Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill-designed dome to be focus of American firm known for Hollywood productions

Wam – Al Wasl Plaza is the centrepiece of Expo 2020 Dubai’s site.

In a bid to improve the visual experience at Expo 2020 Dubai, American projectors manufacturer Christie, which has previously worked on Hollywood productions, will use laser projection technology to create displays on the Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture-designed Al Wasl Plaza’s 130m-wide dome.

Christie has been appointed as the official displays and projection partner for the next World Expo, which will open its doors on 20 October, 2020.

The American company will use more than 250 of its D4K40-RGB projectors to showcase realistic scenes on the steel trellis dome of Al Wasl Plaza, already popular in architecture circles for its design.

Designed to resemble the Expo 2020 logo, the dome’s construction is being managed by Cimolai Rimond Middle East.

Speaking on joining the development, executive director for global sales and business development at Christie, Bryan Boehme said: “We are proud and excited to be an Expo 2020 Dubai official partner and look forward to creating memories with our unparalleled visual displays.”

As part of the partnership, Christie will supply and manage all display screens across the World Expo site during its 173-days, UAE state news agency, Wam, reported.

Commenting on the life-like visual experience to be created for Expo 2020 Dubai’s expected 25 million visitors, chief development and delivery officer of Expo 2020 Dubai, Ahmed Al Khatib, said: “We aim to create an unrivalled experience at Expo 2020 and spectacular visuals on the giant Al Wasl Plaza dome will be an iconic part of this.”

Source: Construction Week Online

An £18m investment in technologies ranging from augmented reality design tools to swarming robots that mimic the collaborative behaviour of termites could help transform UK construction, the UK’s main research funding body has claimed.

Made through funding body UKRI, and drawn from the government’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF), the cash is being ploughed into a range of projects aimed at making construction more efficient, sustainable and productive.

A key £5m chunk of the investment, from UKRI’s new Research Leaders Program, has been targeted at four new research projects aimed at speeding up assembly, saving money, and improving the quality of UK building projects.

Amongst these are a Loughborough University led project that’s exploring the development of next generation Hybrid Concrete Printing (HCP) technology to produce near-net-shape building components. The group claims that HCP technology will enable the intelligent integration of building performance and energy production and storage technologies.

The two other collaborative research projects awarded a share of the £5m are the University of Bath led ACORN project (Automating Concrete Construction) which is looking at using digital tools to enable a more sustainable approach to concrete use, and a University of West England led initiative that’s exploring the use of AI and augmented reality to enable engineers to make more effective use of BIM software tools.

Alongside these projects, an addition £13.3m is to be invested in 24 separate collaborative initiatives to be delivered by Innovate UK

Projects awarded funding here include an effort to use artificial intelligence and algorithms to schedule construction projects; a Barratt homes led consortium aimed at bringing down the cost of off-site manufacturing; and HIPER Pile, which is developing new piling solutions to integrate energy and rainwater re-use when laying foundations.

Construction minister, Richard Harrington, said: “The use of Artificial Intelligence, digital techniques and off-site manufacturing, help us harness new methods of working. This delivers on the government’s Construction Sector Deal which pledges to build better performing buildings, using less energy and providing better value for taxpayers.”

Professor Sir Mark Walport, UKRI Chief Executive, added: “Through projects such as these, the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund allows us to catalyse innovation across the UK’s vital construction industry improving productivity, sustainability and safety.”

Content Source: The Engineer

WME Dubai joined hundreds of competitors at the Meydan Racecourse on Friday, 19th April, to take part in the Super Sports Run Series 2019.

This fun yet competitive series took place on the private closed off roads of Meydan with the start and finish at The Track Golf Clubhouse. From social to advanced runners, young and experienced, competitors completed either 3k, 5k, 10k or 10 miles (16k).

With plenty of music, comfort stations and supporters cheering on the runners throughout, this was a high energy community race with a great family atmosphere.

