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Essential information for mechanical, electrical and plumbing professionals
An ITP Business Publication • July 2008 Vol 3. Issue 7



Drake & Scull applies the benefits of logistics to three major Palm Jumeirah-based projects

MEP contractor Drake & Scull is currently undertaking three of the largest projects underway on the Palm Jumeirah in contracts worth a total of more than $272 million; common to all is the need for co-ordination and good logistics. Alison Luke reports.



he Golden Mile is aptly named. Stretching for a full mile along the length of the trunk of Dubai’s Palm Jumeirah, the development’s Souq Residences project comprises a total of ten 13-storey buildings. Primarily a residential development, the project is split into two stretches, with six of the interconnecting buildings located on one side of the site of the future Trump Hotel and the remaining four on the opposite side. Drake & Scull International (DSI) won the contract for the MEP works in the Souq Residences in competitive tender and the project is now well underway, with the first commis-

sioning of services due to begin this summer. The project will be completed in phases, with each building handed over individually.

MEP services for the project have in general been divided into five, with a set of basement plantrooms each feeding two adjacent buildings, explains DSI operations manager Naser Yaseen. A total of 12,500TR of cooling is provided via the Palm District Cooling chilled water network that serves the overall Palm Jumeirah development. This is evenly distributed across the project, again with five dedicated stations serving the ten buildings.

The chilled water is distributed by a series of risers to a total of around 100 air handling units (ahu), with local air conditioning within the apartments being provided by fan coil units. These methods were chosen to match the layout of the buildings, explains Yaseen. The total 37MW electrical load will be provided by seven substations that have varying loads according to the building demands. Four substations comprise six 1,500kVA transformers; one has four 1,500kVA transformers; the others have two 1,500kVA units. Distribution from the main electrical rooms is by a combination of cables and busbar, depending on location and the distance to the lowww.arabianbusiness.com/construction

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the co-ordination that this requires. Yaseen explains: “The total area [of the project] is unusual and the total spread of area – to travel from building one to ten takes a lot of time – so it’s basically logistics that’s the biggest challenge.” An overall logistics manager is overseeing the project, with separate teams then responsible for each individual building. “Under this comes the movement of workers within the building from top to bottom; the movement of materials; even transportation [of workers] to and from camps,” explains Yaseen. The logistics teams keep in constant contact via various communications tools. “If you have a lot of manpower on one site that is widely spread you need to make sure that your resources are being utilised,” states Yaseen. “Any logistical issue must be resolved on the spot; you don’t have time to wait until someone a mile away from you knows about the problem, so factors like this do very much matter in a job of this nature,” he stresses. The MEP installation program follows the staggered approach of the civils works, which began at one end of the mile-long scheme and is progressing building by building towards the other end. When needed, manpower is moved Yaseen: The phased commissioning of the project’s MEP between areas depending on progress, access, services installation is due to start during Summer 2008. availability and programming within the buildings. In addition, staff have on occasion moved cal distribution boards. For example, if the main between the three projects currently being unelectrical room serving buildings one and two dertaken by DSI on the Palm Jumeirah. “Having all these projects very close to each is sited under building one, then distribution to building one will be via cables, and busbar will other, when required and when it is possible, it helps in exchanging resources, materials and be used to supply power to building two. services...the projects are all within walking CO-ORDINATING WORKS distance of each other,” Yaseen explains. The primary challenge for the services instalTo counteract the small storage areas available lation on the project is the sheer scale and on site, a system of just-in-time delivery is used for bulk items, with products stored centrally in the firm’s off site facilities when required. One of the other areas that is given prime importance on the project, reports DSI construction manager Ayman El Mashad is that of safety. No new staff will be allowed to work on site until they have been fully inducted and received safety training. In addition weekly safety toolbox talks are given to all staff, including subcontractors, and all lifting equipment is calibrated, with monthly inhouse inspections and three-monthly inspections by a third party.

