March summary

A lot has happened in March. We are happy to see the new wave of intensity in construction projects in Dubai, we are getting very exciting inquiries.

The high-rise hotel project,- 72 floors + crown, total 370 meters- is getting engineered and documented, we issued 50% Tender package last Thursday, for the entire facade. The site works have already commenced, enabling and piling ongoing. The facade documentation is coming together nicely with all the coordination with other disciplines. A lot of coordination with the structural engineers these days. The building has a number of large vertical external fin features, for which we came up with a modular pre-assembled support steelwork design, supported of the slabs. To reduce the reactions to the slabs, we asked the structural engineers to extend the balcony slabs at certain areas, so we can connect from the top rather than the side. This will result in better buildability and more cost effective structural solutions. At other locations, we had to coordinate for the column locations to ensure that the BMU machine will be able to access the related facade area without the need of expensive hydraulic rotating and folding parts. We are also finalizing the interface coordination for the architecturally exposed steelwork items, such as the glass support for the lobbies, panoramic elevator area, external lattice features. We are also working out details for integrating external light fixtures, the major architectural elements of the buildings will be illuminated. Solving these issues early on and document the final requirements with clarity reduce uncertainty and result in smoother procurement process, in line with the architectural intent, meeting programme, budget and aesthetic expectations.

We had the kick-off meeting for a very high end private residential development project, featuring complex 3D freeform geometry. Again, we provide full scope facade consultancy on the project, from schematic design to handover. The next meeting will be held with the concept architects in London, next week. We hope to discuss possible facade materials, their advantages and disadvantages for the given geometry, climate and function. We are thinking in the range of precast concrete, glass fibre reinforced plastics, composites, molded metal panels for the solid surfaces. The glazed areas consist of large glass sheets, reaching 10 meters in height, hanging from the roof structure. We are at early schematic stage, and the aim now is to set the facade system concept, to enable further detail development later. Reflecting the complexity of the geometry, the project runs on a longer-than-usual programme. The entire design will be based on 3D BIM modelling. After the initial workshops, we will make use of web-based services, such as gotomeeting, to discuss the complex interfacing issues with the architects and translate the design to technical solutions.

We are working on the last two packages for Muscat Airport. We provide 3rd Party Checking Engineering services on the contractor's design. Al Abbar Aluminium's design team is preparing the system calculation sets, and after our initial review, we sit together to discuss the findings. We have approved more than 20 packages for the terminal building and the piers, and awaiting the revised sets for the last two packages.

The U-value calculations for Masdar project have also been completed for almost every area. We assist the specialist contractor, Folcra Beach with this job, preparing these calculations. One of the systems cannot meet the specified limits with the current design, and we are looking at options to improve the system performance.

Tomorrow we will conduct a site investigation on an existing completed high-rise office building project, where the building owner complains on temperature induced noise originating from the facade. The specialist contractor claims the joints allow for regular thermal expansions, and so does it seem on the as-built drawings. We have requested for access to look at a certain site condition that we assume as the root of this problem. We will see tomorrow!