Posted on May 30, 2014

Barry Hughes

Barry Hughes [].JPG>> How much of bio-mimicry and nature inspired designing has gone into the Lusail Marina Mall project? What were some of the challenges faced in realizing the full potential of the project?

The concept for the project took its inspiration from natural formations of land along the shore. Rather than drawing direct technical inspiration, what I would call ‘formal bio-mimicry’, we were more interested in looking at the way erosion of the land often forms a protected zone where vibrant ecosystems form. The idea was to develop massing which much like the erosion along the edge of the shore would screen the interior from the sun, while maintaining a connection to the outside. Once the design process began the challenge was to balance the beauty of the naturalistic forms, with the limits of construction technology, and commercial concerns.

Working in the BIM environment helped us dramatically reduce costs between the design development and schematic design phases. The existence of an exceptionally robust BIM model allowed both the architects and engineering consultants to optimize all aspects of the project in order for the project to achieve its cost plan. At the same time, the process exposed some deficiencies in the interoperability of various software packages. Lastly this project provided several meaningful examples of how the design and construction industries are still reluctant to share, or rely on information generated from a model not of their own creation.

>> What are the other mega projects HOK is currently working on in Qatar?

  • Hamad International Airport
  • Msheireb Station
  • Msheireb Downtown Doha, Phase Four
  • Doha City Centre


Amr M. Metwally

Amr M. Metwally [].JPG>> What are the design considerations that you look to incorporate when working on modern healthcare facilities projects?

The Healthcare facilities have significantly different emphases than other types of facilities because of the volume of systems, processes and infrastructure; and that all need to co-exist and function in an environment where - life safety, care and healing are of paramount importance. That’s why there are a number of influences and design considerations that are required to be considered in the design process; at the same time to have a new outlook compared to the old perspective.

High quality healing environment, Implementing the latest lighting innovative technologies and green design principles includes high air quality, thermal comfort environment and energy saving remains as one of the most important design drivers to be considered. We also need to ensure how to future-proof facilities and accommodate frequent and prolific changes in a non-disruptive way in order to support new technologies over a typical building. In my opinion, computer aided design software and high-end design theories like parametric design need to be used as a design partner rather than just a tool. This is the right way to implement all the design considerations in one holistic design process resulting in a successful, unique and modern healthcare facility.

>> What are the new projects that Hamad Medical Corporation is looking to embark upon?

In order to meet the growing healthcare demands of the population, Hamad Medical Corporation is embarking on one of the biggest and most ambitious master facility plans ever seen in international healthcare. Work began in early 2011 on a three-year project that will deliver three new hospitals in Hamad bin Khalifa Medical City: A new Women’s Hospital, an Ambulatory and Minimally Invasive Surgery Hospital and a Rehabilitation Hospital. Additionally, a Communicable Diseases Hospital will open in 2015 plus many healthcare facilities will be announced in the near future to meet Qatar’s vision towards 2030.

>> What is the importance of Concepts Middle East according to you in providing a platform for exchanging ideas amongst various stakeholders?

As I am working in the field of architecture design and construction it’s always required to be in-line with the latest updates in the industry and to expand my network of consultants, suppliers and contractors. As for me, attending events such as Concept Middle East is the most efficient and fastest way to be up-to-date with both the latest design technologies as well as to source the best construction materials. Concept Middle East is always very informative to me and by attending the event every year I have gained a lot by successfully connecting with leading industry experts that were very helpful in my projects.


Hani Hawamdeh

Hani Hawamdeh [].JPG>> What are the biggest projects that AEB is working on right now in Qatar? Is AEB also involved in mega projects outside of Qatar?

Few mega projects that AEB is currently involved are: Kempinski Marsa Malaz Hotel located in the private island at The Pearl Qatar; Abu Sidra - 1,376,111.4 square meters mixed use development; Doha Festival City, and numerous other projects at Lusail City; just to name a few. AEB is also working on a number of projects in Kuala Lumpur, Muscat and Abu Dhabi through our satellite offices, but these have not been officially announced yet and we are not at liberty to disclose the names.

>> How do you think MEP managers play an important part in ensuring that the sustainability standards are high?

MEP design is an integral part of sustainability in the building environment. As such, MEP designers and managers must ensure that sustainability requirements are followed through in all phases of the project from concept all the way to operations. This is particularly important as rating systems for example are becoming more performance based with higher focus on the operational phase of a building’s life cycle.

>> How seriously are LEED standards being pursued in projects that you have been a part of at AEB?

As an internationally recognized and established rating system, LEED will remain a part of any major company’s project portfolio. At AEB, it is important for us to make sure that LEED requirements are incorporated and coordinated across all disciplines for these projects, which requires a high level of coordination during the design phase to make sure that every system and component is optimized to meet the target rating requirements. In addition to that, for many of our LEED projects, we are involved in construction supervision to make sure that requirements set during the design phase are meticulously followed up during construction. This involves the thorough and stringent review and approval of submittals by contractors and periodic site inspections to ensure that all measures all implemented properly during construction. 


