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A Decade of Solidity

- Construction Today : July - September Issue

Construction Today talks to Ahmed Abdelaal, General Manager of BSi Steel, about the various aspects of steel construction, and the company's areas of strengths.

Since the start of its operations in 2006, BSi Steel, Building System Integration W.L.L., has become the go-to company for pre-engineered buildings (PEB) in Qatar. BSi's production increased ten times in 2008, from 100-150 tonnes per month, after its facility was moved to the New Industrial Area. Currently, the company is capable of producing up to 20,000 tonnes of steel per year after adding one more facility in Doha.

The USP of BSi is its PEBs, the success of which Abdelaal attributes to: "The adaptation and innovation of most of the standards and applications founded through pre-engineered business during past decades in the Americas and the Gulf region. It had proven to be successful over the conventional application, which was the only available option worldwide at that point of time."

He also says that the pre-engineered school was able to provide the most economical solutions that could be fabricated and erected, taking less time than concrete buildings.

"Utilizing proper tools and equipments such as multiple softwares: MBS, TEKLA, CAD and STAAD Pro, where each software is designed to fit certain complexities of buildings, and some of them utilized from estimation level to the preparation of fabrication drawings was also the key," adds Abdelaal; reiterating that BSI is the sole PEB supplier that has two factories in Qatar.

The projects continue to come thick and fast for BSI. The company is involved with the strategic development plans of the Manateq Projects (more than 300,000 square metres of steel buildings), where it worked closely with Gulf Warehousing for the design development of Lot 1, with Ali Bin Ali for Lot 2, and with Al Asmakh for Lot 3.
"BSI supplied over 45,000 square metres of metal buildings for the package awarded to Al Safwa Contracting, and ensured that all quality measures, with quick execution plans, were in place."

On the status of the project with Ali Bin Ali, Abdelaal says: "BSI established a partnership with Gulf Panel and was awarded the contract of nearly 120,000 square metres of steel buildings. Currently, the package is under fabrication and its execution under way."

The fabrication of the Al Asmakh project is slated to start soon. BSI has worked closely with its contractor, CRC, for development of the design.

BSI is equipped with three lines of operations for its state-of-the-art equipments. Elaborating on them further, Abdelaal says: "We have the built-up section fabrication line, which supports manufacturing work of the main structure. BSI utilizes many shear line machines along with the automatic welding ones. Apart from that, we have the light gage and cold forms roller, which support the fabrication of the secondary structure. And then there is the system of cleaning and blasting of fabricated materials."

The erection procedure during construction goes a long way in addressing safety concerns of labourers. Apart from that, forklift accidents continue to be a cause for concern. How is BSi grappling with these issues?

"No accident has been caused by a forklift in the history of BSi. The reason being that besides the forklift operator, there has to be a forklift helper available during the time of transport, lifting and unloading."

Abdelaal says that not all the erection is being implemented by BSi and that sometimes it is given to contractors. "There are a lot of requirements according to QCS. We have our sub-contractors; and provide the method of statements, which include the kind of equipments that will be used. We also furnish information about the safety elements at the site. In some cases, if it's a high-profile project, you have to maintain a safety officer at all times. He ensures that everybody uses the safety equipments/tools like hard hat, safety steel tops, safety vests, etc. The speed of the cars coming in is also monitored."

Abdelaal also says that sub-contractors give regular updates on all the developments at the site, and that failure to adhere to safety regulations can lead to the offender getting "kicked out". According to him, if the weather is not suitable then work is not allowed.

"Access to sites will only be approved if the wind load is acceptable. If there's a sandstorm, then work will be stopped."

As far as building acoustics is concerned, Abdelaal says that the majority of BSi buildings are industrial facilities; and that the ones that require a lot of sound proofing are those that are part of a community.

" QCS will decide which building qualifies for how much sound. We at BSi make sure that the requirements of insulation and weather tightness are met. For residential complexes, the sandwich panels or wall cladding will have to be thicker to prevent the sound from carrying from one side to another. But, again, the majority of our buildings are industrial, so the acoustic requirements are fewer."


 A Decade of Solidity

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