Site visit: Samana Greens is “a one shift operation”

CW toured the site of Samana Developers’ flagship project Samana Greens in Arjan, Dubailand

Samana Developers' Samana Greens project in Arjan, Dubailand
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Samana Developers' Samana Greens project in Arjan, Dubailand

Located in Arjan, Dubailand, Samana Greens is Samana Developers’ first real estate project. The four-storey single-building project, which is valued at $20.4m (AED75m) is on-track to be delivered in June 2020. 

Speaking to Construction Week during an exclusive site tour to the development, general manager of Samana Developers, Alan James Gammon says: “Arjan Dubailand was an area where we had a number of plots over the years. It is the most important area of town, due to its proximity to tourist attractions like Miracle Garden and Butterfly Garden, along with five international schools, and the recently opened Mediclinic Parkview Hospital.”

“This was a natural area for us. This is where the end-user or the investor would be interested in living,” he adds.

Sitting across the table in a site-office at the Samana Greens site, Gammon, excitedly tells Construction Week: “The name Samana Greens came about due to the location as well as the company’s commitment to sustainability and reducing the carbon footprint. All of these things together go with the green-theme.”

Samana Greens sits on a total built-up area of 13,000m². The property has 122 units comprising studios and one- and two-bedroom apartments, six retail spaces, and features a leisure deck that is home to facilities including a swimming pool and jacuzzi, landscaped terrace as well as a gymnasium with sauna and steam room.

The project features a parking bay on the ground level, with one bay each for every unit. Gammon adds that the only facilities on the ground level are six retail spaces and the reception area.

“All other facilities are on the first floor. It is a common theme across all of our projects. We don’t have basements.”

Samana Developers’ projects are self-funded, and the developer does not rely on bank borrowings. Speaking about the self-financed model, Gammon, notes: “Historically, it has been very important for the group to deliver on its promises. The only way you could do that is when you have the financial muscle-back behind you in order to ensure that contractors, subcontracts, and suppliers are paid on-time, so that the project could move ahead at the right pace.”

The tender for Samana Greens was issued in January 2018 and the construction started in April. Conforce Arabia Contracting is the main contractor of Samana Greens development. 

The mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) works have been implemented by Ever Safe Contracting that is acting as the MEP contractor. Emsquare Engineering Consultant is providing lead designer, architect of record, and project management services. In addition, the firm is also the main and MEP consultant for Samana Greens.

When it comes to MEP works, for Samana Greens these are at “a more advanced” stage than the construction itself, according to Gammon. This is because the MEP contract wasn’t tendered.

“It [MEP works] is not reliant on the construct to a point, and MEP is always moving. Tiling can only be done once the waterproofing has been completed. Similarly, painting can only be done after frames are installed at the windows.

“Everything has a patterned flow, and there is a very stringent build phase, where the contractor has to make sure the building is managed appropriately,” he explains.

The general manager says that the developer did not face any logistical challenges. “We tried to bring equipment and products on the site as and when it is required to be installed.”

“One of the main reasons being the security on-site. There are always issues with site security, however good you are at it. We have additional security and cameras in place. Our main warehouse in Al Quoz has a storage facility that suppliers have been using to hold their products.”

Samana Greens has a whole range of suppliers, starting with Jebel Ali Cement that has supplied cement; glass comes from Float Glass Manufacturers & Suppliers; Alia Wooden Manufacturer has provided wood, while flooring is by RAK Ceramics. Norwegian paints and coatings giant Jotun is the paints supplier. Meanwhile, steel has been supplied by both Ghantoot Building Materials Trading and Seven Seas Steel Industries; and aluminium comes from UFQ Al Aqsa Aluminium Factory. The MEP systems — particularly air conditioning units — have been sourced from LG Gulf Electronics.

Currently 150 workers have been deployed at the site of Samana Greens, who have together recorded 5,200 Lost Time Injury-free (LTI) man-hours.

“All the workers had to go through a health and safety programme prior to coming to the site. There is a health and safety manager on site at all times. Their [workers] safety remains of utmost importance to us as a group,” Gammon affirms.

The Samana Greens site operates at day-time. Gammon tells Construction Week: “It is a one-shift operation.”

While payment delays continue to loom, construction stakeholders including contractors, subcontractors, and suppliers are the first ones to feel the pinch. Samana Developers is ensuring that none of its projects face such challenges.

Gammon says: “Main contractors can be very thin on the ground financially, because they over-extend by working on too many different projects. They are always trying to balance that part of money around all the sites. It is difficult for us because we are self-funded, so we have the money readily available.”

“We are paying directly now to subcontractors to ensure that the site is finished on-time.”

While Samana Greens is nearing its delivery deadline, the developer is also working on another community-style project Samana Hills, which was launched last year, and the 233-unit Samana Golf Avenue.

“The last two to three months of the project is usually the busiest time, because everyone is working with each other on the site and all of the subcontractors are trying to get their work finished,” Gammon concludes.

“Everybody has to work in sync, and that is when it is most important for the project management team to work closely with all of the subcontractors, and the main contractor.”

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