Tech-enabled construction crucial to achieve sustainability targets

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The Museum of the Future building.

Sajjad Ahmad, Deputy Business Editor

To strengthen the UAE’s sustainable future vision and carbon reduction strategy, tech-enabled construction is the need of the hour, it was revealed at the recently concluded BIM & Digital Twin Middle East 2022 event.

At Building Information Modeling (BIM & Digital Twin), the construction tech solution providers discussed the challenges and the role of technology to overcome those issues to achieve sustainability targets in future.

The event emphasised on the importance of implementing cutting-edge technologies to foster the Middle Eastern construction industry, which is undergoing digital transition to overcome challenges and meet customer needs.

This significant shift in the sector is due to the adoption of various new technologies – including BIM (Building Information Modeling), Digital Twins, Mixed Reality, AI, Robotics, and Machine Learning – that have enabled the construction of massive projects like the Museum of the Future, the Burj Khalifa, One Za’abeel tower, and the Qatar Lusail Multipurpose Stadium.

Tareq AL Masri, Director of Sales and Channel at Trimble Solutions, Middle East said, “The UAE places a high priority on sustainability, and we share a similar vision for the future. As a solutions provider, our goal is to help the sector implement more sustainable projects by offering the right technology. The majority of companies are still hesitant or shy about approaching technology, which is why we must inform them of how technology can assist them, what they should invest in, and how they can improve their operations to increase their competitiveness. The implementation of such innovative solutions will thereby contribute to the creation of smart and sustainable cities.”

About the company projects in GCC, he said, “Several key projects have utilised our digital software solutions successfully, including the Museum of the Future, Burj Khalifa, Ain Dubai, Dubai Opera House, Coca Cola Arena, Midfield Abu Dhabi Airport, Sharjah Monument, UAE Expo Pavilion, One Za’abeel tower in Dubai, Riyadh Metro Station in KSA, Adly Mansour Metro in Egypt, and more. Furthermore, our software technology was used in the construction of nearly all of the stadiums in Qatar that will host the FIFA World Cup in 2022, such as the Lusail Multi-Purpose Stadium by Norul Gulf.”

About the event, he said, “For Trimble, events like these are very important. We, as an industry leader dedicated to delivering the right technology for the construction sector and other sectors in the domain, are always eager to engage with customers, industry experts, and other vendors, in order to help educate the market about the latest technology and its applications to drive greater productivity and sustainability. There is a rapid development taking place in infrastructure, residential, and commercial construction, and it is essential that we work together across all sectors to ensure that the vision of the leadership in these countries, especially the UAE, is achieved.”

on sustainability, Al Masri added,”Sustainability is a key component of Trimble’s business strategy and vision. Our management puts a strong emphasis on sustainability, not just in the products we offer, but also in how we conduct our operations internally. Additionally, we publish an annual sustainability report in which we discuss how our efforts to reduce our carbon footprint on a global scale can benefit clients, as well as the planet. For instance, when we use 3D models to meet the AEC industry’s communication and collaboration needs, it facilitates a more paperless process. Similarly, projects take less time, produce less waste, and require fewer changes, when using more coordinated and collaborative approaches like connected construction.”

He explained, “Among all disciplines, the construction sector was one of the least technologically adaptive. However, the landscape is evolving today, as businesses strive to become more competitive. Modern construction technologies and trends like Building Information Modelling (BIM), Digital Twins, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and use of robotics support professionals in streamlining complex projects, managing the project’s schedule and productivity better, and connecting devices or equipment that are used in the sector. All of these contribute to lesser rework, fewer errors and mistakes, accurate calculations, reduced risks and injuries, and reduced fuel consumption and carbon footprint, which contribute to positive outcomes, as seen in the case of the Burj Khalifa and Museum of the Future. Moreover, new laws, regulations, and vision on safety and sustainability, further strengthen our goals and objectives.”

Tareq Al Masri concluded, “Digital Twins may appear to be a new technology, as more businesses have become aware of it in recent times. However, the first Digital Twin was used in 1970 by NASA on the Apollo 13 mission, which helped resolve a critical issue in the expedition. The concept of a digital twin is simply the replication of the physical world into an entirely digital one.

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