Under the theme “Shaping the future of construction”, the largest construction event in the Middle East will bring the most innovative solutions and the latest technologies from around the world to the Dubai World Trade Centre from 26 to 29 November 2018.
Josine Heijmans, Portfolio Director at dmg events, says:
“The construction sector is widely considered a late adopter of technology. Construction industry’s investments in this field are still extremely low compared to other major industries. Yet, now more than ever, technology and innovation are crucial to remain competitive.”
On November 26, the event will launch the first FutureTech Construction Summit themed “Empowering Innovation in the Construction Ecosystem”.
Hosting speakers from Virgin Hyperloop One, Microsoft, Saudi Aramco, Faithful+Gould, ASGC, AECOM, Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority, Meraas and Mont Hill, the Summit will unveil how construction professionals can achieve higher productivity, greater sustainability and enhanced affordability with the help of technology.
Herbert Fuchs, Chief Information Officer at ASGC, and one of the panellists at the FutureTech Construction Summit, explains:
“Technology has a significant role to play in the transformation of the construction industry. While other industries are charging ahead quickly with innovation, the construction industry has been long overdue for a technological overhaul.
“The biggest hurdle to overcome isn’t technology or a lack of ideas and innovation; the challenges are within the companies themselves.”
According to Fuchs, construction companies having significant investments in employees and equipment often fear change, as this latter could translate into job loss or insufficient profit margins in return of high initial investments.
“The current sense of traditionalism must be addressed. My belief is that companies must take calculated risks in order to adopt a technology-savvy approach to business that keeps up with the digitalized world we are competing in. Changing culture may not be easy, but it is essential to keep abreast of changing times.”
Looking at the future, Fuchs expects Digital to change many business models in the industry while driving down cost, increasing productivity of labour and staff as well as improving utilization of assets and equipment at a high degree.
“The technologies that are set to transform the construction industry echo those that are making an impact across all sectors at present, such as the Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), 3D scanning and printing, and so on,” Fuchs adds.
Prakash Senghani, Digital Project Delivery Lead Construction Services at AECOM and also a speaker at the FutureTech Construction Summit, agrees:
“As an industry, we need to embrace technology and digital to counter some of the well documented issues around health and safety, quality and productivity.”
Digitization of paper-based processes is the number one priority for Senghani today.
“The inefficiencies inherent in moving paper around, the lack of real traceability and accountability, as well as the inability to query and analyse the data sitting in paper based systems is a huge opportunity and one which is relatively straight forward,” he explains.
Looking at the future, Senghani also expects a broader use of automation in construction.
“The application of AI and Machine Learning to automate monotonous tasks as well as automation utilizing robotics are both aspects that will change the way we design, manage, construct and operate assets in the built environment,” he predicts.
The first Live Innovation Zone and Start-Up City at The Big 5
The Big 5 2018 will also introduce the brand new Live Innovation Zone, hosting a selection of the most innovative products that are shaking up the construction industry today, along with The Big 5’s Start-Up City, presenting the next construction tech disruptors.
Prominent industry experts from organisations of the calibre of Expo 2020, BuroHappold, and AECOM will select the most innovative products and start-ups to be hosted at The Big 5 this year, as part of the show’s recently established Advisory Panel.
“Disruption is happening all around us, in every industry, but the construction sector does not seem to be progressing as quickly even if we can see increased digitization in our industry in countries such as the United States.
“Start-ups with a focus on developing new tech-based solutions for the construction industry are therefore not only important, but vital: creative ideas and innovative approaches have the potential to change the industry for the better.”
According to Senghani, The Big 5’s focus on Start-ups is extremely important as
“Start-ups are lean and agile; they are generally more adept and willing to take on risks, which the incumbent, often large, organizations are not.
“Start-ups have a pivotal role to play in the digitization of an industry that is in need of a technological shake-up,” he concludes.
The Big 5 Start-up City will gather the next construction tech disruptors, a selection of rising stars that will soon make an impact in the field. In order to support these innovative entrepreneurs, The Big 5 will offer a prize to the most innovative start-up, which will be selected by a panel of judges through an exciting competition.
Visitors at The Big 5 2018 will also be able to discover new products and solutions presented at interactive live demonstrations. A permanent display of all the most innovative products at The Big 5 will also offer a glimpse of what is shaking up the construction industry today.
“I am extremely proud of the new features we’re bringing to The Big 5 to drive this much needed change. In 2018, the brightest ideas, minds and initiatives from around the globe will foster innovation and disruption of the status quo of the construction industry at the show.”
Karim Helal, Co-founder and CEO of Protenders, Gold sponsor of The Big 5, comments:
“The Big 5 has consistently been the must-attend construction event in the region because of the high caliber of construction expertise and networking opportunities it offers with international, regional and local companies all in one place.”
In 2018, over 2,500 construction companies will take part in the exhibition, clustered in five dedicated sectors: MEP services, Building Interiors & Finishes, Building Envelope & Special Construction, Construction Tools & Building Materials, and Construction Technology & Innovation.
The Big 5 Solar, the Urban Design & Landscaping Expo, HVACR Expo, Middle East Concrete and The Big 5 Heavy will also run as part of The Big 5 this year, creating one mega construction event from 26-29 November at the Dubai World Trade Centre.
The event will host over 100 educational sessions, including free to attend CPD-certified Talks on Architecture, BIM, Project Management and Design, the “How To Do Business in the UAE” Seminar in collaboration with Dubai South Business Park, and the first “Women in Construction” Seminar & Awards.
To know more about The Big 5 (26-29 November, Dubai World Trade Centre), visit www.thebig5.ae.