still need to travel, and cargo and goods still need to be moved. Furthermore, environmental requirements and capacity-driven demand in emerging markets and elsewhere are likely to fuel future growth in the industry,” he continues to observe.

Pop up solution

Facilitating such growth, Cavotec’s products are designed to streamline efficiency of ground staff

value of airport projects currently underway in the region, including expansions in the UAE, KSA and Qatar


“We are at the threshold of an unprecedented period of growth in the airports industry”

“We listen to our customers and we also listen to our customers’ customers” The region’s largest airport projects $1.17 billion Concourse 3, Dubai International $6.8 billion Abu Dhabi International Airport $1.5billion King Abdulaziz International Airport (KAIA) Phase 1, Jeddah $11 billion New Doha International Airport $ 1.2 billion Muscat International expansion $335 million Bahrain ABOVE: Bahrain International is one of many airports in the region undergoing massive expansions.

and their operations, in a number of ways. The company says their ‘pop-up pits’ can potentially save airports substantial amounts in operational costs by reducing the reliance on diesel driven equipment, in contrast to the conventional use of petrol and diesel fuelled mobile GSE. The pits, an ‘in-ground utilities system’, can store 400Hz, PCA hoses, potable water hoses and technical services, with electrical connection points stored in-ground when not in use. The system can be deployed when aircraft are parked. All pop-up pits are rated Bridge Class F90 or DIN EN124 which allows a roll-over of 90 tons. “By putting aircraft utilities underground in tunnel or pit systems, we reduce the number of vehicles on the apron. “This results in cost savings for airports, as direct costs associated to maintain, operate and staff such vehicles are eliminated. Airports are thus also able to reduce insurance and liability costs,” Strommer explains. In addition to the in-ground utilities systems, Cavotec also provides a range of inground fuel systems. “The pre-conditioned air (PCAir) technology, and fuel hydrant pits offer streamlined, efficient operations, energy savings, reductions

in insurance and maintenance costs, and significant environmental benefits in terms of reduced carbon emissions,” he adds.

Beyond the region

Despite additional operations in ports and maritime; mining and tunnelling; and general industry market units, Cavotec’s airport markets unit last year reported the highest profits with revenues up 64.3%; unsurprising given the company’s products are in operation at more than 1000 airports worldwide. According to comments made when the news broke, these figures are the result of “continued growth, in the Middle and Far East markets, where spending on airport infrastructure remains at consistently high levels. Revenues for the division increased US $15.2 million in 2010, yet that isn’t testament to innovative thinking on the part of those specifying airport equipment. “One of the issues we tend to see quite often is a reluctance to change existing practice in favour of new technologies,” Strommer observes. “This is entirely understandable, and in such cases it is up to us to illustrate how our systems can help airports operate safely, efficiently and sustainably,” he concludes.



$2.1 billion Kuwait International

Airport infra expo, Brazil, April 2011 Speaking at the Airport Infra Expo, Gary Matthews, managing director of Cavotec UK, outlined the importance of handling aircraft efficiently and sustainably to realise financial and environmental benefits. “Currently, total worldwide passenger numbers are around 1.5 billion but in the next 40 to 50 years this will triple to over 5 billion. We will not be able to build three times the amount of airports to cope with this, so we will be forced to utilise our existing infrastructure better. “Cavotec wants to focus on how that can be achieved sustainably; for example we can look at switching off auxiliary power units on the aircrafts when they come in to the terminal buildings and when the aircraft is at the stand. “There are cost benefits but most of all there are environmental benefits; not only can we make money and utilise our existing infrastructure better but, also the environment wins, too.” | 47


Operation lift Christine Fashugba attends the Linde Challenge; FAMCO’s ultimate skills test for the region’s forklift truck drivers


eading global forklift truck and warehouse equipment manufacturer, Linde Material Handling UK, is on a mission to urge industry companies to collaborate and to develop the onsite skills of their professional fork lift operators. The company launched The Linde Challenge, an annual ultimate operator event, this year. The challenge, which demands skill and precision, aims to promote best practice among forklift truck (FLT) operators, while encouraging new levels of professional safety and efficiency. The challenge begins in Europe where the company staged a series of qualifying events, followed by a final at the end of the year. While Al-Futtaim Auto and Machinery Company (FAMCO) management came up with the idea, Linde Material Handling UK provided the platform for the event with the use of a facility and pallets from CHEP, global leader in pallet and container pooling. The manufacturer also linked up with the Institute of Applied Technology which provided professional operators. “We’ve invited key industry players from across major industries so we’ve gone across the third party logistics industry, the JCBs, TNTs, DHLs etc and invited them to offer their operators the chance to take part in this event,” says GM for storage and handling, David Dronfield. “We’ve got operators from key companies within the UAE, particularly Dubai. They send their operators and they take part in this challenge,” he continues. “Throughout the industry, most companies have some form of distribution or warehouse operation and with that operation they will have a forklift truck, operated by operators from all over the world. They are operating these trucks 10 to 12 hours a day, around warehouses and distribution centres and around the yards, moving products around. These people are very often overlooked and employed on low salaries,” Dronfield adds. The event was first held in Abu Dhabi and is

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ABOVE: Nisar Ahmed Siraj, Royal City Contracting.

“At the end of the day it gives the operators the self esteem to say hey I’m this good and I’ve learnt this much”

now two and a half times the size of the original challenge — and oversubscribed. Drivers in the challenge have to operate a Linde E-16 FLT, a model Dronfield says can be driven by anyone, regardless of whether they are trained or not; its acceleration can reach top speeds but the drive system automatically breaks when the pedal is released. “It’s not like you have a clutch break, which a lot of other trucks do. There are two pedals. Press one and the other one comes up and you go forwards, take your foot off and it stops automatically. Press the other one it goes back. Take your foot off it stops, because it’s all going through one drive system. “It’s a unique drive system and that does everything. Also, there’s no gear box you don’t have to handle gears or clutches,” he says. Each of the registered drivers who take part must be a qualified, licensed operator. The challenge consists of a sequence of four different



ABOVE: The five part challenge is designed to give recognition to FLT operators, while also enhancing their continued professional development. Winners of the regional event will be entered into a final at the end of the year.

tests, which include identifying five, deliberate faults in the vehicle set up, before driving it. “Just the same as if you were going for a driving test and you arrive at your car with the instructor, you’re meant to look round the car and check that everything is okay. So the first section is a five point deliberate fault diagnostic check,” Dronfield explains, adding this element also provides a training perspective to the challenge. The second part is a hand pallet truck manoeuvring test, which is not judged. The next challenge involves picking up a stack of pallets, then negotiating the course without knocking any of the barriers. The operators are tested on whether they follow the correct operating procedures including putting their seatbelt on and applying the handbreak as well as the time it takes

them to complete the challenge. “At the end of the course the supervisors correct any of the mistakes the operators may have made so they learn as well even though it has affected their score already,” he says. Dronfield is keen to stress how important the “often overlooked” operators are to a challenge such as this, with operators who took part in last year’s challenge commenting on how the competition raised their awareness of correct industry procedures. “At the end of the day it gives the operators the self esteem to say hey ‘I’m this good and I’ve learnt this much’. “It highlights a little ignored section within the industry and showcases that section within the sector and also within the UAE,” he says. “Just as you have a supplier chain logistics group and others, we just want this to be a platform of growth and of course from that people will know the Linde name. We’re part of driving that growth and understanding and development of the professionalism within the industry,” he concludes. | 49

The UAE’s leading suppliers of heavy machinery discuss how payments and politics are affecting market recovery

LEFT AND BELOW: The panel included representatives from Gallagher International and WWA.