Congratulations to all of the WME runners (big & small) that completed the race!

The evening, at The American University Dubai, was a collaborative event of architecture and structural design in conjunction with the Institution of Structural Engineers. The focus of the night surrounded the SRG Tower in Dubai’s Downtown District.

Mr Veith (Killa) and Mr Guruvappan (WME) presented to a full audience, walking through the architectural and structural design process of the SRG Tower. Key points included the various design requirements and restrictions and how the client’s needs were realised. They also discussed various architectural and structural engineering challenges and solutions including seismic design, wind tunnel testing, load paths, and foundation solutions.

Thank you to The Institution of Structural Engineers, The American University Dubai and all that attended.

The Kingdom Centre VOX cinema, in Riyadh, opened its doors to the public last night. WME are proud to have completed the Lead Consultancy role on the project.

The multiplex features eight screens, all VIP, designed to provide customers with a luxurious cinematic experience. The Kingdom Centre VOX cinema is considered to be a new flagship for the company.

WME’s expertise was applied to the Lead Consultancy Design, Co-ordination and Site Supervision of MEP, Structural Engineering, AV/IT, Security, Acoustic , FLS & AOR.

Tomorrow evening WME & Killa Design will be hosting a collaborative event of architecture and structural design in conjunction with the Institution of Structural Engineers. The focus will be surrounding the SRG Tower in Dubai. 

The event is free to attend and will be held at the American University in Dubai. Click here to register:–srg-tower–2138720741

Mr Veith (Killa) and Mr Guruvappan (WME) will talk us through the architectural and structural design process of the SRG Tower. They will touch on various design requirements and restrictions and how the client’s needs were realised. They will also discuss various architectural and structural engineering challenges and solutions including seismic design, wind tunnel testing, load paths, and foundation solutions.

#design #architectural #architecture #wmeglobal #structuralengineers #tower  #process #collaborative #dubai #event 

Commercial and recreational drone operator permits are now being issued by Saudi Arabia’s General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA).

Any drone flown in the kingdom must be registered, according to GACA, while those importing drones into the country must have a permit and serial number for the device.

The two-year permits, which cost $67 (SR250), are being issued following months of security clearances, reported Arab News, although 90% of applicants pass the security check, the GACA said.

The recreational permit is for personal use of non-industrial and non-commercial drones only, and requite no examination.

Unless approved by the GACA, the holder of the recreational permit are prohibited from flying their drones within eight kilometres of any piloted manned aircraft, industrial site, military base, royal palace or private property.

As for commercial permits, first-time applicants are required to pay a $133 (SR500) examination and licensing fee and take a test on protocols such as airport approach and air traffic control, among others.

Any drone flown in the kingdom must be registered, according to GACA, while those importing drones into the country must have a permit and serial number for the device.

However, a GACA spokesperson said drones will be on sale in the kingdom soon.

This month, Riyadh will host a drone summit and expo to discuss changing regulations and legislation, as well as drone technology incorporation into national security plans.

Source: Arabian Business

Cinema Build KSA forum in Riyadh to take place on 14 April

The government of Saudi Arabia intends to invest $35bn into its culture and leisure sector by 2020. The move is part of the Kingdom’s effort to create a ‘true cultural community to enjoy theatres and cinemas’.

The investments are part of a bid to ensure that Riyadh, Jeddah, and Dammam become among the top 100 cities in the world for providing Quality of Life (QOL). QOL is a a programme which aims to develop and diversify entertainment opportunities to meet the needs of the population, and develop the Saudi contribution in both arts and culture.

In the Kingdom, the programme will be responsible for an increase in the number of out-of-home entertainment venues from 154 to 260 by 2020. It also aims to raise the available retail space in shopping malls from 0.15 to 0.19sqm per capita, according to a statement.

