A POSITIVE YEAR AHEAD
We have all had our ups and downs last year. The MEP sector, especially has had some challenging times, so I have been told by the several contractors and consultants I spoke with. Cash flow issues are still persisting which can be detrimental to MEP projects completing on time or even worse, companies going under. The MEP sector therefore needs to be aware and prepare for adversity. But no matter how challenging the times, you need to keep your chin up. The theme that I have noticed last year and what I believe will be in the coming years is the use of building information modelling (BIM). Coordinating the mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) disciplines during construction can involve significant challenges. However, building information modelling (BIM) technology is now helping to improve MEP coordination by addressing various design issues. Engineering Contracting Company LLC (ECC) will complete the Rawda project, in Dubai, currently 3.2% ahead of schedule, in a timely manner and within budget due to the successful adoption and implementation of BIM technology. The technology allows effective visualisation and collaboration between architectural, structural and MEP from the outset, so they all tie in nicely with each other.
The other buzzword is prefabrication, with more consultants and contractors adopting a smarter method of construction. The Building Services Research and Information Association (BSRIA) in the UK found that the use prefabricated MEP modules result in 34% to 90% reduction in installation labour. Several Expo 2020 sites will see the use of prefabrication in its projects.
Another interesting news is the district cooling sector being regulated by Regulatory and Supervisory Bureau for electricity and water in Dubai (RSB) in Dubai. Faisal Rashid, director, Demand Side Management, Supreme Council of Energy, told me at The Big 5 last year that “the market will be regulated by RSB in terms of licensing, billing etc. RSB will have a certain responsibility, even in disputes”.
So it is certainly an interesting time to be in and much to look forward to. We all need to embrace these positive changes. as we move forward. In an interview with Nathan Hanns, general manager at ALEMCO (see page 16), he said that cashflow issues will resolve itself in the future. It helps to keep a positive mindset and be as adaptive to change as possible.
On that note, I wish you all the very best 2019 and a happy new year!