BSRIA's bigger Gulf target

BIG 5: UK-based construction industry testing and certification body researching possible ME expansion.

Aleksandra Bury is using the Big 5 as a sounding board for expansion into the Middle East.
Aleksandra Bury is using the Big 5 as a sounding board for expansion into the Middle East.

The UK-based Building Services Research and Information Association (BSRIA) is aiming to increase its presence in the Middle East market. The association is attending the Big 5 exhibition for the first time this year in order to research market opportunities and demand.

BSRIA already has a limited presence within the region's construction industry but currently has no permanent staff in the Middle East.

"We have been doing business in the Middle East for some time, mainly in the field of product testing," said BSRIA business development manager, Aleksandra Bury.

"What we are hoping to get out of the Big 5 is feedback to assess the potential for the business [in this region]."

The association has carried out safety tests on air handling units for some of the major airports in the region. It has also tested high temperature fans for safety and fire performance prior to their installation in some large developments in the region, including Dubai Mall.

"This is an area of importance and Dubai Civil Defence especially is pushing for better fire and safety standards," added Bury.

"[These products] are very important when looking after the safety of the public in the event of a fire."

BSRIA is an independent entity and offers a range of services that meet the needs of construction firms in the region, including the checking of project designs prior to work beginning on site.

"We can help the consultants prove their project will work the first time on site by using model mock-ups and computer modelling packages to ensure that the design will meet the design requirements," she said.

Checks can include structural elements such as the envelope airtightness as well as proving that the internal airflows provide the temperatures required.

Other services offered by the association include industry research, instrument hire, commissioning guidance and air tightness testing of buildings.

As part of its presence at this year's Big 5 event, BSRIA has co-hosted an evening seminar entitled 'Testing and certification for successful construction' with the British Standards Institution (BSI). The event highlighted the services offered by BSRIA as well as the need for standards testing of products. The use of standards tested products 'will give a safer, better quality building that will be finished on time and be more sustainable', according to Bury.

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