What are the trends you are witnessing, how have these affected your operations and how do you predict they will develop?

“Previously common disputes between the owner, consultant, construction company and developer have been resolved by government”

Nasir Husain Khan: Some of the projects that stopped during the crisis have started again. For example, you may have seen all the cranes around the Burj Khalifa area; I don’t have specific numbers but many of those jobs are starting again, which means there is finance available and problems between the owners and contractors have been solved. We are expecting more projects as a result of that. A percentage of the projects coming out of the Abu Dhabi area are connected with the oil field and base. These are very prosperous and the biggest project in the pipeline right now is the GCC rail network, which is coming from Saudi Arabia to all the GCC, with two or three track lines for goods and passengers. The other significant project is the nuclear plants It is the public sector driving the industry at the moment. The heavy machinery sector is a

good indicator of the strength of the construction industry because all the projects require this equipment from the very start to completion. Keith Lupton: The trend we have witnessed is that when there are fewer projects companies sell to us to try to recover and generate funds to repay their banks. NHK: All the projects have been retendered because the budgets have dropped since the crisis; as a result most companies want to hire rather than purchase equipment.

What are primary threats in the market currently?

KL: Before the downturn telehandlers for example were selling for an average of US $50,000; in many conditions. Because there is very little work going on at the moment, they are selling for $30,000, sometimes $28,000 and we are getting people to put them in auction. | 51

TRENDS | heavy machinery

Lifting the market


LEFT: Keith Lupton, World Wide Auctions.

“The issue is that governments outside of Dubai need to change their documentation systems”

30,000 the number of cranes estimated to have been in Dubai in 2006

BELOW: During the discussion both companies reported continuing problems with finance from banks and liquidity in the sector, causing payment delays.

NHK: Documentation is required for doing business, like LPO, petition approval, who the signing authority is, and then you submit the advice because if a company is struggling to pay they will delay the payment by saying the price is wrong or the wrong person has been notified. Validity of the documentation and credit facility is a must. pushing for 90 day credit terms and still sometimes doesn’t pay. There is a problem with financing but the main factor, which isn’t reported, is that the banks aren’t taking the loss and they have to, like any other business man. It’s a fact. They don’t work like businessmen. For example, Simon may have wanted to sell a piece of equipment at auction in 2007 for a certain price, but today it’s worth only 60% of that. He has to take that loss, it’s a fact of life. But you tell a banker that and they will try to recover ever last dollar. The banks are slowing down the business because they won’t let people in trouble sell their equipment. NHK: The threats we are seeing are from payments; we are very concerned. We are not giving so much credit so I have to get full payment. KL: I agree. NHK: We have to be sure we are getting the payments; it is affecting the sector. For example Keith is my client and I am telling him you have to pay me 30 days after invoice but he is

52 |

KL: That problem is there all the time and developers have even been known to run away. NHK: It was a problem before but now it is worse. Everything is in a ‘pipeline’, even in Ras Al Khaimah, there are stalled projects everywhere. To help tackle the problem we are only dealing with very reputable companies. It has affected our business percentage, my management is instructed to send local purchase orders and credit facility forms. KL: On some projects, particularly with plant hire, you can liaise payments for long periods and end up working for nothing. Dare I say it even the government agencies are slow paying, whichever it may be. And it’s a fact of life that if they are slow paying it has a knock on effect and it’s a wicked circle. Even posting invoices isn’t an option because you have to visit the office, explain to the person who receives the invoice that this needs paying, obtain proof that that invoice has been delivered and not thrown in Dubai Creek, and then chase the accounts department.

KL: We demand cash up front — not just anybody can come and buy our equipment at auction. It does happen that you meet clients who may pay a deposit but have no intention of paying the balance. They come up with all sorts of reasons not to, from the cat has died to my business partner is not responding. It has even been known for government entities to step in and help friendly nations if there are problems with government payments. Pirooz Emadi: In my previous roles with other companies, we had qualification processes for

The Panel

Nasir Husain Khan sales executive, Gallagher International Mobile Crane hire Simon Abrahim workshop manager, Gallagher International Mobile Crane hire Keith Lupton VP of Regional Sales, Middle East, World Wide Auctioneers Priooz Emadi general manager of sales, World Wide Auctioneers


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Gallagher International The “surgical heavy lift specialists”, Gallagher provides mobile crane equipment of up to 500 ton capacity to industries including marine, port, heavy industry and manufacturing, and construction. Maintaining high standards in safety practices, the LEFT: Simon Abraham, workshop manager, Gallagher International.

company has supplied machinery to projects with Etisalat, DEWA and both Dubai and Abu Dhabi International Airports.

doing business with dealers but currently, theoretically, anybody can still buy if they can produce a deposit, ID and company validity such as a trade licence. We control client’s purchasing accounts; elements such as what is being bought and what is being paid for, particularly for new companies, but nothing leaves the yard without full payment.

“They have taken equipment to Qatar and Oman so demand is increasing in Dubai because the supply has gone elsewhere”

What are the main strengths emerging in the sector and what opportunities are these bringing?

being cancelled. Mainly due to the fact that DP World is now registered in the LSE, and the government is about to open its books. In response, once again the British media has come out with the usual mocking copy “Dubai is going down the tube, projects have been cancelled”, but we can see things are moving up. Foreign media can be unfair. In 1982 the market was dead, Sharjah had to be rescued by Saudi, Dubai was going sensibly and unafraid to say no, the oil price was down; one CAT dealer sold 26 units in the entire area that year. Oddly enough, after the war in 1992 when we expected to make a fortune, there was an influx of cash but nobody knew the value of the currency. We were seeing American sailors paying AED10 taxi fares with $100 notes. The UAE didn’t benefit really and it went very quiet. They go on about all the building in Dubai, but Abu Dhabi had a huge programme, all paid for, yet nobody wanted to do basic things like car parks so today there is nowhere to park. There was a building boom and you could measure it with the number of tower cranes on the horizon.

NHK: We keep an eye on the upcoming projects and government bidding on these. The market is increasing now, frankly not like before, but the wheel is turning. The projects are being financed by the banks and previously common disputes between the owner, consultant, construction company and developer have been resolved. The government of Dubai particularly is also helping to bring the contractor and developer together to solve disputes and they have mediated to create more finance. It happens across the UAE. Our neighbouring countries like Qatar and Oman are very prosperous and what is happening is the equipment that was idle here has been taken by companies to these new markets. But now, because they have taken that equipment to Qatar and Oman demand is increasing in Dubai because the supply has gone elsewhere. KL: Exactly. Also, RERA has finally come out and publically admitted the number of projects

54 |

NHK: I can also see that things are moving up at the moment. My main job is to travel around and monitor the markets and the information we are seeing, first hand, is the correct information. I do not believe media portrayals of the situation. Other people do believe the media and this is creating problems. KL: Oman we still find is a little quiet NHK: Yes, but frankly speaking I am still getting most of my clients from Oman. We are working with PDO (Petroleum Development Organisaiton) Larson and Toubro and so on, and now the problem is that Oman has passed a law to say demand for equipment there must first be met by Omani companies. Equipment cannot be imported from the neighbouring countries unless there is a shortage in the equipment already in stock locally. They only want to generate business for their own country, so we have to open a branch and base some of the fleet over there.

WWA auction machinery to buyers and sellers of industrial, construction, and maritime equipment, materials, and products, through a combination of physical and video-based auctions. Dealing in new and used equipment, WWA offer piece of mind to clients by ensuring proper documentation is held for all equipment sold.

RIGHT: Pirooz Emadi, general manager of sales , WWA.

From April 1, the company has been holding auctions online.

