More than 115 finalists vied for sustainability, technology, and digital honours recognition at glittering award ceremony on side-lines of four-day show
Dubai, UAE –: The winners of the fiercely contested Big 5 Construction Impact Awards 2022, recognizing sustainable development, technology, and digital achievements in the construction industry, were announced during a glittering ceremony with over 350 guests on Monday night, part of the four-day Big 5 exhibition at Dubai World Trade Centre.
The second year of the coveted annual awards drew hundreds of entries from construction businesses from across 20 countries, with 18 winners selected by an international, independent judging panel. “The judges had a tough task,” said Josine Heijmans, Vice-President Construction of Big 5’s organizer dmg events. “The submissions reflected a huge influx of innovation and excellence, which will inspire the industry.”
The Award for Diversity & Inclusion went to the multi-national architecture design company SOM while the ‘Best Use of Technology of the Year’ honour went to DuPod.
Cameroon’s Millennium Group was a double-winner taking the award for ‘Carbon Net Zero Initiative of the Year’ for its Mindca affordable green homes project, while its CEO, Ghislaine Tessa Ketcha – who also founded the ‘Women In Construction Africa’ group – was named ‘Sustainability Leader of the Year.’
“This award reflects the work that the entire team has put into finding an alternative way of using construction materials, and solidifies our efforts towards making Africa a sustainably developed region,” she said. “It has allowed us to share our efforts with the rest of the world and to showcase the multitude of alternatives and opportunities the continent has to offer. We take immense pride in being able to represent the African continent.”
KEO International’s Masdar Central Park project was named ‘Community of the Future’, while Abu Dhabi’s Aldar Properties took 2 accolades for ‘Digital Transformation of the Year and the ‘Digitalization Project of the Year’.
The China State Construction Engineering Corporation (CSCEC) Middle East LLC scooped a slew of awards, including ‘Digital Twin Project of the Year’ for its Downtown Views II development, and ‘Innovative Construction Organization of the Year’. Its technology head Mansour Faried was named ‘Technology Leader of the Year’ “Following our participation in the inaugural awards last year, we’re glad to have returned in a stronger position. Winning ‘Technology Leader of the Year’ is an excellent motivation and honour not only for me, but also for the company, and we’re thrilled to have been given the opportunity to showcase our efforts to the local and international industry.”
Highlighting the importance of collaboration across the value chain, ‘Partnership of the Year’, in association with Bindasmal Contracting, saw two winners this year: China State Construction Engineering Corporation Middle East & SK Ecoplant Joint Venture and Etihad Rail; and Heriot-Watt University’s Centre of Excellence in Smart Construction (CESC), recognized with ‘Partnership of the Year – Academia’ for its CESC Triple Helix Approach.
Saudi Arabia’s Tamimi Global scooped the ‘Off-Site Project of the Year’ award for its NEOM Community Expansion 2.
Indian architect Ankur Gautam of Delhi’s Gautam & Gautam Associates was named ‘Sustainability Champion of the Year’ while UAE’s Bindasmal Contracting Est. was honoured with ‘Sustainable Construction Organisation of the Year.’
“We’re proud to have won this award,” said Sahul Hameed, General Manager at Bindasmal Contracting Est. “This accolade reassures us we’re on the right path to drive sustainable energy efficiency, and to continue our work in line with the Emirate’s vision towards sustainability.”
The Dubai Metro Route 2020 project, by the Acciona & Gulermak joint venture, was chosen as ‘Sustainable Construction Project of the Year’ while the sustainable revitalization of traditional rainwater harvesting at India’s Bansilal Pet Step Well – a joint venture between Kshetra Consultants and The Rainwater Project – was declared ‘Sustainable Initiative of the Year’. The ‘Workforce of the Future Initiative’ accolade was taken home by USA’s HK Consulting for its integration of BIM into the national academic curriculum.
FutureTech Construction Summit Opens
Elsewhere, on the opening day of the FutureTech Construction Summit, which explored the question of collaboration or competition in construction start-ups, which prompted interesting debate amongst panellists John Priestland, Founder at C-Tech Club, Salma Kayali, VP – Innovation at Aldar Properties, Prakesh Senghani, CEO and co-founder at Navatech Group, Anas Zeineddine, CEO and founder at innovaMENA, and Christian Gleich, Chief Strategy Officer and Futurist at European Blockchain Association.
Priestland outlined the three essential elements for successful innovation: the technology, the engineering need, and, finally, drawing on advice from his own daughter, willingness.
“The third element is the motivation of the team to adopt and accept technology,” he said. “You need to understand what parts of an organisation are open to change and want to do it – because, as my very wise 14-year-old daughter once told me: ‘The thing is dad, you can never get anybody to do something they don’t want to do’.
“If you have an inhouse team that doesn’t want to adopt technology, they are not going to do it. So, we are always looking for the combination of the engineering need, great technology, and a team that really wants to do it. Without all three, innovation is not going to happen.”
ROSHN teams up with Autodesk to turbocharge operations with new tech
Taking place at the Big 5, ROSHN, Saudi Arabia’s leading real estate developer, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Autodesk, the global leader in building information modeling (BIM) aimed at boosting its architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) capabilities. According to the agreement, the two companies will collaborate in mutually beneficial areas and deploy cutting-edge BIM technology to ROSHN’s ecosystem of contractors, consultants and vendors.
“ROSHN is spearheading the development of the domestic real estate and construction industry, deploying the highest quality of standards, practices, and technologies in the Saudi market. By combining our expertise with the knowledge and skill set of world renowned partners like Autodesk, we are able to bring the best possible solutions to our customers, at scale, across the nation,” said David Grover, Group CEO of ROSHN.
BIM technology allows users to explore the planning, construction, and management of buildings and construction sites virtually, allowing planners to make better-informed decisions regarding the disposal of resources. Under the terms of the agreement, ROSHN business units and contractors will be encouraged to use Autodesk’s software as they develop ROSHN communities across the Kingdom. The two parties will also work together on a wide range of initiatives, including developing technical enablement frameworks, establishing educational events and services, providing commercial offerings on Autodesk software, and forming strategic partnerships within the domestic AEC sector.
More than 2,000 participants from 60 countries are taking part in the event this week, which hosts 20 national pavilions – including Italy, KSA, Turkey, Greece, Germany and many others – bringing together the key stakeholders from across the full construction value-chain to network, learn, and do business.