Construction & Real Estate
Dubai 'ideal' for world's most eco-friendly building Article
California-based architects Faulders Studio has designed plans for an innovative 558ft tower in Dubai that uses saltwater and sunshine to grow its own skin. The Dubai tower, called GEOtube, aims to use natural elements instead of using carbon-intensive construction processes and materials. The plan was conceived as a refuge for local wildlife, but the same concept could be applied to buildings used for other purposes, said Thom Faulders, company founder in comments published by the Mother Nature Network. Faulders said the GEOtube tower would make “intelligent use” of the high salt-content waters from the Gulf. “The water is sprayed over the tower’s steel mesh and crystallizes in the high-temperature air. The result is a crystalline salt surface. This grown building skin continually accumulates over time,” he told the US website. Saltwater would be supplied to GEOtube Tower via a 4.62km buried pipeline, distilled on site to increase saline levels and filtered prior to distribution onto the tower surfaces. Faulders said Dubai was ideally situated for the project, due to the salinity of oceanic seawaters and the extreme temperatures. He said the tower’s skin would continue to grow through salt deposits as long as water was supplied to its surface. The salt skin would not, by itself, be weatherproof so designers have proposed that where conditioned interior spaces are required, the salt mesh would be layered over a traditional window wall enclosure. The GEOtube tower also uses solar energy — from solar pads floating in the distillation pond, to meet its energy needs, Faulders told the website in an interview.
Saudi construction sector to grow 4pc
Saudi Arabian construction industry is poised to achieve a 4 per cent growth to reach a value of SR87 billion ($23.19 billion) this year, according to a report. The sector’s annual growth is expected to be maintained at the same rate till 2015, a senior Drake & Scull International official said quoting the Saudi Arabia Infrastructure Report for the second quarter of 2011. Recent reports said over SR375 billion worth of social and economic infrastructure projects are under way or in the pipeline in Saudi Arabia.
“Saudi Arabia has maintained a strong and sustainable demand for infrastructure projects, which is due to the growing Saudi national population with strong demographics, as 66 per cent of the population is under 25, in addition to the expanding economy,” said Khaldoun Tabari, CEO, Drake & Scull International PJSC (DSI), commenting on his company’s participation in The Euromoney Conference in Riyadh. “The significant number of contracts in the tendering phase has also peaked investor interest in Saudi Arabia, with many regional construction companies focusing on the country for opportunities. Additionally, the SR580 billion national budget, which is the largest state expenditure to date, the SR290 billion homebuilding fund and the latest mortgage law represent a strategic incentive for our company to further expand and seek growth in the kingdom’s attractive market,” Tabari said. DSI, a regional market leader in integrated design, engineering and construction disciplines of mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP), civil contracting, and water and power, is well-known for its accumulated technical expertise in the region since 1966 across the residential, commercial, aviation, healthcare, education and transport industries, in addition to its local alliances with major developers such as Aramco and Rayadah (the investment arm of the Saudi government’s Public Pensions Agency). The company has completed several major projects in the kingdom since the early 1970’s. The company recently secured the iconic King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Centre (KAPSARC) project in Riyadh. DSI executive director Saleh Muradweij said the company has deployed around 1,200 people on the KAPSARC site and the number is expected to grow to around 3,500 in a few months time. “The design coordination process is almost over. The substructure (foundations and basement) work has also been completed. Currently, primary steel erection is ongoing for the IT Center and the Conference Centers. The superstructure concrete works has also started at the Research Center,” he said.
Source: TradeArabia News Service
Damac files suit against Egypt
Chairman of Dubai Damac Hussain Sajwani has said the developer has filed an international arbitration case against Egypt over a land dispute and the prosecution of its chairman, Reuters has reported. A Cairo court sentenced Sajwani in his absence to jail and ordered him to pay a $40.5m fine in connection with his 2006 purchase of land at Egypt’s Red Sea resort of Gamsha Bay near Hurghada. “Egypt’s recent criminal prosecution and conviction in absentia violate the treaty on investment protection and have caused significant damage to his investments in Egypt and the wider Gulf area,” Damac said.
