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18 26

Editor’s letter 6

26 Onsite

News bulletin 9

The revitalisation of the UAE’s oldest community is well under way and sustainability is a key focus

Talk 18 Hyder Consulting’s key technical directors talk successful project management

Disaster planning 22 The software that builds disaster management into infrastructure planning

Market explorer 33


Iraq is ready for new investment and is in urgent need of basic infrastructure, according to the experts

Trends 84 The future of interior design , from matierals to design concepts

Supplier hotseat 96 Unipods: an innovative way to achieve safe and speedy fitout

Tenders 103



39 Case study: Commercial management Why do we track project budgets on spreadsheets? IT advocates explain why accurate and timely commercial management counts

45 Project update Falcon City of Wonders CEO Salem Al Moosa talks project delays and the next step for the DubaiLand development

52 Cover: Around the world in 80 trades A foreign suppliers’ guide to the region’s distribution networks and tips on how to exploit the opportunities

58 The report on strategic thinking Ted Garrison on why (and how) change works

62 The Big Guide Diary 109 Your shout 110

All about The Big 5 2011, including interviews, product reviews and map

99 Career ladder CTBUH chair Tim Johnson on his five year plan and growing mission | 3


Publisher Dominic De Sousa Chief operations officer Nadeem Hood

“The first step”


he UAE and GCC region continue to be a hot-bed of construction activity and the evidence comes from all sources; from the biggest tenders in the world to the largest exhibitions and World Trade Organisation’s most lucrative markets – everybody says the GCC is the place to go. This month Dubai will welcome 1587 companies when The Big 5 opens its doors at the World Trade Centre on November 21. While representing almost 70 countries, those stands will be dominated by exhibitors from Germany, Italy, Turkey, China and the UAE all looking to take that first step into a new market. As they say in the UAE ‘Ahlan wa sahlan’ to you all. To help you on your way, this issue of The Big Project has provided those foreign distributors looking to break local markets – albeit remotely – with the essential guide to the UAE’s distribution networks. Our cover story includes first hand accounts, tips from the major distributors themselves and legal advice on establishing, maintaining and nurturing the business relationships that

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

could accelerate your commercial success over the coming 12 months. Being your essential guide to all things construction, November issue includes a comprehensive guide to The Big 5, which this year will be both bigger and greener than ever before in its 30 year history. Also in this issue, interior design professionals talk about making furniture from old aircraft and designing hospitals with the patients themselves; we take a trip to the UAE’s oldest community, which is becoming is case study for the application of Abu Dhabi’s Estidama environmental regulations; and Hyder Consulting’s technical experts explain how they manage both project and client aspirations. To round off our biggest ever issue, The Big Project guide to PMV maps the biggest deals, diary dates and expert analysis needed to get you on the road. Next month The Big Project + BGreen will celebrate your success with our awards ceremony, December 6 at the Burj Khalifa’s Armani Hotel. Nominations close soon, so visit www. to ensure yours is counted.

Melanie Mingas Editor

Editor Melanie Mingas TEL: +971 (0)4 440 9117 GSM: +971 (0)56 758 7834 Assistant editor Dan McAlister TEL: +971 (0)4 440 9118 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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Chinese manufacturer marks Jebel Ali arrival Plant to generate over $100m annually LiuGong, a top 500 Chinese manufacturer and top 20 international construction equipment manufacturer, has officially opened its Middle East base at JAFZA, Dubai. LiuGong is an ISO 9001 quality certified company, with a product range including equipment such as wheel loaders, excavators, bulldozers and motor graders; compact equipment including skid steer loaders; road equipment like pavers and rollers; and forklift, cranes and concrete equipment. “The new facility of LiuGong is expected to generate over US$100 million in revenues

annually,” said York Liang, president of LiuGong Middle East FZE, at the ceremony on October 31. “The Dubai office brings us closer to our customers and dealers, to meet any demand for machinery or spare parts swiftly. The office will help our customers to enhance their efficiency by reducing the time for technical support, and enable us to introduce to the Middle East region the latest products developed by our global R&D centres,” Liang continued. The new facility, sprawling over 2200 square metres, was opened by Zhan Jing Bao, general

consul for the consulate general of the People’s Republic of China in Dubai. Also present were company president Zeng Guang’an; LiuGong Middle East chairman, Li Yu Ning; LiuGong Middle East president York Liang; president’s assistant and GM of overseas sales and marketing, Luo Guo Bing and other senior officials of LiuGong and Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority.

Siemens’ Masdar HQ underway

‘Anchor presence’ in Masdar City for electrical engineering giant Masdar CEO Sultan Al Jaber, and Siemens managing board member Dr Roland Busch, were among the senior delegates at a ceremony to mark the ground breaking of a new regional Siemens AG headquarters at Masdar City. Once completed the facility will meet a three pearl standard under Abu Dhabi’s Estidama, and also aims to achieve LEED Platinum status. Accommodating 2000 Siemens staff, the 18,000 sq metre building will become Siemens’ “anchor presence” at Abu Dhabi’s Masdar City and part of a strategy that will see Siemens provide integrated building automation technologies for smart buildings. Siemens and Masdar are already collaborating on R&D technology projects. Siemens will also develop a smart grid solution at the new facility, in collaboration with Masdar, to optimise energy consumption and reduce emissions.

Sultan Al Jaber and Dr Roland Busch.

“Masdar is mandated to work with global technology leaders to integrate innovation alongside proven technologies and showcase energy efficient solutions that can be applied to other cities globally,” commented Dr. Sultan Al Jaber at the ceremony. “By partnering with global technology leaders such as Siemens, to work with us in Masdar

City, we are starting to contribute to the creation of a knowledge-based clean energy sector in the UAE,” he added. The first phase is expected to be completed in Summer 2013 and will host a centre of excellence for smart buildings and a leadership development centre and conference centre. | 9




RAK Properties moves HQ to its own development Julphar Towers, RAK, to become new base RAK Properties has re-located its official headquarters to Julphar Towers, one of its flagship properties, to reflect its “rising stature in the Emirate”. The Abu Dhabi-listed real estate development company will occupy the 40th and 41st floors of the twin towers. “We would like to invite businesses to open offices in the commercial tower and enjoy the world class services and amenities,” said MD and CEO Mohammed Sultan Al Qadi. “Moreover, residential space in the towers is still available, with apartments offering spectacular views of the Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah,” he added, also commenting that the new location would allow RAK Properties to serve its clients with “greater efficiency and professionalism”. RAK Properties has recently handed over three mega projects in Ras Al Khaimah and Abu Dhabi.

“The building industry has been slowly but steadily moving toward minimising individual responsibility and away from producing architecture that solves clients’ and communities’ problems” 10 |

Julphar Towers. RAK, UAE.

Excellence award for Abu Dhabi UPC Accolade recognises district planning work

Abu Dhabi’s Urban Planning Council (UPC) has been awarded the acclaimed International Society of City and Regional Planners for 2011. The UPC won the award for ‘excellence in the district planning and urban design’ category. “Receiving this award from an internationally recognised organisation clearly asserts the excellence of the manual, and the expertise the UPC is demonstrating in developing guidelines and masterplans that can be adopted Emirate-wide to improve the quality of life for residents,” commented Eng. Amer Al Hammadi, director of planning and infrastructure at the Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council (UPC). “As a key initiative undertaken by the UPC, the manual is one of the core guidelines applicable across all of the UPC’s projects, ensuring safety and comfort, preserving heritage and culture, and improving accessibility and connectivity for all of Abu Dhabi’s communities,” he added. Turn to page 26 to read about UPC’s regeneration of the UAE’s oldest community.


$100m Predicted revenue from new LiuGong JAFZA base

‘Supergroup’ formed by technology provider Intention to “drive technology innovations” Gehry Technology co-founder and chairman, Frank Gehry, has formed a ‘strategic alliance’ of designers and architects, with the aim of ‘transforming the building industry and practice of design’. Composed of Gehry’s own ‘prominent architects and designer’ contacts, the ‘supergroup’ will also serve on Gehry Technologies’ board of advisors.

“The building industry has been slowly but steadily moving toward minimising individual responsibility and away from producing architecture that solves clients’ and communities’ problems,” said Frank Gehry. “I am dedicated to giving architects better control of the process so they can deliver the fruits of their imagination, which is what our clients expect. “I have gathered a group of my friends together who believe in this mission as much as I do and who can help me find the solutions that will ultimately lead to better buildings throughout the world,” he adds. The alliance intends to enable new approaches

to design through technology, to create more effective industry processes and a higher quality built environment. By applying and innovating new technology solutions to old problems such as waste, delay, and miscommunication, this new alliance will lead the process change that the AEC industry needs to confront future challenges, according to the group, which is said to: “represent a new type of professional organisation for the 21st century. One which embraces the possibility of technology to empower design.” The alliance will work together to drive technology innovations that support the central role of design in the creation of culture. | 11


2000 Siemens staff to work from new Masdar facility

RIBA awards honour Middle East sustainability Masdar Institute and Tabanlioglu’s Loft Garden recognised in RIBA International awards

Abu Dhabi’s Masdar Institute is one of 13 buildings to receive the RIBA International Award for architectural excellence. Designed by Foster + Partners, the institute and its surrounding campus is constructed in a manner that naturally shades and cools, with contemporary wind towers and irrigation systems, designed to reduce power and water demands. The institute itself is devoted to the development of renewable energy. Part of the wider Masdar City, also designed by Foster + Partners, the development fuses modern concrete structures with photo-voltaic solar panels and residential terracotta-clad traditional Arabic designs. The competition, held annually by Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), identifies buildings designed by its members around the world; encompassing buildings from outside the EU by RIBA chartered architects and international fellows. Judging the awards were Bob Allies, Gianni Botsford, Alison Brooks, Tony Chapman, Peter Clegg, Paul Finch, Murray Fraser, Philip Gumuchdjian, Deborah Saunt, Bill Taylor, Cindy Walters. Also among the winners, Turkish firm Tabanlioglu, received a prize for the 21 storey

The Loft Gardens, Istanbul.

residental building, The Loft Gardens, Istanbul. The judges commented: “Internally the designers display an unabashed passion for the aesthetic of the industrial loft

12 |

with their use of concrete, steel and timber. “The Loft Gardens are an extreme demonstration of elegance and restraint within a subtly modified typology.”

RIBA Award Winners - Masdar Institute, Abu Dhabi, Foster + Partners - Brain and Mind Research Unit, Sydney, BVN - Guangzhou Opera House, Guangzhou, Zaha Hadid Architects - Iron Market, Haiti, John McAslan + Partners - Alila Villas Uluwatu, Bali, WOHA Stanislavsky Factory, Moscow, - John McAslan + Partners School of the Arts, Singapore, WOHA - Galleria Centercity Department Store, South Korea, UNStudio Laboratory Building, Switzerland, David Chipperfield Architects - Loft Gardens, Turkey, Tabanlioglu - Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Foster + Partners - North College, Rice University, Houston, Hopkins Architects - Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, Rick Mather Architects

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$27bn projected value of Omani construction industry by 2014

Omani construction to reach values of US $27bn by 2014 Infrastructure, tourism and travel named key sectors

Emaar Properties chairman, Mohamed Alabbar.

Emaar launches Dawahi Development ahead of profit announcement US$ 340 million operating profits and new subsidiary

Emaar Properties PJSC has declared a net operating profit of US$ 340 million in the first nine months of 2011 along with announcing the launch of its new subsidiary, Dawahi Development. In the first nine months of the year, Emaar further expanded its Dubai property portfolio with the delivery of residential units and commercial offices in Burj Khalifa, its dedicated office development in Downtown Dubai, Boulevard Plaza, and its first office development

14 |

in Dubai Marina, Marina Plaza. In all, Emaar handed over 712 units in the first nine months of the year of which 201 units were handed over in the third quarter. Dawahi Development will function as a separate entity with a dedicated management team and professional staff members focused on value housing projects across the Arab world. Dawahi Development will develop ‘value homes’ at attractive price points in key emerging markets across the MENA region, while also creating robust employment and business opportunities for the local population, says Emaar. The current housing shortage in some of the fastest growing cities in the Middle East alone, is estimated at over 5 million units. To address the demand, Arab governments have announced investments of over US$150 billion in middle-income housing projects. “While Emaar will continue to focus on the ‘affordable luxury’ real estate sector, Dawahi Development aims to provide management, master development, design incubation and programme management to develop ‘value housing’ projects across the wider MENA region,” said Mohamed Alabbar, chairman of Emaar Properties.

Construction projects in Oman are expected to reach values of more than US $27bn by 2014, according to research from Ventures, conducted ahead of The Big 5. Mixed use developments, airports and hotels are the three most active sectors over the next three years in the Sultanate, with mixed use accounting for more than 30% of total budgets. Following a difficult Q2 2011, significant infrastructure projects have boosted the industry and growth is predicted to continue. Four major projects have been announced recently: the $771 million Dhofar power plant modernisation; a $120 million development at Salalah Port; the $5 billion Salalah Freezone development project; and construction of the $1 billion medical city that will house the First Regional Multispecialty Organ Transplant and Rehabilitation Centre of Excellence. Developments are also underway at Oman’s key gateways key gateways the Duqm Port and Duqm International Airport. “As Oman’s construction industry picks up pace, there is an increasing demand to source products and services that deliver efficient construction practices to international standards,” said The Big 5 show director, Andy White. “For us, the event’s reputation as a platform to source the right solutions means that its importance in the current market place has grown,” White added.

Turn to page 62 for a complete guide to The Big 5 2011 | 15


Best of ONLINE

Cable thefts increasing in Dubai Thefts of electric cables are increasing, according to Dubai Police. Dubai Police say poorly guarded construction sites are being targeted for cable across the Emirate. Dubai Police urged companies to take adequate steps to guard equipment by increasing the number of security guards, improving lighting and installing surveillance cameras at construction sites.

According to a study by Dubai Police, there were 84 cases of theft of electric cables during the first ten months of 2011. A total of 480 people were put on trial, including 10 traders who had bought stolen material. In 2010, the number of cable theft cases was 108 and the number of the accused 554, including 16 scrap dealers. The thieves raided unguarded construction sites and warehouses, particularly on Fridays and Saturdays, and used hydraulic shears to cut live cables. There were eight such cases this year and one in 2010 in which, one of the thieves was burnt. DEWA’s power cables were also targeted. Thieves sometimes pulled underground cables, resulting in the explosion of power generators. Out of the 84 cases of cable theft in 2010, 42 offences occurred in Al Qusais alone and 34 elsewhere. 19 cases were reported from public squares, 15 from warehouses and nine from shops and houses. “It is unbelievable that construction companies have equipment and electrical cables worth millions of Dirhams but keep just one guard on a very low salary of Dh600,” said a police official. Dubai Police appealed to the public to report construction sites they saw as vulnerable to theft by calling the toll-free number 800600600, without any accountability for the caller.

Saadiyat standstill

Louvre, Zayed National Museum and Guggenheim face delays Planned projects for Abu Dhabi have stalled over recent weeks according to investment bank Arqaam Capital. It is bad news for the UAE as many people who had worked on projects in Dubai had started to work in the capital after employment had dried up as developers struggled to maintain capital flow. Planned Museums and cultural buildings like Louvre Abu Dhabi, Zayed National Museum and Guggenheim Abu Dhabi will take longer to complete while other projects will never see the light of day.

16 |

A rendering of the completed Guggenheim.

The authorities have decided to take a break from building and are reviewing  the financial details of their major signature projects. There seems to be a heightened focus on profit on government owned companies, as opposed to long term vision, as well as a re-examination of the 2030 plan in terms of the benefits it brings to Abu Dhabi.

Seven Broadway Malyan schools to open in Abu Dhabi Completion marks a “key milestone” for education in the region

Al Khatim.

Seven new schools have been designed in Abu Dhabi by global architecture, urbanism and design practice Broadway Malyanas part of ADEC’s ‘model schools’ initiative to provide 120,000 square metres of new floor space. Designed with sustainability as a “key design driver”, they are set to open to students this academic year, according to Broadway Malyan, who executed the project under the direction of “Delivery of the schools has depended on the world-class skills, expertise and experience of our diverse team of global public and private education sector experts, their understanding of the importance of local curriculum, culture and climate, and long-term partnering with the clients, as well as local delivery partner Planar Architects, ” said director Ian Apsley. “The completion of the schools marks a key milestone for education in the region, as they create a new breed of spatial and learning environments in Abu Dhabi’s schools and blend international best design practice with contemporary sustainable principles, and the result is testament to the practice’s successful approach to integrated place-making in the wider Middle East region.” The opening of the practice’s schools follow its delivery of prototype designs for Cycle 1 (Grade 1-6), combined Cycle 2 and Cycle 3 (Grade 7-12) and Kindergarten to Grade 12 schools. It has subsequently produced detailed designs of nine site-specific schools. Broadway Malyan headed the project’s architecture, interior design and landscaping needs, under the direction of the firm’s director of architecture, Nick Davies.

TALK | Hyder Consulting

Access all areas Hyder Consulting’s portfolio spans some of the largest infrastructure projects in the world and even the world’s tallest building. This month three of the firm’s top advisors share their experiences of project – and ambition – management

Mohsen Kashani: Business director for land development M

ohsen Kashani has been based in the UAE for 15 years – albeit inadvertently – and has spent 40 years of his career with Hyder. Over that time Kashani has worked on projects that are not only the jewels in Hyder’s crown, but the iconic landmarks that define Dubai; including Palm Deira, Emirates Towers, Burj Khalifa and Dubai Marina- which he refers to as “the best marina development in the Middle East. Currently he is engrossed in a sustainable development for Abu Dhabi’s Urban Planning Council (UPC) on the Capital District. It’s the first project where the LEED certification applies to the infrastructure, rather than the properties. “Sustainability came on the agenda in the Middle East around five or six years ago, but in a downturn the first thing to suffer is sustainability and the environment. We encourage our clients and interact with them, and this project is a result of that approach,” Kashani explains. Accommodating federal ministries and foreign embassies, Capital District will become the seat of power and government for the UAE. Planned and developed around the same “pillars of sustainability” as Estidama, it will feature shaded walk ways, an integrated public transport network and cultural heritage to reflect the seven Emirates, while promoting social cohesion and education. The UPC states: “The plan seeks to mitigate the negative impacts of thermal heat gain through comprehensive systems of

18 |

shade and ventilation throughout the urban environment. The fundamental planning principles guiding the geometry of the plan seek to naturally ventilate the city by having roadways, block orientation, landscape and building form being oriented towards the prevailing winds.” In achieving the goal, a number of design scenarios have been tested to fully understand the implications of each idea, from the orientation of streets to the conservation of natural resources. “Managing mega projects is about team work. It’s having the trust of the client and the team and working collaboratively,” he observes, adding that the primary challenge is the pace of projects in the Middle East, compared to places like the UK, where Kashani worked on projects for another company, including Channel Tunnel. “In the Middle East clients want you to hit the ground running, so the only way you can do it is team work; working with all the stakeholders and managing them. That is a challenge again, unless you have experience of the Middle East,” he continues. Kashani says managing mega projects is all about understanding and communication. Praising the internal systems used to share project information within Hyder, he adds: “Coordination is very important along with basically understanding the project. If you understand a project and the client’s goal; the client relies on you to plan his work. “You have to anticipate what is coming, you have to mitigate what is coming. If you

have got that experience and a good team it is easy to launch projects,” he asserts. Having worked with the highest profile public and private sector clients over his career Kashani has observed key differences in how each approaches their projects. While both are understandably cost conscious, he reports the private sector – with a cash flow dependent on timely delivery – look at a whole life cycle cost, with value engineering as a part of that. “Delays are the first warning sign of bad management on a project, if something isn’t running on track and on time then something is wrong.”


Brett Doughty:

Senior technical director W

hen Hyder began work on the King Faisal Road in Manama, Bahrain, Brett Doughty used what he refers to as the “shock and awe” technique. Responsible for assessing the logistics of building a tunnel underneath a highway that still had to accommodate live traffic and was surrounded with existing developments, Doughty recalls creating a montage of images to show what the road would look like during construction, in contrast to its former state. “We searched the internet for pictures of construction site that was a similar size and shape and used images from The Big Dig in Boston, US, where the road was just obliterated for a few years,” he recalls, while explaining that the project saw a tunnel dug under a highway with live traffic that was also surrounded by developments. “Everything was going to be affected. “One of the biggest challenges there was actually trying to explain to the government of Bahrain that upgrading or doing something on a major scale – a strategic highway – was going to have a significant impact on the operation of Manama for a couple of years,” Doughty continues, adding that part and parcel of the technique was to explain the importance of keeping the road running. “We used the photos in presentations to say this is what it’s likely to look like and by using this shock and awe technique, it then started to embed it in their thoughts that this isn’t a simple job.

