Back to news 2016-07-20

Producer’s opinion: Increased scrutiny of construction consultants is a growing trend across the Gulf

The prospect of a revised UAE Fire and Life Safety code became a major issue at the beginning of the year and everybody in the industry is still eagerly awaiting its release.
The UAE Fire and Life Safety Codes of Practice 2016 is expected to significantly increase the accountability of consultants involved in construction projects in the country.
Under the new code, consultants are set to become accountable for the overall operations and lifecycle of a new building. They will be responsible for acquiring the design no objection certificate (NOC) from civil defense bodies, ensuring contractors are sufficiently qualified, inspecting the site during construction, and testing and commissioning all works. Moves to impose stricter regulations on construction consultants are not confined to the UAE, in fact this is a growing trend witnessed across all of the countries that are members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).
With the construction sectors in many GCC countries booming at the moment and becoming far more innovative than in the past, there is a real need for building fire safety regulations across the region to keep pace.
“At the approval stage the industry faces a problem of fake trademarks, which claim to be from European producers, but in reality the production facilities do not exist at all in Europe and the certificates of origin for these products are counterfeited,” said Victor Bisovetskiy, Interpipe Country Manager.
“Consultants should approve manufacturing facilities, not brands. Otherwise, consultants could potentially generate a high level of risk for the project in the long run, since certain products which haven’t been properly verified can be produced at any manufacturing facility. That normally means they come from places where the price is cheap and the quality is negligible.”

Producers are hopeful that the new Fire and Life Safety Codes of Practice will ensure consultants are more cautious when it comes to sourcing building materials, and that they will also allow the UAE to lead by example as it adopts some of the most rigorous safety standards in the world.