A tight-knit fam­ily of ar­chi­tec­tural ex­perts

EME Outlook - - Front Page - Writer: Tom Wad­low | Project Man­ager: Tom Cul­lum

Not­many in­ter­na­tional com­pa­nies founded in 2005 can claim to be made up of the same staff who have been with them since day one.

From fi­nan­cial crashes through to the ex­plo­sion of new tech­nolo­gies and un­par­al­leled lev­els of global in­ter­con­nec­tiv­ity, the past 13 years have seen the makeup of or­gan­i­sa­tions around the world change dras­ti­cally.

Ar­row in on the GCC con­struc­tion in­dus­try and the test­ing mar­ket con­di­tions of re­cent years, and the like­li­hood of record­ing a near zero staff turnover is all the more slim.

Dubai-based Qual­ity Ar­chi­tec­tural Sys­tems (QAS), how­ever, has achieved this feat.

Formed in 2005 dur­ing the con­struc­tion boom pe­riod, Di­rec­tor Damian Pol­lard and his team saw a mar­ket for premium sys­tems, a mar­ket which could be tapped into through of­fer­ing ex­cep­tional ser­vice and client sup­port.

“The key strength of the busi­ness is our staff, who have been with us from the start and re­mained com­mit­ted and mo­ti­vated,” Pol­lard says. “This gives us ex­pe­ri­enced and qual­i­fied per­son­nel who un­der­stand the sys­tem re­quire­ments and marry this to the ar­chi­tec­tural re­quire­ment of the client.

“QAS is a small, tightly knit fam­ily and re­cruit­ment is an un­usual event – we have grown or­gan­i­cally and will con­tinue to do so, ex­pand­ing our core fa­cil­ity only through known in­di­vid­u­als that we know will fit the team.”

With a stated aim to de­liver an op­ti­mal con­tri­bu­tion to the re­al­i­sa­tion of first-grade ar­chi­tec­tural ideas, QAS has emerged as a one-stop-shop so­lu­tion for clients, able to see a project through from start to fin­ish thanks to its wealth of ex­per­tise which has only been added to since 2005.

Pol­lard con­tin­ues: “The ma­jor gap we iden­ti­fied early was that we re­lied on struc­tural com­po­nents given to us by the client or con­trac­tor, so we in­tro­duced this struc­tural en­gi­neer­ing ca­pa­bil­ity and can now pro­vide ad­di­tional value ser­vice. As the struc­ture sup­ports our façade, we are able to com­bine the el­e­ments and pro­vide eco­nom­i­cal so­lu­tions for our clients.

“We pre­fer to pro­vide so­lu­tions rather than try and sell some­thing which doesn’t work for the client – usu­ally they come to us as we’re not try­ing to pull some­thing ‘off the shelf’, and al­though we do have such sys­tems our pri­or­ity is the client’s re­quire­ments.”

Hall­marks of qual­ity

Such clients are based in nu­mer­ous re­gions around the world, served by QAS’S net­work of of­fices and part­ners.

While the Dubai base looks af­ter the MENA re­gion with a sep­a­rate area man­ager based in Saudi Ara­bia, the firm can also draw on pres­ence in the form of an of­fice in In­dia and part­ners in Rus­sia, South­east Asia, Ko­rea, the UK and other Eu­ro­pean coun­tries.

In seek­ing new busi­ness, QAS is able to utilise an es­tab­lished port­fo­lio that show­cases its com­mit­ment to qual­ity.

For Pol­lard, the Mus­cat In­ter­na­tional Air­port con­trol tower stands out as the Com­pany’s great­est achieve­ment to date.

“I re­gard this project as the epit­ome of what QAS can achieve,” says Pol­lard. “Not one piece of steel or alu­minium sup­port had to be mod­i­fied on site, not a sin­gle panel had to be re­placed due to in­cor­rect pro­duc­tion, and we man­aged a process which in­volved com­po­nents from Hol­land, South Africa, and lo­cally fab­ri­cated el­e­ments in the UAE.

“These were all pro­duced and shipped to Oman to be in­stalled by a third party, whom we pro­vided an ‘IKEA’ type in­struc­tion man­ual and who never once had to re­course to us for fur­ther guid­ance.”

Project pride

Dubai Creek pro­vides the back­drop for what Pol­lard de­scribes as his per­sonal favourite project.

Cur­rently un­der fi­nal han­dover, the Jameel Arts Cen­tre is ex­clu­sively the prod­uct of AFS In­ter­na­tional’s

Q-premium sys­tem, de­signed in Dubai by QAS and sup­ple­mented with daily on-site sup­port to en­sure its fault­less in­stal­la­tion.

The build­ing is de­signed as a se­ries of boxes of vary­ing di­men­sions that are bound to­gether by a one-storey- high colon­nade, of­fer­ing a mix of smaller in­ti­mate ex­hibit­ing spa­ces and larger gal­leries.

“This demon­strates what can be achieved by proac­tive hands on sup­port with the façade in­staller, main con­trac­tor, ar­chi­tect, client and sup­plier to­gether,” adds Pol­lard. “The qual­ity of the in­stal­la­tion speaks for it­self.”

Pol­lard also points to the project’s full com­pli­ance with UAE fire safety code, an ac­cred­i­ta­tion which in­volved close col­lab­o­ra­tion with lo­cal part­ner Ham­dan Al Muheiribi and Dubai Civil De­fence.

Slated to open in win­ter 2018, the 10,000 square me­tre, three-storey Jameel Arts Cen­tre will be one of the first con­tem­po­rary art in­sti­tu­tions in the city,


a vi­brant plat­form for artists and cre­atives to ex­change ideas and show­case work to the com­mu­nity.

Look­ing ahead

The QAS project pipe­line also looks promis­ing when peer­ing into the fu­ture, with Pol­lard high­light­ing mul­ti­ple de­vel­op­ments which the firm is set to play a lead­ing part in ex­e­cut­ing.

“We are very ex­cited about a new part­ner­ship with US global façade man­u­fac­turer CENTRIA In­ter­na­tional, whom we now rep­re­sent in the MENA re­gion and the sub-con­ti­nent,” he re­veals.

“Part­ner­ing with such a huge player gives us the strength and flex­i­bil­ity to ser­vice a much wider scope of works. We are look­ing at over 50 projects with CENTRIA and hope we will se­cure a sig­nif­i­cant pro­por­tion of this work.”

QAS fur­ther se­cured a con­tract on the Bayt al Fan project in Jed­dah, an­other arts cen­tre, this time span­ning 7,500 square me­tres. Once again this will draw on the Com­pany’s proven part­ner­ship with AFS In­ter­na­tional, the two work­ing in con­junc­tion to cre­ate a pur­pose-fit cladding so­lu­tion for the build­ing.

Pol­lard also wants QAS to con­tinue its geo­graph­i­cal ex­pan­sion, iden­ti­fy­ing the African con­ti­nent as a re­gion primed for de­vel­op­ment.

He con­cludes: “In three to five years’ time I would like to see the Com­pany with per­ma­nent of­fices in the KSA and East Africa in ad­di­tion to the Dubai Fa­cil­ity, and our pres­ence ex­panded sig­nif­i­cantly into East Asia.”

Jameel Arts Cen­tre

Con­trol tower at Mus­cat In­ter­na­tional Air­port

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