Monday 27 March 2023

Office space demand boosts GCC construction sector

DUBAI, October 18, 2015

Strong demand for high quality office space is poised to drive the GCC’s construction market to $126 billion in 2016, up 38 per cent over 2013, according to an industry expert.

"GCC companies of all sizes are upgrading their office space, placing employee productivity front and centre. However, many new and existing office buildings face acoustic and aesthetic problems – with hard materials such as concrete causing sound reverberation and decreasing productivity," said Santosh Vallil, the sales manager of Hunter Douglas Middle East, the multinational ceiling manufacturer.

Netherlands-based Hunter Douglas is a market leader in innovative, aesthetic, high-quality window coverings, sun control systems and architectural ceiling and façade panels.

"By adopting global best practices in sound-absorbing ceilings, companies in the region can ensure employee satisfaction and enhance competitiveness," stated Vallil.

Large corporations and small- and medium-sized enterprises are expanding and upgrading their offices as the GCC construction market is poised to hit over $125 billion in 2016, he said, citing a report by Alpen Capital.

In Dubai, the region’s central business hub, office supply is set to increase from 7.6 million sq m in 2014 to 9 million sq m by 2017, according to a recent report by JLL, the global real estate consulting firm.

According to Vallil, the sound-absorbing ceiling tiles are especially useful in projects where sound absorption is key - including offices, libraries, educational institutions, airports, marketplaces, restaurants, hotels, and convention centres.

Anticipating the growing demand for high-quality office spaces, Hunter Douglas has launched in the Middle East its new light-weight sound-absorbing ceiling solution called TechStyle Islands.

Reducing reverberation to comfortable levels, TechStyle Islands can absorb 75 per cent of sound at frequencies between 250 and 4,000 Hertz, which includes the frequencies for human speech and the sound of a telephone.

“TechStyle Islands was developed in response to a need for an affordable, simple and flexible solution for acoustic problems in existing buildings. It certainly is a simple solution; for small-scale application, you don’t even need an architect or installer. The next step, as far as I’m concerned, will be to integrate lighting in the islands,” remarked Adrian Stieger, the director of Hunter Douglas Switzerland, who invented the solution.

Consisting of fibreglass tiles attached to U-shaped aluminium, TechStyle Islands weigh 25 per cent less than traditional ceiling islands, making them easier to install, and reducing the overall load on the building structure and cost to transport.

Sound-absorbing ceilings can be used in both existing buildings, and new buildings with concrete core activation, in which the concrete heats and cools the building. In such buildings, the concrete ceilings need space to release heat or cold, but the extra space causes longer reverberation times; it can be challenging to balance the two.

Stieger said TechStyle Islands, which is made of natural materials such as fibreglass and aluminium, can be fully recycled at the end of their product lifecycle.

"By not releasing any volatile substances, they contribute to a healthy working environment. The ceiling islands also meet the EN 13501-1 standard, ensuring they can be used in emergency routes," he added.

TechStyle Islands can also contribute to the aesthetic quality of interiors. In buildings with concrete core activation, the warm, plaster-like tiles contrast nicely with the hard roughness of the concrete, said the expert.

The ceiling profiles connect seamlessly in the corners, and the white mineral coating reflects light, making rooms in which the islands are used a lot lighter.

Available in a standard width of 1.2 m and in lengths from 1.2 to 2.4 m, TechStyle Islands can be easily mounted without the aid of an installer, with just four screws and a steel wire, he added.-TradeArabia News Service

Tags: Construction | GCC | office space | Hunter Douglas |

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