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Concrete set for firm future in Qatar

Engr. Khaled Awad, founder and chairman, Advanced Construction Technology Services (ACTS), asserts that lean construction and sustainable concrete will influence future construction processes from project initiation to completion

Engr. Khaled Awad, founder and chairman, ACTS, addressing delegates at the Future Concrete 2017 Conference in Doha, Qatar.
Engr. Khaled Awad, founder and chairman, ACTS, addressing delegates at the Future Concrete 2017 Conference in Doha, Qatar.

Qatar has been investing in a number of mega projects and this demands that special attention is paid to quality control and sustainability in order for buildings and facilities to have a longer life.

Advanced Construction Technology Services (ACTS), a leading consulting organisation in the field of construction materials and geo-technical engineering, in collaboration with the Qatar Chapter of the ACI (American Concrete Institute) Qatar staged Future Concrete 2017 in Qatar.

Billed as the Middle East’s premier learning event for the construction industry, this yerar’s edition of Future Concrete attracted several regional and international professionals including Eng. Khalid Al Emadi, Quality and Safety Department manager, Public Works Authority (Ashghal), Qatar and ACI Qatar Chapter chairman, who provided the keynote speech for the event.

Other prominent members of the Qatari delegation included Dr Mohammed Bin Saif Al-Kuwari, head of the Environmental and Municipal Studies Institute, the Qatari Ministry of Municipality and Environment; Dr Khaled Hassan, country director and head of Middle East Infrastructure, Qatar Transport Research Laboratory; Eng. Amir Saleh Mia, quality engineer, Ashghal-Qatar, and Dr Noureddin Issa Daas, expert of Standards, Qatar Ministry of Environment. 

Eng. Khaled Awad, president, American Concrete Institute and founder and chairman, ACTS spoke to Construction Week Qatar on all matters concrete and why it is vital to the construction industry.

Explain the significance of Future Concrete 2017 to the Qatar construction sector.

The Future Concrete conference series has become the one of the industry’s top regional forum for presenting and discussing the latest advancements in concrete construction practices.  The expert knowledge imparted through the presentations at this current edition is what makes it significant to the Qatar construction sector. 

Most of the structures in Qatar that are currently under construction need to be completed within a short timeframe. Here comes the role of technology to speed up the execution while maintaining the highest quality standards, and this definitely requires special efforts.

How important is concrete as a building material for the construction sector?

Concrete is the most widely used material in the world and that is why we discuss the latest advancements in concrete construction practices in our conferences. Each conference theme has a different focus in response to the most urgent needs of the industry.

Explain lean construction and sustainable concrete. Why are these vital in today’s construction industry?

Lean construction and sustainable concrete are the two key factors influencing current construction processes from project initiation to completion. They streamline the practical and sustainable financial decisions in a project to have cost efficient results.

What are the major breakthroughs for concrete in recent times? Is the industry holding up well?

Although concrete construction is still considered a laggard industry compared to others, we have recently witnessed several technological advancements that are changing the way we design and build with concrete: 3D printing is allowing faster and more innovative designs, using drones for surveying and inspection is becoming mainstream, 3D design and construction collaboration software is streamlining construction management, and there are many other examples for the raid integration of technology in day to day concrete construction.

What are the opportunities and challenges confronting the concrete sector in Qatar and the wider Middle East?

The challenge has always been and will remain the cost impact on the environment. How to reduce that impact through sustainable practices is going to determine the environmental viability of concrete construction.

What were the major discussions around Future Concrete 2017?

Construction economics headlined the discussions for this year’s Future Concrete conference. Main topics included Cost Efficient Construction Methods, Lean Construction, Recycling, Construction Materials and Construction Cost, among others.

The goal was to clarify to anyone involved in the construction field on how to take practical and sustainable financial decisions in a project. The process of economising construction processes was intensely explored in the conference through topics that included economic and sustainable concrete and concrete that met with Qatar construction specifications (QCS).

Other topics included optimizing project economics with high performance concrete; lean production management in design; new mineral insulation technologies and innovative and sustainable products, robotic concrete sample preparations.

Recent innovations in chemical admixtures, strengthening techniques for reinforced concrete structures, and recycled concrete coarse aggregates produced in Qatar were also discussed. This forum provided the platform through discussions to unite professionals and devise solutions to counter challenges.

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Construction Week Middle East 11th Jan 2020
Jan 16, 2020