ABOVE LEFT TO RIGHT: During the discussion, documentation, was cited as a barrier to trading across borders and between Emirates in the UAE. Taxation is also said to cause reocurring problems.

“The banks are slowing down the business because they won’t let people in trouble sell their equipment” PE: We have to sell such equipment for spare parts when there are no documents. Anything without documents isn’t even brought to auction and believe me, I don’t know how, but there are a lot of machines out there without documents. KL: Large companies are very good in verifying the authenticity of equipment, even if we have to wait for confirmation from international offices.

process and we simply have to work around this. There are then visa delays also. For instance my crane operator, rigger, and driver all require different paper work for each country they work in. PE: It’s an issue when some countries have to have different driving licences. KL: There is also the GCC thing of double taxation. I bring my crane in and pay 5% to Dubai then I sell to a company in Kuwait and they have to pay again. PE: I think Dubai’s is the easiest documentation. Once you step out of Dubai, even to Abu Dhabi, there are difficulties. In 2006 in Qatar we faced a lot of issues with the clearance procedure, every door we opened had more documentation behind it. NHK: The best advice in my experience is to hire a clearing agent. Also a local contact is very important.

What are the reoccurring barriers to conducting business smoothly? NHK: Documentation. It takes a lot of time to process the import duty, insurance value, and to complete procedures like deposits being in the bank. Then again it is part of the business

PE: The issue is that governments outside of Dubai need to change their documentation systems. The problem is in the system and they have to be more flexible because everything takes too much time. KL: The areas with work at the moment are Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Doha, and a little in Oman. I can see things getting busier with local port works but interestingly an additional grey area is undocumented equipment.

Do your clients demand machinery from specific geographical markets and how do you meet this demand?

PE: Saudi Arabian companies demand machines from Japan but unfortunately Japan cannot meet the demands right now because of the tsunami and economy. KL: South Korean machinery is popular and the Chinese market is desperate for second hand goods. NHK: But spare parts are an issue when buying Chinese; if you buy a Chinese machine, spare parts are not available and there are sanctions. Simon Abrahim: We buy genuine spare parts and get them from Germany, because that’s where our machines are from. Also if our cranes break down on site we travel to the site to fix them and where this is not possible, bring them back to the site for repair. KL: But I think that, like Korea, China will get there. Give it 15 years. NHK: People are wary of buying the products from these markets because of maintenance issues. KL: And many don’t meet quality expectations. NHK: In our field safety is the main priority and we have found problems with the life cycle of tyres from Chinese markets. KL: The Chinese are producing a lot of tyres and I’m not even sure where they’re sourcing the raw materials from. | 55

TRENDS | heavy machinery

World Wide Auctions


LEFT: Nasir Husain Khan, sales executive Gallagher International.

“In 2006 in Qatar we faced a lot of issues with the clearance procedure, every door we opened had more documentation behind it”

PE: But quality wise I’m not sure if they’re working; it’s not so much the manufacturing as the climatic conditions here. NHK: It’s also about how far the equipment is being transported between sites.

“Another point that is depressing everything at the moment is the political situation in countries like Bahrain and Syria”

500 Maximum number of new tower cranes directly imported from Europe by the Middle East

56 |

KL: Another point that is depressing everything at the moment is the political situation in countries like Bahrain and Syria and so on. Up until a couple of weeks ago I was telling people that everything is fine, and it was, but we are starting to feel the impact now. Our colleagues are also finding a reluctance in the market. You can’t put your finger on it.

Crane contracts signed by ADPC for Khalifa Port: $52.4m Signed by ZPMC china, for six Super Post Panamax ship-to-shore cranes. $22.9m Contract was won by Terex, to provide 20 Terex-Noell SC 624E diesel-electric one-over-one straddle carriers . $117m Was paid to Konecranes, for 30 automated stacking cranes to be supplied to the project.

NHK: Political stability is very important for the market here.

lifting the market

KL: People are being more cautious than during any other period of instability.

will increase demand for machinery

The discussion was held at the Icon Lounge, Radisson Blu, Dubai Media City.

$154bn KSA’s outlined public spending this year

$130bn the value of around 100 Kuwaiti projects predicted to be executed between 2010-2014.

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construction equipment | rental

Rent or buy? Chris Nixon, managing director of Nixon Hire talks about his first 12 months hiring heavy equipment to the Middle East market How do the UK and Middle East rental markets compare?

From our first years trading in Qatar we have found significant differences to the Middle East rental market when comparing to the UK. I would say over 80% of general construction equipment is purchased by rental companies in the UK whereas in the Middle East, over 80% would be purchased by end users. That is not to say that there is no market for rental equipment across the Middle East. In the last decade alone, companies such as Aggreko, Byrne and Lavendon have built up impressive rental fleets in the region as the rental industry expands. As many western contractors have been drawn to the region on mega projects, they tend employ western expats to manage these jobs and in turn, they tend to come from a background with a far more advanced rental culture and understand the benefits of rental over outright purchase. Many local contractors still prefer to purchase equipment and it is our job to convince them of the benefits of rental. Often we find that local contractors will simply compare outright purchase cost of the equipment against the rental rate to work out a payback period. What they often do not consider is the true life cost of owning the equipment and the infrastructure required to own and operate a fleet of plant and equipment. For instance, storage costs with expensive yards, maintenance and disposal costs etc. In today’s economic times, it also makes sense to hire equipment on an adhoc basis rather than tie up cash or indeed having to finance equipment.

roll over protection systems, reversing sensors and so on. We also fully maintain equipment, checking before each hire and periodically when on site. We can offer training for the operators to ensure they are competent at operating the equipment. In the early days we noticed far more instances of damage to our hired equipment, no doubt due to a lack of operator training and awareness. We can work with contractors to train site operatives thus reducing the risk of accidents and costly damage to equipment.

Does the sector face any threats in the Middle East at the moment?

In the last few years alone, the world has noticed the explosive growth in the region mainly due to the media coverage generated by the rise of Dubai. Obviously this attracts the opportunists who are overwhelmed by the sheer scale of construction in the region with many looking to make a quick buck. In Qatar alone, in the weeks after the World Cup was announced, hotels were

Being relatively new to the sector in this region, can you see any areas for improvement or issues which should be addressed?

Health and Safety standards on general construction sites in the UK are more advanced than they are in the MENA region although the local culture towards this is improving all of the time as the large international contractors raise the bar. This is the area where we see an opportunity as we have so much more to offer than just supplying a machine. For starters, we operate to ISO international quality standard with a modern fleet of equipment from world class manufacturers with the latest safety features such as

58 |

ABOVE: Chris Nixon.

“In today’s economic times, it also makes sense to hire equipment on an ad-hoc basis rather than tie up cash or indeed having to finance equipment”

“In the early days we noticed far more instances of damage to our hired equipment, no doubt due to a lack of operator training and awareness” fully booked due to an influx of people arriving looking to capitalise on the event and thinking the streets are paved with gold. We see this as our biggest threat, not that we are frightened of competition from hirers, more that it is difficult to check the credit worthiness of potential customers, particularly smaller contractors who have no track record. In the UK we are used to being able to credit check all our customers which helps us decide whether we trade with them or not.

Where do the main opportunities lie?

We see many opportunities across the region as we encourage contractors of the benefits of rental. Our business is not particularly complex as such but the infrastructure behind our business has been developed over nearly 45 years. We have the most advanced IT systems in the industry and can help our customers save money by utilising equipment more efficiently, increasing productivity by supplying the right equipment for the job rather than make do with whatever else is available. Most projects nowadays have strict deadlines and it is far easier to manage demand for additional equipment as and when required. By allowing our customers to focus on what they are good at, we take all the hassle out of owning, managing and disposing of plant and equipment. As an example, we operate an ever growing fleet of specialist forklifts for our yard operations in our UK business. In the early days, we would maintain these on the basis that we could do it cheaper. After learning the hard way, we now rent these and they are serviced regularly by the specialist rental company. If one breaks down, the onus is on the rental company to exchange for another one on the same day. In the old days, we would have forklifts off the road, sometimes for weeks at a time as we did not have manpower available to repair them or they stood waiting for parts.

