November 23, 2021 hssummit0

Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Eamana has announced plans to invest $37.2 million into an integrated commercial complex in Dhahran.

According to a report by Saudi Press Agency, the project which will come up on a 100,000sqm area in the Saudi city, and is aimed at boosting recreational activities and tourism in the Eastern Province of the country.

The report added that the investment will accelerate development and achieve the concept of spending efficiency and financial sustainability.

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Source: ME Construction News


November 22, 2021 hssummit0

Saudi Arabia has announced the establishment of the region’s largest factory for solar panel production in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, at Tabuk Industrial City, on a 27,000sqm area.

Strategically located near the Kingdom’s giga-projects of Neom and The Red Sea Project, the factory has been set up at an investment of $186.4 million, a Saudi Press Agency report said.

It added that the new Tabuk facility will use automated machines for its production and will employ the latest international technologies in the field.

Once fully operational, it will boast an estimated production capacity of 1.2 GW, it said.

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Source: ME Construction News


November 22, 2021 hssummit0

Etihad Rail has completed the excavation of all rail tunnels of Package D of Stage Two of the UAE National Rail Network, two months ahead of schedule, and according to the highest standards of safety and sustainability, it has announced.

In a statement, His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Mohammed Al Sharqi, Member of the Federal Supreme Council and Ruler of Fujairah, stressed the importance of the completion of the excavation of the tunnels, and highlighted the vital role the National Rail Network will play in sustaining the position of the United Arab Emirates as a global and regional transport, shipping and logistics hub.

The network will also support the development of the transport and logistics system, which will enhance the UAE’s journey for the next fifty years, he added.

The completion of the excavation of the nine tunnels recorded one million working hours. The project was supervised and carried out by more than 600 experts, specialists, and workers using the latest tunnelling machinery and modern technologies.

In this regard, Etihad Rail took a series of precautionary measures to limit the noise and vibrations caused by excavation using the explosive blasting methods and their impact on nearby communities, using innovative machinery and equipment that helped overcome these challenges effectively.

Etihad Rail recently announced the completion of the construction works for Package A of Stage Two of the UAE National Rail Network, which extends over 139 km and connects Ghuwaifat with Stage One of the projects, which extends over 264 km from Habshan to Ruwais. The development of the UAE National Rail Network is proceeding according to schedule. It will play a significant role in providing a modern, sustainable network that bolsters the leading regional position of the UAE.

His Highness and His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad Al Sharqi, Crown Prince of Fujairah, visited the Sakamkam area in Fujairah, with the presence of His Highness Sheikh Theyab bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of Etihad Rail, to mark the completion of excavation works of all the nine tunnels, which extend over 6.9 kilometres.

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Source: ME Construction News


November 22, 2021 hssummit0

The International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) will participate in the upcoming Access & Handling Summit in Dubai, with the body’s regional manager for the Middle East and South Asia, Jason Woods, set to deliver a presentation on safety in access work.

Titled “Advance Dimension to safety – ePAL”, Woods’ presentation will touch upon how the IPAF’s ePAL certification helps safety professional and mobile elevating work platform (MEWP) operators improve safety for men and machines.

“The presentation will take safety professionals through the new IPAF ePAL advanced technology, which is designed to reduce potential accidents and minimise risks, supporting operators to find solutions at the touch of a button,” said Woods.

The Access & Handling Summit, to be held on December 9 at the Radisson Red Hotel in Dubai’s Silicon Oasis, will see the regional work at heights and access equipment sector congregate over knowledge sessions that discuss the state of the sector, share best practices and the latest developments in panel discussions and presentations – as well as in an exhibition and demonstrations of access machines from the major manufacturers at the venue.

The 2021 edition follows from the success of the 2019 event, which saw participation from the major manufacturers, dealers, rental companies and end-users of access equipment, all of whom have confirmed their attendance this time around, after Covid-19 forced the event to be cancelled last year.

“The Access & Handling Summit is an important venue to get IPAF’s message of safety across to the sector,” said Woods. “It will see the regional access sector come together under one roof at a live, in-person event after the pandemic – and the future of the sector, especially safety, will very much be in focus.”

