Hyati Residence is one of ECC’s projects Image Credit: Supplied

Since its inception in 1975, Engineering Contracting Company (ECC) has worked on more than 300 projects in the UAE. The company has recently made an executive decision to integrate building information modelling (BIM) across all projects, as the solution offers greater operational efficiency and cost savings on projects. The company currently has 10 projects across different segments, including residential, commercial and hospitality, with scope of work involving designing, construction, completion and maintenance.

Property Weekly caught up with the company’s CEO, Kareem Farah, to talk about ECC’s BIM implementation.

Tell us about your current pipeline in the UAE.

Currently, we have 11 projects in the pipeline, some of which includes UNA Apartments, Hyati Residence, Mirdif Hills and Mulberry at Park Heights. We have also won a contract from Dubai Islamic Bank to build the Badr project, a residential community consisting of five distinct zones with apartment buildings, several villas and other community buildings and recreational facilities.

How do you implement BIM on large-scale construction planning?

We made the decision to implement BIM technology across all our projects earlier this year and have already implemented it into the Rawda Apartments development, which is a part of Nshama’s Town Square project.

 By having this technology, we would be able to achieve greater operational efficiency and significant cost savings on projects, which can be managed from one platform — essentially providing an oversight on the entire project’s operations

 - Kareem Farah 

BIM is a digital representation of physical and functional characteristics of a facility, forming a reliable basis for decision making during a project’s life-cycle — a virtual overview of sorts. By having this technology, we would be able to achieve greater operational efficiency and significant cost savings on projects, which can be managed from one platform — essentially providing an oversight on the entire project’s operations. Implementing the latest technology such as BIM, which is now an in-house service, we will be able to do better designing, manage our projects more efficiently and increase our overall capabilities by hiring the best and brightest talent. This technology will enable us to target greater achievements, accept more challenging projects and maintain our market leadership.

How do you train and retain good talent?

It was only once our employees had been trained to use software such as Autodesk, Solibri and AECOsim that we made the decision to implement BIM in our projects. Our project managers have the opportunity to obtain their Project Management Professional certification.

What’s your plan for this year?

Our current workload for 2018 is quite robust taking into consideration signed contracts in the execution stages and pipeline projects that are in the final stages of negotiation with anticipated finalization over the coming months. We are always looking for something new, be it a taller tower, more complex designs, bespoke contract arrangements, conversion of traditional procurement to design and build, or value engineering. We thrive by thinking outside the box, and favour like-minded clients with a solid reputation for the same.