Phil Burns, Aggreko managing director, writes about the importance temperature control in construction


ver the past fifty years, temperature control in the construction industry has become almost a matter of course; so important is its application in both large and small building projects. Specific temperature control products like water chillers and air conditioning are an invaluable tool for the construction industry, particularly in the summer months. One application that is regularly utilised on site is the use of chilled water coolers for concrete batching. In 2002, a study conducted at the Centre for Transportation Research at the University of Texas concluded that concrete produced in a hot climate without ice or chilled water added will be subjected to greater stress and will result in reduced long-term concrete performance. In order to reduce such stress on concrete, experts in the field recommend the use of cooled concrete, which can be produced through the mixing of chilled water or ice in the concrete mix. This technique is regularly used on construction sites in the Middle East, where temperatures exceed 45 degrees Celsius during the summer months. In addition to applications for concrete cooling, ‘comfort cooling’, the use of temporary air conditioners to lower ambient temperatures for workers is becoming the norm for many construction projects during the summer. Many project managers find that the cost of installing temporary air conditioners on site is more than covered by the increased productivity of workers, especially when the temperature rises above 30 degrees.

de-humidifiers and air conditioners to create a cool and dry atmosphere. Another fast-track solution that can be provided by temperature control is the cooling of switch (utility) rooms. Rather than waiting for a utility hook-up in order to complete commissioning, a construction contractor can use a temporary temperature control system to reduce the temperature in the switch room to a level where it can be commissioned, thus enabling the contractor to handover the property.

District cooling

“Many project managers find that the cost of installing temporary air conditioners on site is more than covered by the increased productivity of workers”

Fast-track fit-outs

One of the most frustrating dilemmas for the construction industry is how to get around the fact that most construction occurs in areas with growing populations that put pressure on utility infrastructure. This means that groups of large construction projects almost inevitably occur in regions where the local utility company is already stretched to the limit, resulting in long delays when it comes time to connect the buildings to the utility grid. The delays are caused due to the fact that in a hot climate, a non air-conditioned building cannot be grouted or painted, as the high temperatures will cause the materials to dry too quickly and crack. By using temperature control equipment, developers can fast-track the fit-out stage of a construction project by using

ABOVE: Phil Burns.

“Concrete produced in a hot climate without ice or chilled water added will be subjected to greater stress and will result in reduced long-term concrete performance”

Even once a building is completed, the need for temperature control does not fall away; in some climates high temperatures will mean that in order for tenants to move into the newly constructed building, the building must be connected to a district cooling system. District cooling is a rapidly growing industry in which providers build central plants which distribute chilled water to an urbanised or industrial area. By utilising district cooling, building developers are able to provide cooling to an entire community in a far more efficient manner due to economies of scale. The worldwide trend of deregulation of power combined with many governments choosing to outsource various utilities has led to increased interest in district cooling. However, district cooling plants are a long-term investment, and take between three and five years to complete. This means that many developers find themselves in a situation where buildings are ready for occupancy, with distribution systems already in place for chilled water, but without a plant to provide this chilled water. By contracting a specialist temperature control rental company to provide temporary chilling packages, developers are able to hand over their properties months, sometimes years, ahead of schedule, resulting in substantial cost savings.

A necessary element

Although just one tool among many for the construction industry, temperature control is none-the-less a necessary element throughout the lifecycle of a project. From chilled water for concrete mixing, to comfort cooling for individual rooms, to cooling of entire building developments, the applications of temperature control are varied and important, serving to lower costs and to fast-track the building of massive projects. | 59

construction equipment | rental

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With small steps the construction materials industry can yield major change, writes Masdar City supply chain consultancy manager, Richard Reynolds


he criteria to be considered for construction materials nowadays must respond to an entirely different set of forces than previously. Today decisions about materials are impacted by new factors such as global climate change, air pollution, rising fuel costs, ecological destruction and loss of biodiversity. These forces are reshaping the construction industry through the rapidly growing sustainable development movement and they are necessitating significant changes in the materials industry. To address the goal of sustainable development, material manufacturers, and the construction industry more broadly, need to make a series of shifts: from non-renewable inputs and fuels to renewables, from being waste producers to waste re-users and recyclers, from an emphasis on near-term first cost to long-term lifecycle costs — where all ‘costs’, including externalities such as waste, emissions, and pollution, are factored into the price of materials. The good news is that this shift has already begun, with significant early changes apparent within the construction materials industry: • •

Global warming has been acknowledged by global decision makers and treaties. Industrial designers and product manufacturers are looking to natural systems for closed-loop design, new material compositions, and green chemistry to reduce waste and pollution from their product production. Standards and criteria for reducing the environmental and human health impacts of materials and products are being developed and increasingly used by product specifiers to make decisions. Lifecycle assessment (LCA) studies are increasingly available, although still limited, for construction materials and products.

Widely varying priorities

Yet while progress is being made, selection of materials and products with the least environmental and human health impacts remains a challenging, confusing, and sometimes even a contentious issue. The appropriate materials for sustainable

ABOVE: Richard Reynolds.

“Evaluating multiple products for a given use can be like comparing apples and oranges. One product may pose global warming impacts while another may involve a known human carcinogen” buildings will vary by impact priorities, regional issues, project budgets, and performance requirements. Some emphasise materials that conserve resources, whether by being reused without remanufacturing, by being extremely durable, or by closing material loops with high-recycled content and manufacturer take-back programmes. Other requirements and priorities will place great emphasis on the low toxicity of products and emissions throughout their life cycle, while others may regard low ecological impacts or conservation of water as the highest priority. With this wide variety of priorities comes an even wider variety of ‘right answers’.

Shades of ‘green’

In addition to varying priorities and goals in green material selection, there are shades of ‘green’. For instance, the ideal green material might be a natural, renewable, local or indigenous, nontoxic, low embodied energy material such as rammed earth for a retaining wall.

These materials, however, may not be feasible in all situations. They may not be able to perform to current construction standards and codes, construction workers may not be skilled in techniques to build structures with these materials, or they may be inappropriate for the scale of construction or performance requirements needed. In addition, claims of ‘green’ abound as product manufacturers capitalise on the rapidly growing ‘green’ segment of the construction materials industry. Yet it can be difficult for designers to cut through the hype and determine just how green the product is, let alone compare it with alternatives. Evaluating multiple products for a given use can be like comparing apples and oranges. One product may pose global warming impacts while another may involve a known human carcinogen, a third product may require large amounts of fossil fuel-powered energy to produce, but it may be more durable with the potential to last twice as long as the first two alternatives.

