Brad Freeman, regional manager, Trimble, says that the MEP sector in the Middle East should focus its efforts on efficiency through VDC (Virtual Design & Construction) services, robotic total stations, and scanning technology.
Talking to MEP Middle East, he said: “These are innovations that are changing the face of the industry, and they can’t be ignored in this region. With the demand for new buildings increasing at an astonishing rate, competition amongst construction firms to build better and faster is getting fierce. Adopting these types of services and technology is one way to position this region far beyond the competition.”
Elaborating on Trimble’s plans for the region, Freeman said: “BIM is a requirement for a growing number of projects in the Middle East. Contractors are upskilling their workforce and implementing technology that can aid in the BIM process. Trimble sees a major opportunity on the job site. BIM models are being produced with rich information that is transferred to site on paper resulting in the loss of intelligent data.
“Trimble’s Robotic Total Station (RTS) is the connection between office and site, by enabling contractors to export 2D and 3D models that include wall penetrations or hanger points and cable tray attachment locations to site on a Trimble tablet, the RTS pinpoints the exact locations via a green laser. Over the last 12 months, there has been a significant uptake in the RTS and is being used on many major projects in Dubai.”
Freeman said that 3D Laser Scanning is prominent in the region with contractors purchasing laser scanners to verify existing installations, progress monitoring and creating as-built models. He said that Trimble has received a number of RFP’s for its 3D Laser Scanning solution and services.
He said: “We expect to see this rise over the coming years as more buildings mature and owner/operators look at utilising existing building space.
“MEP consultants have been using 3D design solutions for a number of years. They are now reaching out to companies such as ours to understand what solutions we offer that can enhance existing workflows, streamlining business processes. ProDesign is already a tool used by many consultants and contractors for LV Electrical Design and Calculations. We have now taken this one step further with the introduction of ProDesign 3D. No longer are you required to use ProDesign in isolation, now you can leverage existing 3D models to perform electrical calculations integral to the model.
“With the uptake in Revit by MEP Consultants and Contractors, we see a major opportunity with Trimble Sysque software. Contractors can take design-intent models from designers and engineers and efficiently create models that are built from the same, integrated, managed content database, improving collaboration and workflows between design, detailing, and fabrications.”
One of the main opportunities driving the market is Expo 2020. Freeman said: “Clients are aligning construction timelines to have their projects operational by Expo 2020. This poses many challenges for the ongoing mega-projects with contractors looking at ways to deliver on time and within budget. No longer is it viable to just ‘chuck more people at the job’; MEP contractors see technology as the driving force in increasing efficiency, mitigating risk, and reducing costs.
“Trimble isn’t just a technology provider, we are a ‘partner’ to many of the major MEP contractors in the region. Not only are we providing the technology needed to get the job done, but we are offering our knowledge and expertise in BIM to go along with it.”