Anirban Bagchi, editor of Construction Machinery Middle East (CMME) magazine at CPI Trade Media, the organiser of the event, said: “We are delighted to have Jason and IPAF participating this year at the Access & Handling Summit. Jason is a well-known and respected person in the Middle East’s work-at-heights sector and his presence and presentation will add value to participants at the event.

“Attendees can also look forward to interacting with senior officials of the major equipment makers, such as Genie, JLG, Dingli, Platform Basket and others – and see some of their latest machines in the flesh in the event’s exhibition and demonstration area. All Covid safety protocols as mandated by the Dubai government will of course be in place.”

More information about the event is available at:

Registrations to attend can be made at:

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Source: ME Construction News


November 22, 2021 hssummit0

A new child-led design initiative has been announced by Majid Al Futtaim Communities and is being undertaken in collaboration with the Royal Grammar School Guildford, Dubai (RGS). The Tilal Al Ghaf Playful Spaces project aims to develop innovative playgrounds created by children, for children, at its flagship community in Dubai, the firm said.

To create playgrounds that are child-centric by design, RGS Guildford Dubai pupils of all ages will work closely with Majid Al Futtaim Communities’ team of architects, designers and urban planners throughout the conceptualisation, design and planning process, said a statement from the firm, which is part of Majid Al Futtaim Properties.

The first phase of the collaboration, which is planned for early 2022, aims to capture ideas, develop concepts, and produce initial designs through a series of workshops with the school’s pupils that will be facilitated by design thinking experts. The output of these workshops will be assessed for feasibility prior to the final concepts and then design models will be presented to participating RGS Guildford Dubai pupils for feedback, the firm explained.

“The Tilal Al Ghaf Playful Spaces Project reinforces our delivery of sustainable communities built to deliver an exceptional lifestyle to everyone who lives, works and plays there. To be truly sustainable, however, communities must be inclusive – and yet children are rarely, if ever, consulted on urban planning or placemaking matters. By not involving the younger generation, we miss a valuable opportunity,” said Majid Al Futtaim Communities CEO Hawazen Esber.

The Playful Spaces Project is said to represent the next phase of consumer-centricity for Majid Al Futtaim Communities, leveraging inter-generational collaboration and child-led participatory design practices to deliver community spaces that are both inspirational and entirely fit for purpose.

Esber added, “If the Tilal Al Ghaf Project proves successful, potential exists for this to be applied as a model for Majid Al Futtaim Communities’ lifestyle destinations across the region.”

Craig Lamshed, founding principal, Royal Grammar School Guildford, Dubai added, “Harnessing and developing young people’s imagination and creative thinking is something that we are passionate about at RGSGD. The Playful Spaces project is a brilliant initiative that will give our pupils the chance to explore their own creativity, whilst having a direct impact on shaping their own community. We prepare our pupils to be future ready and I can’t think of a better initiative to be involved with, that is really thinking towards the future.”

Esber pointed out that by putting the play into placemaking and by looking at the world through the eyes of the child, we unlock the potential to reimagine our community spaces and reframe how every resident relates to the environment around us.

He concluded, “This needs to be a central element to how we build our future cities to ensure that nobody gets left behind. In addition to the tangible developed outcome, the Playful Spaces Project aims to give children a platform by which their voices can be heard and their contributions valued whilst helping to hone their design-thinking capabilities.”

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Source: ME Construction News


November 22, 2021 hssummit0

Engineering and project management firm ByrneLooby has opened a new office in Saudi Arabia. The move is said to be a response to growing demand for its services and is part of the firm’s regional expansion strategy. It first set up operations in the Middle East 11 years ago and the plan is to increase its Middle Eastern headcount to over 100 staff, the firm said.

According to a statement, the firm has provided engineering services on a range of critical infrastructural projects in the Middle East and KSA: including mega projects which form part of Vision 2030 such as Amaala, Neom, Jazan Economic City and Qiddaya.

The firm says it is currently on the framework for national utility Irish Water in their home market, and in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia it has consulted on projects for the SWCC (the publicly-owned Saline Water Conversion Corporation) including the Shuqaiq Water Treatment Plant.