John Layland

>> What are the projects that you are currently working on as a Consultant at Leigh And Orange Qatar LLC? How is your experience in Qatar been so far?

I am currently working on Al Shaqab Equestrian Centre at Education City; Ras Laffan Multi-Purpose Complex, and two other large equestrian centres (under tendering) in Qatar and Abu Dhabi. I have been in Qatar for eleven years and the experience has been good. The only downside is that some clients seem to see their CM’s role as trying to delay the project instead of working as a team, which can be very frustrating.

>> What is the importance of forums such as the Concepts Middle East for getting the various stakeholders share their challenges in completing projects on time and within budget?

Completing a project on-time requires teamwork and some flexibility based upon experience. Unfortunately most projects are confrontational and are delayed as a result. With the trend towards more ‘Design and Build’ projects - a team effort is essential but unfortunately the design element of the project often ends up as a confrontational ECS project. Therefore forums such as Concepts Middle East give an opportunity for networking and hopefully a better understanding of the various roles and responsibilities. Contracts should clearly define the roles, limits of authority and responsibilities of the all the stakeholders, and not just the contractor. People forget you have to produce quality and that there is no point in inspecting after the work; but it must be part of a carefully defined plan, agreed and implemented by all parties.

John Layland [].JPG

Adnan Mian

>> What are some of the mega projects that Mercury MENA is working on currently in the region. What stages are these projects in?

Mercury MENA provides engineering, construction and project management services to government and non-government organizations belonging to infrastructure, healthcare, oil and gas, transportation and energy markets. We are engaged in several landmark projects within the MENA region. Present in six countries, our major projects continue to be in Qatar and UAE. Some of the key projects under execution are:

  • Lusail Infrastructure Works (DC + PWC Network) (nearing completion)
  • Qatar National Library in Qatar Foundation (under construction)
  • Workers Hospital In Mesaieed (under construction)
  • Borouge Non-Process Buildings (ADNOC) (nearing completion)

>> How important is it to bring the various stakeholders together on platforms like the Concepts Middle East, to ensure on-time and on-budget delivery of mega projects?

The construction market in MENA region is going through an unprecedented growth. Major infrastructure projects are being awarded, expectations from the contractor to deliver projects on-time and within the stipulated budget are greater than ever. Concepts Middle East offers unique platform which brings key stakeholders such as the client, consultant and the contractor – all in one venue. Such collaboration allows for sharing of experiences, issues and lessons learnt among the attendees. In short, the initiative enables in creating learning-centric construction industry. The discussions on such platforms would help key stake holders recognize the risks associated with mega-projects and mitigation measures which could be put in place to protect all from the exposure.

>> What are the ways around unplanned changes in design at later stages of projects and how can they be avoided?

In an ideal scenario, design should be completed prior to commencement of construction. In reality, major design changes are introduced at advanced stage of construction which results in delayed completion and project costs increasing exponentially. The only way to mitigate this risk is for the client, consultant and contractor to work in collaboration. Carefully assess the impact of each design change, and agree with contractor the time and cost impact prior to instructing the design change.

Adnan Mian [].jpg

Guillermo Fernandez

Guillermo Fernandez [].jpg>> What are the positive factors that influenced your decision to participate in this summit?

I have some positive experience with this kind of events in other countries and I find them a perfect combination between networking and one-to-one meetings. The face-to-face interviews give both the clients and the suppliers the opportunity to share technical needs on one hand and solutions on the other.  All in a very receptive and relaxed environment optimal to empower the commercial relations.

>> What do you think of the current Qatar construction market scenario?

The Qatar construction market scenario is very promising for the elevators industry. I expect in the next four to five years the market will become more active in terms of requirements for mega projects. In such scenario our elevation consulting service will be of high demand, and innovative solutions, like our “twin” concept (two elevators in one shaft) or our “I-Walk” (a new moving walk concept with many advantages for users) shall be appreciated by our customers.

>> How is ThyssenKrupp planning to stay ahead in the market in terms of elevator/escalator business?

ThyssenKrupp has to become the reference consultant partner for all items related to the elevator during the whole life-cycle of the elevator, from the pre-project conception to the maintenance service of the equipment: Competence, global reach and tradition form the basis of our worldwide market leadership. We want to create added value for our customers.

>> Are you planning to announce any new product/solution at this summit/or any time soon this year? If so, please brief about it.

We will announce our “Twin” Elevator and the “I-walk” moving walk. Both products are not exactly ‘brand-new’ but are very innovative solutions and are probably not well-known in Qatar as yet.

>> What are your future plans to grow in the Middle East market (Qatar in particular)?

We have to keep on being customer-focused: ThyssenKrupp is an engineering company which develops innovative products and services to create sustainable infrastructures and promote efficient use of resources. We believe that being close to the customers is the key to come up with a solution they can feel confident with. Then we are sure to be successful in this market.