Exclusive Interview with Ziad Hissoiny- Assistant Vice President, DAMAC Properties Co.

The Middle East Prefabrication and Modular Construction Summit 2016
16- 17 Feb 2016 | Hotel Conrad, Dubai, UAE

Questions for Mr. Ziad Hissoiny:
a) How has inclusion of prefabrication construction modules helped evolve construction and project delivery methods?
It is obvious and goes without saying that introducing Prefabricated Construction Module (PCM) did help the Construction of the Trades which have been prefabricated. However this might not directly helps the “better” situation of the project OVERALL. Projects are in the nature of “Chain of Production” of activities that related to each other in a Dynamic way, improving ONE PART of the chain will not necessarily help the improvement of the whole chain. In fact the overall status of any chain of activities depend directly to the weakest point of the chains not the strongest point.
Therefore to get the real profit of any PCM, one part will be the PCM itself however the overall management of the rest of the Parts are the ones who will have the final say in the success of the project. Notwithstanding the above I do see that the PCM helps the Trades in the following areas:

  1. Produce better quality that Site production will not be able to produce.
  2. Minimize in the Labor Force required to produce the same amount of works when compare PCM to the traditional ways.
  3. Ability to Copy the same Module to different project will be a big help in saving time and money.
  4. Minimize to the minimum level the risks associated with the related Trade in compare to traditional ways.
  5. When it comes to Areas that the work conditions are and less safe (Such as facades and building tops) the PCM might be the ONLY solution to be used.

b) How has the evolution and acceptance of prefabrication and modular construction methods been in Middle East construction sector vis-à-vis international markets?
As per my own experience I see that Middle East is still lagging behind the acceptance of the PCM in the construction comparing to what in the international market. Middle East is mainly accepting, so far, the PCM for the Structure, Facades & Steel Structure. However internationally Construction industry are using PCM into the internal finishes, even in difficult areas such as the Bathrooms.
c) What are the Project Management benefits of Prefabrication construction methods?
Better Certainty regarding time delivery (of the trade being PCMs), better quality, less dependency on the Labor forces, provide better tools to monitor the progress are major benefits being derived from PCM. It also allows the progress of many trades at once, such as the embedded MEP containments inside the precast units.
d) Share the challenges you faced in procurement of Prefabricated products, if any?
The different in nature between the prefabrication (Factory concept) and the Construction project (Site work and Construction), the point of interest are varying and not the same. The ability to the sites to cope with the speed of the Factories differ from the conventional construction projects.
There is the dependency on the lifting tools and need of the Skilled Labor which is otherwise not there in regular construction environment. The initial time to start of the PCM is much longer than the traditional ways, therefore the decision to use either ways will have lot of factor to be consider in particular small size projects.
The profitability of the PCM is a difficult question for the Small projects which isn’t a deciding factor if the project is unique in nature.
e) What are your expectations from the summit and how do you rate the topics of the discussion at the summit?
Expectations are very high. Notwithstanding all said above the PCM is the future of the Construction industry, and we are going to face these challenges sooner or later, therefore I do believe that the summit is really an adding value just in the right time.
Ziad Hissoiny was interviewed by the team at Information Exchnage Group ahead of their upcoming event The Middle East Prefabrication and Modular Construction Summit 2016.