"I detest the word innovation because it’s about logical thinking. It’s about understanding the challenges”

“We weren’t adding another lane to the road, this was about massive works going on for two years,” he adds, further commenting that the project was the highlight of his 31 year career with Hyder. “It’s not about saying ‘let’s go over there and build a bridge’ it’s about advising what the effect of the bridge will be.” In working with clients, Doughty says that his job is to not only managing projects, but also client aspirations; not only guiding them on how to realise their vision but knowing to say when something isn’t possible. Having recently worked in Australia, Bahrain and the UAE, Doughty reports that the scale of how projects are approached in the Middle East is unmatched in any other geographical market. “Sometimes it’s a good thing that they take a very positive attitude to projects. It could be something to do with the culture – to the way they do things here and adapt – but they take on very big projects and are very committed to realising them.” Today, Doughty is working on the Abu Dhabi Airport interchanges on the E11; a project that supports the Emirate’s plans to increase capacity at its airport, including a new runway and terminal building. Coordinating a number of separate sites, while also incorporating the work of private developers working in and around the area, Doughty says it is a significant project, made bigger by the government and private sector stakeholders involved. “And there are a lot of stakeholders involved. A large part of the job is very much about the coordination between all those parties and making sure all their objectives are met,” he adds. A fundamental aspect of Doughty’s work is not only coordinating the project, but making sure it progresses in line with the

TALK | Hyder Consulting

"You have to anticipate what is coming, you have to mitigate what is coming. If you have got that experience and a good team it is easy to launch projects”

client’s objectives. On the interchange project, Hyder is now “embedded” with its client ADAC, to ensure that both parties work towards the same vision. “When we’re establishing the client’s aspirations and brief, it’s sometimes teased from them. They’re not always familiar with what they’re trying to achieve at the outset,” he says. Likening the Abu Dhabi project with King Faisal, Doughty also analyses how the road will be built, for example road bridges have been raised by an extra 1.5 metres to ensure contractors can work safely and traffic continues to flow. When asked when he has his best ideas, Doughty responds: “When I’m under pressure. I like the challenge then if trying to come up with something fast and testing it out. I’m not a deliberator. “I detest the word innovation because it’s about logical thinking. It’s about understanding the challenges and you don’t have to invent something new for that. You adapt something you have come across in your past.” | 19

TALK | Hyder Consulting

Marwan Ghannam:

Technical director - water I

’m a purely technical man. I have been extensively involved in Abu Dhabi sewerage schemes, storm water, drainage and irrigation. Whether you know or not, Hyder consulting has almost done the entire infrastructure of Abu Dhabi,” says Marwan Ghannam. As technical director for water and utilities, Ghannam’s day to day role sees him advising ADCC on their strategic planning in addition to conducting technical reviews of the Eastern Region as part of Abu Dhabi’s mater planning. Providing technical advice and reviews to a project’s design team, Ghannam says his role is to act as an independent party to “challenge what has been designed within several aspects”, including compliance with the client brief, soundness of the technical solutions, accuracy of the design and constructability, including construction and operational safety during that construction. Once the job is completed, Ghannam also analyses the value engineering, cost effectiveness and sustainability of the overall project. “I believe in this region it is typical that there’s not enough time given for design. When we talk about challenges in mega projects, if a job is well planned and there has been time allowed to properly consider each aspect of a project, then the outcome will be fine,” Ghannam says, elaborating that this incorporates time for site investigation – geotechnical, topographical and utilities. “In recent years not enough time has been given for sufficient planning and design. If

"If you rush designs you can expect some sort of logical problems in the sequencing of design and construction”

20 |

you rush designs you can expect some sort of logical problems in the sequencing of design and construction. They may only be small problems, but they could still cause delays and extra expense,” he continues. “Having this technical review procedure at the various stages of a project, is very much the answer.” The overarching aim of such a procedure is to protect client interests, inclusive of fully understanding their plans, objectives and drivers, both written and unwritten – factors that Ghannam says are “the very first point of understanding a client”. In that respect, the second point of protecting client interests is ensuring that vision is realistic. As part of assessing a project’s design and schedule, Ghannam also assesses its feasibility; advising the client on which elements are unlikely to be achievable – whether they want to hear the news or not. “Different clients receive the news differently, as you would expect. “But I have to say that many clients accept the honesty, especially when they see that it is against our immediate interests to advise them against certain element,” He says, explaining that frank advice is vital to the overall coordination of the project. “We would like to think that if we align ourselves in the same direction as the client our interests become common, and it avoids problems at a later stage, for everybody. Sometimes we even go to clients and advise against our previous advice and we do a lot of appreciation form clients for this,” he adds. Ghannam refers to the construction of phase one of Abu Dhabi Industrial City, a 14 square kilometre with several owners and packages, conducted over three years. “So it was something not designed or planned as a single project but by several

parties. We found ourselves coordinating between all the parties and challenged to deliver the entire infrastructure to a timescale. It was a bit difficult phasing the commissioning, but that was a good lesson in packaging and coordination,” he says. While that project was conducted before the construction boom, Ghannam predicts the future of project planning does not depend on technological developments, but design and communication. “Technology is already quite advanced in terms of communicating and design preparation. At the end of the day you are delivering for a client so very often things go wrong due to a lack of understanding client’s written and unwritten objectives and drivers. “When working on infrastructure, particularly in the Gulf region, there are so many permitting parties involved and there are very often no common grounds between them. You may be working for an ultimate client, but you have to satisfy the needs of every permitting authority.”

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Contruction technology | gis LEFT: A Virtual Image of Quebec

Disaster planning In recent years, the Middle East has experienced some of the most extreme weather ever recorded, and the region hasn’t always been prepared. Dan McAlister finds out about a new software package that will help protect civil infrastructure against the changing climate

I “The Middle East as a whole was not really in the mindset to consider flooding as a major problem and it would have been difficult even ten years ago to foresee the differences in climate” 22 |

t’s important to recognise the Middle East as a whole was not really in the mindset to consider flooding as a major problem and it would have been difficult even ten years ago to foresee the differences in climate that we’re now seeing,” says Chris Palfreyman, executive sales director for Bentley Dubai. Last month saw unprecedented flooding in Fujairah where an Emirati man was killed and two people were seriously injured. In 2010, almost 2000 lives were lost in Pakistan. Bentley’s new system hopes to predict catastrophes like this in the future. The recently launched GIS for Infrastructure programme is designed to improve safety in cities along with addressing other issues, such as preventing overcrowding in town planning. At a recent talk at the Madinat Jumeirah,

Dubai, a selection of Bentley’s top sales executives gave talks on how to advance GIS for infrastructure and improve efficiency of water use and wastewater networks. Some of the top engineers from Arabtec, Parsons and Danway were there to hear about the new system. “With the water industry we cover a variety of things starting with the modeling of the network, how to manage the network with other softwares in the market that are compatible with ours, so we compete with the other Computer Aided Design (CAD) designers. We also have very strong structures for water, waste management and the whole network of waste water and then we cover the storm and flood analysis,” says Talal Shawwa, sales director of water. “This analysis is actually one of the strongest on the market and we’ve got tools that mange

“The plan is to actually build some kind of alarm system so once you have the floods you alarm people. We can send SMSs to inform people which areas to avoid and let them know what to do” overcrowding problems, is an example of a city that could be transformed by this product.

The science

Devastation caused by flooding

existing networks and new urban changed networks coming up for areas that are being developed, like the ones in Dubai. So we can manage the whole area to avoid flooding and storm water coming out of the drainage system. “The third one is actually a solution that helps us control floods, such as the ones that happened recently in Dubai, but mainly in Oman, Jeddah and Riyadh, and other places in the region,” says Shawwa. “It seems that the whole atmosphere is changing, the weather is changing. It’s really important for this part of the world, especially as it was not designed with proper flooding in mind and now it’s occurring almost annually. So this is where our strength comes from,” Shawwa continues to comment. Bentley hopes to be able to predict disasters before they happen. The company also hopes to work with authorities to plan and implement warning systems along with disaster management when the worst does happen. “The plan is to actually build some kind of alarm system so once you have the floods you alarm people. We can send SMSs to inform people which areas to avoid and let them know what to do in such cases. So that’s the whole situation, not just identifying but also what to do but how to manage the floods and handle emergency cases. “When you ask how we approach that in UAE we’re starting of course with the concerned authorities,” Shawwa explains, adding that the company is presently working on stone

water, with approaches to manage new and existing urban drainage systems – a predominant issue in Dubai where networks are designed for lower usage. The second phase of this project will look into river-based analysis and near sea. The third involves advanced 2D and 3D software to analyses a district area. “It’s a very expensive solution but it covers very specific areas like national health, police stations, government agencies , schools and such things,” Shawwa explains. Along flood prevention, Bentley’s Oscar Custers explained his role within the company and took delegates on a virtual guided tour of Quebec. Responsible for the “I look after the geospatial market, the GIS market in the region. We have a focus for utilities, communication, telecom and governmental agencies and deliver software for them, creating and publishing data with high precision. “There’s a CAT setting underneath our GIS systems and on top of this CAT system we have specialised GIS operations to serve utility, telecom and governmental markets and we’re quite successful. We can do that in a 2D and 3D environment, especially 3D these days as it becomes ever more important and we are the market leader in that domain clearly,” Custers says. The software links with users’ preferred interfaces, for example Google, and claims to never lose any information or work that a user produces – always a major plus point. The Hague in the Netherlands, with

“We can basically take a 2D environment extrude it through a 3D environment for the different technologies like laser scanning,” Custers begins. “We can build 3D cities out of technologies easily. From there you really have a 3D model from which you can sell that to telecom companies or users from a utility perspective where you have your pipes on the ground or below ground. “We can do analyses for the owner of a particular apartment – we can do that in full 3D, he continues, adding that the data can be used by organisations and emergency response teams from fire rescue to the military. “There are many things for which we can use the data from a 3D model and that is really where the market is going now,” he explains. Essentially Bentley started its life as a vendor of CAD software back in 1986. Formed by brothers in the US, the product they developed was called MicroStation – now the station of choice for the major global AEC companies. Bentley’s other major clients in the GCC include Sharjah Town Planning, Dubai Municipality, Abu Dhabi Distributional Company, DEWA, Etislat and msot recently Du. Among the civil engineers there are Halcrow, McDonalds, WS Atkins who. “I think the key to our success has really been specialisation,” alludes Palfreyman. “We only really specialise in areas we believe that we’re good at and that’s really infrastructure. There isn’t anybody around that knows more about infrastructure software than Bentley does,” Palfreyman continues, pledging the company will “be there when the rebuilding of Libya begins”. Bentley may already belong to the world’s second biggest GIS software designing organisation, but they are aiming higher. | 25

construction technology | GIS

LEFT: Oscar Custers and Chris Palfreyman.

SITE VISIT | Baniyas-South Wathba

Designed for life In the first of a series of project updates on sustainable community developments, Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council’s Humaid Al Marzougi talks about the revitalisation of the UAE’s oldest community, Baniyas-South Wathba

One of the planned mixed-use neighbourhood centres.


eveloped as part of Plan Capital 2030, the revitalisation of Baniyas-South Wathba aims to manage urban growth within the mainland sub-region. Through the plan, the Emirate’s Urban Planning Council (UPC) says the area will be strengthened as an “identifiable place with a unique character”. The plan incorporates the existing urban communities of Baniyas, South Wathba and Al Nahda, 30 kilometres east of Abu Dhabi’s central business district at the eastern gateway planned under Capital 2030. The 6,500 hectare area is already home to 69,000 residents and UPC says the revitalisation is one of the “most ambitious opportunities for sustainable redevelopment” in the UAE. “Within the Baniyas-South Wathba revitalisation masterplan, environmental sustainability is the main objective, with the focus on the overall viability and health of living systems,” explains UPC planner Humaid Al Marzougi. “Some of the guidelines include the protection of natural environment, and ensuring that

26 |

“One of the central pillars of the Estidama guidelines is the preservation of local communities in order to encourage Emirati communities to grow and prosper while maintaining their culture and heritage”

the community has many open areas which can be developed and enhanced to connect residential and commercial areas, and provide residents with a pleasant and healthy living space. The guidelines also include the enhancement groundwater and drainage systems, so that they minimise damage to building foundations and natural environments around them,” he continues. Adding the plan will be “sensitive to the environment” Al Marzougi says measures will be taken to ensure energy, water, waste and transport are “dealt with in a sustainable manner”. In addition agricultural and natural resources will be managed to ensure the preservation of significant land resources and to minimise reliance on natural and man-made water and energy resources. The achievements will be made in line with the Emirate’s Estidama Pearl Rating System; to be implemented in the urban structures as the project progresses, with Al Marzougi explaining: “At this stage, the performance

current population of the area to be regenerated

total area of baniyas-south wathba in hectares

“Within the masterplan, environmental sustainability is the main objective, with the focus on the overall viability and health of living systems”

Aerial view of an Emirati neighbourhood.


6500 developed in the traditional ‘fareej’ style; both an environmentally and culturally sustainable technique incorporating naturally shaded streets and walking and cycling routes, extended from the courtyard style homes to the wider neighbourhoods. “This type of urban fabric provides the community with a new sense of place and restores and promotes the richness of traditional Arab living in a contemporary form,” Al Marzougi comments. Incorporating sustainability and environmental preservation in the natural environment will see the surrounding land developed to form public parks and educational facilities for residents and visitors. The cultivation of these areas will also enhance the biodiversity of the area and the UPC says infrastructure will be constructed in an “efficient and optimal” way as to prevent disturbing this process. Investigation into the area over the years has found Baniyas to have high groundwater levels, both near the coast and on higher ground, which could pose hazards to building foundations and infrastructure. To protect the new developments on higher ground new drainage systems will be developed and older systems retrofitted to preserve existing developments.

A map of the revitalisation area.

of communities and buildings with respect to environmental sustainability will be evaluated in relation to the overarching objectives of the revitalisation plan. Then, as the plan moves towards implementation, the urban structures will implement the mandatory Pearl Rating System.”


With ‘sustainability’ retaining its position as the buzzword de jour, one of two primary focuses of the revitalisation plan will see the preservation and development of the surrounding environment; an area that already boasts diverse natural features from open desert to wetlands. They achieve the objectives in the built environment, Estidama will be adopted in phases with the aim of meeting minimum requirements under the Pearl Rating System (PRS) across the entire development by the time it’s completed. Supporting PRS, the newly built and revitalised houses will be

SITE VISIT | Baniyas-South Wathba


A pedestrian friendly retail zone. | 27

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SITE VISIT | Baniyas-South Wathba

“This type of urban fabric provides the community with a new sense of place and restores and promotes the richness of traditional Arab living in a contemporary form” A typical completed street.

“Residents need to feel a sense of belonging and a sense of pride in where they live”

Overview of the entire project area.

Cultivating culture

The second focus of the revitalisation plan addresses sustainability as an abstract concept to enhance the ‘sense of community’ among residents. Historically, Baniyas was a staging post between Abu Dhabi Island and Al Ain and during the 1960s the Emirate’s first asphalt road

30 |

was constructed here. It is also one of the oldest Emirati communities in the country. “The area was established in the early 1970s in accordance with the instruction of His Highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan to construct 5,000 new houses in Baniyas, building some of the UAE’s earliest examples of modern Emirati housing,” Al Marzougi explains. “The new settlements were designed in accordance with the social and economic needs of the Bedouin residents, with an aim of retaining elements of traditional life, while adopting modern standards and innovation,” he continues. Yet it appears that in modernisation of the UAE, the community focus was eroded. “The sense of community has been something that was carefully implemented into the guidelines of modern development. In fact, one of the central pillars of the Estidama guidelines

is the preservation of local communities, in order to encourage Emirati communities to grow and prosper while maintaining their culture and heritage,” Al Marzougi explains. He continues to say the objectives will be met by developing a “hierarchy or district, neighbourhood and local centres to provide services for existing and future residents” In essence, the centres will be focal point for community services on a local, neighbourhood and district level, providing amenities such as mosques, clinics and sports clubs respectively. “A sense of community is vital to the continuing prosperity of areas and for their sustainable growth.  Residents need to feel a sense of belonging and a sense of pride in where they live,” Al Marzougi adds.

Development Objectives: Enhancing Community Identity Housing and Neighborhood Revitalisation Public Involvement








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Market Explorer | IRAQ

LEFT: Iraq Badria site.

Open for business As the remaining troops prepare to leave Iraq Dan McAlister investigates the opportunities that exist for companies to invest in the country’s rebuild


ABOVE: Nicholas Maclean.

“Iraq is stabilising and, as compared to other places in the region, has very real and bright prospects for the future”

raq isn’t the first place that comes to mind when thinking about the world’s next major construction hub but with the thought of political stability starting to take shape, the country is increasingly looking to bring in new business. International energy companies are looking forward to the future as a result of the country being the third largest supplier of oil after Iran and Saudi Arabia. It also possesses a willing workforce ready to help the country rebuild after decades of instability. Foreign investment and international expertise are hard to come by but a number of new initiatives could see this change in the near future. Iraq’s economy is dominated by the oil sector, which has traditionally provided about 95% of foreign exchange earnings. As the country looks to move away from this industry to expand into others it is important to look at the history of what has gone before. In the 1980s financial problems caused by massive expenditures in the eight-year war with Iran and damage to oil export facilities led the government to implement austerity measures, borrow heavily, and later reschedule foreign debt payments. Iraq suffered economic losses from the war of at least US$100 billion. After hostilities ended in 1988, oil exports gradually increased with the construction of new pipelines and restoration of damaged facilities. A combination of low oil prices, repayment of war debts (estimated at around US$3 billion a year) and the costs of reconstruction resulted in a serious financial crisis which was the main short term motivation for the invasion of Kuwait. Now leaders within the Iraqi government are seeking to pass laws to strengthen the economy. The legislation they are forming includes a package of laws to

establish a new legal framework for the oil sector and a mechanism to divide oil revenues within the nation, although these and other important reforms are still under controversial and debatable negotiation. Since the 2003 invasion, the U.S. government has committed over a total of over $61 billion to reconstruction projects in Iraq. In 2010, Bagdad signed a new agreement with both the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank for conditional aid programmes that hoped to strengthen Iraq’s economic institutions. Property consultancy CB Richard Ellis has recently said Iraq is the fastest growing construction market in the Middle East given the urgent need for housing, infrastructure and facilities, after years of war. “We do some work in Iraq through third parties, we do quite a lot of work for the oil and gas companies who are very interested in Iraq but they have got quite a lot of interest here in Dubai, so how we service them is to create something here to serve their operations there,” says Nicholas Maclean, Managing Director of CBRE Middle East. “There is quite a lot of investment money that is quietly going into Iraq from the banking institutions at the moment, to pick up the demand when things are much quieter, so people are putting teasers into the market place. I wouldn’t say Iraq is a large part of our business right now, but it is going to be increasingly important over the next few years,” he adds.

Risk assessment

Of course there are still many risks associated with taking on new projects in the country. “Iraq is still very much in a state of flux. The country needs everything from a development standpoint, | 33

Market Explorer | IRAQ

“Some of the insurance products that can be provided cover risks such as war, terrorism, kidnappings, expropriation, currency inconvertibility, and other political violence” from roads to hospitals, to schools to government buildings. Oil and Gas has been a major focus, but the country needs everything from A to Z. From a security standpoint, things have improved drastically,” Erin Miller Rankin, an expert construction lawyer in the region tells The Big Project. “There are still violent flare ups every now and then, especially around oil and gas infrastructure. However, Iraq is stabilising and, as compared to other places in the region, has very real and bright prospects for the future. Implementing its plans requires it to ensure that its oil and gas revenues get reinvested in other industries. Basra has been a major focus of the oil and gas industry, not only because of its nearby reserves, but also because of its strategic geographic location,” she continues.   “Erbil and the Kurdish region is an area that has seen a strong boost in its economy and that is because the security situation there has been stable for some time. A lot of problems that have impacted the rest of the country have not impacted Kurdistan to the same extent. Erbil is therefore beginning to attract tourist dollars which, from a project’s standpoint, has resulted in the construction of and planning of further large hotels in the city,” adds. “A new investment law that came into force in the last five years has been instrumental in attracting substantial foreign investment from all around the world. Iraq’s continued ability to attract foreign investment in those sectors other than the oil and gas industry will play a large role in the rebuilding of the country. There are a number of projects that have been promised by the National Investment Commission - some have been carried out with due speed, while others lag behind as a result of the country’s dated overall infrastructure. On that note, although there have been rumours of a national railway system being built soon I would not bank on it for a few years still,” she goes on to predict. There are typical construction-related insurance issues in the country. One area of great importance for foreign investors is the availability of political risk insurance - or PRI contractual risks. “A lot of our international clients that are interested in investing in Iraq have asked us to look into the prospects of obtaining this coverage. Currently there are a number of insurance providers that provide this type of insurance coverage, though, as always, at a premium. Some of the insurance products that can be

34 |

ABOVE:One of the pumping stations.

“From a security standpoint, things have improved drastically” provided cover risks such as war, terrorism, kidnappings, expropriation, currency inconvertibility, and other political violence,” Miller Rankin explains.

Current infrastructure

Many have moved to the cities as there are poor water facilities in the country. This has affected agriculture greatly. The water industry has seen an increase in building activity, with Ecil recently finishing a design and construction project for a water treatment plant with a 2100 cubic metres per hour capacity, that will serve the villages and cities inside the Kurdistan Province. “We are taking water from the Tigris River and making it portable in supply to the Iraqi people in the cities in Iraq, mainly rural cities around the Kurdistan region. In Kurdistan’s main city of Erbil we have to install and supply the pump. I don’t know the exact cost but it is millions of US dollars,” says Muhammad Bilal Khan a services engineer with Ecil. A wastewater treatment facility in the city of

RIGHT: Bilal Khan.

Fallujah – a project that began in 2004 in the midst of a violent insurgency – was originally intended to cost around $35 million, yet in the end the project cost over $100 million and took seven years to complete. This system serves around 38,400 residents, far short of the 100,000 people originally intended to benefit. Recently, the Iraqi National Investment Commission (NIC) signed a $7.25 billion deal to build 100,000 housing units as a complete neighborhood, east of Baghdad. A refurbishment of roads is planned as the current road system has been worn out by the army. Consultants and contractors say airports are among the most challenging construction projects as they must execute work while the airport is still fully functional and active and security processes must be maintained. There are 104 airports with a total of 75 paved and 29 unpaved runways. A new port is set to be built to add to the current ports and terminals at Al Basrah, Khawr az Zubayr and Umm Qasr.

