Rainfall hits on-site productivity in UAE

MEP contractors count the cost of the worst December weather in the UAE for ten years as work on sites slows due to rain.

Unexpected heavy rainfall throughout December meant contractors had to take temporary measures to waterproof MEP works.
Unexpected heavy rainfall throughout December meant contractors had to take temporary measures to waterproof MEP works.

The highest rainfall recorded in December in the last ten years has caused days of lost productivity in the Middle East’s MEP sector on site.

“In the last ten days we have lost about 20-25% production overall,” confirmed Ziad Taleb, MEP manager for Dutco Balfour Beatty-Al Ghandi & Consolidated Contractors Corporation JV at the Dubai Mall project.

“It affected the roofworks and work on the lower floors and we had some power outages on site. There was also some flooding on site because the site not sealed,” he explained.

The installation of MEP services prior to buildings being weatherproof is common practice due to the normally dry climate in the region and many contractors were caught out by the persistance of the rainfall. By mid-December over 130mm of rain had been recorded, with more bad weather being forecast.

“We had to do some major temporary waterproofing on site,” explained Taleb. “We protected the expansion joints and purchased a lot of temporary submersible pumps to take the water from the site.”

Gareth Lucken, M.D. of Drake & Scull Industrial Water & power Division added: “We had to figure this into our operational plans over the last few weeks.

“It has slowed us down with the installation of infrastructure works such as cabling and pipework as it’s affected the civils works; operatives can’t weld pipes when the trenches are filled with water,” he reasoned.

In addition to protecting their own works, firms have been affected in other ways. Freddy Lama, M.D. of Nova explained: “We lost a lot of time on a particular site as the rain damaged a cable component board. That was important because [the line] is used to transmit a lot of information.”

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