Innovation is muscling into the Middle East’s construction industry
Construction projects are more likely to get funding if a technology company owns a stake in the work
By rolling out the software, ECC hopes to connect all project stakeholders under a common data environment (CDE) – an online source for collecting, managing, and sharing BIM data. This may help to resolve design clashes and allow stakeholders with access to BIM to visualise the end project before it is physically built, which has the potential to cut down reworks to keep projects on track and within budget.
Building materials manufacturer TSSC uses BIM technology designed by Tekla to help create its cold rolled steel. TSSC, which is one of many subsidiaries within Harwal Group, makes rafters, purlins, and columns, which have been supplied to the likes of Dhabi Contracting and Amana Contracting. The firm uses BIM to ensure the structural integrity of these light steel frame structures.
“BIM models are used for better planning and control, and help to increase productivity and efficiency through a process of 3D virtual design,” TSSC’s marketing manager, Adeel Muhammad, tells Construction Week.
“BIM is one of the construction trends we are following as it continues to trend upward, and we plan to incorporate new construction technology products in the coming years, such mobile apps for invoicing, design, and resource tracking.”
Cloud technology is another information paradigm helping to accelerate construction work. Project coordinators at the under-construction Royal Atlantis Resort & Residences on Dubai’s Palm Jumeirah say they have seen a 290% rise in document management efficiency after adopting cloud-based management platform Aconex.
More than 30,000 documents have been processed using the Aconex system says Erin O’Herlihy, contract manager at Ssangyong, one of the several companies involved in the construction of the Royal Atlantis Resort & Residences. Before the Australian cloud-computing software was installed, the project team reviewed and returned an average of 1,750 sub-contractor documents per month. Now it averages 5,180 per month.
It is not only direct construction companies that are embracing technology, but also firms providing support services to contractors and developers. Cresco Legal closed a deal this year with UK-based Luminance Technologies to use the latter’s artificial intelligence (AI) software, Luminance, and in doing so became the Middle East’s first law firm to use AI. The software will help contractor specialist Cresco Legal track deadlines, monitor risks, and manage warranty claims by using machine learning to digitise data.
From traditional construction companies and suppliers to law firms that support the industry, it appears that many stakeholders are embracing the latest wave of cutting-edge technology products. From AI and BIM to cloud-based computing software that accelerates laborious administrative tasks, examples across the board suggest that the industry is now keen to embrace innovation.