Menasco Mechanical Contracting was established in 1994 and has grown into one of the largest and most trusted dedicated providers of MEP services in the UAE.
As part of its strategy to expand services horizontally, in 2016 the company formed MACS Modular as an independent prefab modular MEP solutions company to service internal projects and external clients.
“Off-site pre-fabrication is a parallel method of construction, which allows for special elements or complete work packages to be pre-fabricated, off-site, in parallel with the on-site construction of the main building structure,” said Menasco’s deputy managing director Bahaa Badawiyeh when quizzed on the importance of adopting modern construction methods.
“This method of construction removes the reliance and dependencies on proceeding trades, reducing the risk of delay while increasing quality, certainty, efficiency, improving safety and reducing waste.
“Experience is everything in modular, and MACS Modular Systems has a proven track record of successfully using this delivery methodology in a wide variety or environments.”
Such has been MACS’ success in the market that Badawiyeh believes the future of building, and the security of MEP contractors, lies in modular and prefabrication.
He added that Menasco and MACS’ partnership is synergistic, each being a better organisation because of working together.
“Menasco delivers faster than our competitors and MACS has incredible project exposure and acceptance. We learn from each other daily.
“MACS Modular is proud to be part of the evolution of the construction industry, one that makes it possible to build a hospital in China in two to four weeks. Modular makes that possible. The future of construction is modular.”
Badawiyeh went on to explain that safety is a driving factor for customers when they approach MACS for services.
But the benefits of working with prefabricated modules does not stop at HSE.
“Safety incidents are reduced by 80% by removing the need to work at height in cluttered environments,” explained Badawiyeh, citing a much more methodical way of working when utilising prefab.
“The site is also much cleaner and more organised, since the fabrication of the modules is off-site.
“By breaking down each task into independent activities which are completed by specialists, you can be sure the work is done correctly and as quickly as possible. Less errors the first time means a better overall project.
“Being certain of delivery, comes down to logistics. Sequencing the assembly process, perfecting the off-loading process and using engineers to ‘hang’ the modules is a huge benefit to the project timeline, quality and final product.
“When you know the product arrives tested and ready to install and that is was built by the people installing it – you can be sure of a solid solution that minimises manpower and materials in the process and will lead to far less rework and revisits.”
Changing attitudes towards building methods in the region can be a slow process. But according to Badawiyeh, prefabrication is making in-roads thanks to the pace with which structures can be thrown up.
“Marriot Hotels committed to using prefab and modular for 20% of their hotels this year; the world’s fastest projects are always modular,” he said.
“This type of construction is one of the most promising and readily available construction methodologies left to be fully adopted in the industry.
“Training and exposure, as with any evolutionary change in industry, will clear the way for modular MEP services.”
And this will have an ever greater impact on the bottomline.
“Commercial benefits are clear; savings of at least 12% over traditional brick and mortar methods will be realised.
“If the mindset is ‘modular first’ from day one, then those savings are guaranteed. It is always best to bring in the idea of modular as soon
as possible as it impacts the schedule, quality, sequencing, and even reduces site storage requirements.
“Most importantly, modular gets the client’s project completed faster which means a quicker return on investment – something no one should be reluctant to embrace.”
MEP contractors often suffer being towards the end of the supply and delivery chain. But Badawiyeh believes that prefab can help move MEP up the line.
He said: “By allowing our work to start ahead of site readiness, MACS Modular often finds that we are waiting on the site, instead of being behind.
“Prefab MEP modular is the best solution for effective labour use and avoiding site issues, even avoiding weather issues, since our factory is better controlled than the heat of a site.”