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Six must-have construction tech tools in the GCC

by CW Staff on May 17, 2015


Drones can be used to monitor construction sites [image: Siemens].
Drones can be used to monitor construction sites [image: Siemens].
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The last few years have seen a spike in the popularity of construction tech in the GCC, with pioneers from the regional building sector, led by the UAE's, calling for greater efficiencies through digitisation.

Building information modelling (BIM) will undoubtedly allow engineers and designers to deliver smart city ambitions over the next decade in each of the Middle East's countries, but BIM cannot do the job alone. Construction Week rounds up six construction technology tools that could aid BIM in providing technologically sound and intelligent construction in the GCC over the next few years.

Drone surveying

Remote-controlled unmanned aircrafts have come under the scanner in the UAE following the global surge in the popularity of drone technology.

UAE’s General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) regulates the use of drones for security concerns, and as such, operating drones for recreational and commercial purposes near airports, residential, populated and restricted areas is not permitted.

Nevertheless, the UAE’s, and more specifically, Dubai’s government agencies have started to see the benefits of drones for construction site surveillance. Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), Dubai’s most active proponent of incorporating technology into its construction processes, conducted a sensible test run by flying a drone to monitor project progress across various sites in October 2014.

READ: Drone trial begins for Abu Dhabi engineering inspections

The UAE’s Minister of Labour Saqr Ghobash launched a remote-controlled drone in 2014 to support the inspectors’ squad at the ministry during their field campaigns, especially for recording violations at construction sites during the midday break periods.

Drones are picking up pace with the GCC’s private sector too. Benjamin Lehmann, founder and CEO of Lehmann Aviation told Construction Week in October 2014 that his company’s drones are being used by construction firms in the UAE, mapping firms in Kuwait, and public agencies in Oman.

“We believe that the Middle East market will grow significantly in the coming years since there is plenty of construction [and] oil and gas needs for aerial monitoring and safety reasons,” Lehmann added at the time.



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