Beginning of a new era

New proposals include a $70bn national Railway system, a $1.5b metro in Baghdad which will hopefully eliminate traffic jams- and new schools, housing, utilities and transport industries are planned. South Korean construction firm Hanoua Company has announced plans to build 100,000 affordable homes in the southern suburbs of the Iraqi capital of Baghdad. The South Korean proposal will effectively half Iraq’s housing crisis, which called for at least two million new homes to be created within 20 years.

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Market Explorer | IRAQ

“Iraq is still very much in a state of flux. The country needs everything from a development standpoint, from roads to hospitals, to schools to government buildings” Work is due to start on the planned major Al-Fao Port project in southern Iraq in 2012 by a group of Italian firms. A major project planned is the 10x10 project. Named because of its predicted $10bn dollar value and ten-year delivery timeframe. “The completion of the concept master plan is a major milestone in the creation of a sustainable community with a strong identity for over 500,000 inhabitants and which will ease overcrowding in Sadr City, with successful delivery having depended on long-term and close partnering with the client, and the world-class skills, expertise and experience of our diverse team of international master planning experts,” says Broadway Malyan Director John Turner. Broadway Malyan has delivered the concept master plan for the ‘10x10’ project in Iraq, involving a 17km² extension of Sadr City, Baghdad, and the creation of New Sadr City. The Ministry of Transport plans for a $70bn rail network that will link the Iraqi provinces with high-speed trains traveling at 240 km per hour have been submitted to the cabinet for approval, says a senior ministry official. Alstom, is set to construct a $1.5b metro in Baghdad. A lack of development in other sectors has resulted in 18%–30% unemployed and a depressed per capital GDP of $4,000 International perspective On November 20, 2004, the Paris Club of creditor nations agreed to write off 80% ($33 billion) of Iraq’s $42 billion debt to Club members. Iraq’s total external debt was around $120 billion at the time of the 2003 invasion, and had grown by $5 billion by 2004. The debt relief will be implemented in three stages: two of 30% each and one of 20%. At the end of 2005, and in the first half of 2006, Iraq implemented a restructuring of about $20 billion of commercial debt claims on terms comparable to that of its November 2004 Paris Club agreement (i.e. with an 80% writeoff). Iraq offered to its larger claimants a U.S. dollar denominated bond maturing in 2028. Smaller commercial claimants received a cash settlement of comparable value. There have been attempts by the international community to improve and repair the infrastructure of Iraq in the aftermath of the 2003 invasion, when much was destroyed. Iraq was governed, after the 2003 invasion, by the Coalition Provisional Authority and, after June 28, 2004 by a series of Iraq-led governments. During this period efforts were made to repair

36 |

RIGHT: Erin Miller-Rankin

Iraq Tigris river

ABOVE: Iraq Ground Storage Tank_Behind Mosul Dam.

“I wouldn’t say it’s a large part of our business but it is going to be increasingly important over the next few years” and replace damaged Iraqi infrastructure, including: water supply systems, sewage treatment plants, electricity production, hospitals and health clinics, schools, housing, and transportation systems. A major moment for International assistance was the Madrid Conference on Reconstruction held in Spain October 23–24, 2003 and attended by representatives of over 25 nations. Funds assembled at this conference and from other sources have been administered by the United Nations and the World Bank. This assistance has primarily funded large-scale projects and helped the country move on from war.

The bottom line

At a recent function in Istanbul called Future Energy, speakers talked about Iraq’s potential. The Iraq Investment and Reconstruction Task Force (IIRTF) were there and a number of different construction projects that are under way or planned were discussed. Basra, Iraqi Kurdistan, Bagdad all have plans to increase their financial stability. While the Iraq Stock Exchange (ISX) is up about 50% over the last twelve months, prices for residential and office

space in the Kurdish capital have more than doubled with single detached houses of 600 sq m city’s Italian Village development now listed at US$ 1.5 million, up from only $600,000 a year ago. A common theme from the speakers at Future Energy was that Iraq must be patient as it moves from a very centralised regime to decentralised local governance. Conferences have been held in other major cities such as Istanbul and Amman in relation to the country’s future. While it may be a risk to invest in the country, those who do, may find it a worthwhile venture. The bottom line is Iraq needs as much business as it can get.

Iraq in numbers •

$100 billion economic losses suffered by Iraq during the current war

On November 20, 2004, the Paris Club of creditor nations agreed to write off 80% (

$33 billion of Iraq’s debt to Paris Club members written off in 2004

US$3 billion a year annual repayment on war debts

$61 billion committed by the U.S. government for reconstruction projects

$7.25 billion deal signed by NIC for eastern Baghdad neighbourhood development

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Der Leitwolf. The leader of the pack. | 37

CASE STUDY | construction software

Budget busting Many projects cost more to execute than the total annual turnover of a medium sized company, yet the adoption of commercial management systems in the Middle East still lags behind the rest of the world. The Big Project investigates why


management is now a must for all contractors winning work”


n the face of reduced margins and tighter budgets, one thing that could be expected within the industry would be tighter commercial management in the execution stages of a project. Yet while software vendors report an increased – albeit slow – adoption of estimation and design software, the commercial management of current projects is largely unheard of. Accurate commercial management incorporates the real time monitoring of project costs and value at data source, in order to analyse the performance of an actual project compared to how it was

planned, thus ensuring it is on time and, more importantly, on budget. “It is interesting to note that when contractors were making good margins they invested in software to manage the commercial aspects to managing a project,” says Causeway’s COO Paul Madeira. “However, as the economy changed and margins got tighter many organisations reviewed their position as a whole and IT budgets were not on the high priority list. However that has again changed and good commercial management is now a must for all contractors winning work,” he continues, | 39

CASE STUDY | construction software

adding that currently the most favoured method is to manually input figures on basic spreadsheet packages, despite investing in more high-tech solutions for payroll and HR management. Causeway commercial management system is currently monitoring in excess of US $25 billion of construction projects, including the UK’s BAA Heathrow Terminal 5, Channel Tunnel Rail Link and Al Raha Beach in Abu Dhabi. “It has been the intention that these systems should manage, facilitate, control and deliver accurate financial reporting of the corporate business, however, when looking to manage the detailed commercial reporting of construction projects, these systems often fall short of the requirement,” he explains.

To the test

Specific commercial management software was utilised for Murray and Roberts and Habtoor Leighton Group’s joint venture project to develop a 739 bedroom hospital in Abu Dhabi. Commercial director of the joint venture, Jason Lowe, said the project required “full commercial control” to proactively manage costs and value to maximise profitability. “It is not uncommon for a company to invest in the best accounting systems money can buy, enabling the business to report how much money it has, how much it has spent and how much they plan to spend. However, when questioning achievement or progress by asking questions such as ‘who, what, when, where and why’, the information required to provide the answers is invariably not readily available,” Madeira reports, also saying the benefits of such software, discussed in the boardroom, include competitive edge, strong corporate governance and continual learning and improvement. According to the providers and users of commercial software, modern procurement methods are driving the need for change rather than delaying it with sophisticated ‘paper trails’. Such companies also report a distinct lack of recognition for the difference between project and financial accounting. “To proactively manage project performance the commercial team requires the ability to manage project progress against meaningful work packages or stages; activities that reflect the way in which the job is to be constructed or maintained. “Often these activities are already defined within project management solutions for the management of time, yet when it comes to money, accounting solutions adopt a more rigid accounting view of the world,” Madeira says,

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adding flexibility is even more important given that no two projects are the same.

Learning curve

ABOVE: Ian Hauptfleisch

“Most of the time,

software purchases are a grudge purchase it’s like buying insurance – companies are not sure if they will use or need it”

Commercial management isn’t solely about sticking to a plan and the problem isn’t exclusive to the Middle East. White papers in the UK comparing the cost and profit margins of projects there with the Middle East confirm the benefits of commercial management, while lessons are also being learned in the US and Greece; where there was long-term economical impact from financial mismanagement of the 2004 Olympic games. “Most of the time, software purchases are a grudge purchase it’s like buying insurance – companies are not sure if they will use or need it,” observes Ian Hauptfleisch, general manager of CCS Gulf. “This is an opportunity to do a proper budget from the start and if you don’t have that foundation for control you have no way of measuring where you are in a project,” he adds. Under, or even over, estimation of project finances isn’t solely due to bad mathematics, it can be caused by a number of factors; political, economical and even technological. Giovanni Migliaccio, assistant professor of construction management at the University of Washington, suggests cost estimates at the

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“People need real time costing to be able to know the next step and the cost to complete the contract”

Increasingly intelligent BIM applications, as demonstrated here on the Qatar National Museum, could be further enhanced with commercial management software.

Counting the cost According to the experts, the benefits of using commercial management software include:

earliest stages of a project could have error margins as much as 20 times greater than those estimated later in a project. “Cost control is about accurately measuring where you are in a project, have you really made money, what are the trends and early warning signs to make sure you don’t fail and crucially how much budget have you spent to date? “It’s easier said than done because people look at an invoice, which is the wrong approach because the invoice comes so late. “People need real time costing to be able to know the cost to complete the contract. “The right way is to re-estimate that job monthly is change that estimation based on the new data you have. That’s the only thing that’s certain. And you need to manage that change and have a road map to the end of that project,” Hauptfleisch adds.

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The primary hurdle to adoption of commercial management software in the Middle East is widely reported to be a resistance to change. Whereas the current procedures secure the employment of an entire department, replacing financial systems not only changes working practices, it effectively streamlines the department in control of them. Asserting that integrated applications used by both contractor and client are essential, Madeira says that doing so provides solutions for the commercial needs of a business without compromising it’s corporate IT strategy. “System Interoperabilty is now key to all systems going forwards, particularly as the world of BIM emerges, which needs all systems to speak together.”

Improved performance management enabling projects to be delivered on time and within budget.

Greater visibility of project performance allowing you to minimise costs and maximise profits.

Improved cash flow – quicker collection of payments in reimbursable cost environment.

Timely and accurate information.

Reduction in re-keying data, duplication, errors and omissions.

Enables your commercial team to do what they are good at, making you money, rather than number crunching within numerous spreadsheets

Improved, consistent and auditable businesses processes.

Comprehensive management of all labour, plant, material and subcontract processes.

proactive KPI analysis and benchmarking.

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ABOVE: His Highness Sheikh Maktoum, ruler of Dubai, visits Falcon City of Wonders at CityScape, September 2011.

City of wonder Until recently, the only thing wondered about Falcon City of Wonders was if it would ever be completed. Six years after its launch, The Big Project speaks with company CEO and chairman Salem Al Moosa about building through a downturn

L ”You can call it the city of wonders, the city of civilisation, you can say it is the world in a city. You can say anything and it will apply to it”

aunched in September 2005, the US$ 1.5 billion Falcon City of Wonders is undoubtedly one of the most ambitious projects ever embarked upon in the UAE. Located on Emirates Road on a plot measuring more than 41,000,000 square feet, the concept unites life-size replicas of the seven wonders of the world; from the Eiffel Tower to the hanging gardens of Babylon, in one mega-development. Built in the shape of a falcon, the emblem of the UAE, and incorporating the most famous sites of New York, Egypt, Beirut, Pisa and India, the development is designed to attract every interest, age group and nationality. “Falcon City is a mega project; it is commercial, residential, retail and it’s a self contained city,” says Falcon City chairman and CEO Salem Al Moosa. “You can call it the city of wonders, the city of civilisation, you can say it is the world in a city. You can say anything and it will apply to it,” he continues.

Originally planned as part of Dubai Land, the project has hit a number of setbacks, due in part – according to Al Moosa – to shaken investor confidence, triggered by the global economic downturn. To date, Al Moosa says all underground infrastructure – i.e. phase one, which was due for completion in 2006 – is now complete. Some residential villas are now occupied and show homes are open for viewing. A 132Kv power station, water supply, sewerage, storm water, communications and cabling are ready and plots of land are now available for developers to buy and begin building on. The succeeding four phases will overlap and Al Moosa says the marketing plan for the development will be revisited in the near future, with input from the Dubai government to coordinate the logistics of the project and promote it as a tourism destination. Further news of the subsequent phases | 45


”These projects are meant for all sectors of the economy and if you don’t have support in a project it won’t work”

The development on display at CityScape.

of development is reportedly due soon, according the developer’s public relations department.

The vision

Upon its launch six years ago, the developers reported that the city “significantly complements” the vision of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, to transform Dubai into one of the world’s leading tourist destinations; not least by combining the most famous tourist destinations in the world. “When Falcon City is complete will offer a single solution; you can take a picture with a pyramid, or go to a wedding in the Taj Mahal Hotel. All these buildings are commercially feasible and the city will accommodate in the day time something like 70,000 population, night time will be about 25,000 to 30,000,” Al Moosa explains. Today, the Falcon City vision is not just

46 |

about Dubai retaining its place among the world’s elite tourism destinations, it’s about building out of a downturn; the chain reaction of providing jobs, sustaining development and above all defying critics. In the past Al Moosa has been particularly vocal about the importance of using the development to attract foreign investors to the UAE, and also promote the new real estate regulations that today make the project more attractive. “The foreign investors are still cautious about Dubai but I think that when you tell them about their rights and protection under the new regulations they come. I hope that this development can encourage investment from all corners,” Al Moosa says. It’s a message that has been echoed at each of the exhibitions the project has been showcased at; namely every CityScape in the UAE since 2005. “These projects are meant for all sectors of the economy and if you don’t have support in a project it won’t work,” he continues. “For example a car and its tyres. You can manufacture a car but if you cannot get the tyres from somewhere what are you going to do, walk? You need the guy who makes the tyre, you need the guy who makes the battery, you need the guy that makes the

upholstery and then you need somebody to service it after you finish. “The complimentary items are the other industries of development and then that sort of vehicle needs to be maintained properly, otherwise it will break in no time,” he concludes.

The wonders •

Dubai Eiffel Tower

Dubai Grand Pyramid

Dubai Taj Mahal

The Tower of Pisa

Dubai Hanging Gardens of Babylon

The Great wall

Theme Park

Tower of Venice

Falcon City Mall

Falcon City Towers

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Stay ahead of moisture Whilst moisture control is a key issue for any building designer, it is especially important in the UAE, where the interaction of hot humid outdoor air and mechanically cooled interiors creates a recipe for structural problems. Gyproc’s technical development manager, Jason Hird, examines the part played by wall and ceiling linings in preventing moisture damage in buildings


n estimated 75% of building failures are caused by water – either as a result of rainwater or atmospheric moisture penetrating the structure because of construction flaws or poor design, or condensation forming within the structure or on internal surfaces due to temperature imbalances. Where the external air is hot and humid, as is the case in the UAE, problems are likely to be more extreme, especially where air conditioning systems create an artificially high temperature differential between the interior and the exterior of a building. But as well as moisture entering the building from outside, it will be created within a building due to the activities which take place – people breathing, or activities such as bathing and exercising in a gym.

wall and roof construction, and creating positive pressure within the building to reduce moist external air filtration will obviously reduce the amount of moisture penetrating from the outside. This is not the complete answer, as it does not address the other issues such as construction moisture which is released as the building dries out, and activity-generated moisture. It is important, therefore, to reduce construction moisture by using dry construction techniques wherever possible. The use of internal thermal linings will reduce surface temperatures and thus the risk of surface condensation, whilst internal lining materials must be appropriate to the activity or conditions within the area. These conditions may only be temporary, for instance during the construction process, when internal dry lining commences before the building is fully weathertight – if external environmental conditions are extreme and relative humidity (RH) is continually above 70%, it may be necessary to fit a temporary lining of Gyproc MR grade board which will prevent moisture penetrating the structure until the building is properly closed off.

Effect of moisture

Without effective control, moisture can cause a whole host of problems within a building – from ugly staining and mould growth on internal walls and ceilings to deterioration of the building structure itself due to damp and decay caused by hidden ‘interstitial ‘condensation within the external wall and roof structure. This condensation is involved in corrosion of steel components, chemical deterioration of gypsum lining boards, ceiling tiles and timber components and freeze-thaw deterioration of concrete and masonry. Even without the physical damage, it can affect the performance of the external fabric by reducing the thermal effectiveness of insulation and other construction materials. Perhaps more important, however, is the effect that condensation and mould growth on building components, furnishings and carpets can have on the health of building occupants. Damp, humid atmospheres create ideal breeding grounds for fungi, bacteria and dust mites which promote asthma and lung problems.

Addressing moisture issues

There are a number of ways in which the designer can reduce the likelihood of moisture problems occurring in a building. Reducing air leakage by the use of airtight construction techniques and vapour barriers in the external

48 |

ABOVE: Jason Hird.

“Even without the physical damage, it can affect the performance of the external fabric by reducing the thermal effectiveness of insulation and other construction materials”

Lining selection

Gyproc plasterboards make a perfect internal lining for any masonry external wall as they quickly adapt to changes in internal room temperature, helping to maintain a constant internal environment and reducing the risk of condensation. Further improvements can be achieved using a wall lining system, such as Gyproc GypLyner – a metal frame lining system that incorporates a separate insulating layer of either glass wool, polystyrene or phenolic foam. By choosing different insulants, the lining can be engineered to provide different levels of thermal performance to minimise condensation risk in each area of the building. By significantly improving the thermal performance of the outer envelope, it is also possible to reduce the need for air conditioning, which will, in turn, help to further cut condensation risk.



“There are a

number of ways in which the designer can reduce the likelihood of moisture problems occurring in a building”

Pay attention to tiled surfaces

Particular attention must be paid to wet rooms and kitchens where traditional tiled finishes can be at risk when surface water penetrates to the underlining board. Problems are often not realised until tiles fall away from the wall surface, by which time the lining is generally saturated and must be replaced – bringing disruption and considerable repair cost. It is often assumed that expensive tile backer boards or cementitious boards are the only option for tiled applications, but Gyproc Moisture Resistant board is perfectly suitable, and will provide a much more cost-effective solution.

50 |

When applying tiles to Gyproc Moisture Resistant, all that is needed is to use 15mm thickness board and reduce stud centres to 400mm. This construction is perfectly suitable for most tiled backgrounds, with tile thicknesses up to 12.5mm and weight up to 32kg/ m2. Heavier tiles and marble cladding can be easily accommodated using direct mechanical or batten fixing – further guidance on all tiling applications can be found in the White Book Tiling section.

What is Gyproc Moisture Resistant?

Specially developed for tile backing and high humidity environments, Gyproc Moisture

Resistant board is regular plasterboard but with special moisture repelling additives in the core and paper liner, giving it excellent moisture resistance. The same technology is applied to a range of performance boards so that properties such as impact resistance and fire resistance can be coupled with moisture resistance in a single board. Typical examples include Gyproc FireStop MR, which combines excellent fire resistance with moisture resistance and Gyproc DuraLine MR, the popular high impact lining but with additional moisture resistance properties – ideal for school changing rooms and similar applications where a range of performance is important. All Gyproc MR quality boards will provide resistance to moisture up to a certain level, as defined by several international standards, such as ASTM 1396, BS 1230 and EN 520, the level generally accepted for protected high moisture environments such as wet rooms. The general requirement is defined as having absorbed no more than 5% of water by weight after two hours full immersion in water. The boards are not water proof, and are therefore not suitable for exposed external applications or use as a water barrier.


Around the With exhibition season well under way, thousands of foreign suppliers are visiting the region to find new markets for their products. The Big Project presents the complete guide to the region’s distribution giants and establishing those all important networks



till living up to its reputation as a gold mine of work and opportunity, the Middle East continues to attract companies looking to increase their operations and global reach. While the introduction of free zones and wholly owned subsidiaries has bolstered trade in the region, re-location doesn’t appeal to everyone. The solution of choice is still to distribute through a local agent, who can sell goods or services on behalf of their client, armed with their local knowledge, contacts and experience of potential bureaucratic challenges — as even where a foreign company has a footprint in the region with a free zone entity, an agent will still be required for distribution of goods beyond the free zone. It’s not just the suppliers auditioning distributors; for a mutually beneficial trading relationship to grow, both parties must be striving to meet the other’s needs. “First of all you need a good product. The UAE is not a market for poor products,” asserts chairman of Al Naboodah Construction Group, Abdulla Saeed Juma Al Naboodah. “Secondly you need good representation and this is usually through a dedicated sales agent, who will market your product along with other sector specific products.  Thirdly you need to ensure that the benefits of your product are known to

52 |

the designers that will be specifying the products.  Many suppliers add value to this process by assisting in the design,” Al Naboodah adds while warning suppliers not to “parachute into the region” without adequate investment “If you promise but don’t deliver because your support structure is not in place then you will find it hard to be given a second chance,” he continues. “A good supplier is one who can meet the customer expectations, with respect to delivery time, quality of goods, reasonable pricing and dependability,” explains Al Habtoor Trading Enterprises LLC business development manager, Sara Asmann. “The supplier’s profile should be synergetic to our group’s portfolio and the supplier’s product should be suitable for the market, with the supplier demonstrating a good knowledge about that market. Financial stability is important,” she adds saying that purchase decisions rely on quality of goods, price and reliability of the trader, and that currently Al Habtoor is witnessing a rising trend in certified ecofriendly products. “Commercial success in the Middle East relies on three factors: a strong product, a comprehensive market entry strategy and a strong distribution and sales network,” Asmann continues. “The suppliers have to study the market requirements prior entering the market, including planning their market entry, product launch, sales and customer support strategies. The supplier has to be willing to get established up to the needs of the market “To establish a strategic partnership with a strong local partner, with an activity in the same field can be very supportive . The pricing has to be suitable to the market levels and the supplier should leverage their competitive advantage . A Successful UAE



80 in

trades competencies are a very important factor to be studied and achieved. The supplier has to do an in- depth study of the market prior entering the market in order to position themselves successfully,” Asmann adds.

