UAE Authorities and Industry Experts Tackle Key Engineering Issues

Published November 17th, 2009 - 01:58 GMT

Recent building failures in the UAE have highlighted the importance of high-quality, sustainable engineering techniques. The economic downturn has driven contractors and consultants to maximize the return on every construction dollar spent, making it increasingly difficult to strike the right balance between safety and cost.

Nowhere does this ring truer than in the area of foundation design and construction. Optimising design of piling systems and deep foundations for a building or infrastructure project means using less material, particularly less concrete and less steel. The two materials can account for up to 75% of project costs. True optimization allows a contractor to dramatically increase their bottom line, while over-conservative designs can add a substantial and unnecessary amount to costs.

When optimising design, however, consultants and contractors must remain supremely confident of the techniques used and must also ensure that construction of piling and foundation work adheres to certain standards.

So how much material can be removed during design whilst guaranteeing the long-term safety of the structure? And what techniques of design, construction, testing and quality assurance are adequate for this region?

Structural, geotechnical and infrastructure engineers from UAE municipalities, zoning authorities and private companies will gather in Dubai to discuss the viability of certain innovative design and construction technologies in the Middle East.

The third annual Piling & Deep Foundations Middle East Summit, hosted jointly by Dubai Technology & Media Free Zone Authority - Government of Dubai, Deep Foundations Institute (DFI) and International Quality & Produtivity Center (IQPC), will take place at the Westin Hotel on 31 January - 3 February 2009.

The Dubai Technology & Media Free Zone Authority - Government of Dubai in particular has made obvious the importance of offering such an event for the benefit of the industry as a whole to ensure the sustainability and safety of future developments.

Key figures from the region's piling and foundation industry will meet with international ground engineering luminaries for four days of technical presentations and focused discussions that will address key engineering issues.

Prof. Jean-Louis Briaud, current President of the International Society for Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering (ISSMGE), states "Piling & Deep Foundations Middle East 2010 has brought together some of the most prominent speakers the geo-world has to offer. The topics that they have presented are the latest technical developments in the field of geotechnical engineering. I am very pleased to be able to attend this very prominent event in the Middle East which can help advance knowledge amongst the entire geotechnical engineering community, including government, industry, and academia."

Dr. Fred H. Kulhawy, Distinguished Member of the ASCE, who is also leading a short course on Reliability-Based Design at Piling & Deep Foundations Middle East 2010, describes the importance of DFI involvement: "I attend DFI meetings whenever I can because they are always top-notch".

Both experts will deliver keynote presentations during the main conference and will also provide outstanding international insights during the exclusive International Case Study Day on 3 February 2010.

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