Developing our future cities through technology and green building designs


May 01, 2015 │

Reputed building design consultants such as RSP, AECOM , tvsdesign are at the forefront in championing the implementation of latest technologies such as BIM and green building concepts. Their painstaking effort over the last several years has resulted in creating healthy and high performance buildings saving valuable natural resources and promising a better future.

The 9th edition of Construction & Design Summit brought together some of the best performing architects, consultants and contractors from the Middle East. It took place on 27 April 2015 at the Grosvenor House in Dubai, UAE.

"Evolution and adoption of new technology is always a continuous process that will require relentless efforts," said Bhanu Gejjala, Vice President - Architecture & BIM, RSP. He, along with Elizabeth Peters, BIM Manager at AECOM , led a round-table discussion at the summit, on 'How is BIM shaping the future of design?' - attended by senior level delegates from the Middle East construction industry. Further explaining on the topic Bhanu said, "The Dubai Municipality has mandated the usage of BIM for projects larger than 30,000 sqmt or higher than 40 stories as well as hospitals and other specialized projects. However, there is still a need for further clarity on requirements and expectations by authorities."

The summit incorporated a unique combination of round-table discussions led by leading industry experts as well as pre-scheduled one-to-one business meetings between buyers and the attending international solution providers.

"I am really grateful about this opportunity in part because having open dialog on the topic is such an important part to achieving a more sustainable future. I would hope that this open discussion will result in some new ideas for what can be done regionally to speed up the market transformation toward greener buildings in the Middle East," said Paul McKeever, Director of Operations - Middle East & North Africa at tvsdesign. He presented his view points on green building design strategies leading to conservation of water; while his co-presenter at the round-table discussion, Janus Rostock, Regional Design Director at Akins, emphasised on energy conservation through sustainable design practices.

Paul further added, "Energy and water are linked in the UAE specifically - through the widespread use of desalinisation plants to generate potable water. Hence, by solving the water problem, one can contribute to solving the energy problem."

Majed Bushnaq, co-founder of the Project Management Strategic Insights blog, led an interesting round-table discussion on 'Project, Planning Delivery and Controls'. His expertise includes real project management/business issues, insights and strategic holistic solutions to the industry.

"I believe the design consultancy industry has a long way to go to reach an optimal and sustainable state. They are way far behind in my opinion when compared to similar types of environments within the defence industry for example." Majed explained. He further added, "Project management methodologies leading to increased transparency and early warnings is commonly seen as intrusive and an unwelcomed burden. Top management (CEO level) buy-in, commitment, drive, together with major cultural changes is needed to sustain such businesses in the future."

The summit also hosted leading suppliers to the construction and design industry such as Ideal Standard, one of the leading sanitary ware manufacturers from Greece, and Naffco, a prominent player in the fire protection field, were Gold Sponsors. Other sponsors included lighting suppliers, Asfour Crustal, Veko light systems, and Acolyte; Asia furniture, Havelock, Newmor wallcoverings, Sarhan for Marble & Granite, and Vitro Italian Bathrooms.

The next edition of Concepts Construction & design Summit is scheduled to take place on 3 June 2015 in Doha, Qatar.

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