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Conference highlights safety and security systems in high occupancy buildings

28 Aug 2016

Saudi legs to kick off pan-Middle East tour by leading international safety and security experts

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia: Fire safety consultants, architects, engineers and, and safety system suppliers from the regional construction industry gathered in Riyadh, as the Saudi leg of the popular Safety Design in Buildings (SDiB) Conference got underway.

The 2016 round of the SDiB programme begins today (29 August) at the Holiday Inn Riyadh, before moving onto the Park Hyatt Jeddah on 30th August, where experts investigate concepts of integration for safety and security related aspects of high occupancy buildings with a view to strategy planning, material, and system requirements.

Organised by Sesam Business Consultants, the SDiB Conference is co-founded by Intersec, the leading international trade event for safety, security, and fire protection. It forms part of a pan-Middle Eastern initiative to debate and highlight the current standards of safety and security in buildings in the region as well as to promote a dialogue between regional industry professionals and international experts.

The Saudi leg of the SDiB Conference comes as demand for fire safety and design is on the increase in a Gulf region which is witnessing a boom in the construction of numerous high-rise buildings.

According to the Council of Tall Buildings, the GCC was home to 269 buildings over 150 metres in height in 2015, making the region a prime target for fire protection and safety system providers.   Dubai, according to Emporis, a building information provider, is home to 911 completed high-rises, 88 of which stand taller than 180 metres.

Meanwhile, Saudi’s fire safety market was worth US$577 million in 2015 according to analysts 6Wresearch, with growth driven by mandatory government regulations on the installation and replacement of fire safety systems as well as fresh demand from new and emerging projects.

“With the GCC becoming a region boasting of multiple high-rise and high-occupancy buildings and facilities, the importance of evolving integrated safety and security design standards is key,” said Ahmed Pauwels, CEO of Messe Frankfurt Middle East, the organiser of Intersec.

“The increasing number in high rises come with a number of safety related challenges and can cause severe complexities in a fire fighting operation.  The Safety Design in Buildings Conference has done a marvellous job in bringing leading international safety and security experts and consultants to the region and creating a valuable forum for idea exchange and transmission of industry expertise and best practice within the regional safety and security community,” added Pauwels.

The growing market for fire-rated building material and security systems is reflected in the doubling in size of the Safety Design in Buildings Pavilion at Intersec 2017, which takes place from 22-24 January at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Introduced for the first time in 2016, the pavilion is dedicated to the building materials industry, including fire-rated facades, fabrics, doors, windows, paints, stucco, and egress systems.

The core focus of this year’s SDiB Conference series in Saudi holds special relevance in a Gulf region which has witnessed recent high profile fire incidents such as the fire at The Address Hotel in Dubai on New Year’s Eve in 2016, and the Jazan hospital fire in Saudi Arabia in December 2015.

The opening session features a presentation on the Jazan Hospital Fire Tragedy from an engineering point of view by Anas A. Alzaid, Director General Safety and Security, Ministry of Health, Saudi Arabia. This is followed by a presentation regarding the design of fire and life safety and security systems for airport operations by Adam Olomon, Project Manager, at Jensen Hughes.

The second session provides guidance on Facade Fire Safety Audits by Andy Dean, Head of Facade Engineering at WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff. Also on the programme is a talk on Integration and Coordination of Fire Safety Design Strategies in Construction by Rob Davies, Technical Director, WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff.

Following its Saudi leg, the 2016 SDiB Conference series will then move on to Cairo, Egypt in October, and Muscat Oman in November.

Now it its 19th edition, Intersec 2017 is held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mansoor bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and will feature more than 1,300 exhibitors from 54 countries. 

The annual three-day event focuses on the seven core focus areas of Commercial Security; Smart Home and Building Automation; Information Security; Fire & Rescue; Safety & Health; Homeland Security & Policing; and Perimeter & Physical Security. 

Intersec will also make its debut in Saudi Arabia in 2017 with the inaugural edition set to welcome trade buyers and visitors from 2-4 May 2017 at the Jeddah Center for Forums & Events.