The UAE's Minister of Climate Change and Environment Abdullah Belhaif al-Nuaimi has been appointed as the chair of the board of the Centre of Excellence in Smart Construction (CESC) in Dubai.
Launched in 2019 by Heriot-Watt University Dubai, CESC is a research hub geared at enabling collaboration between the construction industry, academia and the UAE government.
"The mission of the centre aligns with the global pledge to build back better in the post-Covid-19 world, and its pioneering research helps address the most pressing challenges in the construction sector," said Al-Nuaimi in an official statement.
Establishing a knowledge-based economy and delivering sustainable development are two of the key pillars of the UAE's Vision 2021.
Ammar Kaka, provost and vice-principal of Heriot-Watt University Dubai, said: "I strongly believe that for the construction industry to move forward towards becoming safer and more sustainable, collaboration, a clear vision and partnerships are necessary post-Covid-19 and beyond."
CESC is working with a number of local and international construction companies, including Alec, Mott MacDonald and ASGC, to identify key challenges in the construction sector.
The centre's research focuses on enabling technologies under three key themes:
> Performance and productivity – Researchers are working with industry partners to improve the efficiency of the construction industry by creating, promoting and sharing knowledge related to the latest technological developments, leading to manufacturing efficiencies, improved quality and reliability, and a reduction in project variations, duration and cost.
> Sustainability – Led by Net Zero 2050 objectives and the UN Sustainable Development Goals, CESC will continue to collaborate with industry to increase the level of social, economic and environmental sustainability of the construction industry, leading to a reduction in carbon emissions across the full life cycle of a project.
> Wellbeing – In a post-Covid-19 new normal, Heriot-Watt’s academic programmes and researchers aim to enhance the industry’s health and safety performance and workforce wellbeing standards.
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