US firm wins $171m Jeddah flood control deal Article
The aftermath of the 2009 flooding in Jeddah that killed 120 people. (Getty Images)
US-based Aecom Technology Corporation announced on Wednesday that it had won a $171m order to work on a new flood control system in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Aecom said it will provide project management services including a consultancy, engineering, and construction services contract for a citywide storm water, flood-control, and wastewater infrastructure improvement program. Floods in Jeddah in November 2009 resulted in the deaths of more than 120 people and rendered about 10,000 people homeless while thousands of homes, buildings and vehicles were also destroyed. Under the contract, Aecom will supervise emergency and long-term solutions against natural disasters, especially flooding. “We are very excited to play the lead role in support of Jeddah’s infrastructure improvement plan,” said Aecom president and CEO John M. Dionisio. “This flood-control and wastewater program will enhance the quality of life for the city’s approximately 3.2 million residents,” he added in a statement. The tasks to be undertaken by Aecom include building dams and other flood control barriers; constructing drainage canals and storm water reservoirs and resolving Jeddah’s most vulnerable flood points. The contract also involves preparing comprehensive studies for undeveloped areas; implementing comprehensive infrastructure improvements to solve the sewerage problems in Jeddah; and establishing a disaster-management center for Makkah Province. The program will be executed over the course of several years with the completion of the flood control improvements scheduled for 2013, Aecom said. Last month, Saudi officials said more than 300 people and 30 companies are being investigated as part of a probe into the Jeddah floods in November 2009.
Bombardier wins Jeddah airport contract
Canada-based Bombardier Transportation has been awarded $96m contract to design and build an automated people-mover system for the King Abdulaziz International Airport (KAIA) in Jeddah. Bombardier was awarded the contract by the local Saudi Binladin Group, which is designing and building the KAIA development. The new Innovia APM 300 people-mover will transport passengers between terminals at the new airport. The people-mover project is scheduled for completion in the first quarter of 2014. Bombardier will design and build all of the electrical and mechanical elements for the 1.5-kilometre dual guideway automated people mover. Saudi Binladin was awarded two contracts worth about SR25bn ($6.7bn) in November last year to build a new terminal and carry out infrastructure works as part of the project to upgrade the KAIA. The first contract involves the construction of a 600,000 square-meter passenger terminal that will be able to handle 30 million passengers each year once it is complete. The second contract involves the infrastructure and will involve designing and building runways, tunnels, landscaping and a light rail system.
Syrian-Russian Talks to Establish Joint Infrastructure Projects
Syria and Russia on Wednesday discussed means of enhancing investment cooperation and establishing infrastructure projects in Syria. During a meeting with Alexander Yakovlev, Director General of the Russian ACB Company, General Director of the Syrian Investment Agency, Ahmad Diab pointed out to Syria’s richness of raw materials and qualified cadres, in addition to the new laws and legislations issued in this regard to guarantee the investors’ rights. Diab indicated to the appropriate investment environment and opportunities available in Syria, particularly in agriculture and industry sectors, calling for benefiting from other countries’ experiences, particularly in industrial cities and real estate development. He added that Syria is open for all investors and businessmen to establish new projects of economic feasibility and benefit. For his part, Director of the ACB Company specialized in implementing infrastructure and sewerage projects expressed desire to make investments in Syria.
Source: Syria Arab News Agency
Qatar 2022 council backs stadium design event
Twelve senior members of Qatar 2022 Supreme Council have confirmed their VIP attendance at an upcoming major stadium and venue design event in Doha. Organised by IQPC, Stadium and Venue Design and Development Qatar will be held at the Four Seasons Hotel from May 22 to 26. Stadium design and development experts from across the globe will gather at the event to hear from industry leaders such as Danny Jordaan, CEO of the FIFA 2010 South Africa local organizing committee, Harold Mayne Nicholls, head of Fifa’s Inspection Group, Axel Bienhaus, partner at Albert Spiel and Dan Meis, senior principal at Populous. The CEO and strategic director of Russia 2018 local organizing committee have also confirmed their VIP attendance. Qatar will develop nine new stadiums and retrofit three existing stadiums for the Fifa event, while also achieving cooling objectives. The conference will address issues such as regulations and requirements for world-class stadiums, ensuring safety and security in stadium design, achieving energy-efficient and maintainable stadiums whilst implementing cost control strategies and ensuring return on investment.