Over the past week John Barnes, technical director of ByrneLooby Middle East met Tánaiste, the deputy Irish prime minister, Leo Varadkar on his trade mission to Saudi Arabia and the UAE. The four-day trade mission, which included Riyadh and Dubai is supporting the accelerated export-led recovery of Irish businesses in the Gulf region, the statement noted.

“Over the past ten years, we have seen significant growth in demand for our services in KSA. We target large, complex projects where we can add value and which require complex engineering expertise. This year, it is a huge privilege to help kickstart cruising in Saudi Arabia, providing the detailed design of the Saudi Cruise Berth Improvement Project across three strategically located ports. Our local ByrneLooby office demonstrates our commitment to Saudi and our desire to partner with clients to help achieve Saudi Vision 2030 and contribute to IKVA (In Kingdom Value Add),” said Barnes.

It is widely acknowledged that this decade needs to be one of climate action and adopting circular economy principles can help decarbonisation, he added.

He concluded, “Implementation of circular principles could include designing for reuse or adapting existing buildings and assets. Our teams can offer sustainability strategies and strategic environmental assessments for many different types of projects. Having experts in-house provides a holistic approach to solutions, embedding resilience and sustainability into solutions, such as the application of green concrete or providing environmental management plans. Our environmental and sustainability consulting team are well-positioned to help clients realise Saudi Vision 2030 goals of a thriving, diverse economy based on social responsibility.”

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Source: ME Construction News


November 21, 2021 hssummit0

The construction industry is one of the oldest and largest in the world and despite the growing complexity of projects and steadily decreasing stakeholder margins, it has been one of the slowest to embrace technology and digitalisation. In recent years, certain firms had started to embrace technology and undertake the digitalisation of their workflows and data on an ad-hoc basis.

Paul Wallett, regional director, Trimble Solutions – Middle East and India states, “Prior to the outbreak of the pandemic the primary drivers were predominantly related to the type and complexity of projects we see across the Middle East region, architecturally challenging in nature, which necessitated the need for better tools to help execute on time and within the budget. Most of the design, engineering firms and contractors involved in these projects had implemented BIM to some degree, as well the tender documents incorporated BIM standards as a mandatory requirement for companies to qualify on the bids.”

“The caveat to that, however, was the level of detail that was a matter of debate and often left open, as long as a master BIM model was supplied back to the owner/operator at the end of the contract. Most often, the work was completed using traditional 2D methods.”

He adds, “With the onset of COVID and remote working, many companies who were otherwise able to get by using a mix of traditional approach and contract BIM requirements to adopt model-based workflows, are now having to digitise to survive. The outcome of COVID-19 has been a large uptake in model-based cloud sharing platforms and services to collaborate, coordinate and share data with the stakeholders. As per a McKinsey report, the industry leapt forward five years in the adoption of digital workflows and processes as a consequence of the pandemic. At the beginning of the lockdown, to keep the wheels of the construction industry moving, we offered our cloud model sharing solution Tekla Model Sharing free of charge to support our customers.”

The Pandemic Push

Describing the 2020/2021 period, Wallett notes, “2020/2021 has proved to be a watershed year for the adoption of digitalisation and technology in the construction industry. The general slowdown or even the complete shutdown seen during this period pushed many industry players into relooking at their operating models and making some much needed changes, most prominently related to digitalisation and automation. Trimble saw significant uptake in cloud-based technologies such as Trimble Connect and Tekla Model Sharing across the Middle East region since the outbreak of COVID-19.”

Wallett notes that the nature of the industry is such that there is a fair bit of dependence on the presence of a large volume of workforce onsite for physical work. The non-physical work that includes architectural design, planning and structural engineering happens offsite; but the industry is yet to embrace true digitalisation and automation to an extent that will help it efficiently execute and manage offsite workflows as well.”

He comments, “To accelerate this process, Trimble has taken affirmative actions to support its customers’ businesses through enhanced productivity. By moving to a subscription only approach, we have widened the reach and availability of our flagship product, Tekla Structures, the flagship BIM software. Our offerings enable seamless collaboration over the cloud, allowing the users working remotely to deliver without loss of efficiency, which is very much the need of the hour during this worldwide medical emergency.”