Small steps, big impact

Nearly any material can be ‘greened’ and a small step in the right direction is better than no step if the big step is not acceptable. Many small steps can add up to big impacts, and a small step taken over and over can add up to big impacts. Ultimately, ‘small’, done again and again, can result in a changed material industry — an industry that closes material loops, eliminates toxins and toxic wastes, and uses durable, local materials. For example, if at first CMU is specified with 30% recycled aggregates, and performs well, then forthe next project, it is increased to 50%, and progress has been made. Radical change, if it can be accomplished, can be a good thing, but the reality is that small steps of incremental change may be a much more realistic approach within the construction industry. The Estidama Pearl Building Rating System and credit points will encourage market change to increase the thresholds and boost research and development, making the UAE a leader in the responsible use of recycled resources. | 61


Small steps to giant strides

Suppliers in the spotlight A round-up of the latest news and announcements from industry suppliers in the Middle East

Amana Contracting

Atlas Copco

RAK Paints

Contractor switches to BIM technology

Customer input increases power output

EGBC corporate membership announced

Omnix International, a leading regional technology service provider and integrator, has successfully implemented a revolutionary design software and solutions package to help Amana Contracting fast-track development and meet Estidama standards. The two month installation covered strategic BIM software like Revit Architecture, Revit MEP, Revit Structure Solutions and Navisworks, and is expected to help strengthen Amana’s operations and speed up development in UAE-based projects, where sustainable construction is involved and Estidama’s Pearl Rating guidelines are observed. Leading contracting company, Amana Contracting and Steel Buildings chose to implement Building Information Modelling (BIM) technology to enhance end results. “Amana’s decision to shift from AutoCAD to BIM software and solutions has already produced positive results for us,” said William Bsaibes, green initiative manager, LEED AP, Amana Contracting and Steel Buildings. “To date, we have seen an improvement in our productivity as we have shaved four to six weeks off from our drawing production and have also allowed our quantity surveying department to finalise quantities faster and with more accuracy,” he added. The use of sound and effective BIM software will allow architects, structural engineers and builders to work from a single integrated digital model containing all essential project information as well as interact, collaborate and check for clashes on a project.

Industrial group Atlas Copco released a higher power version of its Atlas Copco QAC 1000 generator, following customer demand. The new QAC 1250 power generation unit produces 25% more power than the original model. The QAC 1250 is a 1MW dual frequency unit which delivers 1000 kW of prime power at 50 Hz and 1150kW at 60Hz. At 20 foot the generator’s container is the same size as its older counterpart however, it supplies more power while maintaining the same carbon footprint. “This new model is the realisation of the long held dream of our loyal QAC users,” said Júlio Tomé, product manager. “They’ve been asking for a 1MW unit in the same box as the well-known and successful Atlas Copco QAC 1000 Model. We’ve developed this unit based on their input,” Tomé added. “The footprint and dimensions are the same, but there’s 25% more power in the box,” he continued. The unit is fully equipped and comes with the most common features such as the Qc4002 controller for paralleling, dual frequency, coolant heater, battery charger, automatic fuel transfer system, air inlet shut down valve, spark arrestor, as well as heavy-duty protection for the engine, alternator and electrical system. “Because of its versatility and whisper quiet operation, it can be used on nearly any type of application, making it ideal for the rental industry, ready for some of the toughest applications where efficient, quick and reliable power is required,” Tomé added.

Surface coating solutions manufacturer RAK Paints, has announced its induction as a corporate member of the Emirates Green Building Council (EGBC) in recognition of the company’s continued eco-practices. EGBC which advocates green building principles in the UAE — and aims to make the region one of the five global leaders in ‘ecofootprint’ reduction in the built environment by 2015 — recognised the manufacturer for its dedication to producing environment-friendly paints and the continued development of its product catalogue. “Environmental protection has always been a top priority for RAK Paints,” said Peruma Reddy, chief operating officer, RAK Paints. “As a responsible corporate citizen, we believe that we have a major role to play in contributing towards long term environmental sustainability in the UAE, and receiving this certification from the Emirates Green Building Council testifies our ongoing commitment to reduce climate change and minimise ecological impact,” Reddy added. The products which include water-based, lead-free, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial paints with low Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) all undergo strict testing in a quality-control lab at a manufacturing facility in Ras Al Khaimah, in the UAE. In addition to the products contributing to healthier and environmentally friendly indoor spaces RAK Paints’ wall, wood and metal furnishing products may help lower building maintenance costs.

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of the energy requirements at artigo’s cairo manufacturing plant are met by solar panels

Total Office

Schoeck Bauteile GmbH


LEED certified showroom opens in Dubai

Solid concrete solutions for the UAE

Production methods to save 14 tons of CO2

The Total Office has celebrated the opening of the first LEED certified showroom in Dubai. The UAE-based interior design company describe the new TECOM-based showroom as a productive place to work, with a reduced carbon footprint, in compliance with the U.S. Green Building Council LEED version 3.0 regulations for commercial interiors. The Total Office’s Dubai outlet uses an average of 30% less energy than a typical showroom. The company already has an accredited showroom in Abu Dhabi. “We are committed to reducing our carbon footprint by embracing energy efficiency methods in line with UAE’s green building initiatives,” said Siddharth Peters, managing director, The Total Office. “Our Abu Dhabi showroom was the first LEED certified facility of its kind in the capital and for Dubai. We have adhered to the requirements of the latest version of LEED system,” Peters added. The 7000 square foot showroom houses the latest products from a range of international interior design brands including Teknion, Codutti and Emmegi as well as innovative designs which will help create healthy, productive work environments. The company, specialising in modern, ergonomic and environmentally-friendly workspace solutions, celebrated its opening last month with around 100 industry and interior design professionals welcomed to the showroom; where Canadian designer Annie Thompson also hosted a fashion show.

Materials supplier Schoeck Bauteile GmbH has developed a glass fibre reinforcing bar to provide property and building designing engineers and owners with a solution to concrete damage problems. Schoeck ComBAR is a high-strength and non-magnetic glass fibre reinforcing bar, which prevents the deterioration primarily caused by the corrosion of steel reinforcements; a problem particualrly detrimental in the region due to local climatic conditions. “When we initially introduced ComBAR to the Middle East our primary focus was providing the highest possible quality technical consultation services to our customers,” commented Schoeck Middle East managing director, Christoph Spitz. “We believe that this is an ideal solution to the woes of many developers, designers and engineers in this region and we are fully committed to serving this region to an international standard,” Spitz added. Due to its ability to extend concrete structure service life, and minimise the required maintenance and repair cycles reducing overall lifecycle costs, ComBAR was installed at the Sea Front Restoration Project in Blackpool, England and at the Royal Villa in Qatar. The product which does not conduct electric currents has also been used for tunnelling projects, where the bars are installed in the areas of concrete diaphragm and drilled pile walls as well as in infrastructure projects such as rail ways, where the material is installed because of its electromagnetic properties.

Rubber flooring supplier Artigo has published research which reveals its sustainable production methods can save 4.920 TOE (Tonnes of Oil Equivalent) over a twenty year period. Each TOE represents the amount of energy released by burning one tonne of oil, which the supplier said will equate to 14.400 tons of CO2 over the same time scale; a volume that would require one million square metres of trees to counter-balance. The research follows the installation of 4173 solar panels on the Cairo-based production facility, which produce 12% of the total energy needed to power the 7500 square metre plant. The panels have a capacity of 1.07 GWh (1,070 MWh) of energy per year. The photovoltaic system produces no pollution, waste, or acoustic disturbance. The manufacturer said the installation is “only one of the steps of a long journey.” In the research document released last month, Artigo also highlighted its other green initiatives, which include minimising toxic waste and recycling more than 90% of production waste. The flooring products manufactured by Artigo are made with a “unique” surface treatment, which requires less water than equivalent products and also meet biocompatibility requirements linked to the emission of volatile organic compounds (VOC) indoors. All the initiatives are part of a “rigorous” environmental policy. The company is certified ISO 14000 for several years and is also hoping to achieve BREEAM certification. | 63



“As a responsible corporate citizen, we believe that we have a major role to play in contributing towards long term environmental sustainability in the UAE”


