Turning it up to the MACS: UAE-based prefabrication specialists build on success

Manager for the modular systems division and engineering department at MACS Bashar Sharqawi on modularisation in the MEP sector.

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Manager for the modular systems division and engineering department at MACS Modular, Bashar Sharqawi.
Manager for the modular systems division and engineering department at MACS Modular, Bashar Sharqawi.

Bashar Sharqawi has seen enough during his career to believe that all elements of MEP could one day be supplied via prefabricated modules.

Manager for the modular systems division and engineering department at MACS Modular – a subsidiary of Menasco Mechanical Contracting – told MEP Middle East that “everything can be modularised” – but added the caveat that time and cost parameters will always come into play.

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Sharqawi, who joined Menasco in 2013 as a mechanical project engineer, said utilising prefabrication on projects in the region provided a more straightforward” method of working.

He said: “We provide benefits to the [MEP] contractor in a much more straightforwardway by  reducing their dependencies on the main contractor.

“Initially we have to understate the extent to which MEP modules can be modularised. I believe that everything can be modularised, but it comes [down] to cost effectiveness and reflecting back on the site production rates and completion dates.”

The benefits, he explained, speak for themselves – and loudly.

“The key aims of any prefabricator or off-site manufacturer are to increase quality, efficiency, and productivity, to slash waste, and to improve health and safety.

“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.

“When it comes to quality, MACS Modular Systems has a stringent process. It has an in-house quality assurance department that monitors and reviews materials coming in, and the final product going out. There is a three-stage inspection for every module that is produced.

“We provide benefits to both the MEP sector as well as the contractor.

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“On the design side, we are adding a lot of details to the 3D model when it comes to manufacturing and installing any MEP services. We maintain their design – what is modelled and what is drawn is what is being produced.

“The earlier we can be engaged in a project, the more lead time we have for co-ordination, procurement, fabrication, and delivery.

“When we get involved at a later stage, there’s a bit more catching up to do.”

MACS’ manufacturing facility boats 12 production lines which produce, assemble and check multiple modules at a time, fed by specialist preparation areas for plumbing systems, electrical containment, chilled water, and insulation.

In addition, the facility has a module wiring workshop. Modular wiring is a plug-and-play installation for all lighting and small power circuitry downstream of the distribution board.

“We have wiring looms, which are pre-wired conduits, with male and female plugs attached,” added Sharqawi.

MACS’ offering is endorsed by major players operating across the GCC.

Notable clients utilising MACS’ prefabricated units include JLW, Al Futtaim Engineering, Reliance Contracting Company, Emirates Technical Thermal Systems, I-Zone Electromechanical, and Al Habtoor Leighton Specon.

Saudi Arabi, Bahrain, Singapore, and India have all been outlined as future markets of opportunity for MACS looking forward, with Sharqawi explaining the firm’s plans to sharply increase its output.

“Nowadays, demand for 2020 projects [will see us] increase our production capacity from 16,000 [units] to 22,000 multi-service modules,” he said.

Building on a 2019 portfolio that saw MACS’ systems utilised in projects such as the Avani Hotel, Bloom Towers & Bloom Heights, and Expo projects including Falcon Pavilion and the C-38 water feature, 2020 will see the firm’s fingerprints on the Seven Hotel & Hotel Apartments development on Palm Jumeriah, Visa’s  new headquarters, and the Burj Royale.

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