Discussing the rationalisation for offering subscription-based services, Wallett states that the move came from a desire to better service its customers and the broader industry. “The pandemic has changed the way industries used to function and our customers have massively accelerated their digitalisation efforts since last year and are now depending on remote working more than ever. We stand committed to helping our customers generate the maximum value out of their investments in our technologies and solutions. And our shift from perpetual licenses-based model to a subscription-based model underlines this commitment. This allows our customers to minimise their capital investments and avail services to whatever extent and for as long they wish to use,” he remarks.

“Businesses across industries are assessing how best they can embrace op-ex models for investments in technologies, machinery as well as other assets. The global technology industry is also responding to this trend and is increasingly offering software on a subscription model, as it offers better flexibility and control over cash flows, and lower entry costs.”

He adds, “The shift to a subscription model is an extensive process, and necessitates wide-ranging changes in the technical, business architecture and operational aspects of an organisation. We believe it was all well worth the effort, as our customers stand to gain tremendously from subscription-based offerings and pricing in terms of two key benefits: lower costs that are tied closely with business value generated from these investments, and access to latest features and innovations speedily and easily. The shift allows many more new customers to start adopting world class tools, democratize technology and bring its benefits to their doorstep, impacting the society at large in an expansive, positive way.”

Industry Trends & Challenges

Speaking about prevalent trends in the regional construction industry, Wallett points to digitalisation and sustainability as key trends driving the industry. He notes that these two trends are critical to ensure sustainable growth in the industry going forward.

He remarks, “The AEC industry in the region is now waking up to the need to digitalise construction sustainably and is increasingly recognising its long-term benefits and business value. With the region’s construction industry projected to grow at an average annual rate of 3.8% by 2025, Trimble’s Connected Construction is already responding to the projected demand.”

“Sustainability starts with connected construction and the answer to increasing sustainability and lowering the construction industry’s carbon emissions, costs, and material waste lies in connected construction. However, to eliminate waste, boost productivity, and truly enable a connected team, changes must be applied across the entire construction continuum.”

He elaborates, “Before construction begins, architects, engineers and designers can use software and analytics technology such as SketchUp PreDesign and Sefaira to create eco-friendly models, while also considering other aspects of the project’s environmental impact such as material, water, and energy needs. With advances in technology, users can explore different concepts nimbly and with ease, without fully defined parameters, to make sustainable design decisions.”

“Advances in building performance analysis tools allow answering questions early on about heating and cooling loads, lighting, appliances, and other energy demands of the completed project, owners can make more informed decisions about the long-term environmental impacts of their projects.”

“Companies are finding that most construction waste can be reduced or eliminated by adopting a constructible process utilising digital tools and data in building information models (BIM) at the outset of a project. With this approach, all phases and trades are connected, models and workflows are content-enabled, and data-rich constructible models drive smarter workflows. These models include construction-ready content that is easily accessible through open formats. A key part of this process is the constructible, data-rich 3D model that goes beyond simple geometry and contains accurate and intelligent information that can be used throughout the project lifecycle,” he comments.

“File-sharing systems can ensure that everyone has the most recent set of plans and is working toward the same goals. By collaborating with all stakeholders, knowing what is expected and having the right equipment in place, there is less room for error. It puts forward an advanced method which embraces the need for greater accuracy and efficiency for all construction industry players, which include architects, engineers, contractors, and owners.”

“With increased awareness and focus on sustainable construction, and with connected construction at the core, the regional industry will only hasten the adoption of technology solutions. Already, AEC companies globally have experienced high success in project delivery using Trimble technology, both at the job site and in office, reporting up to 50% less rework, up to 30% cost savings, informed decision making, and up to 30% increase in machine productivity and fuel savings.”

Asked about some of the common issues construction companies in the region deal with on projects, Wallett explains, “Miscommunication, lack of coordination, and data misinterpretation are some of the key issues the AEC firms often face in their day-to-day work. These issues have consequences because they give rise to errors such as data entry duplication; there have been instances of disputes among contractors, engineers, and business owners; resulting into decreased productivity.”

