CBNME takes a tour of the Op­por­tu­nity Theme Dis­trict at the Expo2020 site with lead­ing MEP con­trac­tor, ASU, to take a look at the work progress

Construction Business News Middle East - - Contents -


When Dubai was de­clared as the host for the Expo 2020 in Novem­ber 201 , it gave the en­tire GCC an op­por­tu­nity to show­case and ex­plore the pos­si­bil­i­ties of new ideas and peo­ple con­nect­ing through one plat­form. Through its unique theme of @Con­nect­ing minds, Cre­at­ing the Fu­ture’, the expo aims to pro­vide a plat­form to foster cre­ativ­ity, in­no­va­tion, and col­lab­o­ra­tion.

The idea is un­der­pinned by three in­ter­wo­ven themes ad­dress­ing the press­ing is­sues, which in­clude Op­por­tu­nity, Mo­bil­ity, and Sus­tain­abil­ity. The

8ha main site for the Expo has been mas­ter­planned by the Amer­i­can lrm, HOK, and is or­gan­ised around a cen­tral plaza, ti­tled Al Wasl, en­closed by three large pav­il­ions, each one ded­i­cated to a sub-theme.

In March 2017, Dubai-based con­trac­tor, Al Fut­taim Car­il­lion, was awarded the main con­tract for the devel­op­ment of the three theme dis­tricts. When Expo 2020 Dubai opens on Oc­to­ber 20, 2020, the theme dis­tricts will be home to 1 pav­il­ions for many of the par­tic­i­pat­ing coun­tries, non-gov­ern­men­tal or­gan­i­sa­tions (NGOS), and com­mer­cial part­ners, to host ex­hibits and ex­pe­ri­ences for the mil­lions of ex­pected vis­i­tors.

One of the three petal-shaped the­matic dis­trict, ded­i­cated to the sub­theme of Op­por­tu­nity, will house

pav­il­ions, in­clud­ing as­sisted, rented, and ser­vice ones. Dubai-based me­chan­i­cal, elec­tri­cal, and plumb­ing (MEP) con­trac­tor, ASU, was awarded the job and started work­ing on the project from De­cem­ber 2017.

The Op­por­tu­nity Dis­trict project con­sists of a huge base­ment, with a to­tal sur­face area of around ,000sqm. Above the base­ment, there will be build­ings, which will be called Pav­il­ions. The base­ment is be­ing built for all the ser­vices, util­i­ties, and ser­vic­ing the Pav­il­ions and all other sur­round­ing ar­eas. The same will also be use­ful for fu­ture ex­pan­sions.

The project tak­ing-over cer­til­cate for ASU is planned in April 2019, which ac­cord­ing to the com­pany, is a [very] squeezed pro­gramme. The con­trac­tor had to do a lot of prepa­ra­tion works on site be­fore the con­struc­tion com­menced. All ac­tiv­i­ties are be­ing con­ducted in par­al­lel, in­clud­ing en­gi­neer­ing, pro­cure­ment, and con­struc­tion at the same time. Mas­sive and pre­cise co-or­di­na­tion is needed and huge man­power just to con­clude all this to­gether, says the com­pany.

ASU be­lieves that work­ing on the project as one team will help the main ob­jec­tive to lnish on time since these are pres­ti­gious de­vel­op­ments for the coun­try and there is no chance of de­lay­ing it even for a day. The con­trac­tor is cur­rently ahead of sched­ule and has had around 10% progress on site, but in terms of shop draw­ings, ASU has seen around 75% progress, and in terms of ma­te­rial or­der­ing and pro­cure­ment, they have 7% progress. The progress in­creases day by day based on the life­time of the project.

ASU has de­ployed around 100 work­ers on site cur­rently, and in the peak time, it is ex­pected to ex­ceed based on the re­quire­ments of the works. The com­pany be­lieves that the main task is to in­crease efl­ciency on site, and for that, the ar­eas have been split be­tween all the trades so not to be jammed at one place.