Client: IFA Hotels & Resorts Main contractor: Al Shafar General Contracting Architect: DSA Mechanical consulting engineer: RPW Electrical consulting engineer: CKR MEP contractor: Drake & Scull International Lighting designer: CKR

Air conditioning: Zamil Air Conditioning Building management systems: Honeywell Middle East Cable management systems: Eastern Trading Cables: Ducab Chemical treatment systems: Vasuchem Technologies Clamps and expansion vessels: Flamco Control cables: Tekab Diesel generators: Mohamed Abdul Rahman Al-Bahar Ductwork: Emirates AC Accessories Electrical containment: Bahri & Mazroei Technical Systems Electrical equipment: Schneider Electric ELV and security systems: Bahri & Mazroei Technical Systems, The Elite Group Firefighting systems: NAFFCO Security & Safety (Fire Protection Division) Heat exchangers: Gulf Sondex HVAC accessories and equipment: Eros Engineering Equipment, Gmamco, Royal Gulf, Seagull (hvac) industry Low voltage panels: Powertech Switchgear Light fittings: Debbas Electric, Decolight Trading Mechanical equipment: Faisal Jassim Trading Pumps provider: Danway Security: The Elite Group Steel: Al Fajar Steel & Wood Trading Water heaters: Mac Al Gurg
The MEP works program is following that of the phased civils work, with some buildings further advanced than others.

Note: The suppliers listed above provided products for all three projects outlined over pages 12-17.


July 2008 - MEP Middle East 13

Douglas Small, Meydan head of projects.


Located at the tip of the Palm Jumeirah trunk, developer Zabeel Investment’s Tiara Hotel and Residences project is one of the most prestigious currently underway on the development. The project comprises of seven 15-storey residential buildings that are split into two blocks of three and four adjoining buildings on either side of a central landscaped area. The twin-towered Tiara Hotel sits between the two residential buildings and comprises a hotel and hotel apartment block. All of the buildings within the project are connected internally at the second level of the basement in order to enable the utilities connection provided by the infrastructure developer. The main plantrooms are located at this level, with individual plant provided for each building and repeated in the same pattern along the structure’s length: “The sequence is heat exchanger room, DEWA substation room, DSI’s [Drake & Scull International’s] lv room, then the generator room and this will be repeated for all buildings,” explains DSI project director Ahmed Shaker.

Chilled water for the air conditioning system, as with the Golden Mile project, is provided by Palm District Cooling (PDC). A total of 10,000TR feeds the individual heat exchanger rooms for each building, which in turn serve a network of 41 air handling units and around 4,000 fan coil units (fcu) throughout the project. The complete chilled water network includes 36 heat exchangers with capacities ranging from 890-1,340kW. Two pumps are connected to each in a duty and standby arrangement to provide 100% backup in the event of one failing. In order to meet overall program demands, the air conditioning network was one of the earliest parts of the MEP system to be completed reports Shaker. “We have to provide wild air in the building as the final fix subcontractor needs this to keep the temperatures stable inside the rooms [to protect the final finishes],” he explains. “In order to do this we needed to have these heat exchangers completed on time, have the chilled water from PDC and have started installing the fcu in the buildings – this is one of the targets we’ve met already for both the [residential buildings],” states Shaker.

The Tiara Hotel & Residences project covers three sides of a central podium with facilities including pools and a clubhouse.

The total electrical load for the project will be 29MW. There are 11 substations spread

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throughout the project; these include a total of 21 transformers, each with a capacity of 1,500kVA. Each building will be ser ved by a dedicated basement level low voltage (lv) room, with local distribution boards throughout the buildings’ floors. Back-up for essential services will be provided by small diesel generators installed in each building. These will range in capacity from 150-1,500kVA and cover services such as IT, fire alarms and building management systems. A central battery system is being installed to provide backup for the emergency lighting throughout the project. Further MEP systems being installed by DSI include a centralised firefighting network. Including more than 115km of pipework, this will cover all the residential towers. In order to minimise power consumption in the buildings, one of the steps taken is to include a lighting control system for the public areas, corridors and central landscaped area. This will be operated through the main building management system. The buildings will also be connected through an IP network that Shaker: A combination of logistics and management are enabling the successful completion of the hotel and residential buildings. will enable simple and effective monitoring to install the most up to date technology and 1,700. Around 300 of these staff are employed and control of the MEP systems. systems available in the Middle East, reports for works on the hotel, with the remainder INSTALLATION ISSUES Shaker, with state-of-the-art home automation working on the residences. Management The installation of MEP services is follow- one of the services being installed. “If you are is led by Shaker as project director, there is ing the progress of the civil contractors. The looking for the latest technology you have to then one project manager, one construction second fix has now been completed in many update your information daily,” Shaker re- manager, two senior mechanical engineers, of the residential apartments, with progress marks. Issues affecting the MEP contractor in two senior electrical engineers, and a dedistanding at level eight in some towers and particular include the need to surface-mount cated site engineer for each building. level nine in others. conduits – a design change from the original The fast-track nature of the project is cited Ongoing client changes within the ho- concealed versions. by Shaker as its most challenging aspect. In tel have meant several changes to the MEP Currently DSI has around 1,640 staff em- order to meet the tight deadlines set, this is systems. Many of these relate to the desire ployed on the project, close to its peak of being overcome by a combination of management and logistics, he reports. In the initial stages of the project, such management included the use of a separate technical office for engineering and drawings. “We had around 20 draughtsmen just to do the shop drawings, otherwise we could not finish in the short timescale available,” Shaker states. With much of the MEP installation nearing completion it seems that such tactics have worked effectively.