“Trimble’s portfolio of software can help narrow the gaps and resolve the issues. These solutions are designed to connect stakeholders including architects, engineers, fabricators, MEP contractors, general contractors, construction managers, and building owners and occupiers, whether they are in the office or on-site, and achieve transformative results. This seamless collaboration and coordination make the process of construction quicker, safer and more cost-efficient thus enhances productivity and leads to better utilisation of materials, assets and workers.”

A Tech Driven Industry

New technology and solutions are coming to the market, some of which are expected to have a significant positive impact on the delivery of projects.

Commenting on new technology that could potentially become more commonplace in the industry, Wallett notes, “The construction industry is already witnessing many changes with increasing customer sophistication, higher emphasis on total cost of ownership than just initial investment, updated regulations for safety, sustainable construction, building codes standardisation, and digitalisation of processes. These disruptions have led to various innovations such as modular, factory-based approach to construction, data driven digital workflows (constructible BIM), automated prefabrication in off-site ‘factories’, Augmented Reality (AR) to robotics or drone-powered scanning technology.”

“We believe that connected construction is the greatest defense against the inefficiencies that stem from data locked up in silos, and effective use of data has the potential to impact AEC sector’s efficiencies like never. With intelligent data fueling fabrication, prefabrication, and lean construction, companies can reduce waste, improve productivity, and increase profitability across the project. Prefabrication is already contributing to creating more sustainable models by enabling companies to build components in a controlled environment with all necessary tools and equipment readily on hand, which increases speed and predictability, and it’s quite popular even now, and we expect it to grow speedily in the future.”

“During site prep, augmented reality on excavators gives operators the ability to view 3D models in a real-world environment at a true-life scale, right inside the cab in the context of their existing surroundings. These machine control systems are improving the accuracy and efficiency of heavy earthmoving equipment, thereby enabling job completion in less time, and using less fuel.”

“Further, given the pandemic driven new safety requirements, Wifi and GPS enabled wearables for worker safety and regulations are also expected to be widely used at construction sites,” he says.

He concludes, “Many large GCC construction companies are now leveraging technology more extensively to complete their projects within timeline. Healthy renewed investor interest in several mega projects in the region is also opening up new growth opportunities for tech organisations like ours. What COVID-19 and the oil price fall of last year did was to focus minds on accelerating economic diversification and digitalization of processes, and from that we expect many new opportunities to emerge.”

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Source: ME Construction News


November 21, 2021 hssummit0

The first phase of an energy savings framework agreement that aims to retrofit healthcare facilities and reduce power and water consumption has been launched by Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (SEHA). SEHA said it partnered with Abu Dhabi Energy Services (ADES), a unit of Taqa, to launch the sustainability project.

ADES is responsible for retrofitting government and commercial buildings by identifying, sourcing, and funding solutions that deliver tangible reductions in water and electricity consumption, said a statement.

Under the Energy Savings Framework Agreement, ADES will implement key energy-saving technologies in several of SEHA’s facilities to enhance sustainability across the UAE capital including fitting lighting replacements and control systems, installing absorption coolers, upgrading the chiller units, building insulation systems, and voltage reduction systems.

“As the largest healthcare network in the UAE, we have a responsibility to lead the way in promoting environmental sustainability within our industry. Through this initiative and our on-going partnership with ADES, we hope to lower our own environmental footprint and increase operational efficiency, while inspiring more local healthcare entities and businesses to take action through adopting similar energy conservation practices,” said SEHA group CEO Dr Tarek Fathey.

The strategic collaboration will mark SEHA’s commitment towards the adoption of energy-efficient modifications for its facilities beginning with Al Ain’s Tawam Hospital and Al Wagan Hospital, along with Al Dhafra’s Madinat Zayed Hospital, Al Sila Hospital and Ghayathi Hospital, the statement explained.