The other side of the coin

presence provides an opportunity to explore the whole Middle East Market,” she adds. “Overall suppliers need the ability to deliver on their promise,” Al Naboodah says. “By this we mean within specification, on time and within budget or cost. As well, we need to see that the supplier understands the product that they are supplying, and that they can support the operations and maintenance of the product through its lifetime,” he adds. “The main problem arises when a foreign company acts in the UAE as if it is a market similar to their home market. Cultural

The Middle East enjoys strong trading partnerships with a number of other regions, particularly the Far East where the quality of goods has begun to increase, while prices have remained competitive. “A large number of global companies entered the UAE market to benefit from its promising investment conditions and high capabilities as well as a preference of the consumer to deal directly with commercial agencies in 2010,” says H.E. Humaid Ali Bin Butti Al Muhairi, assistant undersecretary for commercial affairs and Dubai’s Ministry of Economy. Next year will see the launch of the first Made in Korea exhibition, designed to tap the opportunity that exists due to trade between Korea and the UAE in 2010 reaching US$ 15.7 billion. It’s an opportunity that has been strengthened by the state visits made by South Korean president Lee Myung-bak and the cooperation deals signed during those visits with HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan. “Trade activities between the UAE and South Korea remain very strong and have great potential to grow further,” comments Faisal Al Raisi, managing partner at event organisers Ideal Events. “Korean businesses are particularly paying greater attention to emerging growth prospects in the UAE and across the GCC, which

Finding the right agent or distributor The checklist below details things you should bear in mind when looking for a suitable agent or distributor. Background

• Size and history of company • Number of salespeople, their length of service and qualifications • Other brands distributed and success record • Banking and trade references Distribution

• Geographical coverage • Transportation • Warehousing Are they right for your product?

• Knowledge of local market conditions • Marketing competence • Degree of English language skills throughout the organisation • Agent’s interest in and enthusiasm for new products – and yours in particular • After-sales service levels • Required skills of salespeople | 53


30% growth in the export of manufactured Asian goods in 2010

"First of all you need a good product. The UAE is not a market for poor products"

Legal tips

Whether the principal works with a registered commercial agent or otherwise, the following points will apply: •

Identify specific duties, obligations, performance and reporting criteria for the agent – this will make it easier to justify ending an agreement and will generally help to monitor the agent’s performance from afar.

Identify the scope of the agent’s authority and ability to delegate – without clear boundaries, it is likely to be assumed that the agent has wide powers to do whatever it considers is in the principal’s best interests.

Consider whether and how the agent should be audited in terms of performance and financial issues.

Include detailed terms on IP and confidential information.

Specify precisely how the agent will be paid and the extent of any compensation due, or not, on termination.

Specify all key triggers to terminating the agreement, the consequences of terminating the agreement and those obligations that continue after the agreement. When ending the agreement, remind the agent of the next steps and on-going obligations.

Consider the most appropriate forum – it is difficult to avoid the jurisdiction of the place where the agreement will be performed, and the principal may need a local court to enforce the contract against the agent in any event. As an alternative, arbitration is increasingly recognised in most countries in the region. For example, the Dubai International Financial Centre has established, in partnership with the London Court of International Arbitration, an arbitration and mediation centre that will hear disputes in the English language and apply the law that the parties have agreed to be bound by.

54 |

are increasingly becoming more competitive export destinations compared with Europe and other global markets. Moreover, the governments of both countries have played a key role in establishing strong bilateral relations, which is a very important factor in sustaining the long-term trade relationship between the UAE and Korea,” he adds. It’s an observation that has also been made by World Trade Organisation director general, Pascal Lammy, who recently wrote: “In 2010, Asia’s trade performance was remarkable, contributing significantly to the global recovery. Asian exports of manufactured goods grew by 30% — more than offsetting the loss incurred during the crisis. In commercial services Asia recorded a stunning 22% growth in exports in 2010, compared with 3% for Europe.” Asian manufacturers aren’t the only ones looking to establish business relationships in the region, with locally-based embassies hosting trade bodies to facilitate international trading relations between the Middle East and a number of countries, spanning Europe, the US and East. Such organisations have an extensive contacts base and local knowledge needed to trade in a new market. One such organisation is UBIFRANCE, which promotes the specification of French technologies, products and knowledge in the UAE, through B2B networking, seminars and on the ground contacts, specifically for French suppliers. “The majority of the suppliers and distributors require urgent delivery after the conclusion of any deal,” says the organisation’s communications director, Tarek Solimane. “The most problematic issue here is that the products are in Europe and it takes time for them to be delivered to the region. “Every day new solutions are established to avoid this kind of issue but it’s not something that can block a deal and the French companies can provide products that comply with the new green building standards from Dubai Municipality,” Solimane adds.

The small print

Establishing contacts at a trade show and developing a professional relationship may appear to be as easy as one, two, three, but success and failure rests in the legal fine print, according local trading law experts. “It is important to identify all the risks before entering into an agency relationship, which is why local advice should always be sought and such advice may be required for more than one jurisdiction since many agreements apply across broader regional territories,” says Sara Holder, managing partner in the UAE for In House Lawyer. “Ultimately, similar principles apply to agency law in the region to those you will find

value of Korean trade with the UAE in 2010

"Suppliers must not sell to every distributor in the market otherwise it becomes a price war and small distributors will sell at a lower price as their costs are lower. That's how a brand loses its image and falls down" Ones to watch

If you want to sell products across the whole Middle East region, the UAE is the ideal hub for your distributor to be based. Some of the biggest names include:

in western jurisdictions, for example the success of any agency relationship will rest largely on identifying an agent the principal feels comfortable working with, and making sure the parties continue to communicate clearly and fully throughout the life of the relationship,” she continues. “Part of that communication will include entering into a clear, easy to understand agreement, specifying precisely what is expected of both parties throughout the relationship and the consequences if either party fails to meet its obligations,” Holder adds. The legislation to learn is Federal Law No 18 of 1981, which also goes under its catchier headline of ‘The Agency Law’. Described by Habib Al Mulla & Co’s Mark Gilligan as “a framework

that serves to champion the rights of the local commercial agent, normally at the expense of the (typically foreign) principal”. “Only UAE nationals or companies wholly owned by UAE nationals are entitled to carry out commercial agency activities in the UAE and this is a strict provision of the Agency Law,” he says, adding that under the Agency Law, commercial agency agreements must be written in order to be deemed valid. “Once an agency is granted and registered with the UAE Ministry of Economy, the termination of an agency relationship by a principal can be extremely difficult to effect and in most cases such terminations result in significant compensation awards in favour of the local agent,” he warns.

Al Rostamani Al Aqili Group Al Kamada Al Futtaim Al Hassan Gargash AL Baha Al Jaber Ahmed Ramadhan Juma Est Al-Majid Group, JAM Group Omnix | 55


"Commercial success in the Middle East relies on three factors: a strong product, a comprehensive market entry strategy and a strong distribution and sales network"




Tales of Trade Firsthand accounts of Middle East business from the companies that have both worked through distributors and established local entities



GaĂŤtan Pierrefeu, managing director

When did Aldes establish a regional base and why was this? Aldes has been present locally since 1982 but Aldes Middle East was established in 2002 as a regional base in the UAE. The idea was to create a strong industrial base as well as a strong commercial base to be closer to our customers and to be able to give them a better service, in term of lead time and reactivity, but also to be able to accompany our customers on a daily basis on the market with all the marketing and technical supports required. The UAE with a fast growing economy and strategically located in the GCC were and still are a perfect hub for regional operations. Infrastructures are of good quality with easy connection to all neighbouring countries.

What was both good and bad about working through a distributor?

GaĂŤtan Pierrefeu, managing director

56 |

Aldes company policy is to go direct on the market and to work directly with our final customers, who are MEP contractors. Working via a distributor is a good help at the beginning to enter a market, but then limitations appears as our strategies,

objectives and target might not match always. Aldes is trying to work at all level of sales from regulatory bodies, to consultants, to MEP contractors. Distributors tends to work only with short term issues, bringing turnover in the next few weeks, whereas as an industrial company with a long term approach, we might choose sometime to favour an action which will bring business after one or two years. The reason also why we decided to go directly on the market is that 10 years ago, distributors were not acting as distributors as such, but most of the time representing a company or manufacturer and was acting on their behalf.

How would you advise companies looking to break into the Middle East market? Be pragmatic, choose simplicity and efficiency. Compared to Europe or to Asia for example, the decision making process can take much more time in the Middle East. We are in countries where giant steps were made in a very short period of time and the organisation did not follow at the same pace despite of the efforts of the governments. So to come in the Middle East markets, you need more patience than elsewhere since rules and regulations on a lot of subjects are still under construction or definition as the countries are.

ArchiBat HR Ludovic Baudry, area manager Middle East

Why did you chose to trade in the Middle East?

What have been the best and worst elements of doing business here?

Despite the crisis, the Middle East remains an attractive growth area. The GCC countries have huge needs for equipment and infrastructure. Many major projects are in progress or will be launched soon, and ArchiBat HR aims at supporting its French and International clients in this strategic period for them. That is why we have implemented a new branch in the UAE, in order to assist them on their human resources and recruitment issues. Indeed, the priority for the construction and engineering companies is to rely on a skilled workforce, which is available to come and work in the Middle East.

It is difficult to get an accurate picture of the market because feedbacks are always different. In these conditions, if you want to set up a branch or a new company in the Middle East, do not rush. Doing business takes time and people give importance to the relationships: first of all, your clients need to meet you, to see you several times, and discuss other topics than business. And only when you have got their confidence, you can talk about business. But in spite of these difficulties, the Middle East is a rich area where the potential is huge for the engineering and construction sectors. Projects are amazing and often with unlim

ited budgets). Contrary to Europe, you can quickly have access to decision makers, and if you are serious and you offer a real added value, then you will succeed here.

What advice would you give to other foreign companies who may be looking to move into this market? Before implementation, you have to come on site several times, attending professional exhibitions, meeting the right contacts and seriously researching the market. Then, you have to be patient in terms of business and to adapt yourself to the culture and climate. The secret is to persevere and never be discouraged despite the legal and administrative difficulties.

Delta Plus Middle East Sofian Hamila, area sales manager

Are there any particular What qualities do you look for in geographical markets or products suppliers?  that are popular in the UAE at the The distributors mainly look at price in order moment? 

to be competitive in this tough market but the The market that everybody is focusing on at the thing that really makes the difference between suppliers is fast answer on their inquiries and moment is Abu Dhabi and mainly Mussafah requirements. Sometimes an inquiry comes to because of its oil and gas industry. them at the last minute and it can be an order if they answer quickly with the required products. It happened to us many times.

What can suppliers do to position themselves successfully in local markets? They must have competitive prices, answer quickly to their demand and give them support. What are the main issues for them to avoid? Suppliers must not sell to every distributor in the market otherwise it becomes a price war and small distributors will sell at a lower price as their cost are lower. That's how a brand loses its image and falls down. | 57


“Despite the crisis, the Middle East remains an attractive growth area. The GCC countries have huge needs for equipment and infrastructure”

COMMENT | Ted Garrison

“In essence, high-performing contractors take a holistic approach to the project instead of focusing on just the lowest capital cost”

Strategic thinking Columnist Ted Garrison on the missed opportunities of downstream supply chains


nefficient downstream supply chains increase waste by 30%, yet there is a mindset that the nature of the industry means little can be done to improve the situation. Nothing could be further from the truth. International studies all found failure to take advantage of effective supply chain management. There are three distinct ways to affect the supply chain and significantly increase efficiency and eliminate waste. Two of these ways are totally within the purview of contractors; therefore, they offer contractors opportunities for significant improvement regardless of the project delivery method. While both of these areas (explored later) offer significant savings, potentially the greatest opportunity for improvement occurs when the client embraces a collaborative approach to its construction downstream supply chain. The primary reason for outsourcing is innovation, not cheaper prices. The good news is that when the outsourcing process selects high-performing, specialised experts, these experts implement innovative solutions that increase efficiency and reduce waste. However, high-performing contractors don’t always provide the lowest initial capital cost; they eliminate costs that are often hidden in the lower bid option, such as higher energy consumption, higher maintenance and/or less efficient operations for those working in the building. In essence, high-performing contractors take a holistic approach to the project instead of focusing on just the lowest capital cost. The biggest problem with the design-bidbuild approach is it stifles the expert’s innovation and reduces efficiency by requiring it to follow the design team’s directions. This approach minimises collaboration and the opportunity for the specialised expert to utilise creativity, experience and knowledge. True experts anticipate potential risks in a design and minimise those and their effects. In contrast, in the design-bid-build approach, the specialty experts are often prevented from communicating with the owner or the design team during the design of the project, never mind collaborating with them. In contrast, recently a

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project team constructed the most energy-efficient office building in North America by using collaboration. The cost of the building was in the 25th percentile, and all the technology was at least 10 years old. When I asked a project consultant how that was possible, he stated that everyone collaborated to determine the best solution. Today’s projects are becoming more and more complex; therefore, it’s essential to use all the expertise and knowledge available. After all, the team is always smarter than the smartest person on the team.

Integrated approach

If owners want to minimise their cost, they need to understand the importance of collaboration and of using the talent of the downstream supply chain to achieve that goal. They also need to understand that the lowest capital cost isn’t always the lowest project cost, as previously discussed. The integrated project delivery approach works when the right team is assembled because it uses the team’s combined expertise. However, it’s important to avoid using contractors that use the buzzwords but don’t walk the talk. However, even when owners don’t employ an integrated project delivery method, contractors can still make their downstream supply chain more efficient and, therefore, increase their competitiveness when they are forced to bid competitively. It starts with contractors avoiding the practice of going out for sub bids on every project in an effort to get the lowest bid price. Instead, contractors should select the best-qualified specialists for each trade and work with them to determine how to best reduce costs by eliminating waste. This isn’t a onetime effort but an ongoing process of continued improvement. If you change subs on every project, it’s virtually impossible to maximise efficiency. It’s important to understand projects are a team effort and reaching peak performance requires practice. It is no different to team sports. When the best individual talents are honed into a highly efficient team, they become unstoppable. It’s time for the construction industry to focus on developing highly efficient

ABOVE: Ted Garrison.

teams instead of attempting to compete at the highest levels with a pickup team. The actual savings in this effort are difficult to estimate because the relationships between every contractor and its individual subs are different. However, I suggest that contractors ask their subs one simple question to start the dialogue: What do we do that hurts your efficiency and raises your costs? You might just be surprised at the answers.


The final issue is to manage the supply chain’s logistics. Poor logistics management increases project costs. For example, construction materials are moved an average of 4.5 times before they are installed. What does that cost? One of the barriers to improved logistics is the conventional wisdom that we need to stay focused on our project or it will negatively affect our efficiency. Well, not always, says Bill Standish, president of Stangate Management. He explains it often hurts our efficiency and increases our costs. For example, a large contractor in Cincinnati may have 10 current projects in town. On a weekly basis, each project gets a delivery from Chicago, but if all the deliveries were coordinated on a companywide basis, maybe only five deliveries would be needed, thus saving transportation costs. For smaller contractors, this same type of effort can be used to combine shipments for several contractors. Before you dismiss your logistics issues as unimportant, Standish reports that contractors can reduce their project costs by 4-5% with improved logistics. Standish adds that contractors that have done that have seen their percentage of successful bids increase substantially. In today’s hypercompetitive marketplace, managing your downstream supply chain is not a luxury, but a necessity.

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The Big 5 Guide | Interview

wood plastics composites construction concrete metals glass finishes openings marble ceramic masonry stone thermal moisture protection communications electrical systems HVAC heating ventilation, air conditioning fire suppression protection plumbing water technology safety security equipment cabling fireextinguishing central cooling equipment electronic detection alarm concrete reinforcing precast concrete fountain plumbing systems decorative metal stone assemblies metal joists hardware glazing flashing sheet metal membrane roofing wall specialties earthwork mechanical utilities shoring underpinning The Big 5 event director, Andy White, tells The Big Project’s Dan For more than 30 tunnelling mining McAlister, all about the biggest and greenest show to date years, The Big bridges 5 has wetlands lighting railways been the region’s most wood plasticsimportant composites “Last year the number of visitors we had ast year The Big 5 occupied every hall of was about 48,000 compared to the previous Dubai’s World Trade Centre in what is construction construction concrete metals year, when we had about 45,000. We are lookthe region’s biggest exhibition of its kind; exhibition. ing to get up to 50,000 visitors this year which but this year, 30 years after it first began The glass finishes openings marble Returning to Dubai will be a big achievement in the current cliBig 5 is going bigger – and greener – than ever ceramic masonry stone thermalbefore. With 100 free to attend product semiWorld Trade Centre mate,” he adds. “After I joined in 2009, we took the decision nars, the first Green Build Congress and more November moisturefrom protection communications to get all our figures audited independently by 2500 exhibitors expected, it seems the indus21-24, 2011 will beheating try’s dark days are coming to an end. electrical systems HVAC the BPA. After working in the exhibition indusbigger and better try for 20 years, sometimes I think there are “The Big 5 is a construction show. The peoventilation, air conditioning fireple exhibiting there will sell any type of prod- exhibitors who are not always open and transthan ever. Over the parent,” White comments. uct - from marble stone to air conditioning. suppression protection plumbing next 10 pages The We’ll have cranes and diggers, heavy plant waterBig technology safety Project brings and machinery, so it really is a construction All change “Just coming here and putting on a big show you the inside security equipment cabling fire- event which covers every type of construction and fit out. It’s the largest construction event isn’t enough anymore and we’ve done a lot of interviews, event extinguishing central cooling in the Middle East,” introduces event director research with our visitors to find out what it is highlights and White. that they want, so this year we are introducing a equipment electronic detection Andy exhibitors statistics “This is the biggest show ever. Our visitors will couple of new things. Firstly we are going to try be anyone who specifies construction products, and centralise the show by concentrating on the alarm you concrete reinforcing need to make anyone from architects to designers, and anyone products a lot more. the most of it precast concrete fountain who’s involved in purchasing, or the influencing “This is one thing that previous visitors are of a purchase, in construction,” explains White. telling us all the time so this year we are going plumbing systems decorative


to have more distinct product sectors on stone areas, on bathroom and ceramics areas, air conditioning and water technology. The whole show won’t be completely dominated by products because we have around 29 pavilions. They will still exist but we are moving towards product categorisation within the event,” he says. It’s not just the Trade Centre halls that will be taken over from November 21-24; the areas outside will be too. PMV Live will return – complete with the world-famous dancing diggers – and a new show, ME Concrete, which sold out weeks before the show, will debut. “We’ve taken ownership of PMV Live and we’ve increased the size. We are putting it

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the Middle East, so we see the future of the construction industry as very exciting,” he continues. Comparing the market to the UK, White says that despite exhibitions there being exciting 20 years ago, today’s market is “a little bit cynical about trade shows.” He adds that the growth in regional markets currently, not only makes local shows appealing to domestic traders, but over time can present opportunity for foreign exhibitors also. “It’s very important when people come over from places like the UK or France people want to understand about them and their business before they will buy from them and I think that’s the key difference here. “Exhibitors need to come here for three years before they can establish themselves, but when they do it means that those relationships are strong and they are trusted,” White explains. “This is a great place to work and everybody I know is very excited about the prospects of working here,” he concludes.

alongside ME Concrete so it’s a very good fit for that event and we’ve taken some outside space which we’ve never done before at that particular show,” says White. “As far as the show is concerned this year our buyers will be able to find more of the products that they are looking for which will be good for our exhibitors because it means that they will be spending more time with the right kinds of people.” “We aren’t just relaying on the products our exhibitors have on stands, we want to increase the content in our seminars and conferences. “We’ve introduced the Green Build Congress, which is a conference taking place over three days and we’ve got some really good speakers there,” White explains. Key note speakers include Adrian Smith, who designed the Burj Khalifa and is also designing Kingdom Tower in Jeddah. Marine explorer, environmental activist, educator and filmmaker Jean Michel Cousteau, will also speak. In addition to the Green Build Conference there will be over 100 free product-based seminars, running in five seminar theatres – something the organisers haven’t done before. Visitors have told DMG that when they go to the event they want to see innovative products: “They also want to see green products as well, as that’s very important but innovative products and particularly new products are the sort of things they are looking for,” White relays, adding that anybody who wishes to talk about such a product for up to 30 minutes, is welcome. International exhibitors will have the chance to attend daily workshops on topics such as setting up business in Dubai and the Middle East; legal obligations for distributors

and contract drafting and product licensing in the UAE. “We are trying to deliver more than just a big trade show with the conference content we have this year. It’s certainly how we are going to be doing things going forward because it’s more about trying to help our clients, visitors or exhibitors to trade and do better and improve their businesses in the Middle East.”