Outstanding Applications Increasing local presence with the opening of a new Dubai facility, MD of BASF’s Elastogran Kanoo Polurethane Systems for the Arabian Peninsula, Dr. Joerg Schneider, talks about the versatile application of polyurethanes


roducts in AC ducting, district cooling pipes, and roof insulation receive a special focus here in the region and the share is above global average,” observes Dr. Schneider. “Cooling in this part of the world is not a luxury but a necessity and taking into consideration that cooling is more energy demanding than heating, high value insulation is best invested into cooling systems,” Schneider adds. The high value insulation Schneider describes is manufactured from polyurethane (PU), a market which BASF leads on a global scale, producing solutions for a number of industries, not least construction (see box). Following the opening of the latest “systems house” in Dubai on April 6 this year, BASF now operates 38 similar facilities worldwide, six of which are joint ventures and two of which are located in the UAE in Dubai Industrial City and Abu Dhabi. Two more are under development the Chinese cities of Chongqing and Tianjing. Constructed between March and November 2010, the new 2.8 hectare Dubai facility is a base for localised sales and production units, while providing clients with “fast comprehensive and technical services”. Described as “de-centralised”, each of the 38 houses work independently from each other to maintain local contact with clients; understand local requirements and regulations; improve or adjusting products and trigger innovative projects, while at the same time leveraging on a reliable supply and a knowhow network within BASF. “The outcome for the customer is that we have one local contact for all questions regarding polyurethane; prompt technical support and fast, high performing innovative solutions, and reliable supply,” Schneider says.

High performance

Once sold to clients, PU can be used in the manufacture of sandwich panels, pre-insulated pipe fabrication, spray foam roofing or polyurethane and polyurea floorings; with recent applications including the Zublin oil-gas pipeline project and the DIC-based systems house. The new Dubai house was constructed using the latest PU sandwich elements in the facade,

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PU insulation boards in the roof and technologies supplied from other BASF business units. BASF says polyurethanes make life more comfortable and safe, while also contributing to energy sustainably. The application of the material can improve the insulation of buildings and even enhance the design of cars – it was recently announced that engineers at Opel Astra GTC used the material to create a 1.5 metre “panoramic windshield” for a new model of car. In addition to every day applications in shoes, mattresses and household goods and sports equipment, the energy efficient properties of PU make it an excellent insulating material.

“Due to outstandingly low thermal conductivity, in the real world a four inch concrete ceiling would require an additional layer of 8893 mm concrete and 315 mm of mineral wool”

ABOVE: Dr. Joerg Schneider.

“The outcome for the customer is that we have one local contact for all questions regarding polyurethane”

“The easiest Polyurethane examples to illustrate the significant contributions to energy efficiency are in the field of rigid polyurethane products, which are high performing insulation materials in various fields of the construction industry,” says Schneider. “Due to outstandingly low thermal conductivity, in the real world a four inch concrete ceiling would require an additional layer of 8893 mm concrete and 315 mm of mineral wool, to achieve the same results as only 165 mm of PU foam,” he continues to explain. “The performance of the PU roduct will be leveraged to its full potential in applications where PU combines outstanding thermal insulation with additional key properties, including structural properties. For example, in sandwich panels high structural stability allows clients to reduce material consumption through reduced thickness of the sheet materials and steel structure. “Another example is the insulation of pipelines in district cooling. The PU insulation of these pipes contributes essentially to the energy efficiency of modern AC concepts. The high compressive strength of the material assures users that the insulation layer will sustain the performance over several years - which is a key economic element of any under-ground infrastructure measure,” he concludes.

Polyurethane is sold to clients for use in products for the following sectors 14% Transportation 29% furniture 10% appliances and electronics 5% textiles 26% construction 6% footwear 10% other industries, including packaging, medical and technology 1% sports and recreation


”As with the rest of the Middle East, Jordan has suffered from the current global downturn, but with the right range of products Victaulic is confident it can offer customers competitive advantages”

Joining Jordan Victaulic’s newly appointed sales engineer Anas Ghaith, will drive the company’s profile in a key Middle East market that is often overlooked


aming Jordan as a key economy in the region, mechanical pipe joining systems producer Victaulic says there are many untapped opportunities in the Kingdom. Leveraging the company’s market position to build on its existing success, newly appointed sales engineer Anas Ghaith will be responsible for representing Victaulic in Jordan, while also providing a first point of contact for the sales division and supporting technical installations on client’s project sites. Additionally, Ghaith will provide training for clients and give advice on planning and product selection. With a background in both mechatronics and project engineering, Ghaith will be well placed to take advantage of Jordan’s market for mechanical piping technology. Holding a Bachelors of Science from the University of Jordan, Gaith has spent the last five years working as an engineer for a number of companies across the region. He joined Victaulic in April of this year and, having now completed his technical training, is working from Victaulic’s Amman base. Commenting that the appointment is testament to Victaulic’s continued commitment to growing its international business operations, company management say Ghaith’s skills will bring extra opportunity in the country, “benefitting the existing team and delivering extra opportunities and results in the region”. Victaulic’s Jordanian operations span five categories; HVAC and PHA, fire protection, plant piping, mining, and oilfield. Despite Jordan’s economic issues, including shortfalls in natural resources such as water and oil and high rates of poverty, inflation and national debt, initiatives undertaken by King Abdallah have spurred economic growth. Today, with an open trade regime, privatised state-owned companies and eliminated

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employees to donate both time and money to the bodies it is associated with. In addition, the use of Victaulic’s products removes the need to weld piping and other systems, therefore providing a cleaner alternative by reducing the fumes associated with such industrial activities. On an annual basis, Victaulic says their products eliminate the release of more than 150 metric tons of particulate matter from entering the atmosphere; a figure the company claims is the equivalent to removing one million cars from the road for a month. Commenting on his appointment, Gaith concludes: “I am looking forward to this fresh and exciting new challenge — driving growth in Jordan with an innovative range of products that will have a big impact on the construction industry across the Middle East.”

Engineer Anas Ghaith.

fuel subsidies, foreign investment in the country is increasing and thousands of jobs have been created. “As with the rest of the Middle East, Jordan has suffered from the current global downturn, but with the right range of products Victaulic is confident it can offer customers competitive advantages,” says Rami Mahmoud, Victaulic regional manager - Middle East. “These include helping lower overall installation costs, enabling the achievement of tighter schedules, plus expertise in other areas that can increase efficiency, such as prefabrication and materials handling,” he adds. Victaulic employs almost 4000 people worldwide and has an active social responsibility policy covering charity sponsorships and its own charitable foundation; encouraging

Founded in 1925, Victaulic produces mechanical pipe joining systems worldwide. Headquartered in Pennsylvania, USA, Victaulic has manufacturing and distribution facilities across five continents, employing more than 3500 people. The company develops products for a full range of industrial, commercial and institutional piping system applications.

„„Project name Roads Upgrade & Interchanges Construction Dukhan Highway Project

Project number: MPR1355-Q Territory: Qatar Client name: Public Works Authority - ASHGHAL (Qatar) Address: Al Faisal Tower, Al Corniche Street, Dafna City: Doha Postal/ZIP code: 22188 Country: Qatar Phone: (+974) 4495 0000 Fax: (+974) 4495 0999 Email: Website: http://www. Budget: $1,000,000,000 Description: Carrying out upgrading of 6.5 kilometres of roads and construction of five interchanges, including the design and construction of a storm water microtunnel, as part of the Dukhan Highway project. Period: 15/12/2014  Status: Current Project  Remarks: This project is in Doha. The 6.5-kilometre road works will start from Al-Mail roundabout to the Bani Hajer roundabout. A joint venture of Saudi Binladin Group

and local Qatari Diar has been appointed as the main contractor. Work is scheduled to commence in June 2011 and will take 42 months to complete. Main contractor: Saudi Binladin Group (Saudi Arabia), Qatari Diar Real Estate Investment Company (Qatar) Tender categories: Bridged, public works, roads and earthworks, sewerage and drainage.