According to Fathey, Phase I of the project will act as a vehicle to more retrofitting operations in the future. The project aims to improve energy and water performance, reduce utility and operation costs, increase durability of building systems, lower environmental footprint and reduce overall maintenance cost for SEHA facilities.

CEO Khalid Al Qubaisi concluded, “SEHA facilities serve as pillars of the community and are widely admired for the good work they do. By making a commitment to environmental protection and supporting the fight against climate change through energy efficiency, healthcare facilities demonstrate an enhanced level of leadership that will earn them an even greater amount of admiration and respect. This type of leadership by example may even encourage other businesses in the area to adopt similar energy-saving measures for their facilities.”

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Source: ME Construction News


November 21, 2021 hssummit0

Earlier this year, The Red Sea Development Company, the developer behind the ambitious regenerative tourism project, announced that it had become the first asset owner in the world to achieve the prestigious BIM Project Kitemark, awarded by the British Standards Institutions (BSI) for its digital project delivery and adoption of Building Information Modelling (BIM), aligned to ISO19650.

ISO19650 is a series of international standards for the effective management of information throughout the delivery and operational phase of construction. TRSDC was awarded the BIM Project Kitemark for its excellence in information management, which has enabled the developer to embed best practice throughout its organisation and indeed, its partnerships on the megaproject.

Established in 2018, TRSDC deployed BIM right from the start and has continuously looked to develop its digital project delivery services since then. The company says that using BIM has helped it create a shared environment that allows international teams to continue working at pace, despite challenging COVID-19 impact environments.

Furthermore, it highlights that the use of digital techniques has meant that better quality, data-driven decisions, are able to be made in much shorter timeframes – days, rather than weeks, for instance. TRSDC asserts that BIM is a core part of its ‘model-first’ environment, and that it has been working closely with project partners to build BIM capabilities across all facets of its operations on the megaproject.

In turn, it hopes that this total embracement of BIM will have a positive impact on the Saudi market for future digitally enabled projects, with benefits such as the minimisation of waste by using Design for Manufacture and Assembly techniques and the utilisation of modern methods of construction, such as off-site manufacturing, becoming commonplace throughout the Saudi construction industry.

With the Red Sea Project having passed significant milestones and with work on Phase One – which includes work on 16 hotels and the project’s international airport – on track to be completed by 2023, Big Project ME spoke to Ian Williamson, chief project delivery officer, and David Glennon, senior digital delivery director, about how TRSDC’s deployment of BIM has helped the project progress, and why its role as a digital leader is so crucial for the future of the Kingdom’s construction sector.

“We’re 40% of the way through Phase One delivery and we’ve just committed more than $3.19 billion worth of contracts, and we’re awarding at just over a rate of $266.6 million a month. We’ve spent around $1.59 billion of cash on the project. A lot of our infrastructure in terms of roads and highways has been built, and on the marine side, jetties to get out from the mainland, allow access to the islands, and so on, have been completed,” says Williamson.

“We’ve awarded ACWA Power the utilities PPP, so that project is mobilised, trenching is starting, and the first works are getting done on the utilities side. We’ve got a contract for the distribution of utilities, which is with CCE for our Coastal Village, and we’ve got about 200 buildings there that are set to be handed over by December (this year). We’ll have the first 8,000 homes effectively built in the Coastal Village by the end of the year, fully commissioned and handed over to our operations teams.

With TRSDC taking over its offices there in August this year, Williamson adds that operations on the megaproject are rapidly moving from early works to the building of completed projects. With plenty of work to be done between now and the end of 2022, which is when The Red Sea Project is scheduled to begin welcoming its first guests, it is all systems go for the project team.

Given the vast scale of The Red Sea Project, as well as the amount of work being carried out across the different packages, leaning on technology is the certainly the only way forward for the developer.

To this end, the work carried out by David Glennon and his Digital Delivery team has been essential to the continued success of the project. While technology has been embraced since the beginning of operations, he reveals that it has only been over the last 18 months that its uptake has really accelerated – thanks in no small part to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“If you look at about two years ago, we were being relatively traditional with how we were (doing things), but with the beginning of home working and not being able to get together, it accelerated the way we’re using some of these digital techniques. One of the things that we’ve done is deploy a collaborative design platform and make it available to everyone. We’ve given all the consultants and contractors the tools collaborate, and we’ve given them really in-depth training on how to come together and collaborate,” Glennon explains.

