Officials at the Dubai Municipality

Following the opening of its first regional office in the MENA region, the International Code Council’s (ICC) leadership team visited its strategic partners in Dubai to reinforce its commitment to advancing innovation and sustainability in the construction landscape.

ICC’s Executive Vice President of Strategies and Business Development, Shahin Moinian, and Senior Vice President of Global Operations and Solutions, Judy Zakreski, were accompanied by Mohamed Amer, the Regional Director of Operations for MENA, during the two-day trip.

The trio conducted talks with Dubai Municipality (DM), attended the 3rd MENA Building Science Advisory Council (BSAC) meeting, and joined a DM-hosted technical workshop on driving innovation and sustainability in construction, as well as meeting other stakeholders.

Empowering Local Expertise

Dubai Municipality is one of the ICC’s longstanding strategic partners in the region and the oldest government entity in Dubai, with the remit of overseeing daily operations that directly influence the quality of life of all residents, visitors, and business owners in the emirate.

In May 2023, the two organisations signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to promote innovative construction practices in the MENA region.

Recently, the two parties met to identify potential synergies and address market needs outlined in the MoU.

ICC Evaluation Service (ICC-ES) led discussions on Evaluation Service Reports (ESRs) and explored proactive initiatives in building construction as well as product approval for installation.

Topics included the development and enforcement of building codes and acceptance criteria, as well as discussions on customised evaluation to tailor product evaluations to specific needs.

Additionally, sustainable, and innovative building practices such as offsite construction solutions were examined, alongside efforts to establish a regulatory infrastructure for offsite construction activities.

Additionally, a key focus of the meeting was to address the concerns of DM's technical team regarding the increasing demand for innovative building systems and the importance of facilitating market access and endorsement while ensuring safety.

The meeting concluded with discussions on utilising digital tools, such as building Information modelling (BIM), to better align with onsite-compliance requirements.

3rd MENA Building Science Advisory Council (BSAC) meeting

Building on the momentum of collaborative efforts, the ICC’s 3rd MENA Building Science Advisory Council meeting was held at its Dubai office during the trip, where members actively participated in discussions aimed at advancing building safety initiatives.

ICC introduced DM as a newly joined member, adding a crucial regulatory dimension as a demand driver to the discussions.

The meeting emphasised the importance of collaboration between private entities and academia to present findings based on research projects outlining the cost vs benefit analysis of adoption of sustainable construction methods, facilitating data-driven decision making, and encouraging buy-in from all relevant stakeholders.

Technical Workshop

The recently hosted workshop by Dubai Municipality featured technical presentations and discussions on emerging construction methodologies, their scalability, and economic implications.

ICC-ES underscored the importance of establishing robust compliance pathways for innovative building systems, ensuring regulatory assurance for authorities, and facilitating market entry for manufacturers and suppliers.

The sessions delved into trending topics such as semi-precast sustainable solutions, the rising demand for 3D concrete printing, offsite construction techniques, and the development of advanced regulatory frameworks to accommodate this evolving landscape.

By prioritising safety, the workshop exemplified Dubai's dedication to leading technological advancements in the construction industry.

Mohamed Amer, the Regional Director of Operations for ICC MENA, said: “The global reach of our building safety mission is always evident, highlighting the significance of adapting and customising our family of solutions to meet the demands and challenges in the MENA region.

“The exchange of information and insightful dialogues during this trip generated valuable insights for everyone as we continue to advocate for more innovation and sustainability in this ever-evolving sector.

“The ICC remains committed to providing the right tools and services that further advance local solutions for enhanced user experience and market acceptance.” – TradeArabia News Service