How modular MEP systems can benefit Middle East construction

It can cut costs and improve quality, but is prefab being picked up in the Middle East?

Modularisation and prefabrication can benefit the Middle East's MEP contractors and clients, an official from Dubai's BK Gulf says [representational image].
Modularisation and prefabrication can benefit the Middle East's MEP contractors and clients, an official from Dubai's BK Gulf says [representational image].

Modularisation – a well-received kitchen technology for interior designers – can improve product quality and cut costs for the Middle East’s construction and mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) sectors, according to an official from one of Dubai’s top MEP companies. BK Gulf’s modular systems division manager, Robbie Nelson, said the local market is “radically” improving in terms of adopting prefabrication, which has already been used on architecturally impressive UAE projects such as Dubai Mall and Dubai Opera.

Speaking to Construction Week’s sister title MEP Middle East, he added: “I think the market is partly driven by the complexity and competitiveness of the region.

READ: MEP Middle East Awards 2018 winners revealed in Dubai

“The Middle East, and UAE especially, is well known for iconic projects. But time constraints around such projects are tight, and so, people are looking for alternative methods of delivering such projects. Prefabrication is one of them.”

BKG Modular Systems, the prefab arm of BK Gulf, is known for the production of service modules and modular wiring products. Its portfolio includes New York University Abu Dhabi, Dubai Opera House, Dubai Mall, and the Address Downtown Dubai hotel refurbishment project. For the latter, Nelson explained, 1,035 multi-service modules were manufactured and installed within 26 days for 15 floors of the building.

At Dubai Opera, BKG modularised and installed certain sections of the MEP system. For Al Bahr Towers in Abu Dhabi, meanwhile, the company prefabricated an entire corridor.

Commenting on how prefabrication and modularisation can benefit MEP contractors, Nelson said: “Typically, in a traditional build, you can end up doing something that wasn’t intended by the designer. That can either compromise the performance of the system or increase the final maintenance [cost] for the client. We provide benefits to the [MEP] contractor in a much more straightforward way by reducing their dependencies on the main contractor.

READ: MEP firms Efeco, Voltas in CW Awards 2018's sub-contractor shortlist

“When you’re building traditionally, you’re waiting on the walls to be built. We can produce corridors and risers, all before the structures are even built.”

This article is an excerpt from a piece that was originally published by MEP Middle East. Read the full article here. For more news from the Middle East’s MEP sector, visit Construction Week’s sister website,


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