UAE „„Project name Site Preparation Works Project - Borouge 3 Complex

Project number: OPR465-U Territory: Abu Dhabi Client name: Borouge Pte. Ltd. (Abu Dhabi) Address: Borouge Tower, Shaikh Khalifa Energy Complex, Corniche Road City: Abu Dhabi Postal/ZIP code: 6951 Country: United Arab Emirates Phone: (+971-2) 607 0888 Fax: (+971-2) 607 00889 Email: Website: http://www. Budget: $67,000,000 Description: Engineering, procurement and

construction (EPC) contract for the implementation of site preparation works, as part of the development of Borouge 3 complex. Period: 2012 Status: Current Project  Remarks: This project is in Abu Dhabi and involves 18 million cubic metres of earthworks, including 8 million cubic metres removal of fluid silt. Scope of work includes geotechnical works, soil replacement and improvement, access roads and intersection from Abu Dhabi-Sila highway, construction of temporary facilities and CNIA security gates and facilities. Local Al Asab General Contracting has been appointed as the EPC contractor. The scheme will be executed on a fasttrack basis.  Main contractor: Al Asab General Contracting (Abu Dhabi) Project manager: Bechtel (International) Company Limited (Abu Dhabi) Tender categories: bridges, housing projects, public works, roads and earthworks

„„Project name Four Seasons Hotel Resort Project Jumeirah Beach Road

Project number: MPP2475-U





The latest tenders and project updates for developments in MENA region

Territory: Dubai Client name: Bright star holdings Dubai City : Dubai Country : United Arab Emirates Phone : (+971-4) 221 5333 Description: Construction of five-star Four Seasons Hotel Resort comprising guestrooms, a ballroom, spa, fitness centre, main hotel restaurant and bar, a roof top bar and lounge, including recreational facilities such as tennis courts and swimming pools, retail facilities and other small cafes along with food and beverage outlets. Status: New tender Remarks: This project will be located on the old Jumeirah Beach road in Dubai and cover a total built-up area of 65,000 square metres. The new hotel will replace the existing Jumeirah Beach Club. The hotel will include basement parking. Ground level will include a valet parking, parking facilities and operational facilities. Guestrooms will be located on the first five floors. Client has already opened the prequalification process for the main construction package in April 2011. In early April 2011, an enquiry was also sent to piling contractors for foundation work on the planned development. The main construction package will involve structural and



civil works, architectural and mechanical, electrical and plumbing works. Construction work is scheduled to take two years to complete. The hotel will be operated by Four Seasons. South Africa's DSA Architects International is the architect, while local HH Investment & Development is the development manager for this project. Main architect: DSA Architects International (Dubai) Project manager: HH Investment & Development L.L.C (Dubai) Tender categories: Hotels, housing projects, leisure

Saudi Arabia „„Project name Al-Manafie Towers Project

Project number: MPP2486SA Territory: Saudi Arabia Client name: Al-Manafie Real Estate (Saudi Arabia) Budget: $800,000,000 Description: Construction of Al-Manafie Towers comprising (12) buildings, each with a maximum height of (27) floors, consisting of hotels, apartments, retail facilities, medical facilities, car parking and a bus station Period: 2015  Status: New Tender 

Remarks: This project is in Mecca and will cover a total built-up area of more than 1 million square metres. A key element of the scheme will be a monorail, which will link the development with Mecca's mosque. Client is expected to tender the main construction packages on this scheme by first quarter of 2012. It has not yet been decided whether the 12 towers will be tendered as one contract or separated into smaller packages. The excavation contract is expected to be tendered in the next four to six months. Design of this mixed-use development is expected to take 10 months, ground excavation work six months, basement and podium construction work 18 months, and the towers and hotel apartments 36 months. Invitation to bid (ITB) for the main construction packages are expected to be issued in 2012. A joint venture of US-based Hill International and Dubai-based TPM Engineering Consultancy has recently been awarded a four-year contract worth an estimated $22 million to provide project management services on the development Design consultant: Zuhair Fayez Partnership Consultants (Saudi Arabia) Project manager: Hill International Middle East Ltd. (Saudi Arabia) Tender categories: Hotels, housing projects, medical, prestige buildings

„„Project name Abha Airport Project

Project number: ZPR328-SA Territory: Saudi Arabia Client name: General Authority of Civil Aviation GACA (Saudi Arabia) Address: Bin Malek Street, Old Airport Area City: Jeddah 21421 Postal/ZIP code: 887 Country: Saudi Arabia Phone: (+966-2) 640 5000 Fax: (+966-2) 640 1477 Email: Website: http://www.gaca. Budget: $100,000,000 Description: Construction of Abha Airport with capacity to accommodate 5 million passengers per year Period: 15/12/2014  Status: New Tender  Remarks: This project is in Saudi Arabia. Netherlands Airport Consultants (NACO) is the master plan and design consultant on this scheme. Contact Person: Kjell Kloosterziel (Project Manager) Email: kjell.kloosterziel@ It is understood that design work is ongoing and will be completed in the fourth quarter of 2011. Construction work is expected to commence in April 2012 and will be completed by December


2014. Design consultant: Netherlands Airport Consultants - NACO (Netherlands) Tender categories: Public works, roads and earthworks, airport, housing projects

„„Project name Al Jawf Power Plant Expansion Project

Project number: ZPR326-SA Territory: Saudi Arabia Client name: Saudi Electricity Company - Central Region (Saudi Arabia) Address: Burj Al Faisaliyah Bldg., Floor 22, King Fahad Road City: Riyadh 11416 Postal/ZIP code: 22955 Country: Saudi Arabia Phone: (+966-1) 461 9030 / 461 9009 Fax: (+966-1) 403 2222 Email: Website: sa Budget: $55,000,000 Description: Engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract for the expansion of 16 megawatts power plant in Al Jawf. Period: 2012  Status: Current Project  Remarks: This project is in Saudi Arabia. Local National Contracting Company has been appointed as the EPC

Bahrain „„Project name Civil Integration Package - Al Hidd Industrial Area

Project number: ZPR373-B Territory: Bahrain Client name: United Stainless Steel Company B.S.C (Bahrain) City: Hidd Postal/ZIP code: 50590 Country: Bahrain Phone: (+973) 1735 9359 Fax: (+973) 1735 9303 Email: Website: http://www.usco. Description: Implementation of civil integration package comprising construction of roads and pavements, lighting, storm water drainage, sewage treatment plant and potable water systems, gates and weigh bridges and non-process buildings. Period: 2012

Status: Current project Remarks: This project will be located at Al Hidd Industrial Area in Bahrain. Local Nass Contracting Company has been appointed as the main construction contractor to carry out this scheme. Construction work is expected to commence on August 01, 2011 and will be completed in the second quarter of 2012.  Main contractor: Nass Contracting Company (Bahrain) Tender categories: Bridges, housing projects, potable water works, power generation and distribution, public works, roads and earthworks, sewerage and drainage.