Project: Tiara Residence and Tiara Hotel Client: Zaabil Investments Main contractor: Arabtec Architect: Dar Al Handasa M&E consulting engineer: Dar al Handasa MEP contractor: Drake & Scull International Lighting designer: Dar al Handasa
Mechanical and electrical services have been separated within the main service routes to enable ease of future maintenance.


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One of the latest projects to be won by Drake & Scull International (DSI) is for the MEP installation in the Fairmont Palm Hotel & Resort, with the contract being awarded during June 2008. Again located on the trunk of Dubai’s Palm Jumeirah, this project is sited close to the Golden Mile and forms part of the same development as the Fairmont Residences, which DSI is also currently undertaking. Under the US $44 million (AED162 million) contract for client IFA Hotels & Resorts, DSI will supply, install, test and commission the complete heating, ventilation and air conditioning (hvac) systems, plumbing, drainage, water treatment and firefighting services for the five-star hotel. In addition, the firm will supply and install low pressure gas, electrical and small power systems, a hotel interactive tv system, guest room management system, cctv and access controls. The 400-room hotel is being built between two buildings that will form the Fairmont Residences. These 13-storey residential buildings
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are formed as two opposing L-shapes, with all buildings facing the beachfront. As with the other Palm projects on which DSI is currently working, the air conditioning for the buildings will be provided by a central system, with chilled water supplied by Palm District Cooling. “We are providing around 3,000TR per building [for central air conditioning] and we have around 1,000 fan coil units per building and 25 air handling units,” states DSI project manager Mohammed Mujeeb Khan. Hot water will be provided by around 700 water heaters in each building. The main plantrooms for the project are located at roof level, with further plant such as heat exchangers being sited in basement plantrooms. One main electrical substation will ser ve the entire project, with two step-down transformers located on site. In terms of control, each building will have an individual building management system (bms). However, proposals are under way concerning the communication between all

The Fairmont Palm Hotel and Residences project is now underway on the Palm Jumeirah. Drake & Scull International is responsible for the installation of MEP services in all three buildings within the scope of the project, having recently won the contract for the hotel services package.

three bms to enable full centralised control of MEP systems. Around 40% of the MEP installation has been completed in the residential buildings, reports Khan, with the floor designs similar between levels two and nine, which has eased the process. Within the hotel the layout of MEP systems on floors two to eight will follow the same general design, simplifying the installation in the fast-track project. There are around 28 flats per floor, with a total of around 280 flats per building; these are virtually identical throughout until the

penthouse level. The main ser vice route through the buildings is via the central corridors, with ser vices then branching out to each individual apartment. hotel unless necessary. This will help ensure any lessons learned on the earlier floors of the job can be carried throughout, saving installation time, explains Khan. “Each floor, if there is full access, will take PROGRAMMING PRACTICES around 25-30 days [for the MEP installaDSI currently has a total of around 725 em- tion]…this is getting faster as we are going ployed across the two residential buildings up the building,” reports Khan. and the hotel, with this number expected An overall project manager is overseeing to increase under the new contract. Staff the entire development, with separate project will permanently work in the same building managers then in charge of the residences throughout the projects and those in the resi- and hotel individually. Under this top mandential buildings will not be moved into the agement level, electrical, plumbing and air conditioning engineers will oversee the staff in each building independently. PROJECT: FAIRMONT PALM Large plant items were ordered early in the construction process to ensure deliver y RESIDENCES AND HOTEL when needed. The largest issue on the projClient: IFA Hotels & Resorts ect to date has been available storage space Main contractor: Dubai Contracting Company reports Khan. “It’s a tight site. We’ve been (DCC) using just in time deliveries, but we have to Architect: DSA hold some of the materials because of price Mechanical consulting engineer: RPW increases, so we’ve been moving these maElectrical consulting engineer: CKR terials around site to suit where there is MEP contractor: Drake & Scull International space,” he explains. In addition the firm is Lighting designer: CKR making use of the DSI off site storage facilities where possible.

Khan: About 40% of the MEP work is complete in the residences.


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