One of the as­pects that ASU is fo­cussing on is that they are thor­oughly look­ing into the de­sign and en­gi­neer­ing is­sue for ma­te­ri­als and ap­provals them­selves, since the con­trac­tor doesn’t want to de­pend on the ofl­cial trans­mis­sion of doc­u­ments be­cause that will en­tail wait­ing for 1 days for re­view and com­ment­ing. Hence, ASU con­ducts con­densed work­shop meet­ings, on a daily or a weekly ba­sis, with its en­gi­neer­ing team, con­sul­tant, and client, so that they are able to ex­pe­dite and get the ap­provals in ad­vance. This helps in con­tin­u­ing with the draw­ings sub­mis­sions and the ma­te­rial or­der­ing as per sched­ule.

In ad­di­tion to it, ASU is also us­ing the most re­cent tech­nolo­gies like build­ing in­for­ma­tion modelling (BIM) in the draw­ings and draft­ing. A high­tech soft­ware is used which de­mands skilled labour and team. ASU al­ready has a sep­a­rate team spe­cial­is­ing in BIM work­ing on the same, so that it helps a lot in the en­gi­neer­ing and the con­struc­tion side.

The MEP con­trac­tor is us­ing some-

thing akin to a laser sur­veyor, which can ab­sorb and up­load the draw­ings in a CAD for­mat on a robot sur­veyor and it can au­to­mat­i­cally read the draw­ings. It can also mark and high­light the places and lo­ca­tions of the ser­vices so that the en­gi­neers can carry out lx­a­tion and sup­port­ing sys­tems based on that.

Most of the fab­ri­ca­tion are done out of the site by ASU. This is also to avoid any safety prob­lems and to en­hance the progress on site. So, the MEP con­trac­tor con­ducts most of the fab­ri­ca­tion in fac­to­ries. The con­trac­tor has re­served places for its work­shop, equipped with all kinds of cer­tiled tools and ma­chin­ery. Mi­nor fab­ri­ca­tions are done on­site.

One of the tar­gets of the Expo 2020 project is that it wants to in­crease the stan­dard of con­struc­tion ac­tiv­i­ties in the re­gion, in­clud­ing in terms of how the con­trac­tor is deal­ing with the work­ers, ac­com­mo­dat­ing them in the camps, pro­vid­ing them safety and pro­tec­tion while work­ing on­site; all this lies un­der the reg­u­la­tions. The wel­fare reg­u­la­tions have a lot of stan­dards to meet re­gard­ing how the work­ers should be mo­bilised, fur­nish­ing the camps, and many more.

This is in line with the vi­sion that it will be im­ple­mented in all fu­ture projects. Based on the reg­u­la­tions on site, 25% of the ma­te­ri­als and power con­sump­tion must be from re­cy­clable and nat­u­ral re­sources. Fol­low­ing the same, ASU reuses wa­ter and re­duces the wastage of wa­ter and chem­i­cals. The com­pany has very strict rules in terms of waste re­cy­cling, wel­fare for camps, which comes un­der the sus­tain­abil­ity or the ,EED re­quire­ments. The con­trac­tor aims to achieve the ,EED re­quire­ment of GOLD and ac­cord­ing to the com­pany, it de­pends on how far the rules of the sus­tain­abil­ity re­quire­ments are fol­lowed and met.

So far, ASU hasn’t faced any losstime in­juries (LTIS) on this project. The com­pany fol­lows strict rules in terms of safety. One of the most im­por­tant as­pect for the con­trac­tor is to have high lev­els of health and safety (HSE) and it needs to be put com­pletely sep­a­rate from the project man­age­ment con­trol. ASU sends its HSE re­ports di­rectly to the top man­age­ment in the com­pany. The com­pany also con­ducts reg­u­lar train­ings for HSE and con­stantly up­dates ev­ery­one about new stan­dards and reg­u­la­tions. Spe­cialised train­ing is also pro­vided to the staff and labour­ers in terms of lre and safety.

Waste con­trol is an im­por­tant as­pect; hence ASU splits the waste into two haz­ard waste and nor­mal waste. The com­pany em­ploys spe­cialised sub­con­trac­tors to deal with the waste and treat them. Des­ig­nated places to dump the waste has been al­lo­cated on site and on a weekly ba­sis, a spe­cial truck ar­rives to col­lect it for re­cy­cling.

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