Oman „„Project name Nimr G & Karim West Enhanced Oil Recovery Project

Project number: ZPR368-O Territory: Oman Client name: Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) Address: Mina Al Fahal Street City: Muscat 113 Postal/ZIP code: 81 Country: Oman Phone: (+968) 2467 8111 Fax: (+968) 2467 7106 Email: external-affairs@pdo. com Website: http://www.pdo. Budget: $96,000,000

Description: Engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract to undertake an enhanced oil recovery (EOR) scheme at Nimr G and Karim West oilfields in order to prevent declines in production Period: 2014 Status: Current Project  Remarks: This project is in Al Wusta region of Oman. It is part of the client's plan to develop smaller fields along with enhanced oil recovery schemes in order to prevent declines in production. Local Galfar Engineering & Contracting has been appointed as the EPC contractor. Contact Person: Mr. S.K. Khuntia (Project Manager) Tel: (+968) 2452 5260. Engineering works are expected to commence in July 2011. Construction work is anticipated to commence in December 2011. The project is due for completion in second quarter of 2014.  Main contractor: Galfar Engineering & Contracting S.A.O.G (Oman) Tender categories: Hydrocarbon processing, storage and distribution, oilfield development

Iraq „„Project name Al-Quds Power Plant Expansion Project

Project number: OPR468-IQ Territory: Iraq

Client name: Ministry of Electricity (Iraq) City: Baghdad Postal/ZIP code Country: Iraq Phone: (+964-1) 719 0929 / 719 9007 Email: Website: http://www.moelc. Budget: $ 219,000,000 Description: Carrying out expansion of the existing Al-Quds gas-fired power plant by increasing capacity to 1,400MW from the current 900MW. Period: 15/12/2012 Status: Current Project  Remarks: This power station is located in a suburb, northeast of Baghdad. Scope of work involves construction of four new stations of 125MW, each amounting to 500MW in total. South Korea's Hyundai Engineering & Construction has been appointed as the main contractor. Work is slated for completion in (18) months. US' General Electric (GE) will supply turbines for the project.  Main contractor: Hyundai Engineering Corporation (South Korea) Specialist contractor: General Electric International - GE (USA) Tender categories: Power generation and distribution



contractor on this scheme. Contact Person: P.N. Rao (Project Manager) Contact No. (+966-3) 882 8008 Ext. 6122 Email: Construction work has commenced and expected to be completed in the first half of 2012. Main contractor: National Contracting Company (Saudi Arabia) Tender categories: Power generation and distribution

Only the fine mixture of best ingredients leads to brilliant results.

And we at IMECO follow this formula since 30 years by offering our international clients the right mixture of excellent machines and equipment of highest technical standard at the best possible price, most efficient after sale service to guarantee your investment, our assurance that we love what we are doing and therefore constantly improve our work to satisfy our customers and give our best every single day.

And isn‘t that what it‘s all about?


Shoring l Dewatering l Tunneling Piling l Drilling l Foundation Used Sale l




of the region’s infrastructure spending is concentrated in Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Qatar.


m The value of construction contracts awarded in Saudi Arabia in 2010.


proportion of total UAE construction projects currently on hold.


billion Allocated by the Islamic Development Bank for regeneration projects in Egypt.


increase in spending for Kuwait’s 2012 budget; covering salary increases for nationals and modernisation plans for the country


Qatar’s unemployment rate, down from 3.2% in 2007. Qataris account for less than 30% of the population


million nationals actively contributed to Jordan’s workforce in 2010


DIARY Asia Infrastructure Borneo, Malaysia: July 5-7 Asia Infrastructure is a leading trade fair for the building construction material, equipment and sanitary ware industries. It will be held at Boreno Convention Center and is organised by AMB Exhibitions.

Sustainability on Show Melbourne, Australia: July 15-17 A showcase of hundreds of green ideas to improve energy efficiency and minimise costs. Discover the latest solar technology, grey water systems, heating and cooling, energy conservation and energy efficiency technologies.

International Building & Construction Industries Exhibition Tehran: July 26-29 The 10th edition of Iran’s premier expo, IBCI, offers an opportunity for building and construction companies to meet under one roof at Tehran Permanent Fair Ground. This four day event will be organised by Iran International Exhibitions Company.

Iran Confair Tehran: July 26-29 Running alongside IBCI, the 11th Tehran International Construction Fair (Confair 2011) is the international exhibition of building industry. Confair 2011 includes the presentation and introduction of domestic and foreign industrial achievements and productions. Iran Confair will be held at Tehran Permanent Fair Ground.

BACE Expo 2011 Bengaluru, Karnataka, India: July 21-24 BACE (Building Architectural Construction and Engineering Symposium) will be the meeting point for the Domestic and International products and technology suppliers to explore potential in the construction industry in southern India. The show features technological advancements in equipment, materials, services and techniques in related fields; providing opportunities to interact with industry stake holders. | 73

TEA BREAK | FM and design

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Your Shout

This month we have been inundated with your reactions to the proposed changes and caps on expatriate working visas in both Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Here are some of your comments from ahead of a full analysis next month. Username: R K Knadoi

Username: P.S.Gaensh

This decision of the Saudi Government is appreciable but first they must ensure their national residents are responsible and mature, as I have found they understand no duty and accountability. Foreign workers work hard to ensure that they remain employed. The salary of Saudi workers must be linked to performance and not on the colour of their passport.I know how difficult is to work in KSA; one has to accept all sorts difficulties quietly.

Username: Nafeesa Shaikh

This move is appreciable. Companies will face problems like staff training and performance yield and these issues have to be kept in mind while drafting such policies. I feel the purpose still could be served while expats spend as long as they wish, however with Saudi life most expat workers don’t renew their contracts, and the contribution will still not enhance the quality of work one needs to give in this competitive age.

Username: Syed Noor

I would like to see Saudis working on construction sites then, and also as cleaners in the universities and hospitals. And I would really love to see on cleaning their own streets! Cap the number of labourers and let’s see what happens. The government should think about their economy before taking this decision.

Username: Scarlett Michell

Don’t let those negative ideas from expats or other nationalities hinder the implementation of the best idea ever. The truth is the Saudis can really replace the expats. The reality is that the expats are scaring the Saudis not to take their jobs because they, the expats, will be jobless when they return to their homeland. This has been on-going for years. Only selfish expats will go against the idea of employing Saudi nationals.

Username: Ouzya Farder

I am a Saudi national although I was educated in Canada. Some of our most successful companies were founded by expats — Aramco being the most obvious. Although we now have a strong national presence within the

74 |

companies, I am very aware that the knowledge is coming from both KSA and expat workers. The current rules are enough to keep the country progressing. The best solution would be to educate nationals to expat level — free of charge.

Username: Aquil

Restricting expats will definitely put Saudi back at least 10 years. The experience of a workforce that has been here for many years will leave the country and as a result we will see a huge gap between demand and supply. Expats working in other GCC countries will be lured to work here with higher packages as companies struggle to retain staff under this legislation. As a result we will see expats moving around from one GCC country to another until there is further legislation capping six years in the GCC market.

The government needs to open employment exchanges and apprecticeship programmes in industry for the unemployed national youth. Register them as per their educational, professional back ground and their interests; form partnerships, tie-ups or issue a governmental decree for different private and public industries/companies for training and apprenticeship certification. Send them to those companies according to their specialisation for one or two years and pay them through government sponsorship. Then they can replace existing expatriate employees once they are confident. This type of training will create a sense of responsibility for every individual. Companies cannot afford to release their experienced employees and bring in an un-experienced and irresponsible people, detrimental to their business.

Username: TGhaslan

Remember Gosaibi’s Saudization quotas of the 90s? Ever hear of companies paying Saudis minimum wages and telling them to stay home just to meet that quota? We’ve been bombarded with never ending excuses from the local’s lack of work ethics to high salaries and a lack of education or experience. Again, my concern is the loop holes and how the ministry might respond, adapt and revise, and only time will tell.

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The Big Project Middle East  

Your one-stop guide to construction developments in the region, The Big Project is the Middle East’s leading monthly B2B title for the const...

The Big Project Middle East  

Your one-stop guide to construction developments in the region, The Big Project is the Middle East’s leading monthly B2B title for the const...