INTERVIEW WITH Issam Ezzeddine, Director-Architectural Design, National Engineering Bureau

The Middle East Prefabrication and Modular Construction Summit 2016, Dubai

As per your interaction with construction industry, how is prefab and modular construction as a method helping the developers?

It is very essential, valuable and cost saving method for developers if they intend to build prefab identical residential units/villas. Authorities and Architects are to build new criteria/regulation for prefab system.
Modular construction has a list of benefits to itself. What are the challenges faced in a large scale construction projects involving this new construction method?
Modular construction industry does face challenges. Few challenges which can be noted are those related to logistic/ transfer of prefab units to the site. Transportation of the material requires involvement of heavy cranes and equipments. Additional challenge is to keep prefab industry as ongoing construction business by ensuring that the method continues to be in use given its due benefits to the construction industry.
How is project designing in traditional construction projects different from modular construction and prefabrication construction modules?
Modular construction is very much faster during construction period and saves the construction companies and related stakeholders a lot of time while sticking upon the project delivery timelines. The construction site remains tidier when using prefab methods while getting most of the construction work done within the modular construction factories. However, providing less flexibility in construction changes and layout upgrade is a disadvantage generally faced during a project absorbing prefabricated modules.
How do you think cost overrun and time delays can be minimized through prefabrication and modular construction methodologies?
A lot of time gets saved due to fast prefabrication and less labour operations which reduces the chances of time delays. I have successfully delivered projects with 55% construction period saving and 25% cost saving when modular prefab be implemented to identical/typical design units.
How is 3D printing in construction being perceived? Can it be the next big thing in coming few years for the construction industry?
The future of construction is seen earlier than expected. The traditional construction system is gradually disappearing and new innovative methods will be welcomed by the industry in near future. Prefab is the main optimized system which developers, architects and decision makers should work on and develop as it can give unprecedented benefits to all the stakeholders of a project while ensuring an overall growth of an economy.
What are your expectations from the summit and how do you rate the topics of the discussion at the summit?
This is one of the prime topics which requires planned strategy for the construction sector future. I recommend that such topic should take place annually all over the MENA region.
Issam Ezzeddine was interviewed by the team at Information Exchange Group (IXG) ahead of their upcoming event The Middle East Prefabrication and Modular Construction Summit 2016.