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United Arab Emirates

Forming the future of construction

03.09.2017 | News
While many professionals acknowledge the latency of the E&C industry to adopt new technologies, both demand and the requirement to use our resources more sustainably has forced many industry stakeholders to rethink their approach. In this issue, Austrian-formwork specialist, Doka, explains how its investment in R&D and providing a ‘whole project cycle’ is paying dividend.
Stephanie Lutz
Stephanie Lutz+971 4 870 8700
The world’s urban population is increasing by 200,000 people per day; that is according to ‘Shaping the Future of Construction’, a report published by the World Economic Forum in May 2016 and while many sectors have been able to efficiently keep pace with demand, the engineering and construction sector has struggled. Representing approximately 6% of global GDP (and growing), ‘the E&C sector is currently the largest consumer of raw materials including 50% of global steel production and more than 3 billion tonnes of raw materials.’

According to the same report, the WEF cited eight topical areas which need to be addressed, specifically technology, materials and tools, processes and operations, strategy and business model innovation, people, organisation and culture, industry collaboration, joint industry marketing, regulation and policies and public procurement. Over the past thirty years, Doka has been focusing on how to support and implement these changes, both through its corporate philosophy of understanding the market and secondly through the development its R&D facilities from its headquarters in Amstetten, Austria.

Arguably, one of the most important disruptors across most markets in recent years has been digitalisation. Defined by Gartner as, “the use of digital technologies to change a business model and provide new revenue and value-producing opportunities”, one of Doka’s most popular products is Concremote; a proprietary technology that remotely measures the compressive strength and age quality parameters of concrete, providing an alternative to early age laboratory and field-cured test specimens. Accredited by international quality assurance agencies including ASTM, DIN, British Standard, Eurocode and most recently the Dubai Central Laboratory Department, Concremote’s benefits cover quality, safety and economy while helping to reduce the environmental impact made by cement. According to in-house research, Concremote can provide a 40% increase in business value by reducing time and cost by 47% and 32% respectively, while increasing quality by 55%.

Speaking on behalf of the company, Doka Middle East and Africa Director Peter Vogel, said; “For us, innovation has always been at the heart of our corporate ethos. Having established our fully dedicated R&D department from our headquarters in Austria in 1990, we’ve been able to work and develop multiple products and systems that push the application of technology in the E&C sector and make the industry a safer and more efficient place to work. As such, Doka’s performance and market share has steadily increased since our arrival in the Gulf region over twenty years ago, and 2017 is on track to be another record breaking year.”

In addition to product and system innovation, Doka has also turned its attention to providing a whole-of-project consultancy, an approach that aims to correct ‘the inadequate collaboration with suppliers and contractors’, as cited in the WEF report.

“While technology has helped the industry to be more communicative, Doka has been able to create a lot of value by entering the project at an earlier phase, thereby providing a number of cost and time saving solutions. As a result, we’ve been able to support the timely delivery of projects, and in turn save our clients money.”

While constantly rethinking its products, systems and approaches has proven to be a winning formula for ‘future-proofing’ Doka, its fundamental success remains in its capacity to train and educate its team. By providing regular seminars not only on essential aspects such as safety, Doka staff are given up-to-date practical and theory training that allows everyone from warehouse to top management to remain up-to-speed, a factor that has almost certainly led to the company’s estimated 30% market share in the region.

“As a family owned business with over 150 years behind it, we’ve been able to work on and help deliver some of the region’s most iconic projects, including the world’s tallest building, the ‘Burj Khalifa’, and with $45bn of contracts estimated to be awarded in 2017 in the UAE alone, we look forward to continuing our role as the region’s preferred formwork supplier.”

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