Hide this You're reading Entrepreneur Middle East, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.
Innovators

ACTS Chairman Khaled Awad: Qatar Adopts Measures Of Preparedness, Prevention And Precision

  • ---Shares
You're reading Entrepreneur Middle East, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.

Future Concrete Qatar 2014

Future Concrete Qatar 2014

"ACTS establishment was driven toward the embodiment of integrity powered by materials engineering knowledge. In our customers, empowering our work with technical solutions that will enhance the quality of the project. We have a large realm of services, spanning from testing and quality control to geo-engineering, and covering a wide spectrum of construction materials and environmental assessments," says Khaled Awad, Founder and Chairman of Advanced Construction Technology Services (ACTS). A multinational organization established in Lebanon in 1996, ACTS opened a branch in Qatar in 2003, later expanding to include Saudi Arabia in 2012.

Presently, the company operates in different countries and has more than 600 employees throughout the MENA region. ACTS is currently involved in a multitude of projects in Qatar. According to Awad some of the most prominent ones include the geotechnical and geophysical works for the Inner Doha Re-sewerage Implementation Strategy (IDRIS) with Ashghal, the framework for local roads and drainage for Ashghal. "As well, we have recently completed the geophysical works for the first stadium for 2022 World Cup, and we are working on the Green Line, Golden Line and Red Line of Doha Metro for the geotechnical and environmental works.

Also, we have site laboratories in Sheraton park with QDVC, in Barzan a project with Descon at RasLaffan, in the East Corridor with China Harbour, and last but not least we have been awarded the quality control and testing works for the Lusail Road development project (CP4) with Midmak-Yuksel." ACTS contributes to the industry's ecosystem by offering a slew of training programs in various tracks related to material engineering and technology. The major topics of the training programs include field and laboratory testing and evaluation of concrete and construction materials, concrete advanced technologies and mix design, understanding of ready mixed concrete, construction practices, mass concrete, hot and cold weather concreting, field quality control, inspection of structures, non-destructive testing and special investigations, soils testing and evaluation, and hot mix asphalt technology.

ACTS additionally acts as the Local Sponsoring Group for the American Concrete Institute (ACI) in the Middle East, and they facilitate ACI certification to individuals dedicated to pursuing a higher standard that remain valid for a period of five years. "These programs are designed for all personnel employed within the concrete industry. The average training program duration is three days," says Awad. In addition they are in partnership with ASTM and recently announced a new intensive environmental training course called ASTM Phase I and II Environmental Site Assessment Processes, to be staged in Doha next month. "In the same mission framework, we organize yearly an international conference themed Future Concrete, which has become a regional forum for presenting and discussing the latest advancements in concrete construction practices."

Future Concrete Qatar 2014

Future Concrete Qatar 2014

The sixth international Future Concrete conference, held recently in Doha, welcomed professionals from across a number of industries. "The expert knowledge imparted through the presentations from Future Concrete is what makes the conference very relevant. The size of the infrastructure projects in Qatar is expected to exceed US$70 billion (QR245 billion) in the next seven years, which we will not see in any other part of the world. This requires special attention to the quality control and sustainability aspects in order to enable buildings and facilities to have a longer life.

Most of the structures in Qatar that are currently under construction need to be completed within a short timeframe. Here comes the role of technology to speed up the execution while maintaining the highest quality standards, and this definitely requires special efforts. The conference was a very well-attended, and the sharing of best practices, key developments and new technology updates were all very much appreciated by the attendees," says Awad. The conference highlighted the use of advanced technology in large scale, concrete projects in Qatar, and how it can be used to maintain project integrity and sustainability through ongoing quality control and recycling of materials.

Future Concrete also imparted alternative strategies for projects data and information usage: how to manage and service these projects in the most possible cost effective way. Overall, this can actually create a unique knowledge system in Qatar– if the concerned authorities are able to know how to extract and document relevant to be of use in future projects and facility management and service. "There have been many developments in the concrete industry and technology used to make and recycle it. The GCC region -and Qatar in particular- have been leading the way in using advanced technologies in large-scale projects. The conference discussed some case studies related to these technologies and how they can effectively be used in other projects. There are several challenges when it comes to big projects, and these challenges might last for the next 100 to 150 years. The most important aspect here is to implement these projects in the right way, so that we cut down maintenance costs in the future," says Awad.

One example? Preserving existing structures and preventing damage from the elements: "The weather in the Gulf and Qatar combines all the factors that lead to steel corrosion, and therefore to concrete deterioration. Understanding concrete technology and translating that knowledge into adequate specifications and stringent quality control will enable better durability and thus reduced maintenance costs. This is key in ensuring that the speedy construction will not become a future burden on the country infrastructure maintenance budgets," continues Awad, "the other sustainability drive is recycling concrete waste into aggregates.

Future Concrete Qatar 2014

Future Concrete Qatar 2014

This will not just address resource scarcity, but also help reduce the environmental impact of concrete production in Qatar which is expected to reach unprecedented levels in the coming years. It is noteworthy to commend the research work undertaken by the Qatari Ministry of Environment and TRL, as it is a solid platform for the use of recycled aggregates in concrete." Awad further adds how construction is still a laggard industry with respect to technology adoption. He believes there is a multitude of technologies which could be used in different parts of the supply chain. "And we are witnessing the applications of those. As far as quality is concerned there is a need to deploy integrated quality control tools to capture and mine data."

Subsequently, different technologies centred around the transfer of this wealth of data into management and streamlining processes could be developed. "Qatar is set on a solid growth path. I believe it currently lacks the necessary KPIs for this growth with respect to the associated environmental impact. By implementing such KPIs, Qatar would be able to develop an environmental knowledge base linked to construction activities, very valuable regionally and even globally."

ACTS Chairman Khaled Awad: Qatar Adopts Measures Of Preparedness, Prevention And Precision

Subsequently, different technologies centred around the transfer of this wealth of data into management and streamlining processes could be developed. "Qatar is set on a solid growth path. I believe it currently lacks the necessary KPIs for this growth with respect to the associated environmental impact. By implementing such KPIs, Qatar would be able to develop an environmental knowledge base linked to construction activities, very valuable regionally and even globally."

ACTS Chairman Khaled Awad

ACTS Chairman Khaled Awad

ACTS is the Local Sponsoring Group for the ACI certification in the MENA region

  • Concrete Construction Special Inspector
  • Concrete Field Testing Technician Grade I
  • Aggregate Testing Technician Level 1
  • Aggregate Base Testing Technician
  • Concrete Strength Testing Technician
  • Concrete Laboratory Testing Technician Level 1
  • Concrete Laboratory Testing Technician Level 2
  • Shotcrete Nozzleman