On the up

Observing that the future for the region “is very bright”, White compare the economic situation to that of Europe, from where many suppliers now come to tap regional opportunities. “It’s very difficult, you look at lots of people making remarks about the industry and the GCC as a whole, I think there’s a huge amount of infrastructure going round and there will be a lot of business in Saudi Arabia, where we now have another edition of The Big 5. “Our country pavilions for places such as Spain are no smaller than they were last year. In face Greece is larger than it was last year and Portugal is larger too. “The future here is very bright because there is still a lot of construction, particularly in infrastructure and housing. There may not be as much in Dubai as there was, but Dubai is a hub for the whole of

Photographs by Cris Mejorada

Talking the talk | 63

The Big 5 Guide | STATS

wood plastics composites construction concrete metals glass finishes openings marble ceramic masonry stone thermal moisture protection communications electrical systems HVAC heating TOTAL EXHIBITORS ventilation, air conditioning fire suppression protection plumbing water technology safety security equipment cabling fireextinguishing central cooling equipment electronic detection alarm concrete reinforcing precast concrete fountain plumbing systems decorative metal stone assemblies metal joists hardware glazing flashing sheet metal membrane roofing wall specialties earthwork mechanical utilities shoring underpinning tunnelling mining bridges wetlands lighting railways wood plastics composites construction concrete metals glass finishes openings marble ceramic masonry stone thermal moisture protection communications electrical systems HVAC heating ventilation, air conditioning fire suppression protection plumbing water technology safety security equipment cabling fireextinguishing central cooling equipment electronic detection alarm concrete reinforcing precast concrete fountain


represented COUNTRIES

Big 5

Anguilla Armenia Australia Austria Bahrain Balarus Barcelona Belgium Brazil Canada China Croatia Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Egypt Finland France France/ Belgium Germany Greece Hong Kong India Indonesia Iran Italy Japan Jordan Korea Kuwait Lebanon Luxembourg

The exhibitor statistics

Exhibitors from China


Malaysia Malta Mexico Netherlands New Zealand Oman Palestine Poland Portugal Qatar Republic of Macedonia Russia Samoa Saudi Arabia Serbia Singapore South Africa South Korea Spain Sweden Switzerland Syria Taiwan Tehran Tunisie Turkey UAE UK Ukraine USA Vietnam

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The Big 5 Guide | Interview

“There is enough cultural and social awareness about BIM that it will eventually become part of our daily work process. Tekla has been BIM even before the name was created. And with its sound position in the automation back-end of the construction process, Tekla is on the leading edge of innovation.�


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“Sustainability is no longer an option, it’s a must”


The Big 5 Guide | Interview

wood plastics composites construction concrete metals glass finishes openings marble ceramic masonry stone thermal moisture protection communications electrical systems HVAC heating ventilation, air conditioning fire suppression protection plumbing water technology safety security equipment cabling fire-extinguishing central cooling equipment electronic detection alarm concrete reinforcing precast concrete fountain plumbing systems decorative metal stone assemblies metal joists hardware glazing flashing sheet metal membrane roofing wall specialties earthwork mechanical utilities shoring underpinning tunnelling mining bridges wetlands lighting railways wood plastics composites construction concrete metals glass finishes openings marble ceramic masonry stone thermal moisture protection communications electrical systems HVAC heating ventilation, air conditioning fire suppression protection plumbing water technology safety security equipment cabling fire-extinguishing central cooling equipment electronic detection alarm concrete reinforcing Build precast Green Congress speaker and Habtoor Leighton Group’s senior sustainability concrete fountain plumbing systems decorative advisor Wissim Yassin talks about his passion for sustainable living metal stone assemblies metal joists hardware glazing flashing sheet metal membrane roofing wall very organisation now is expected by both the industry to understand the impacts this indusspecialties earthwork mechanical utilities shoring regulators and society to be transparent and try has on the environment and learn of opporaccountable about its environmental and tunities for process improvement, while underpinning tunnelling mining bridges wetlands social impacts,” advises Habtoor Leighton Group’s remaining profitable and competitive in the lighting railways wood plastics composites senior sustainability advisor, Wissim Yassin. market,” he says. In his capacity as senior sustainability advisor Already holding a degree in electrical and construction concrete metals glass finishes openings with one of the MENA region’s leading contractors, computer engineering from the American he moisture is the expert responsible for the sustainability University of Beirut, Yassin is currently studymarble ceramic masonry stone thermal aspects on all of HLG projects in Abu Dhabi. ing for a Masters degree in sustainability and protection communications electrical systems HVAC He has a leadership position involving advanced environmental management at Harvard functions such as project management, business University Extension School, with an eye on heating ventilation, air conditioning fire suppression development, client liaison, staff development, and graduating in summer 2012. protection plumbing water technologystrategic safety security decision making. Now based in Dubai for three years, Yassin is “Participating at the Green Build Congress will also the UAE coordinator for The Carboun equipment cabling fire-extinguishing central cooling allow organisations involved in the construction Initiative; a non-profit advocacy promoting sustainability and environmental conservation equipment electronic detection alarm concrete in the Middle East through education, research, reinforcing precast concrete fountain plumbing and outreach. “Sustainability is no longer an option, it’s a systems decorative metal stone assemblies metal joists must,” Yassin asserrts. hardware glazing flashing sheet metal membrane “The need for sustainability stems from two main branches: managing risks and roofing wall specialties earthwork mechanical exploiting opportunities. “Organisations are facing the risk of more utilities shoring underpinning tunnelling mining stringent regulations from governments, a bridges wetlands lighting railways heating ventilation, prevailing trend in the last few years.” “In addition, organisations face the risk of air conditioning fire suppression protection plumbing social action by the communities in which water technology safety security equipment cabling they operate. It’s no secret that social media has increased citizen’s awareness of their fire-extinguishing central cooling equipment electronic rights and empowered them to take action against organisations that violate their right detection alarm concrete reinforcing precast concrete for a healthy and clean environment. fountain plumbing systems decorative metal stone assemblies metal joists hardware glazing flashing | 67 sheet metal membrane roofing wall specialties


What are the main issues affecting lighting railways your business? construction In the construction industry the impacts can be categorised under two broad headlines: impacts glass finishes openings during construction and impacts during the

mining bridges wetlands wood plastics composites concrete metals

“It’s no secret that social media has increased citizen’s awareness of their rights and empowered them to take action against organisations that violate their right for a healthy and clean environment” Organisations thus should anticipate these risks by understanding their sustainability performance and taking responsibility for any impacts. On the other hand, sustainability offers opportunities for reducing cost, improving process efficiency and developing competitive advantage. Organisations who develop their sustainability strategy with an eye of exploiting these opportunities can build an attractive business care for implementing sustainability programs.

What are the most important aspects affecting sustainability?

The important aspects of sustainability differ widely between countries and across sectors. Each organisation ought to determine what sustainability issues are; material for it, but by material I mean how relevant and significant is that specific aspect to the organisation and its main stakeholders. In the UAE, and Gulf region generally, probably the most important aspects are energy and water use in addition to high personal transportation dependency. This has led to Qatar and UAE having the highest CO2 emissions per capita globally. There are big opportunities for conservation in these sectors through awareness and through encouraging people to be accountable for their environmental impacts.

operation of the actual building. The Green rating systems such as LEED and Estidama are doing an excellent job regulating the later, i.e. reducing energy use, reducing water use, and improving indoor air quality. However, these systems do little to actually improve the construction process to make it more efficient and less resource intensive. Thus it is the responsibility of the contractors to look beyond the green rating systems and quantify the environmental impacts of the construction process while looking for process improvement opportunities and this will be at the heart of my presentation at Green Build Congress.

Finally, what inspired you to work in sustainability?

Upon observing the tremendous impacts that buildings have on the environment, both during construction and in operation, I developed a great interest for sustainability in the built environments. I became familiar with LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification system for buildings, and successfully passed the LEED AP exam in 2009 marking my first step towards ‘going green’. In 2009, I finally had the opportunity to establish a career in sustainability. I was assigned the task of setting up a sustainability function for my company’s operations in the capital of UAE, Abu Dhabi, and ever since sustainability is all I think about, both in personal and professional life. | 69

The Big 5 Guide | Interview

wood plastics composites construction concrete metals glass finishes openings marble ceramic masonry stone thermal moisture protection communications electrical systems HVAC heating ventilation, air conditioning fire suppression protection plumbing water technology safety security equipment cabling fireextinguishing central cooling equipment electronic detection alarm concrete reinforcing precast concrete fountain plumbing systems decorative metal stone assemblies metal joists hardware glazing flashing sheet metal membrane roofing wall specialties earthwork mechanical utilities shoring underpinning tunnelling

Shell has supplied the fuels and lubricants for Daimler’s 10,000km ‘Record Run 2011’ to test the fuel efficiency of its newest truck series. Shell is the exclusive fuels and lubricants supplier for Daimler’s road test of their new Actros Euro V and Actros Euro VI trucks. Shell has supplied the fuels and lubricants for Daimler’s 10,000km ‘Record Run 2011’ to test the fuel efficiency of its newest truck series. The MercedesBenz Actros Euro V and Actros Euro VI demonstrated their improved fuel consumption versus the current Actros MP3 Euro V (which set the fuel consumption world record for 40 tonne trucks in 2008¹). All three trucks were

powered by Shell FuelSave Diesel and fitted with Shell Rimula R6 LME heavy duty engine oil. Driving in normal traffic conditions on a regular service route between Rotterdam (the Netherlands), Szczecin (Poland) and returning to Rotterdam, the Actros Euro V and Euro VI achieved fuel savings of 7.6% and 4.5% respectively versus the Actros MP3. In absolute figures this equals an average fuel consumption of 25,1l/100km for the new Actros Euro V and 25,9l/100km for the new Actros Euro VI (Actros MP3: 27,1l/100km). The test was overseen by DEKRA, the German Motor Vehicle Inspection Association. “This fantastic achievement underlines how effective our relationship with Daimler has become in terms of the delivery of world class fuel efficiency for freight transport vehicles”, said Colin Abraham, Shell’s Vice President for Lubricants and Commercial Fuels Marketing. “Our collaboration with Daimler allows us to co-engineer smart lubricants alongside the latest stateof-the-art engine technology to help maximise the fuel efficiency that can be achieved from the next generation of trucks. This embodies Shell’s Smarter Mobility initiative. With transport accounting for nearly one quarter of global CO2 emissions, it is essential that we continue to work collaboratively to ensure the delivery of longterm, energy-efficient transport solutions.” Shell’s Smarter Mobility initiative aims to combine the development of smart-

er transport-related products with the smarter use of these products and the promotion of smarter infrastructure in which to operate. For example, our fuel economy formula products are available in more than 21 countries. With the number of vehicles on the road set to rise significantly over the next decade, this approach to future transport is intended to provide customers with the tools to ‘use less and emit less’, as well as encourage governments, businesses and consumers to look at collaborative solutions to the transport challenges of the future. Shell FuelSave Diesel saves up to 3% fuel by maintaining a vehicle’s operating efficiency over the long term. Its proprietary formulation contains a powerful detergent designed to keep engines’ fuel systems clean, thereby helping to maintain optimum fuel atomisation, efficient combustion, power and fuel economy. It also provides corrosion protection, improves de-hazing and reduces the natural foaming tendencies of diesel. Shell Rimula R6 LME – a fully synthetic lubricant developed in collaboration with Daimler, uses a unique technology that adapts chemically and physically to meet the changing needs of heavy duty engines throughout their use. It provides the right level of engine protection and contributes to efficient transport operations by helping to reduce fuel consumption and lower exhaust emissions. “The Record Run 2011 with our new Actros Euro V and Euro VI trucks has set a new standard in fuel efficiency for road transport,” said Dr Moeller,

Head of Vehicle Testing at Daimler. “A determining factor in the success of the test run was the fuelling logistics which enabled us to stay within our daily schedule. Shell not only established the ideal framework for rapid and efficient refuelling at the start- and end-point at their Portland Retail site in Rotterdam, but also supported daily refuelling at Peine (Hannover) with a modern fuel tank car. We would like to thank Shell for their professional support and great flexibility during the preparation and implementation of the event.” ¹ In 2008, Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz Actros (MP3), set a Guinness world

The Big 5 Guide | Interview

wood plastics composites construction oncrete metals glass finishes openings marble eramic masonry stone thermal moisture rotection communications electrical systems HVAC eating ventilation, air conditioning fire suppression rotection plumbing water technology safety security quipment cabling fire-extinguishing central cooling quipment electronic detection alarm concrete einforcing precast concrete fountain plumbing ystems decorative metal Where to metal stone go and what to assemblies see at this year’s Big 5joists hardware glazing lashing sheet metal membrane PMV Live oofing wall specialties The build up to PMV live began in September with the Construction earthwork mechanical Leaders Roundtable discussion, held at The Address Dubai Marina. utilities shoring Gathering to discuss the PMV underpinning tunnelling market were Arif Kalam, VP of sales and marketing for Lafarge; mining bridges wetlands David Van Graan, VP of sales for MAN lighting railways wood Trucks; Ahmed Azzam, project manager for ADC Construction; Steven Barritt, regional manager lastics composites construction concrete metals for Ritchie Brothers; and David Semple, VP of sales for Manitowoc Cranes. At this year’s Big 5, there will be live demonstrations of lass finishes openings marble ceramic masonry the latest PMV equipment and the chance for visitors to purtone thermal chasemoisture machines onprotection communications the outdoor lot. This year also sees the introduction of the “PMV Live Champion 2011” competition, lectrical systems HVAC heating ventilation, air to find the most skilled operator from the region’s largest contractors. onditioningBack fire suppression protection plumbing by popular demand, the ‘dancing diggers’ will perform on the hour every hour. water technology safety security equipment cabling re-extinguishing central cooling equipment Middle East Concrete lectronic detection alarm concrete reinforcing Bringing together concrete’s buyers and sellers, MEC is a bespoke platform recast concrete fountain plumbing systems decorative to discuss and share information and metal stone assemblies metal joists hardware technical knowledge. The event will include an outdoor area with live demlazing flashing sheet metal membrane roofing wall onstrations, a conference, workshops and free to attend seminars. pecialties earthwork mechanical utilities shoring Said to have already received a “phenderpinning tunnelling miningnomenal” bridges wetlands response from exhibitors, the four day event ghting railways wood plastics compositeswill also include an innovation summit. onstruction concrete metals glass finishes openings Green Build Congress marble ceramic masonry stoneThe thermal moisture One of a number of congresses added rotection communications electrical systems HVAC in response to market research, is eating ventilation, air conditioning suppression structuresfire into one ‘vision’ day and two ‘action’ days. rotection plumbing water technology safety security Aiming to engage, educate and quipment cabling fire-extinguishing central cooling inspire those working on green construction projects, the conference will quipment electronic detectiongather alarm concrete key commentators, professionals and politicians from the sustainaeinforcing precast concrete fountain plumbing bility arena to identify key investment ystems decorative metal stoneareas assemblies metal joists and inspire change. ardware glazing flashing sheet metal membrane oofing wall specialties earthwork mechanical tilities shoring underpinning tunnelling mining ridges wetlands lighting railways heating ventilation, ir conditioning fire suppression protection plumbing water technology safety security equipment cabling 72 | re-extinguishing central cooling equipment

Show highlights Seminar highlights Seminars run daily from 09.00-18.00 Fully Automatic Treatment of Household Grey Water without the Use of Chemicals Time: 14:00-14:30 Date: November 21 Location: Theatre 1 Presented by: Waterpro SA Sustainability, Biophilia,and Illusions of Nature Time: 16.15-16.45 Date: November 21 Location: Theatre 1 Presented by: R.A.M. Metal Industries LLC, Designing the first 5 pearl rated building - strategies and lessons learned from the Sheikh Zayed Desert Learning Centre in Al Ain

Time: 16:15-16:45 Date: November 21 Location: Theatre 3 Presented by: Salimus/iC Causeway Estimating Suite for Contractors - Next Generation of Estimating Software for Small to Large Bid Teams Time: 16.15-16.45 Date: November 21 Location: Theatre 2 Presented by: Causeway Technologies Tracking Construction Projects - Identifying New Construction Projects in the MENA Region Time: 17.00-17.30 Date: November 21 Location: Theatre 2 Presented by: Ventures Middle East

>> Product highlights Hot Air Tools and Process Heat An automatic combi-wedge welding machine for overlap welding and manufacturing of films and geomembrane liners. Heat is transmitted using a combination of contact and hot air.

The Big 5 Guide | Interview

35,166 visitors to The Big 5 in 2010

Key Considerations When Entering Into Distribution Agreements in the UAE Time: 10.30- 11.20 Date: November 22 Presented by: Habib Al Mulla

Adapting European Safety Regulations for Height Safety Equipment in the Middle East Markets Time: 14.00-14.30 Date: November 23 Location: Theatre 5 Presented by: Fall Protec

Safe & Efficient New Technology for MEP (Mechanical, Electrical & Plumbing) Time: 13.15-13.45 Date: November 22 Location: Theatre 1 Presented by: Doby Verrolec

How interior architectural design can be realised with metal Time: 15.30-16.00 Date: November 23 Location: Theatre 5 Presented by: SAS International

HDPE Shield NAFFCO’s HDPE piping system – FM Approved – for potable water, sewage systems, gas and underground firefighting.

A New Perspective into the Features, Designs, Applications, and Uses of Wood Plastic Composite (WPC) Panel Products that are Innovative and Green Time: 12.30-13.00 Date: November 24 Location: Theatre 4

FJ Door Frame Solida Brasil Madeiras Ltd’s Finger joint moulding produced with clear blanks. | 73

The Big 5 Guide | Interview

LEFT: A modern take on the traditional Arabic wind tower, located at Masdar City, Abu Dhabi.

Carboun Karim Elgendy is the founder of Carboun - an initiative promoting sustainability in the Middle East. During the Green Build Congress held at The Big 5, Elgendy will participate in four panel discussions, including: ‘Is it too late for sustainability in the Middle East?’ and ‘Western models of development’ What is your background?

I’m the founder of the Carboun initiative which promotes sustainability in the Middle East. I hope to gain a reputation as a top speaker on sustainability issues and will be talking at four discussions during The Big 5. Two of the panel discussions I am talking at during the Green Build Congress maybe particularly interesting to The Big Project readers, the first of which is entitled: Is It Too Late For Sustainability In The Middle East?

Is it too late for sustainability in the Middle East?

I believe it is still ‘doable’ to save the environment but we are getting perilously close to a point where we might not be able to undo the damage done. Our cities are changing rapidly

“We are getting perilously close to a point where we might not be able to undo the damage done”

with little attention given to their environmental impact, which remains higher than it needs to be. If this is not addressed soon, it will be even harder to reverse.

What are we doing wrong?

I point to the huge land reclamation projects along the Dubai coast, and the release of desalination by-products into the gulf along the UAE and Saudi coasts, as are already taking a toll on the marine ecology of the gulf. The near extinction of the Arabian Oryx should serve as a sign of how fragile the region’s ecosystems are.

What else will you be speaking about at The Build Green Congress?

The second panel in which I will take part is one on Western Models of Development. I’m concerned that adopting an American-style suburban development model in the Middle East might not be the right thing to do today, given its many failings in terms of energy use. There is a desire around the world to find a more energy efficient alternative for our cities to replace the suburban sprawl, with most ideas converging towards more compact transit-oriented urban forms.

I’m also giving a talk on sustainability and technology in construction, where I will argue that a balance of modern building technologies and lessons learned from local traditional architecture can help create a model for development in the region that is both sustainable and rooted in local traditions. 

How do you see the future of sustainability?

Redeveloping our cities will take a long time and many of our inefficient buildings will remain with us 40 years from now. One thing we can do today to reduce our energy use is to improve our energy policies. We’ve previously argued in studies by Carboun that energy subsidies are encouraging over-consumption due to low energy costs. Subsidies are also getting in the way of a more sustainable development as they remove the incentives for businesses to invest in renewable energy. Cheap energy means that the payback period for renewable energy projects takes much longer in the region than it would be elsewhere in the world. The same applies with energy efficiency measures in buildings, which are not perceived as the economic opportunity they are and are deemed impractical for developers. | 75

The Big 5 Guide | Interview

GAIA AWARDS Since their inauguration in 2008 the GAIA Awards have gone from strength to strength, honouring the greenest companies, products and ideas in construction.


amed after Mother Nature herself, the GAIA Awards recognise construction’s green advocates; from product suppliers to industry leaders. Since nominations opened in July, organizers DMG have been inundated with entries from around the world, ahead of the ceremony on November 22 during Green Build Congress, at The Big 5. There are no categories, just a single gold winner followed by two silver, four bronze awards and 13 finalists.  A panel of expert judges will carefully select those winners expected to demonstrate an exceptional and

“The need for products and solutions that make the construction process more efficient, economically and environmentally, has meant the platforms we have created to showcase this have grown significantly”

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unique product that has successfully been integrated into the built environment. Judging the awards for 2011 were director of Fujairah municipality, Mohammed Al Afkham; environmental and sustainability manager, EMS, Samuel Kheen; MECSD’s LEED AP and CTO, Thom Bohlen; and Jourdan Younis, head of sustainable development at Oger and Estidama instructor for Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council. By 2010, the awards had grown three-fold with judges awarding 32 companies in the finals. Winners included Co.A.R.Srl, Eurocon Building Industries FZC, Novelis Deutschland GmbH, Globcom General Trading LLC and distributors Mulk Holdings FZC, CRUMAN S.L and Novelis Germany and Gottingen Works, Seeley International’s product Climate Wizard won Gold. The system uses evaporation to reduce air temperature with a full counter-flow waterto-air heat exchanger, which produces cold air. Because the water and air never come into contact, no added moisture is required. According to the company, the benefits of using evaporative coolers include a 90%

saving on running costs and systems, which use no harmful refrigerants. Seeley has been operating since 1972 and supplies units across 70 countries world-wide. “As the importance of environmental responsibility continues to increase across the international construction industry, the technologies and innovations that are being put forward for each edition of the Gaia Awards becomes further advanced, and it has been fantastic to see the commitment to the environment from so many companies,” said former DMG Events senior vice president Simon Mellor, last year. “The need for products and solutions that make the construction process more efficient, economically and environmentally, has meant the platforms we have created to showcase this have grown significantly to encompass every element of the event – from the conference, the exhibition as well as the increasing popularity of our environmental recognition programme, the GAIA Awards,” adds Andy White, event director for The Big 5.