The announcement was made ahead of the forthcoming Cinema Build KSA forum in Riyadh. The forum plans to lead the country’s cinema industry by bringing together key stakeholders across the design and construction & technology sectors, to discuss the latest trends and techniques of building world-class cinemas.

According to experts, the Kingdom’s decision to lift the 35-year ban on cinemas in December 2017 has opened opportunities for international and regional companies to help develop the domestic entertainment industry.

Saudi General Commission for Audiovisual Media (GCAM) CEO Bader Alzahrani said, “The cinema sector in Saudi Arabia will see significant growth, especially with GCAM’s continuous efforts to facilitate and promote national and foreign investment to enter the sector. At the same time, GCAM is working toward achieving Quality of Life programme’s goal by opening 45 cinemas by 2020, with emphasis on providing various different entertainment opportunities for everyone, which will enhance and contribute to diversifying the economy.”

Source: ME Construction News, By Jason Saundalkar

The consultant must speak the same language as the architect, contractor and other construction professionals. The consultant should be engaged early in the project, so the client can utilise the consultant’s services in choosing construction professionals and contractors and in reviewing plans and budgets.

According to NJPA Real Estate Journal, the construction consultant’s role is to aggressively represent the owner and to lend practical expertise to the job. It states, the construction consultant is not concerned with design integrity, and wants the owner to receive what the owner has contracted for from the contractors. Working on behalf of the owner, the consultant can identify and address potential construction problems in the design stages and, as an independent party, may be in the best position to suggest cost saving or time saving alternatives and to evaluate suggestions made by the other parties.

Construction consultants help clients make sound decisions for their projects. They ensure that contractors complete the project on cost. They provide cost estimates, draw budgets, select contractors, administer construction contracts, and resolve differences between contractors and project owners.

Considering consultancy is such a serious business, we find it wise to list down some of the active consultants in the Middle East region. As done every year, this year too we sent out a questionnaire to a few companies  in order to have them included in the list. Through this questionnaire, we listed out the companies based on some parameters. One thing to keep in mind is that the list is as much objective as it is subjective. 
Of course, this is not an exhaustive list and there are several others out there who we might have missed. Also, this year there are several new companies making the list.

Do note that the published data is dependent on the quality of information received. We have tried our best in putting together a rather unbiased and accurate listing of the top MEP consultants in the region.

WME Ranks 12th in Top 20 MEP Consultants

WME is currently engaged in MEP projects covering the full range of the built environment including healthcare, residential, retail, commercial and specialist projects such as multiple Pavilions at Expo 2020. WME utilises BIM on all projects and has demonstrated an ability to deliver complex projects from inception through to handover with high levels of coordination, the company states.

WME currently has 50 live design projects and 31 active sites ranging from 300,000m2 shopping malls, 450m tall LEED Platinum residential towers and hospitals to restaurant fit outs and villa designs.

The firm is involved in UAE Pavilion Expo 2020 – Calatrava project. The National Media Council has selected architect Santiago Calatrava’s design inspired by a falcon in flight, for the UAE Pavilion for Dubai World Expo 2020. For the project, WME provided Structural Engineering, MEP Building Services, AV IT & Security Engineering, Infrastructure / Roads, Sustainable Construction, High-rise Engineering, Construction Supervision and Architect of Record including sustainable design to LEED Platinum.

Nicholas Byczynski, MEP director, says: “Regionally we are looking at a number of opportunities in KSA and our business in India is growing rapidly. Locally we have developed a very strong Expo team with 11 ongoing work on national, commercial and operational pavilions. We hope to realise opportunities on a number of others as the international participants continue to develop their ideas.

“In addition, we are looking to focus on key strategic client partners with whom we can develop longer term relationships, particularly in areas of the market less directly tied to turbulent financial situation.”

Source: MEP Middle East

Our Director of MEP, Nicholas Byczynski, talks with MEP Middle East about the place for chillers in the market.

