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Consultancy and research

Two Teesside University academics have been awarded a grant of nearly $900,000 to lead pioneering research which could save the Qatari economy billions of dollars in unnecessary building costs.

Professor Nashwan Dawood and Dr Mohamad Kassem have been given the grant from the Qatar Foundation under the Qatar National Research Fund, to fund research work into Building Information Modelling (BIM) and how it can be used to improve construction processes in the Middle East state.

Professor Dawood’s Centre for Construction Research and Innovation at Teesside University is leading the field in BIM which uses a whole life cycle approach to information flow integrated to 3D visualisation to track the cost, time, use of materials and execution space utilisation of building projects.

The BIM approach has a range of implications and Professor Dawood’s team has collaborated on projects all over the world to rehearse builds on major projects including bridges and gas rigs. By analysing where problems and delays may occur before construction has even started, Professor Dawood said BIM can cut the cost of building projects by up to 10%. This could potentially save billions of dollars in Qatar which is predicted to spend $100 billion on construction over the next ten years, including on stadia for the 2022 Football World Cup.

The research grant has been awarded to Professor Dawood’s team as part of the Qatar National Priorities Research Program which is the flagship funding programme of the National Research Fund. The research will be a partnership between Teesside University and Qatar University with 60% of the funding being spent in the gulf state and the remaining 40% being spent in Middlesbrough. The money will be used to employ several researchers and is expected to last three years.

It is part of Teesside University’s work with Qatar University and German construction firm Hochtief-VICON to create a knowledge hub in the Middle East for BIM technology.

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