GAIA 2011; The judges Samuel Kheen, Environmental & Sustainability Manager, Energy Management Services Jourdan Younis, Head of Sustainable Development Oger, Estidama Instructor at Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council Thom Bohlen, CTO of MECSD, LEED AP; Estidama PQP Mohammed Al Afkham, Director of Fujairah Municipality

t En


5 rs ig to B bi e hi Th ex at to rs en ito op ib d xh an n-e no d an

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In a special edition to mark the third anniversary of the global economic crash, The Big Project reports on the legacy of boom and bust As Jordan signs up to establish a national buildingSMART forum, BIM’s pioneers reveal the region-wide innovations that lie ahead

The inside track on the region’s biggest projects, including exclusive interviews with Adrian Smith, Tony Douglas, David Barwell, Joachim Schares, Laurie Voyer and Sudhir Jambhekar


In a special edition to mark the third anniversary of the global economic crash, The Big Project reports on the legacy of boom and bust As Jordan signs up to establish a national buildingSMART forum, BIM’s pioneers reveal the region-wide innovations that lie ahead

The inside track on the region’s biggest projects, including exclusive interviews with Adrian Smith, Tony Douglas, David Barwell, Joachim Schares, Laurie Voyer and Sudhir Jambhekar


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In a special edition to mark the third anniversary of the global economic crash, The Big Project reports on the legacy of boom and bust


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The inside story on a new generation of skyscrapers transforming cities worldwide





The region’s top construction developments driven by increasing energy consumption

GCC POWER PROJECTS The region’s top construction developments driven by increasing energy consumption

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HOW TO BUILD ARCHITECTURE ENGINEERING GREEN ON A BUDGET HOW TO Top 25 steps to costBUILD ARCHITECTURE ENGINEERING effective sustainable design and construction GREEN ON A BUDGET HOW TO Top 25 steps to costBUILD effective sustainable design and construction GREEN ON A BUDGET











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Top 25 steps to costeffective sustainable design and construction

Boom and bust: The lessons learned and 2011’s most lucrative construction markets revealed | 1














The story behind new health and safety regulations in the UAE that aim to put an end to the onsite safety circus




The inside story on a new generation of skyscrapers transforming cities worldwide











After four months of political revolution, construction professionals DECEMBER 2010 explain how the industry will piece the Middle East back together








The inside story on a new generation of skyscrapers transforming cities worldwide


The story behind new health and safety regulations in the UAE that aim to put an end to the onsite safety circus

After four months of political revolution, construction professionals explain how the industry will piece the Middle East back together

The region’s most lucrative developments in 2011


The story behind new health and safety regulations in the UAE that aim to put an end to the onsite safety circus

After four months of political revolution, construction professionals explain how the industry will piece the Middle East back together

The region’s most lucrative developments in 2011

The region’s most lucrative developments in 2011



Top 10 GCC infrastructure projects Top 10 GCC infrastructure projects Top 10 GCC infrastructure projects


Train to gain and productivity on its Saadiyat Island projects

Boom and bust: The lessons learned and 2011’s most lucrative construction markets revealed

Train to gain and productivity on its Saadiyat Island projects

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Matthew Plumbridge has dedicated years of his life to pushing a green sustainability agenda around the world and delivers a panel discussion at this year’s Green Build Congress.


ustralian born, UK raised and with five years in Abu Dhabi under his belt, Matthew Plumbridge’s outlook on sustainable development is truly global. Today working for Abu Dhabi’s Department of Municipal Affairs at the Environment and Sustainability Planning Division, his passion is clear and his contribution to The Green Build Congress will no doubt be intriguing. “I began my career in the early nineties. I was working on a construction site in Hong Kong and I noticed that in order to have any influence on the sustainability question I had to make my way up the career ladder to become a project manager,” he tells The Big Project. It was while studying at the University of Melborne, Plumbridge took on his year’s practical placement with Tun Tak Construction Co. and Shun Yuen Construction Co. in Hong Kong. It was during this time he realised that something needed to be done to improve what was happening to the planet. “We were importing timber wood for formwork for construction and I thought that’s disastrous. “I realised I was at a sort of cross roads. What was I achieving? It was at that time Prince Charles was making his comments about the planet.

“We were importing timber wood for formwork for construction and I thought that’s disastrous.”

“So I had to decide whether I continue in the industry or whether I make my way up, get good at it and change it. So essentially that’s where it started, I realised that I had to move up the influence scale from work. “Anyway I chose the former and decided I would try and ensure green buildings were going forward. So essentially that’s how I started. I realised I couldn’t just be a construction manager I had to move up the influence scale I guess,” he explains. His career has taken in appointments such as being head of research and development at Nakheel Construction, but his biggest sustainability job came back in his country of origin.

“I was the project manager for the world’s greenest building in Australia in the city of Melbourne,” states Plumbridge. This building was called Melbourne’s Council House 2 (CH2) gaining a 6 star rating which is the highest ecological rating achievable. So how does the Middle East’s sustainability credentials compare to other parts of the world? “In other countries it’s a different form of government to the GCC, so there are different laws. “The UK and Australia are very progressive with regards to sustainability and the United States is now moving in that direction. I think the Abu Dhabi government is admirable.” | 79

The Big 5 Guide | Interview

“I realised that I had to move up the influence scale”

The Big 5 Guide | Interview

Living green

Shelly Rowell, manager of sustainability and energy at Sydney Opera House, explains why environmental issues are in fact economic and social problems, ahead of her videolink presentation at the Green Build Congress What are the most important aspects affecting sustainability?

Making it everyone’s responsibility including, staff, suppliers, clients, artists, audience and community. Our ability to become more sustainable is only limited by every individual’s will and courage to make better choices in their everyday life. Sydney Opera House has a strategy to embed sustainability into everything we do from ordering a pen to major construction projects, everyone plays a role. Although we only launched our environmental sustainability plan in June 2010, we are already seeing results. Still it is a long road ahead and sustainability is all about continuous improvement.

What are the main areas affecting your business?

Being one of the busiest performing arts centres in the world, energy is our most significant impact area; followed by waste and flying international acts to Sydney. The key thing for Sydney Opera House is to

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avoid trading off environmental and cultural outcomes, they are synergistic. Last financial year we exceeded our energy reduction target, saving more than 2000 tonnes of CO₂ equivalent. We did all this without compromising the number of shows or the quality - in fact we presented more performances than ever before.

What is your background and why did you first start working in sustainability?

For 17 years I have worked in the tourism and cultural sectors on projects and programs ranging from urban leisure precinct development through to remote community cultural centres. I have always had a social and environmental element to my career however in 2007 I completed Masters research on the impacts and implications of climate change on tourism and culture in the Pacific. From this point I realised that our environmental issues are in fact economic and social issues that need urgent attention. I am now undertaking a second Masters in sustainable development.

“I have decided to present via teleconference because a flight from Sydney to Dubai return will emit more than 7 tonnes of CO2 equivalent which is equal to taking almost two Australian cars off the road for a year” Why have you chosen not to attend the congress in person?

I have decided to present via teleconference because a flight from Sydney to Dubai return will emit more than 7 tonnes of CO₂ equivalent which is equal to taking almost two Australian cars off the road for a year. However I have been to Dubai in the late 90s and enjoyed it. I shall certainly return one day.


Za’abeel Hall

Arena Entrance

Hall 1

Hall 2 The Platinum Club

Hall 3 Councourse

Sheikh Saeed Hall

Hall 4

Al Wasl Foyer

Al Multaqa Hall

Dubai World Trade Centre Metro Station

Ibis Hotel

Taxi Drop Off

Outside Exhibition Space

Sheik Saeed Entrance

Exhibition Gate

Convention Gate

Hall 8 Hall 7 Hall 6 Hall 5

21–24 November 2011 Dubai International Exhibition & Convention Centre



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Sheikh Maktoum Hall

Sheikh Rashid Hall

Live Demonstration Area

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Trade Centre Plaza

e tranc all En eel H Za’ab


What’s New at The Big 5? Sectorised products including Concrete, PMV, HVAC, Marble, Construction IT and much more 80+ product showcases demonstrating product efficiency and latest technologies Dedicated green arena featuring new innovations and workshops Educational seminars focused on products and techniques that minimise cost and maximise ROI Advanced online event planner allowing you to pre-plan your time onsite

21 – 24 November 2011

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The extra mile Photographs by Cris Mejorada

The Big Project speaks to five interior design professionals about incorporating fashion, functionality and sustainbility, designing hospitals with the patients themselves and making furniture out of old aircraft parts

“People here take bigger risks because they don’t see things lasting twenty years” 84 |

What trends are you witnessing concerning client demands and how do you address those needs?

Marcus Bish: I am not a designer so can only speak from an industry point of view, but before the crisis we saw a lot of companies wanting to go into sustainability and the green route and then the crisis came and people forgot about it. Now slowly we are seeing renewed interests so quite a lot of our projects these days are driving in green deliverables in the interiors specifically for interiors for our clients. This is the trend we are seeing taking hold now and it’s not a case of people who talk about it but do not do it. Isabel Pintado: In our experience the talk is still there, but the walk is not there. Yes when we

propose doing things a specific way and point to the ROI and social responsibility aspects, at the beginning it is very positive. What we find when we get to the value engineering exercises, which now take us longer in the design process, those things tend to disappear, sadly. We fight for them to stay but there is a cost associated and that influences the decision. Where Marcus’s experience is different is that he deals with different clients and different scenarios. The corporate world is not the same as hospitality, it’s part of their branding. MB: Often we see the guidelines coming from head quarters somewhere else in the world and that is enforced on local branches here, however we also see that when we talk about sustainability and green, it’s a lot of fluff and it’s very nice

price; return on investment and so on and that is quite easy to demonstrate.


“We have a crazy project; we were asked to make a kitchen out a Boeing 747”

What are the trends witnessed by Relicta in Belgium? Rosario Gallina: Here we are talking more about buildings, Our designs are seen more as good looking pieces and it’s just an extra that it’s eco-friendly in that we are re-using aircraft materials.

Tiziano Rutilo: It’s not the element that makes the decision. RG: I’m not an expert in building new things in Belgium but I think what I heard is very different from here. The client is not taking the decision, they are directed to take this approach by their head quarters.

How does the economic sensitivity affect how you can advise clients?

IP: We have achieved a few but it’s one of those things where sadly it’s not as important. Clients here up to maybe a few years ago saw interiors never lasting longer than about five years, maybe seven, so they didn’t see that return on investment in the type of light fittings and carpets they were using. They would say “Isabel, I’m going to change it in five years anyway, because my operator expects it to be changed” so that’s a bit of an issue. Karim Khemakhem: I speak for the public sector, particularly the government funded projects in Abu Dhabi, and they have definitely gone for the Estidama ratings. We have just finished a project that met the target for a two Pearl rating, which was quite an achievement. So there is that reasonable standard from the government and aim to get all their projects either LEED certified or achieving Estidama, but you’re probably right in the private sector. People just don’t see the benefits in investing in the extra costs.

May that also be down to a lack of products or lack of promotion of greener products? Building green is on the agenda, but is there a lack of promotion around green fit-outs?

IP: I think there are a lot of materials available on the market and a lot of manufacturers and companies who, in the strongest point of their marketing, promote how and where their materials are sourced from, so I don’t feel that is the case. For the type of work I do there are loads of them, but it’s just slightly more expensive. MB: I agree totally, there are many products available locally and plenty of choice, but I think there is also an issue in the awareness. When a client does a project they don’t want any headache and they think once you aim to achieve sustainability in your design it will be costly and complicated. So I think also the industry should educate the client to take away that sense of over head and make sustainability your deliverable and not the client’s deliverable.

What do clients ask you when they approach you and specify a sustainable interior fit out?

MB: Mainly the instruction has come from their headquarters and I think it’s very difficult to explain to the local staff the benefits of going green but one thing of concern in all this is the

IP: We always try to show how parts from those materials can be recycled and re-used. Some clients are very keen and stick to the concept they have in mind, but some, when faced with the final cost, say they would love to but cannot justify the expense.

In your professional career, what has been your most exciting project or favourite client?

MB: Again I would say sustainable projects. We see the projects that are green are more innovative than conventional projects. There is a challenge to it that you have to drive on certain deliverables that you wouldn’t have to do somewhere else, there is a lot of education involved for all the parties, including us, and that is quite exciting. We did the interior of a super yacht once — that is not our core business, but we like to challenge ourselves and so set ourselves a challenging project once a year. It was interesting because you get the design and then you are measuring the templates, building it, taking it out finishing it, and then the thing with super | 85

Photographs by Cris Mejorada

to talk about but unless the client really understands what the economical benefits are, they are not really inclined to go for it. This is one of the things we are trying to support, still talking a little bit about the ‘fluffy part’, but also promoting the economical benefits they can have in terms of well being and financial savings.

KK: Clients in general are moving away from unnecessary expense and if it’s a luxury they are moving away from that cost. A lot of projects we have been working on from 2008 for example are being re-tendered right now with a much lower price, so you really have to be much more creative in order to produce the results you would have done a few years ago, which is a real challenge.


LEFT: Marcus Bish.

yachts is that they are not ‘standstill’ interiors, they move on the water. So at the end you get your test when it is taken out on the sea and it’s not just about the quality of the finishes but about the thing they can find when it goes out.

TR: We have a crazy project; we were asked to make a kitchen out a Boeing 747 RG: We are working on it currently and it’s for somebody who has just moved into a new house and just loved the idea of having a round kitchen in a big open space. It’s huge. We have also been asked to make a Jacuzzi for the same client but we’re working on the kitchen at the moment.

Which other geographic markets have you worked in and how do they compare to the Middle East?

Where did the idea to make furniture from old aircraft come from?

RG: Basically we both travelled a lot and we were wondering how old aircraft are used after they stop flying. We decided, when we were in California, to visit a plane cemetery in the desert. There were thousands of aircraft there and we were looking at the shape and decided to bring some parts back to Belgium. We didn’t know exactly at that time what we were going to do with it.

IP: When I arrived it was the land of opportunity. The largest budgets you could ever work with and clients who wanted to do some quite mad things. Working in hospitality the operators and the clients have, had, and some still have, the budgets to invest. I found that in the past in Europe, the operator was more the guiding hand of what you are supposed to do in the hotel. Here clients have a lot more power and say in the style and look like they want to achieve and you find yourself being the go between, between the client and the operator, liaising on budgets and designs. MB: I have been here for 21 years so can’t say I moved here for any economical reasons, but 21 years ago I packed my suitcase and it was not what attracted me here, but I wanted to spend a year outside of Europe. I think it’s a great place to be- you have a lot of freedom here. Initially I came to Abu Dhabi and I spent ten years there. I enjoy doing business there because it’s on a more personal level. It takes more time but you have to just go with the flow. Dubai is a city with a lot of energy, you have to | 87

Photographs by Cris Mejorada

KK: I worked on a project a few years ago in the US, but the special thing was that we got to work with the end users, who were terminally ill children. We designed a patient room for them but also with them, from the space plan all the way down to building the whole interior, and it was a touching process. They redesigned the space where they are going to spend the last few months of their life. It was a great process and I learnt a lot from them. So these special projects are very worthy especially when you start with an idea the see the faces of the children when they see the finished room. The contract came about because we are known for healthcare design and paediatrics. The project was funded by charity.

TR: It’s terrible because those airplanes can stay there untouched for fifty years so it’s kind of part of the recycling and sustainability; give them a second chance to fly. But it’s quite challenging really.


LEFT: Isabel Pintado

“People are more focussed on functional interiors and not the crazy and opulent that we saw before”

deliver, you have to deliver on time and you have to deliver quality. IP: It’s surprising how different it is to work in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. The speed of decisions; approvals; appointments. But at the same time you end up establishing a kind of friendship with your clients there – maybe because it takes so long to get appointed to a project, by that time you know them very well. KK: It’s a lot about relationships in Abu Dhabi and you need that before you gain that trust. If you do gain that trust then all the doors will open up for you. That’s what I found the difference to be and also, Saudi Arabia is more like Abu Dhabi. MB: I think people in organisations have to understand that. We have seen many companies move to Abu Dhabi recently but they want to do business quickly and get out again and I think you have to be ready to invest into the relationship and into the market and only if

ABOVE: xxxxxxxxx.

Photographs by Cris Mejorada

you do that will you be successful and enjoy doing business there. IP: An example of how Abu Dhabi is different from Dubai is that in Dubai you can get by with not having an office here, but in Abu Dhabi you legally have to have an office and nearly all the firms demand that you have an office there. They want that personal touch and to drop by and have a coffee. In Dubai there are so many consultants that come here for a two or three day workshop, there is no presence here.

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In response to that, how does Relicta approach this market and are there plans to be based here?

RG: I don’t think we would be based here, but we can still bring the uniqueness of our products here. You hear that people here like to enjoy unique pieces at home, so this market is more attractive to us than Europe. We decided to come here firstly to Dubai, then to Abu Dhabi soon, but basically because of the uniqueness of the products and the volume of hotels and potential for us.

Are you targeting any other markets?

RG: Yes, Asia and Russia are just the next step. TR: It’s just a feeling but I feel you have more power to be creative here than in Europe. For example the Jacuzzi, people in Europe will like it but then they will say that it’s not going to fit in their house. Here you get more creativity in the project you want to propose. RG: The fact there is new construction also.

IP: I think also they take a bigger risk because they don’t see things as being final or having to last 20 years. In Europe if you decorate your house you don’t imagine changing it again in five years, whereas here it’s a mixture of much higher disposable income and also this idea that they can follow trends and create their own. If they like the aircraft wing they will ask you for another – if they don’t they will replace it further down the line. In Europe there is a lot of money but it’s just the mentality here that you’re not ‘stuck’ with things.

Predictions on strongest markets by region and sector?

MB: Personally I think Dubai is showing a surprising turnaround again. We see a lot of business coming in. Everybody thought Abu Dhabi would be the bigger market but it is slower there. I would classify Dubai as more interesting, as is Saudi Arabia. It’s a large market, it’s sustainable in the context of time, and obviously Qatar although it’s too early right now for a boom in the fit out industry.

I would go for Dubai and Saudi Arabia, or the UAE and Saudi Arabia. I was in Kuwait a couple of weeks ago and there are projects there but they are not very transparent, which makes it difficult if you want to go for best practice. So large projects, but with a difficult market. KK: I would agree with Marcus, and if you stretch it out to the MENA region I would add that Morocco has many projects in hospitality and also the health care side, so that’s definitely a market we are keeping an eye on.

Are there any weaknesses in the market that affect your day to day work? IP: I find the hardest thing over the last few years is not the lack of projects, but the lack of funding to take those forward. WE have designed so many projects but while they come up to building on site and the willingness to invest cash hasn’t come about they haven’t been moving forward. I think the strength now is going ot be in refurbishment. Hotels are starting to want to gut that they had and start again, which sounds very promising. The last few months Dubai has really woken up. I think it’s a willingness to move forward, the bonds from Sukuk and the government

want construction companies to have the money and optimism. A lot of hotels are changing operators also and they have certain looks that they demand so that has brought in a lot of work. MB: Another aspect that works well, is that the UAE is the safe haven in the current political turmoil. KK: I speak for the healthcare sector and the shift has been from Dubai to Sharjah. What has been developed as Dubai healthcare city, a few projects are finishing up, but most of the big projects have stopped. We believe they will come back but probably with a different budget. What Dubai tried to do with Dubai Health Care City, Sharjah is now trying to do with Sharjah Health Care City, they are looking at a master plan and that will bring in a lot of architecture and interior design work. Abu Dhabi is still strong and big projects are still going on. IP: A lot of government agencies have decided what they want to take forward and are tackling new projects with smaller teams.

What was the first inspiration of your professional career?

IP: Understanding the culture here and working with that to create a contemporary version | 89

Photographs by Cris Mejorada

TR: It’s difficult to fit a plane in your house unless it is a modern design and Dubai is all about being the best and unique and everybody wants to be the first to do a certain project and the whole thing just fits.

RIGHT: Rosario Gallina.


“I feel you have more power to be creative here than in Europe. You get more creativity in the project you want to propose. “

of what you see. That’s always a challenge. Trying to avoid pastiche interiors. KK: It’s hard to say. I have similar experiences, working with different clients and coming up with challenges. If you deliver the same ideas to different clients it becomes boring. From one client to another, you always try to achieve something that is unique for that client – what is their desire, rather than re-creating yours. We take the egoistic design approach and challenge ourselves to do something that is unique.

TR: Here there is no limit to what we can do. When we started we made tables out of aircraft wings, fine, but when we returned after our first trip here in June we realised that anything is possible. We can do the craziest things and there is no limit on creativity and imagination here, whereas in Europe they have a different mentality – i have my little desk and my little coffee table and that is it.

The panel Summer Town Interiors Marcos Bish, MD Relicta Design Rosario Gallina & Tiziano Rutilo

Godwin Austen Johnson, associate partner, Isabel Pintado

RG: We also have it the other way round, where the client has ideas and we work on that. S

AECOM, associate principal,

TR: We had a request of one architectural firm that we went to see on our last trip and they liked what we do but they wanted to come to see the old pieces in the deserts and come up with their own ideas that we would then build. It’s different.

planning design and

interior architecture, development, Karim Khemakhem | 91

Photographs by Cris Mejorada

RG: what I have noticed here, compared to Europe, is that the people want to see it, touch it and feel it actually. What we have seen so far is that people are enthusiastic about what we are doing and in Europe you can sell that to them on paper, but here they want to see it.

