Leaders UAE 2018: Construction faces 'tremendous' innovation deficit

Jack Ball , September 12th, 2018
There is a “tremendous” innovation deficit in the global construction industry, with a rarity of deviations from the norms of design and building,  Norr's president said.
Speaking at Construction Week: Leaders in Construction UAE Summit 2018, which is now under way, Yahya Jan, who is also the design director for the Dubai-based group, said: “There is a tremendous innovation deficit in the design industry, in the construction industry, and certainly in development.”
“How we are developing our cities is really less than desirable,” he went on to say, despite conceding that there are shots of innovation starting to pop in the both the design and construction space.
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“There are some model developments like Expo 2020 Dubai, where developers are saying the regular way is not good enough. But these developments are very rare and few and far between.”
“Great design can save the world,” he told the audience during the summit’s third panel event. “But it’s going to take a particular kind of mindset. When I take on a design task I should ask all the dumb questions because I believe that the early decisions in design have the greatest impact.
“If you make right early decisions you actually benefit over the life span of the design,” he added noting that designers are often “happy to do what someone else has done because it is tried and tested”.
READ: Innovation is muscling into the Middle East’s construction industry
With this in mind, and touching on the topic of climate change during the design process, Jan said it is “time for us to reconsider how we design and how we build”.
“That challenge is not just for designers,” he concluded. “It’s for everyone – from developers, and governments to make policies, through to technologists.”

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