“The lack of ability to travel and get into meeting rooms and do things dynamically meant that we’ve had to advance everyone’s understanding of technology to be able to enable not just meetings, but walking into the physical space utilising BIM technology,” Williamson elaborates. “COVID has certainly accelerated – by a few years – the embracement of technology at all levels, right from the CEO down, and through the organisation. And it’s not just at The Red Sea Development Company, but across our huge supply chain around the world.”

“We’ve also started to use some lean design techniques, which has meant that we’ve been able to change our traditional design review processes – which may take weeks – down to days, and in some cases, hours,” Glennon relates.

“By bringing all the information together and getting all the key stakeholders into a room at the same time, we’ve been able to very quickly identify what the top four or five issues are, feed that back to the project partners, and get them moving again. This then gives us a couple more days to go into a bit more detail and feed that back to them as well,” he says, adding that while some of this work is reflected in the Kitemark award, a lot of it is done by closely working with partner organisations and understanding how they operate, so as to help them shift towards a common way of working for all parties.

Williamson points that as the developer behind one of Saudi Arabia’s biggest and most influential projects, the initiative and leadership has to come from TRSDC. By setting the standard for the rest of the industry, the hope is that other organisations and companies will follow suit, thereby organically raising the level of the sector’s digital transformation.

“We have to set the scene, the standards, the vision and the intent. BIM has clearly been embraced by structural engineering organisations at least 10 years ago, and MEP has been catching up, but certainly on the architect side, they’re loathe to embrace what we’re asking for. Interior design and landscape as well, that is not something they’ve historically engaged with.

“We’ve got 10 consultants on a hotel project and trying to get all parties to similarly engage is a challenge. Some are clearly more advanced than others, but David and his team are working hard to pull everyone up to the same level. Even the consultancy specialisations that have not embraced it before are being encouraged to come onside. Sometimes, it’s a bit of a carrot and stick approach from us. We’re persuading and cajoling, encouraging and pointing out the merits to some, but sometimes we have to be a bit more contractual and highlight the contractual obligations that they have to fulfil and that they’ve signed up to,” Williamson states.

“The contractors who aren’t using it, they know that this is their opportunity to learn from us and the partners around them,” says David Glennon.

Despite these challenges, Glennon points out that the benefits are rapidly becoming apparent to the industry, with many partner companies realising the potential BIM offers and are willing to learn how to best utilise it.

“We’re driving it as the developer and once we’re clear why we want the data in a certain way, so as to drive other processes, they get it and understand it. What I think is more interesting however, is that the contractors who aren’t using it, they know that this is their opportunity to learn from us and the partners around them. We’re definitely starting to see a change in the market in that regard, especially at the contractor level, where they’re starting to use the data and tools,” he reveals.

“They start to understand that here is an opportunity to learn and grow as an organisation, and to be ready for the next project. (Once they understand that), they’ve actually been really pleased to get involved.”

Glennon adds that the BSI Project Kitemark has been helpful in this regard, with professionals working at local contractors and consultants seeing it as the level that they need to achieve within the industry. Furthermore, he reveals that off the back of the award, training providers are now wanting to provide their services to organisations within the country, which was something almost impossible to imagine 18 months ago.

“As a developer, we’re going to have to live with these assets for the next 50 years of their lives,” says Williamson, “So, we’re in a unique position, where we’re specifying the requirement, defining a source of funding, and we’re building it. Ultimately, however, the real long period is the operations side. Most of these assets will go up within three to five years of their inception, and we can manage the whole digitalisation over the course of a 25-years or longer lifecycle. It proves its worth – during design, that’s well established and self-evident; it’s starting to prove its worth during construction, it could go a lot further; and eventually, we’ve got to take it further and figure out how we can take complex sets of data and really assist the operations and FM teams to really utilise it.