RIGHT: Tiziano Rutilo.


“The last few months Dubai has really woken up. I think it’s a willingness to move forward”


LEFT: Karim Khemakhem.

Photographs by Cris Mejorada

what we have designed. Sustainability is definitely on everyone’s agenda so we want to keep designing based on LEED or Estidama or whatever the sustainability guidelines are and also be more green, so those are the two points that we would like to see in the future.

“I would love to see a hybrid of things incorporating the two sides of modern and Arabic design – something that starts having a sense of being and that sense of being becomes the main driving force” 92 |

How much is Dubai bound by the same fashions and trends as the rest of the world?

IP: I would say it’s more here. Going back to the observation that things here aren’t supposed to last as long, so they do stick to the latest trends, but what happens in private homes more than hospitality, they always want to have the latest thing. So they go to a friend’s home and want what they see. There are two types of clientele here; those who are more inspired by Europe and those who are more focussed with local and traditional tastes.

How do you predict current trends will develop over the short term future?

KK: We would definitely like to see the projects we were working on back on track so we can see

MB: I think we will see much more of a move towards green interiors, and also I think there is lots more money than was available before but people are more focussed on functional interiors and not the crazy and opulent that we saw before. Also I guess that because of the increased connectivity this will also change things. Even myself, I work more and more from home, so I think there will be much more open work space where people are sharing desks and there will be a big shift in how commercial spaces are fitted. IP: I would love to see more interiors that reflect a sense of where they belong, and reflect the local culture. There have been two sides, the very modern and the very traditional. I would love to see a hybrid of things incorporating the two sides of modern and Arabic design – something that starts having a sense of being and that sense of being becomes the main driving force.

Jindal Aluminium Limited Regd. Office & Works: Jindal Nagar, Tumkur Road, Bangalore – 560 073, India. Ph: +91 80 2371 5555 (6 lines) Fax: +91 80 2371 3333 / 34. E mail:


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


Al Shirawi FM


New BIM software series launched

Outsourcing maintenance can save 10-20%

Sanitary upgrade for Umayyad Mosque

Steelwork construction is now easier following the launch of new AceCad BIM solutions. The developer says these are practical software tools aiming to work successfully with the sector for the beneift of users and the industry. StruEngineer evolution, StruCad evolution and StruContract evolution are three of the software packages on offer. StruEngineer evolution enables an engineer to see with greater accuracy what the project will look like early in its development. StruCad evolution uses 3D modeling tools for automatic production deliveries. Along with these three packages StruM.I.S evolution provides significant cost and time savings for structural steelwork fabricators and enables the management of project information across multiple contracts. StuWalker evolution is a free downloadable BIM multi-model collaboration tool. It provides a highly effective 3D visualization tool for displaying and interacting with structural BIM models and associated data, from major steel detailing and drafting systems. AceCad’s experience of international steel design, detailing, fabrication and erection processes have enabled development of the “unique” solutions; making the construction process more open, transparent and accessible through the supply chain to reduce design, fabrication and construction schedules and costs. Businesses can get more information and order the software packages via the AceCad website, which can be found at

‘One stop shop’ integrated facilities management contracts are the future according to the region’s Al Shirawi FM. The facilities management sector is estimated to be valued at over US $5bn this year and makes up one of the largest money considerations for developers. According to industry experts 10-20 % can be saved through outsourcing maintenance requirements. “An integrated FM solution is by far the best solution when it comes to value for money,” said Navin Valrani, CEO of Al Shirawi FM. “There will always be a need for specialist subcontractors in some areas but their services need to be coordinated,” he added, even unoccupied developments require services, he says. FM EXPO is setting up beside The Big 5 at this year’s biggest construction event between November 21 and 24 at the Dubai International Exhibition and Convention Centre. “This will be the fourth year that Al Shirawi FM has sponsored the event and we’re delighted to have them on board again this year,” David Thompson, DMG exhibition manager said. “Al Shirawi has always had a strong presence in the UAE’s FM industry, and acting as one of the founding members of MEFMA, they recognise the need to educate others in the importance of quality FM. They are in a prime position to spread this message, which can only result in good things for the industry at large,” he added.

Sanitary fittings supplier GROHE is offering 50 Contropress and Contromix mixers with self-closing taps to conserve water to a Mosque in Syria. Umayyad Mosque in Damascus has seen the latest instalment of an initiative entitled The Green Mosque Campaign launched in 2009 and part of a global water care plan, which aims to increase public awareness of water conservation techniques. “GROHE is dedicated to using its advanced technological resources, first-class materials and design innovation to ensure water efficiency,” said Ziad Saasaa, country manager of GROHE in Syria. “It is this combination of factors that directly equates to reduced water consumption and products that deliver the best possible experience and last a lifetime.” The new mixers were ordered from GROHE headquarters in Germany where the company made 29 Contromix mixers principally for the Umayyad Mosque for both male and female ablution rooms. Another 21 Contrapress wall-mountable mixers were installed in the courtyard. Training was provided to the mosque’s technical team on how to set up and use the mixers from the German manufacturer. The mosque was chosen because it is recognised as the fourth holiest place in Islam. It is also one of the largest and oldest mosques in the world, visited daily by worshippers and tourists. The new water system will improve the amount of water saved in future.

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20% Maximum potential saving to be made when facilities management requirements are outsourced

Emirates Glass


RAK Ceramics

Prestigious awards winners are announced

New melamine factory opens in Saudi

Ceramics firm launches bathware suite

The ninth edition of Emirates Glass LEAF Awards took place last month through a ceremony recognising global iconic architects, held at London’s five Star Landmark Hotel. This year’s jury consisted of Irving Brauer, principal of Brauer Associates, Lucy Bullivant, an architectural curator, critic and author, and Stephen Fisher, director of Momentum Engineering. Over 160 entries for 12 categories were received. “Over the last eight editions, Emirates Glass LEAF Awards has evolved to become a global recognition that acknowledges excellence in international architectural designs. The awards raise the bar each year and encourage better design and architecture for the buildings of tomorrow,” commented Ziad Yazbeck, senior vice president of sales and marketing, Glass LLC on the sidelines of the awards. “Glass LLC brands – Emirates Glass, Lumiglass, Saudi American Glass and Emirates Float Glass - cater to a diverse range of high performance glass to domestic and international markets. We take extreme pride in recognising companies and individuals from around the world that make outstanding contributions to the world of architecture,” he added. Winners included The Boat, Belfast in Northern Ireland, TODD Architects and Planners, for best mixed use building; Telefonica Tower Diagonal Zerozero in Barcelona, Spain, Estudi Massip-Bosch for commercial building of the year and Milanofiori Residential Complex in Milan, Italy, for the overall LEAF Award 2011.

A New melamine factory has opened in Um Salam – Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The Al Khaleejiah Building Material Factory was inaugurated by Khalid Abdulrahman Al Waris, shairman of the Municipality of Um Slaam, along with M.P. Thamimul Hussain, group general manager, Danube and other officials from Danube’s partner companies. “We extend our congratulations to the Danube group on the opening of their new factory here in Saudi Arabia,” said Al Waris. “We are confident that this new facility will be able to produce world class melamine-based products to meet the growing demand in today’s construction market. The new facility will also provide more job opportunities to members of the local community and play a major part in the economic development of our municipality,” he added. Founder and chairman of Danube Building Materials, Rizwan Sajan, said “The opening of our new melamine plant in Saudi Arabia comes at a very strategic time, as industry reports have shown an influx of major projects across key areas. “These projects will ultimately stir in a demand for melamine-based products and we are confident to meet this. Also, our new facility demonstrates our initiatives towards strengthening our presence in the country and live up to our name of providing our customers with world class and high quality building materials. Aside from the new plant, we look forward to opening more building materials retail showrooms across the Kingdom.”

UAE Ceramic tiles and bathware manufacturing company RAK Ceramics, has announced that it has launched a new bathwater collection that caters to the European market, during its successful participation at the recently concluded CERSAIE – International Exhibition of Ceramic Title and Bathroom Furnishings 2011 in Bogata, Italy. RAK Ceramics built a 100-square metre stand for its bathware collection which generated “an overwhelming response” from target audiences across Europe. The manufacturer is said to be worth US$ 1 billion and supply to over 150 countries having been officially recognised as the world’s largest ceramic title manufacturer with a production output of 117 million square metres around the world. The ceramic maker booked 400 square metres of exhibition space in total. The Elegance Range of products includes Impero, Joyful, Hilow, Metal Wood and Vibe as top names of ceramics they had on show. RAK Ceramics owns a superbrand status for the third year and continues to promote its ecofriendly alternative products. “RAK Ceramics has prepared extensively to deliver a truly inspirational presentation of our latest tile collections and designs during the CERSAIE exhibition,” said CEO Dr. Khater Massaad, RAK Ceramics. “The launch of the new bathware collection was a major highlight that helped generate greater interest from existing and potential customers in Europe. We were also able to generate several new business leads,” he added. | 95


“We are confident that this new facility will be able to produce world class melamine-based products to meet the growing demand in today’s construction market”


Breaking Through To The GCC Side Guillaume Caupert, trade marketing executive for Stanley Tools talks to Dan McAlister about multi-billion dollar revenues and fighting forgeries


n 1843, Frederick Stanley opened a shop in New Britain, Connecticut, to manufacture bolts, hinges, and other hardware from wrought iron. Today, the firm employs nearly 40,000 people across the world, last year generating revenues of US $8.4 billion. It is this history that endorses Stanley’s reliability. Along with partner Black and Decker, the company constantly strives to preserve the quality mark associated with its brand. When you think of Stanley, you think of the Stanley Knife – not many companies have an everyday utensil synonymous with their name. But their products are so successful, cheaper imitations have sprouted up over time. “There are a lot of fake counterfeits of our products. People need to be aware that they are not buying Stanley tools with the fake tools out there,” says trade marketing executive Guillaume Caupert. “They are not certified with the quality - that’s a problem we are facing and we have taken action recently to make sure there are no longer counterfeit products,” he asserts. “We are working with lawyers with inspections on the market identifying the items, then there is judgment in the Dubai Court and sometimes these tools are destroyed to protect the brand - our products are big, sturdy and designed to last a long time,” Caupert adds.


Arriving in Dubai in 2008, it is from the headquarters in Jebel Ali that Stanley supplies

96 |

ABOVE: Guillaume Caupert.

“Because we are very close to the market and construction site we can find out what really makes a difference to our customers” products to all the key GCC markets. In 2009 Stanley merged with Black and Decker to form a heavyweight partnership. Using their Best Seller List 2011, the business hopes to continue to grow in the Middle East. “What makes Stanley standout on the market

is that for the past 30 years we have pushed the brand. We have nice packaging. We have some big displays and even some small ones on shop counters,” explains Caupert. One of the innovative ways Stanley promotes itself is through the Shop in Shop. This is where the company transforms a section of a shop and covers it with their colours. Yellow and black walls, stickers and lighting illuminates the products, which produces an eye catching display. Even the floor of this ‘shop inside a shop’ is yellow. Best sellers at the moment include the Power Lock measuring tape, pliers, levels rulers, chisels and staple guns. Approximately 30% of the products are shipped in from the US, 40% from Europe and 30% from Asia - it’s a world-wide affair with offices in Singapore and Kenya. “Electricians, plumbers and carpenters find the products incredibly useful along with DIY home users. You can go to the supermarket and buy products there with Carrefour and ACE Hardware among the big name sellers,” continues Caupert. There are over 6000 stock-keeping units (SKUs) in the Stanley range worldwide. “Stanley has 200 new products launched every year. Here in the Middle East we are not launching so many of them because sometimes it’s not the right opportunity, for example they don’t fit into the market,” comments Caupert. So what is the main reason for this company’s success over the years? “Because we are very close to the market and construction site we can find out what really makes a difference to our customers. It’s not just engineers on one side and users on the other. We work together” Guillaume concludes.

Architectural Envelope Experts

DIVISION: • Aluminum • Glass • Metals • Cladding



RAK: Head office & Factory P.O. Box: 6674, Ras Al Khaimah UAE, Tel: +971 7 244 6114 / 243 2800 / Fax: +971 7 244 6112 DUBAI: P.O.Box: 26553, Dubai UAE, Tel: +971 4 314 2000 / Fax: +971 4 314 2001 ABU DHABI: P.O.Box: 112358, Abu Dhabi, UAE, Tel: +971 2 674 0001 / Fax: +971 2 674 0066 KSA: P.O.Box: 18927, Riyadh 11425, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Tel: +966 1 219 0566 / 201 5008 Fax: +966 1 293 5752 / 201 5007 /

The first architect to be appointed chair of the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitats, Tim Johnson, explains the two year plan that will define the council’s “north star”


ccording to the newly appointed chair of the Council on Tall Buildings and urban Habitats, “We are now in unprecedented times of globalization, where communication is without borders, and innovation thrives when diverse minds collaborate on solving the issues at hand.” Appointed during the council’s conference at a ‘passing of the chairman’s gavel’ ceremony in Seoul last month, Johnson is design partner and leader of international commercial design for NBBJ. His most recent work includes the world’s 10th tallest residential building, Sail at Singapore’s Marina Bay, and the Massachusetts General Hospital’s Lunder Building in Boston, which officially opened in June 2011. “As an architect, one of my roles in the design and construction industry is to be the keeper of the vision, a conductor and catalyst. “I believe strongly in the fundamental nature of a multi-disciplinary practice and the value of that basis for the council, and will continue to promote and inspire that among our members,” he affirms. Succeeding Professor Sang Dae Kim, the self confessed “tall building junkie” will hold the position until 2013 and Johnson has a clear plan for the duration of his leadership. Paying homage to Professor Kim’s achievements, Johnson says that in order to continue to build the profile of the organisation – which increased its country representatives by 50% during Professor Kim’s tenure – he will instigate a six point plan, which includes a further five year plan to continue the developments scheduled for the next two years. Already a world-wide body, Johnson intends to build on the strength of eahc of the council’s country chapters, enabling the organisation to unify its approach and identity and therefore “define expectations”, by establishing a taskforce to research successful models that will allow the council to expand. Continuing the international approach, particularly in the Far East where Johnson says it is likely the majority of the next decade’s tall buildings will be built, the council will also oversee both the China Congress 2012 and

“As a tall building ‘junkie’ I am passionate about tall buildings and city building and will continue to emphasize the urban habitat as a crucial aspect of this organisation. As an architect, one of my roles in the design and construction industry is to be the keeper of the vision, a conductor, and catalyst. I believe strongly in the fundamental nature of a multi-disciplinary practice and the value of that basis for the council, and will continue to promote and inspire that among our members,” Tim Johnson, CTBUH chair. | 99


New heights

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To advertise please contact: LIAM WILLIAMS Associate publisher Email: Tel: +971 4 440 9158

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Sustainable thinking

Naming his project de jour as China’s under-construction Pear River Tower, by SOM, Johnson looks poised to continue the new era of sustainability, currently sweeping through the industry. “Even though we are building taller than ever, tall buildings are still in their infancy in terms of innovation,” he is quoted as saying in the manifesto for his two year plan. “Tall buildings in an urban environment are a holistic sustainable strategy. Building owners are demanding higher performance solutions and asking for proof of concept. There are many opportunities for this building type to innovate and create more relevant and sustainable solutions. “The council can and should be the forum for these innovations to be discussed and formulated,” he continues, further adding non-for profit organisations now need to be more focussed than ever.


Despite only recently assuming the role of chair, Johnson’s experience on the council is extensive, having previously served as trustee, advisory group member, awards chair and awards committee member in addition to editorial board member for the CTBUH Journal since 2008. Outside the council, his award-winning work spans the globe and includes commercial mixed-use projects, multi-family residential projects, healthcare facilities, transportation facilities and corporate workplace interiors. Perhaps Johnson’s most important initiative over the next five years, will be the implementation of his “strategic” five year plan, clarifying the council’s purpose and focusing on research. “There is much to do in this regard, in many ways tall buildings are still in their infancy of development and have a bright future ahead,” he explains. “At our April 2011 Board of Trustees meeting in New York City I outlined a strategic planning process for beginning the dialogue to create a strong plan,” he adds, saying that by early 2012 a published plan designed to “guide us” will be in please. “Participating in the council as a trustee has illustrated a number of times the stresses of a growing organisation and I believe a strategic plan could be a fundamental road map for making many decisions and assuring the council is focused on the right areas and with the right resources, to serve our membership now and into the future,” he continues. “The council, although over 40 years in the making, is just entering its ‘unruly teen years’ with a lot of great ambition and energy. Our membership is the largest, most diverse, and most global than any time in our history and to clearly define our vision, mission, and values is an important step to assure we are of greatest benefit to our membership.  “In addition, the council aspires to help formulate and discover the future of tall buildings and the urban habitat and that is just getting off the ground.  And finally, I will work tirelessly to encourage those involved in tall buildings in cities to join our board and add to the amazing knowledge and passion of the organisation,” Johnson concludes.

American Institute of Architects The Architectural League of New York Urban Land Institute Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat - Board of Trustees; Awards Chairman 2006, 2007, 2008 Asia Design Forum - Board of Directors

Education Master of Science, Advanced Architectural Design, 1992, Columbia University Bachelor of Architecture, 1990, University of Minnesota

Certifications Registered Architect: CT, MA, MI, NJ, NY, OH, PA, SC National Council of Architectural Registration Board (NCARB) LEED Accredited Professional

Awards AIA New York, Building Type Award, MGH, April 2009. AIA South Carolina, Design Award, MUSC Ashley River Tower, March 2009. MIPIM Asia Award, The Sail @ Marina Bay, Best Residential Development and Participants’ Choice Award, 2008. Chicago Athenaeum American Architecture Award, 2001.

Publications / Lectures 4th Annual Ultra High-rise Building Summit 2011, “Urban Environments,” Shanghai, China, March 2011. Asia Design Forum’s Design Roulette Dialogue, “Hangzhou Sports Center and Parametric Design,” Singapore, Dec. 2010. Architecture & Design Conference, “Beyond the Icon: The Business Strategy behind The Sail @ Marina Bay,” Hong Kong, May 2009. ULI Young Leadership Group, “Design in a Time of Change,” Tokyo, May 2009. CTBUH Moscow, “Designing Vital Urban Environments,” October 2008. | 101


Singapore Congress 2012, with Johnson already proposing a 2013 CTBUH conference in Singapore. Johnson’s next step will be to formulate a tall building performance initiative to “advance the council’s mission and clearly define its ‘north star’.” Outlined as a three point programme, the initiative will enhance dialogue, target research and award innovation. “Two years goes by very fast, however, over the next decade I do see that high rise buildings will need to continue to increase in their performance in all aspects – reduce energy consumption, create power, be safer, more secure, and ultimately better and better places to live, work and conduct life,” he says. This is all in addition to the wider goal to increase membership and harvest knowledge to advance the development of tall buildings, which he says will play a “tremendous role” in the future of sustainable cities. “The CTBUH is a source of information dissemination, dialogue, and collaboration of a diverse membership of professionals passionate about tall buildings,” he explains.  “This creates synergies and possibilities for invention and innovation in high rise design and construction, further development of cities, and creating a more sustainable human condition.”

Professional Affiliations

„„ Project name: Capital District Development Project Project number: MPP2236-U Territory: Abu Dhabi Client: Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council City: Abu Dhabi Country: UAE Phone: (+971-2) 409 6000 Fax: (+971-2) 443 2903 Email: Web: Description: Development of Capital District scheme, which aims to create a civic and cultural centre for the federation peppered with monuments and iconic architecture. Period: 15/03/2015 Status: New tender Remarks: This project will be located between Mohammed bin Zayed City to the south and Khalifa City A, and Abu Dhabi International Airport to the north. It is one of the key developments of Plan Abu Dhabi 2030 urban master plan and will cover an area of 4,900 hectares. The master plan of Capital District has several key elements. The capital boulevard will lead into the heart of the development

via a tree-lined thoroughfare with extensive landscaping and botanical gardens. It is proposed that the boulevard will then pass under seven arches representing UAE's seven emirates and be flanked by diplomatic buildings. At the centre of development will be a circular area comprising midto-high-rise government and civic buildings, together with a central market. Capital District will also have residential zones and a centre for commerce. It is expected to have a population of 240,000. Developments will provide 1.9 million square metres of office space, 300,000 square metres for retail purposes and 5,500 hotel rooms. The project will also have housing for Emiratis (nationals). The residential areas will be low-rise buildings spreading out to the southeast, and will also include sports complexes, universities and medical centres. It is understood that tenders for the infrastructure works for Package 3 and Package 4 of the Emirati neighbourhoods in this development will be issued this month. Client has prioritised these sections of the mixed-use project. Geographical work has been

75% completed, while the design is 98% complete and supporting infrastructure is 75% complete. A total of 42 kilometres of roads has already been completed over the past few months in order to facilitate construction.  Design consultant: Mott MacDonald Ltd. (Abu Dhabi) Project manager: AECOM Middle East (Abu Dhabi) Infrastructure consultant: KEO International Consultants (Abu Dhabi) Master plan consultant: Busby Perkins + Will (Canada) Tender categories: Housing projects, leisure

„„ Project name: Habtoor Island Resort & Spa Project Palm Jumeirah Development Project number: BPR071-U Territory: Dubai Client: Habtoor Hotels (Dubai) Address: Dubai National Investment Bldg., Sheikh Zayed Road Postal/ ZIP: 25444 City: Dubai Country: UAE Phone: (+971-4) 343 1111 Fax: (+971-4) 343 1140 Web: http://www.