Source: TradeArabia News Service
Linden Comansa cranes in Jordan airport project
Spanish company Linden Comansa announced that three of its 21 LC 400 Flat-Top cranes are being used in the extension work of Queen Alia International Airport in Amman. With a $640 million budget, the project will increase the airport’s capacity from the current 3 million passengers per year, to 7 million when under construction is completed in 2012. This extension has been designed by Foster & Partners (Norman Foster’s prestigious studio), designers of many prominent buildings, such as the restoration of Germany’s Reichstag in Berlin, the new Wembley Stadium in London, and top international airports such as Hong Kong and Beijing. The leading Middle East construction company J&P (Joannou & Paraskevaides (Overseas) Limited), is currently executing the works and three Linden Comansa Flat-Top cranes on rails are engaged for the particular project. The cranes are model 21 LC 400, with maximum load capacity of 18 tons and a jib length of 80 m. The cranes have been erected at various heights ranging from 45 meters to 65.5 meters and on rails in order to work at various areas of the jobsite, the company said.
Source: TradeArabia News Service
Emaar apartment sales plunge 81% in first quarter Article
The developer behind the world’s tallest tower posted a 45 percent drop in profits in the first quarter to $115m, with revenues falling by 31 percent to $540m
Emaar Properties, the United Arab Emirates’ biggest developer by market value, said revenue from apartment sales declined 81 percent in the first quarter and from villa sales 50 percent amid weak property demand. Income from apartment sales dropped to AED375m ($102m) and from villas to AED60m, according to Emaar’s earnings statement posted on the Dubai Financial Market Sunday. Overall revenue fell 31 percent to AED1.98bn in the first quarter and profit fell 45 percent to AED421m. Emaar reported first-quarter earnings on April 24 and provided a breakdown of revenue on Sunday. Emaar will need to “start relying more on international projects” to compensate for a decline in apartment deliveries in Dubai, said Majed Azzam, a Dubai-based analyst at AlembicHC Securities. Prices and margins are lower in international markets and Emaar’s earnings will be “hit this year, until the company resumes sales in Dubai,” he said on Sunday. The company, the developer of the world’s tallest tower in Dubai, was hurt by a more than 60 percent slump in property prices in its home market as speculative demand waned and banks tightened lending since mid-2008. Emaar’s UAE sales contributed 79 percent of revenue in the first quarter compared with 96 percent a year earlier, according to a statement. Sales of commercial units, plots of land and others rose 16-fold to AED704m, while revenue from the hospitality business advanced 41 percent to AED335.8m, the statement said. Rental income from leased properties like shopping malls gained 8.5 percent to AED507.5m. Emaar’s shares fell as much as 1.9 percent to AED3.16 and were trading 1.2 percent lower at 11:55 am in Dubai on Sunday. The stock has dropped 10.4 percent this year compared with a 2.6 drop in the Dubai Financial Market General Index. The company’s sales of commercial units and land plots rose 16-fold to AED704m, while revenue from the hospitality business advanced 41 percent to AED335.8m, according to the statement. Rental income from leased properties like shopping malls gained 8.5 percent to AED507.5m. Emaar said on April 24 its first-quarter profit of AED421m was driven by hotels and malls as well as the handover of about 270 apartments in Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest tower, and Boulevard Plaza. That missed the average estimate of six analysts for a profit of AED567m. House prices in the UAE may drop an additional 25 percent to 30 percent as population growth stagnates and more properties are put onto the market, according to a report by Dubai-based Rasmala Investment Bank Ltd. in March. Emaar said on May 7 it formed a team of senior managers and external consultants to develop a five-year action plan for the company.