“It can be quite daunting to receive an avalanche of information, so we need to start working out how to simplify how they can get access to the right information. But we’re in a uniquely privileged position of dealing with the whole lifecycle of an asset, so therefore, it almost has to be us to trigger the standards and their application,” he adds.

“We have a real opportunity for this to be the case study for how this is done in a real and meaningful way,” Glennon says, “I’ve worked on many projects and in many organisations over the years where we’ve handed the project over in a good way, but we know that there’s been a missing link, and that we’ve handed it over to an asset manager who won’t really use the data that’s come out of it, and that seems like such a waste.”

One example of TRSDC’s commitment to effectively utilising data is its recent partnership with The King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST), which will see it provide high-resolution satellite data of key locations at The Red Sea Project.

This satellite imagery will improve the ability of teams to track construction progress, while at the same time closely monitor the environment for any unexpected changes, and respond appropriately, if needed.

This satellite data will be integrated into TRSDC’s Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Building Information Models to provide seamless access to the imagery for TRSDC’s planning, engineering and environmental departments.

Specifically, TRSDC’s GIS department will overlay the latest masterplans and detailed designs onto the satellite data to monitor progress and detect clashes. The data will also be used to identify optimal routes/sites for construction activities in addition to becoming an invaluable addition to monthly progress reports.

“We’ve got a GIS platform that’s now up and running, and becoming more available to suitable parties,” Glennon says. “The satellite imagery is just another layer of data that’s in there as we’ve got lots of surveys and sensors, but the advantage is that it shows us changes over time. So, from a construction perspective, every month, we get a fresh layer on top of (existing data). That’s helpful for us to understand where things are, where things have moved, and where the progress is happening, and make the changes required for logistics and all of that.

“It can also help us if there are disputes in a contract as we have got factual data (to refer to), but personally, I think it’s more interesting for the environmental team, as they’ll get regular updates from the satellites and they’ll be able to look at the real impact of activities on site. It may not give them the answers, but it will give them an indication that they need to go and look at something,” he adds in conclusion.

The post Taking the lead in digital eco-tourism appeared first on Middle East Construction News.

Source: ME Construction News


November 21, 2021 hssummit0

A new bridge connecting the Al Manama and Al Meydan streets crossing over the Dubai-Al Ain Road is now open, Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has announced. The RTA said it has removed the previous roundabout and adjusted the sloping ends of the existing bridges on Al Meydan Street.

According to a statement from the RTA, the bridge extends 328m and consists of four lanes in each direction. The sloping ends of the bridge span 400m and the capacity of the bridge is 16,000 vehicles per hour on both directions.

“The new bridge is part of the Dubai-Al Ain Road Improvement Project currently under construction by RTA. The project scope covers constructing six key intersections and widening the road from three to six lanes in each direction over a 17km stretch from the intersection with the Emirates Road to the intersection of Bu Kadra and Ras Al Khor,” said Mattar Mohammed Al Tayer, director-general, chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of the RTA.

He said the project includes re-marking of the traffic lanes at the intersection of Al Manama Street and Dubai Al Ain Road, and the construction of a four-lane bridge in each direction to link Al Meydan and Al Manama Streets and serve the development projects of Meydan. The intersection will improve traffic safety and ease the traffic flow on the intersection during peak hours said Al Tayer.

The statement noted that the RTA has completed 85% of construction on the Dubai-Al Ain Road Improvement Project; one of the biggest infrastructure projects currently undertaken by RTA. Upon completion, the project is expected to benefit about 1.5m people, enhance the traffic flow, and improve the link with Ras Al Khor Road, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Road, Sheikh Zayed bin Hamdan Al Nahyan Street and the Emirates Road.

Al Tayer said the new bridge will also serve the existing and future development projects on both sides of the Dubai-Al Ain Road, and double road capacity from 6,000 vehicles to 12,000 vehicles in each direction.

“It will also reduce the transit time on the road from Bu Kadra intersection to the Emirates Road intersection from 16 to eight minutes, which will ease snarls that used to extend about 2km,” he concluded.

The post RTA opens new four lane bridge connecting Al Manama and Al Meydan streets appeared first on Middle East Construction News.

Source: ME Construction News