Description: Construction of Habtoor Island Resort & Spa comprising 330 luxury rooms, including swimming pools, tennis courts and a spa. Period: 2013





The latest tenders and project updates for developments in MENA region

Budget: 275000000  Status: Current project Remarks: This project will be located on the Crescent of Palm Jumeirah in Dubai. Dubai-based Al Habtoor Engineering has been appointed as the main contractor on this scheme. Construction works have commenced. Client is set to appoint a luxury international hotel brand to manage the resort.  Main consultant: Khatib & Alami Consolidated Engineering Company (Dubai) Main architect: Dar Consult (Dubai) Design consultant: RSP Architects Planners & Engineers Pvt. Limited (Dubai) Project manager: Turner International Middle East (Dubai) Main contractor: Al Habtoor Engineering Enterprises L.L.C (Dubai) MEP contractor: Al Habtoor Engineering Enterprises L.L.C



(Dubai) Cement and concrete products: UniBeton Ready Mix (Abu Dhabi) Foundations enabling and piling contractor: Zetas Foundation Technology (Dubai) Tender categories: Leisure, hotels, prestige buildings

„„ Project name: Das Island Facilities Upgrade Project Project number: MPR1367-U Territory: Abu Dhabi Client: Abu Dhabi Marine Operating Company (ADMAOPCO) Address: Corniche Road City: Abu Dhabi Postal/ZIP: 303 Country: United Arab Emirates Phone: (+9712) 606 0000 Fax: (+9712) 626 6005 Web: Description: Engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract for upgrading the facilities on Das Island.

Budget: 84000000  Status: Current project Remarks: This project is in Abu Dhabi. Athens-based Consolidated Contractors Company (CCC) has been awarded the EPC contract. Scope of work will include upgrading facilities that will

help increase production capacity on the lower Zakum offshore field by 100,000 barrels a day (b/d). CCC won the contract ahead of local companies National Petroleum Construction Company (NPCC), Adyard Abu Dhabi LLC and India's Larsen & Toubro. US firm Mott MacDonald has undertaken the front-end engineering and design (FEED) work. British engineering company Penspen will conduct the procurement management consultancy.  Project manager: Penspen International Ltd. (Abu Dhabi) FEED consultant: Mott MacDonald Ltd. (Abu Dhabi) Main contractor: Consolidated Contractors International Co. Ltd. - CCC (Abu Dhabi) Tender categories: Hydrocarbon Processing, Storage & Distribution, Oilfield Development

„„ Project name: Umm Lulu Offshore Field Development Project Project number: MPP1557-U Territory: Abu Dhabi Client: Abu Dhabi Marine Operating Company (ADMAOPCO) Address: Corniche Road Postal/ZIP: 303 City: Abu Dhabi Country: UAE

Phone: (+9712) 606 0000 Fax: (+9712) 626 6005 Web: Description: Engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract for development of the offshore Umm Lulu field to produce 100,000 barrels a day (b/d) of oil. Period: 2013

Budget: 1500000000  Status: Current project Remarks: This project is in Abu Dhabi. Upon completion, the field will produce 100,000 b/d of oil and connected to the existing production facilities at Umm Al Dalkh field. Scope of work includes: - Early production facilities (EPF) - Construction of wellheads, pipelines and platforms - Supply and installation of gas-oil separators, slug catchers, gathering network, and pumps. India's Larsen & Toubro (L&T) has been awarded two EPC contracts totalling $450 million, covering early production facilities for the first phase of this scheme and Nasr offshore field. L&T will now build four wellhead towers and a manifold tower platform, connecting bridges and associated sub-sea pipelines. 


Specialist consultant: Mott MacDonald Ltd. (Abu Dhabi) Project manager: Shaw Stone & Webster (Abu Dhabi) FEED Consultant: Technip (Abu Dhabi), Tebodin Middle East Limited (Abu Dhabi), Fluor Mideast Company Limited (Abu Dhabi) Main contractor: Larsen & Toubro Ltd. (Abu Dhabi) Tender categories: Hydrocarbon Processing, Storage & Distribution, Oilfield Development

Oman „„ Project name: Muscat Convention & Exhibition Centre Project Project number: MPP2069-O Territory: Oman Client: Oman Tourism Development Company S.A.O.C (Omran) Address: Muttrah PC 114 Postal ZIP: 479 Country: Oman Phone: (+968) 2477 3700 Fax: (+968) 2479 3929 Email: Web: Description: Construction of Muscat Convention & Exhibition Centre. Period: 15/06/2014 Status: new tender

Budget: 500000000 


„„ Project name: Doha Festival City Development Project Project number: MPP2455-Q Territory: Qatar Client: Al-Futtaim Group Real Estate (Dubai) Address: Dubai Festival City, Al Rashidiya Area City: Dubai Postal/ ZIP: 159 Country: United Arab Emirates Phone: (+971-4) 213 6213 Fax: (+971-4) 232 5550 Email: ae Web: http://www.afrealestate. com Description: Development of Doha Festival City comprising a retail centre, an entertainment park, two hotels and an auto park made up of car showrooms.

Budget: 1600000000  Period: 2014 Status: current project Remarks: This project is in Qatar. The multi-use scheme will be located 15 kilometres north of downtown Doha on Al Shamal Road, one of the main arterial routes to the city centre and connecting Doha with Bahrain. The complex will cover a total area of 433,847 square metres, while construction will be divided

into three phases. Brands set to open stores in this development include IKEA, Marks & Spencer, Toys R Us, Ace Hardware, Intersport and other major regional retailers. The first retail phase is scheduled for completion in 2012. The remaining two phases are expected to be completed by 2015. Local developer Bawabat Al Shamal Real Estate Company has appointed UK-based built asset consultancy firm EC Harris to provide commercial management services for the shopping mall in this development. The international firm will be assisting in delivering of the project across its two phases. Out of the 2.5 million square metres set aside for retail space, 28,000 square metres is to be an IKEA store, 32,500 square metres will be an entertainment and leisure complex, with the rest of the space divided between a supermarket, other major international and local brand tenants, hotels, cinemas and conference facilities. Construction works have commenced on this development. IKEA, part of UAE's Al-Futtaim Group, will be developed under the first phase of construction and the 32,000 square metre store is set for completion in fourth quarter of 2012, with

the remaining elements of Doha Festival City due for delivery two years later. Local Qatari Arabian Construction Company (QACC) and Amana Qatar Contracting Company have been appointed as the general contractors for IKEA, while a joint venture of local Hamad Engineering and UAE's Mohammed Al-Futtaim Engineering is carrying out the MEP package.  Main architect: Arab Engineering Bureau (Qatar) Design consultant: DP Architects Pte. Ltd. (Singapore) Project manager: Mace Limited (UK) Financial consultant: Qatar Islamic Bank - QIB (Qatar) Project management: EC Harris (UK) Main architect: Brewer Smith Brewer Gulf (Dubai) Research and marketing consultant: Portland Design Associates (UK) Engineering consultant: WSP (UK) Research and marketing: Coverpoint Catering Consultancy (UK) Main contractor: Arabian Construction Company - ACC (Qatar) MEP contractor: Al Hamad Engineering (Qatar) Infrastructure consultant: Al Futtaim Engineering L.L.C (Dubai) Main contractor: Amana Steel Buildings Contracting


Remarks: This project is in Oman. The convention centre will be located in Muscat, about 4 kilometres from the airport. Local Al-Awazi International has been awarded a $7 million contract to carry out site preparation and enabling works package on this scheme. Client has invited contractors to submit bids for first of the four main construction packages on this development. Prequalified contractors have until November 28, 2011 to submit bids for the roads and utilities infrastructure package. The other contracts to be tendered include packages to build the 25,000-squaremetre exhibition hall, car parking and energy centre, the 3,000-capacity convention centre and a five-star hotel.  Main consultant: RMJM (UK) Design consultant: RMJM (UK) Quantity surveyor: Hanscomb & Company L.L.C (Oman) Environmental consultant: Geo-Resources Consultancy (Oman) Foundations enabling, & piling contractor: Al-Awazi International L.L.C (Oman) Tender categories: Hotels, leisure, housing projects



Company (Qatar) Tender categories: Hotels, housing projects, leisure

„„ Project name: Headquarters Building Project-17 Project number: MPP2427-Q Territory: Qatar Client: International Bank of Qatar (IBQ) City: Doha Postal/ ZIP: 2001 Country: Qatar Phone: (+974) 4447 8000 Fax: (+974) 4447 3745 Email: Web: Description: Construction of 32-storey, 225-metrehigh headquarters building, including five basement levels for a bank.

Budget: 137000000  Status: Current Project  Remarks: This project is in Doha. The tower will be built on Al-Taawon Street, near the Qatar Olympics building and cover a total built-up area of 35,000 square metres. A joint venture of Greece's Aktor and local Redco International has been awarded the main construction contract on this scheme. The building has been designed by USbased architecture firm Kohn Pederson Fox. Doha-based KEO International Consultants

is acting as the consultant.  Design consultant: Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (USA) Main consultant: KEO International Consultants (Qatar) Main contractor: AKTOR (Qatar), Redco Construction (Qatar) Tender categories: Prestige Buildings

Saudi Arabia „„ Project name: Headquarters Building Project - King Abdullah Financial District Project number: MPP2297-SA Territory: Saudi Arabia Client: Samba Financial Group (Saudi Arabia) City: Riyadh 11421 Postal/ ZIP: 833 Country: Saudi Arabia Phone: (+966-1) 479 9088 Fax: (+966-1) 477 4770 Web: Description: Construction of headquarters building comprising a 39-storey office block with three levels of basement parking at King Abdullah Financial District. Period: 2014

Budget: 240000000  Status: Current Project 

Remarks: This project will be located on the outskirts of Riyadh in Saudi Arabia and cover a total built-up area of about 110,000 square metres. Local El-Seif Engineering & Contracting has been appointed as the main contractor. The contract involves building the structure and basic fit-out of the office building and a three-storey car park. Construction is expected to commence during the second quarter of this year, with the final fit-out package being awarded once external construction is complete. UK firms are acting as the consultants on this scheme: Foster & Partners is the architect, while Buro Happold is the engineer and Davis Langdon is the consultant.  Main consultant: Davis Langdon Arabian Gulf (Bahrain) Main architect: Foster & Partners (UK) Engineering consultant: Buro Happold (UK) Main contractor: El Seif Engineering Contracting Establishment (Saudi Arabia) Tender categories: Prestige Buildings

„„ Project name: GCC Central Bank Tower Project


- King Abdullah Financial District Project number: SPR2536-SA Territory: Saudi Arabia Client: Public Pension Agency (Saudi Arabia) City: Riyadh 11168 Postal/ZIP: 18364 Country: Saudi Arabia Phone: (+966-1) 402 5100 Fax: (+966-1) 405 3645 Description: Design and construction of GCC Central Bank Tower comprising (53) floors. Period: 10/09/2013 

Budget: 55000000  Status: Current project Remarks: This project will form a part of King Abdullah Financial District in Riyadh. Local Saudi Binladin Group has been appointed as the main contractor. It is understood that construction works are ongoing and will be completed in September 2013.  Main architect: Omrania & Associates Architecture & Engg. Consultants (Saudi Arabia), Henning Larsen Tegnestue (HLT) Architects Middle East (Saudi Arabia), Project manager: Rayadah Investment Company (Saudi Arabia), Hill International Middle East Ltd. (Saudi Arabia) Main contractor: Saudi Binladin Group (Saudi Arabia)

„„ Project name: Methyl Prepanediol Plant Project Jubail Industrial City Project number: ZPR415-SA Territory: Saudi Arabia Client: Al Jubail Petrochemical Company - Kemya (Saudi Arabia) Address: Al Jubail Petrochemical Company Bldg., Street 183, Jubail Industrial Area City: Jubail 31961 Country: Saudi Arabia Phone: (+966-3) 357 6000 Fax: (+966-3) 358 7858 Email: kemya@kemya.sabic. com Description: Engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract to build a methyl prepanediol plant with associated facilities, as part of the Elastomers project at Jubail Industrial City Period: 2013

Budget: 100000000  Status: Current project Remarks: This project is in Saudi Arabia. Feedstock will be provided by the Ministry of Petroleum & Mineral Resources as well as other sources. South Korea's GS Engineering & Construction

Company has been appointed as the EPC contractor. Construction work is expected to commence in the fourth quarter of 2011. The scheme is due to be completed in fourth quarter of 2013.  Main contractor: GS Engineering & Construction Company (Saudi Arabia) Tender categories: Industrial & Special Projects

„„ Project name: Riyadh PP10 Power Plant Conversion Project Project number: MPP2469-SA Territory: Saudi Arabia Client:Saudi Electricity Company - Central Region (Saudi Arabia) Address: Burj Al Faisaliyah Bldg., Floor 22, King Fahad Road City: Riyadh 11416 Country: Saudi Arabia Phone: (+966-1) 461 9030 / 461 9009 Fax: (+966-1) 403 2222 Email: Web: Description: Engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract for the conversion of 3,400 MW PP10 simple-cycle power plant to a combined-cycle facility by adding 1,250 MW of capacity. Period: 2015

Budget: Current Project Remarks: This project is located at a site 80 kilometres west of Riyadh in Saudi Arabia. It involves converting five blocks (A1, A2, B1 & B2 and C1) from simple-cycle to combined-cycle. Scope of work includes: - Installation of 10x125MW steam turbines. - Heat recovery steam generator. - Transformers. - Switchgear. - A fuel treating and conditioning unit. Local Arabian Bemco Contracting Company has been appointed as the EPC contractor. Construction of the plant is expected to commence in March 2012 and completed by December 2015.  Main contractor: Arabian Bemco Contracting Company Ltd. (Saudi Arabia) Tender categories: Power Generation & Distribution

Iran „„ Project name: Azar Oil Field Development Project Project number: MPR1369-IR Territory: Iran Client: National Iranian Oil

Company (NIOC) Address: Central Bldg., 5th Floor, 8 Johmouri Avenue, Yaghma Alley City: Tehran 15837 Country: Iran Phone: (+98-21) 890 1051-9 Fax: (+98-21) 890 1051-8 Email: Web: Description: Development of the onshore Azar oil field to produce 50,000 to 65,000 barrels of light crude a day. Period: 2017


Tender categories: Prestige Buildings

Budget: 2000000000  Status: Current Project  Remarks: This project is in Iran. The field lies on the border to Iraq and holds an estimated two billion barrels of oil. Local Oil Industries Engineering & Construction Company (OIEC) has been award the main contract. The oil field will be developed in six years and produce 50,000 to 65,000 barrels of light crude a day for a period of 25 years. Russia's Gazprom carried out evaluation of the project's technical and economic feasibility.  Main contractor: Oil Industries Engineering & Construction Company - OIEC (Iran) Tender categories: Hydrocarbon processing, storage and distribution, oilfield development


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The region’s largest heavy equipment exhibition The Construction Machinery Show will be the largest heavy construction machinery event in the region. There will be a wide variety of products on show ranging from heavy equipment to machinery and generators including service providers. There are plans of a live auction and demonstration area for visitors to get a real idea of the capabilities of the equipment. This event is dedicated to the construction machinery sector and will provide an invaluable platform for customers in the Arab world bringing manufacturers, distributors and buyers together. In 2012 the Construction Machinery Show will be co-located with the Saudi Building & Interiors Exhibition. SBIE is an ideal business platform to find out about the latest building and interiors industry developments, assess the competition and network with specialist contractors, equipment and material suppliers, as well as solution providers. We will be in Jeddah next April. Will you?

Find out more. Visit The Construction Machinery Show and Construction Machinery Middle East and their entities are registered trademarks. The Construction Machinery Show is held alongside the Saudi Building and Interiors Exhibition under the patronage of the Saudi Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs. Š 2011 Corporate Publishing International. All rights reserved.




GreenBuild Arabia Road Expo-Scotland Conference & Expo Date: 02-NOV-11 to 03-NOV-11

Global stats

$27 bn projected

investment in Oman’s construction industry over the coming three years

48m tonnes annual demand for cement in Saudi Arabia, which may not meet future demand due to subsidised fuel shortages, say Reuters

$11.8bn estimated construction spend in Qatar over 2011


people, or 11% of the total workforce could leave Saudi Arabia by 2014 under Nitaqat regulations


desalination projects underway in Saudi Arabia

Amman, Jordan: Nov 21-24 Over 100 regional and international exhibitors of green products and services; the first all encompassing sustainability conference and exhibition in the region


Amman, Jordan: Nov 22-24 Enviro-friendly products and services from around the world and a forum for industry leaders and manufacturers from all over the world with more than 150 regional producers and exporters

The Big 5

Dubai: Nov 21-24 The most comprehensive event of the year for contractors and specifiers, architects, engineers and buyers throughout the GCC, The Big 5 is the annual meeting place for all industry professionals. Approaching 34,000 key buyers and decision-makers from the public and private sector it is the largest show in the Gulf, combining five major exhibitions under one roof and featuring around 2,000 companies from 50 countries.



Road Expo-Scotland is the event that brings together the roads industry of Scotland. By working closely with Transport Scotland, the Scottish Executive and other major industryrelated organisations, Road Expo is now Scotland’s only exhibition where transport industry suppliers and buyers meet to exchange ideas and do business.

Fenestration China

Date: 02-NOV-11 to 04-NOV-11 Fenestration China is the leading international trade fair in China and Asia for all sectors of the windows, doors and curtain wall industry. Established in the year of 2003, Fenestration China has always been devoted to creating an ideal showcasing platform where Chinese and international professionals meet to initiate business and to build up and cultivate contacts.

Budget Home

Date: 04-NOV-11 to 06-NOV-11 The objective of BUDGET HOME 2011 is to exhibit an array of Budget Home & Properties available from across Tamilnadu at the reach of the visitors, for them to choose the one of their choice. BUDGET HOME 2011 has helped many home buyers to purchase their dream homes at affordable prices. This event will be showcasing properties in the range of Rs 38,000 to Rs 38 Lakhs.

Construct Libya Green Building

Date: 28-NOV-11 to 01-DEC-11 This event opens up opportunities to the international and local companies to meet and interact in a beneficial process to provide continual services and products that will lead to effective solutions and attain an influence on constructing and building the Libyan projects.

Date: 08-NOV-11 to 09-NOV-11 Green Building is so much more than just an Exhibition, it’s the most important event in the Irish construction calendar and the focal point around which a whole series of construction industry events are organised. It is the only exhibition that is endorsed by both the Construction Industry Federation and the Royal Institute of Architects of Ireland.

National GreenBuilding Conference & Sulaymaniah Build Expo Exhibition

Date: 29-NOV-11 to 02-DEC-11 Opportunity for international traders to meet buyers and distributors in this expanding market. Pyramids Group organised Suleymaniah build expo at Sulaymaniah International Fairground which has over 9.000 sqm exhibiting area, all of them eager to do business in Iraq. It will be the ideal meeting point to network and explore new business opportunities with key decisions makers, investors, distributors, agents, traders and government officials. Venue: Sulymania International EXPO Building, Baghdad, Iraq

Date: 30-NOV-11 to 01-DEC-11 National GreenBuilding Conference & Exhibition is a one of largest building construction & design technologies exhibition in the Toronto. It will focus on up-to-date information from 30 different products, technologies, and services categories commercial and residential building, construction and design, facility management, leasing, planning and real estate.


Date: 30-NOV-11 to 02-DEC-11 The SIMI is a show which brings together the professionals and the users of real estate of company in France. Real term the of company indicates the various types of real estate suitable for place a company: offices, buildings of activity, warehouses, trade. | 109

YOUR SHOUT | Sustainability

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Your Shout At last month’s Ethical Green Investment Seminar, hosted by BGreen magazine, we asked “Is it easy to be ethical in business today?” M.P. Arunachalam General Manager Vima Middle East FZE

“You can of course. I’m sure you can achieve what you want. The only problem is there are various other factors which need to be looked. Normally when you invest, you make sure about the risk factors and insure the safety of your investment. We know the future is green so investing needs to be a solid investment. Our hope is you can guarantee investments and the safety of investment.”

Heath Andersen Director of Building Services Ramboll “No. I think it’s a fundamental choice you have to make. It’s not necessarily an easy choice to make. I think it’s difficult.”

Tesia Walsky Assistant Manager of Strategy and Growth Global Engineering Systems

“Definitely not. I think they mentioned the world ‘cloning’. You have to be very careful when you use terms like that because I think that that’s a negative connotation and so there are a lot of different aspects that you have to make out so it’s not just so easy to be green.”

Sébastien Aguilar Technical Support Officer Dubai Carbon Centre of Excellence

“When there’s money involved it’s hard to see where the ethical part is, because you try to make money no matter what right? So to feel good about investment I think there’s a limit, and it is difficult to see where exactly that is.”

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Satish Wadhwani Sales Director Plantation Capital

“More and more people have to become more ethical. I’m not saying it’s easy but there’s a lot of framework in place to make sure they are being ethical. You can become carbon neutral, for example, from a forestry side people replant trees when they want to become carbon neutral and more and more companies are looking to achieve that.”

Par Söderlund Managing Director Peritus Farm DMCC

“It all depends on the shareholders and the management. It’s possible that you have to look at the commercial impact following the change

in the market but I think most businesses would be able to afford to be ethical. “When I ran a farm in Saudi Arabia, which was about 200 times bigger than the largest farm in Sweden, we produced electricity from the methane and manufactured fertilizer to minimise the carbon impact, because having people stop eating milk and drinking milk could be a political bomb. So for example for me I don’t think it’s wrong to make money out of carbon footprints.”

Elen Mukarker Director of Finance Clear Cut Electrical Works

“It’s not easy but it’s not impossible. I think you need to compromise a little as well as be ethical to a certain extent, so that you do not hurt your business.”

The Big Project