As HVAC systems account for a significant portion of a building’s energy use, chillers can be critical components in improving a building’s overall efficiency. Chillers also have a low total cost of ownership that offer cost savings to the owners of high-performance buildings over the lifetime of the systems. According to HVACR Online, well-designed chillers work with HVAC systems to deliver the right temperatures, humidity levels, and ventilation for the space, while also prioritising low operating cost and energy efficiency as well as ensuring low sound levels and minimal environmental impact.

Talking about the evolution of chillers, Nicholas Byczynski, MEP director at WME Consultants, says that the evolution is more in terms of refrigerants. Chillers have now moved away from R-123 and R134a and more towards HFO-1234ze which will have an impact on the physical design of chillers, he says. Byczynski adds: “However, what I think is more interesting as a consultant is to look at the design decisions that can be made of the chiller system as a whole to improve the operational efficiency.”
“VFDs (variable frequency drives) on compressors are now commonplace, as are chiller plant managers or chiller group controllers, that can include sophisticated algorithms to operate the full system at peak efficiency at any given load and external ambient condition.”

WME recently worked on two LEED platinum projects using onsite chillers (one water-cooled and the other air-cooled). He says: “We were able to specify high-efficiency turbocor magnetic bearing compressors in one case and variable volume ratio compressors in the other to achieve extremely high peak and part load efficiencies. As these technologies become more commonplace, hopefully, the cost will reduce so that high efficiency designs can become the norm.”

On maintenance
Byczynski says that chiller controls are becoming increasingly sophisticated, with all aspects variably based on project specific control algorithms. He says that it is key for operators to understand the functions.

He says: “The data from the chillers should be logged and monitored, and ideally, the system should be recommissioned after 6 months and 12 months considering the logged data to ensure it is functioning as designed. From a maintenance perspective, as with any complex machine, regular maintenance should be carried out by a trained specialist to ensure that it is preventative rather than reactive.”

Then there are water-cooled and air-cooled chillers. Water-cooled chillers are more efficient because they condense depending on the ambient temperature bulb temperature, which is lower than the ambient dry bulb temperature. The lower a chiller condenses, the more efficient it is.
Where aesthetics and environmental conditions or water access restrictions exist, air-cooled chiller may be applied. Both air-cooled and water-cooled chillers depend on an air stream as a means of heat transfer.

The difference is that the water-cooled chillers use a humid air stream (ambient air stream + water spray) while the air-cooled chillers use a current of ambient air.
Briefly talking about water-cooled and air-cooled chillers in the region, Byczynski says: “Water-cooled chillers generally provide significant energy savings when compared to air-cooled systems; however, the embodied energy required to create the water for make up in the UAE cannot be ignored and so we are required to either provide TSE water or, if unavailable, provide on-site grey water recovery systems which adds cost and complexity. There are newer air-cooled chillers which are achieving very high peak and part load efficiencies but unfortunately the magnetic bearing chillers are not available in this region as air-cooled units due to the high-ambient conditions in summer.”

Byczynski says that as district cooling becomes more prevalent, the need for on-site chillers will decrease and hopefully large district cooling providers (DCP) will be able to achieve net energy savings by providing large scale production and distribution. He adds: “Where DCP is not available the trend is toward modern lower ODP and GWP refrigerants and higher efficiency compressor technologies. This is supported by the regulatory body such as Estidama, which will continue to drive up the minimum acceptable performance levels. I believe the best opportunities for designers is to embrace the controls technology now available from all the major manufacturers as these can offer significant running cost reductions and the physical technology required is typically provided in projects so the cost to the clients is negligible.

“It is very rare to see a chiller plant without VFDs on the chilled water pumps, compressors and cooling towers; however, the advantage of these is not currently being maximised.”

But all said and done what does the future look like for chillers? As with all HVACR equipment, it’s ‘horses for courses’ approach and the chiller is not the be all and end all of solutions. However, it does make an ideal solution in many applications.