Zak World of Façades Middle East

16th Mar 2015, The Oberoi, Dubai

About the Event

The inaugural Zak World of Façades Middle East took place on the 16th March 2015 at The Oberoi in Dubai, UAE. This edition had gathered around 274 attendees comprising some of the region’s leading architects, façade consultants, glass processors, fire & life safety consultants, façade contractors, developers, PMC’s and representatives from the Dubai Civil Defence and Dubai Municipality. The single day event had featured 31 speakers and panelists spread over four engaging sessions.

The opening keynote was delivered by Lars Anders from Priedemann on the “Future of Façade Consultancy / Engineering” which set the tone for the conference for the rest of the day. This was followed by other interesting case studies and technical presentations from some of the top consultants on various diversified subjects. The first half of the day ended with an interactive panel discussion on “Energy Efficient Sustainable Façades”.

The afternoon keynote was delivered by Johann Sischka from Waagner-Biro who spoke on the “Dome of the Iconic Louvre Project in Abu Dhabi”. This was followed by more technical presentations. The session ended on a high note with an interactive and explosive panel discussion on “Fire Safety in Façades” which featured representatives and associates from the Dubai Civil Defence. The main topic of discussion in this panel was on the current Dubai Regulations on Fire Safety and the way forward.

The last session featured few more presentations from some of our partners talking about how their products aid in futuristic façade designs and the conference concluded with a panel discussion on “Façade Engineering for High Performance Buildings”. The first edition of this conference series in the Middle East was very well appreciated for its content, ambience, networking break-out sessions and most importantly spreading the awareness of designing safe façades in the Middle East.

Speakers and Panelists

Conference Agenda

12th Edition - Zak World of Façades Middle East, 16th Mar 2015, The Oberoi, Dubai

Session - 1(09.30 - 10.35)


Welcome Address

Syed Zakir Ahmed, Chairman, Zak Group


The future of façade consultancy/engineerings

  • Trends today
  • Resulting demands tomorrow
  • The façade specialist in 2020
Lars Anders, Managing Director, Priedemann


Contextual design response: through a case study

  • All buildings exist within a larger environment: how far should context influence the built environment
  • A brief look at some key design informants which influence the built environment
Kourosh Salehi, Principal Architect - Middle East, Atkins


Achieving high performance buildings through Building Envelope Commissioning (BECx)

  • What is commissioning?
  • Importance of air leakages
  • Overview of the key steps within the commissioning phases
John Runkle, Vice President - Building Science, Intertek


Tea/Coffee Break & Networking

Session - 2(11.00 - 13.00)


Current challenges for façades in the Middle East

  • New Dubai regulations on increased wind load - innovative approaches to reduce commercial impacts on high-rises
  • Advanced technologies for the modelling of 3D curved façade and roof geometries
  • The importance of quality control inspections during the façade installation phase - examples
Benjamin Beer, Technical Director, Meinhardt Façade


Designing with structural laminated glass interlayers

  • Physical properties, including high temperature performance, of ionoplast interlayers
  • Use of ionoplast interlayers in façades, skylights, canopies, and glass railings - examples
  • Post-breakage safety of ionoplast laminates in minimally-supported systems
Valerie Block, Senior Marketing Specialist - GLS, Kuraray


Innovations in building geometry and louvre technology to create self-shaded façades

  • Exploring ways in which geometry has a role to play in reducing internal solar gains
  • Exploring the solutions that allow for free form geometry of louvred structures
  • Understanding issues of constructability and maintenance in the façade
Benjamin Piper, Director - Architecture MENA, Perkins + Wills


PANEL DISCUSSION: Energy efficient sustainable façades

  • Understanding the role of building envelopes to meet Estidama & DGBR regulations
  • Designing aesthetically pleasing insulated façades for high temperature and weatherability
  • Analysing the thermal efficiency of a curtain wall
  • Incorporating effective daylighting and controlling glare


Alex Dantziguian, Managing Director, Technoform ME


Neil van der Veen, Director, RMJM International Scott Coombes, Director, Al Abbar Energy & Sustainability Sandy Dweik, VP & Principal Consultant, Thomas Bell-Wright Firoz Kachwala, Director, Future Architectural Glass Jean-Marc Luvisutto, Managing Director, Technal Middle East


Lunch Break

Session - 3(13.50 - 15.40)


Five tips on façades

  • Practical tips for façade related coordination during design stage
  • Reducing problems and unexpected cost during construction
Agnes Koltay, Director, Koltay Façades


The Louvre Dome and other exciting projects in the Middle East

  • Design, engineering and challenges on the Louvre project
  • Case studies on Yas Marina and Capital Gate, Abu Dhabi
Johann Sischka, Member of the Board, Waagner-Biro


Understanding fire resistant glass

  • Overview of fire rated glass
  • Integration of fire rated glass in a system
  • Correct specification of fire rated glass
Imran Manasawala, Director, Future Architectural Glass


PANEL DISCUSSION: Fire safety in façades:

  • Glass buildings seen as a fire hazard – myth or reality?
  • Understanding the role of cladding materials in designing fireproof façades
  • Incorporating smoke ventilation mechanisms and perimeter protection
  • Fire rating of façade materials and the need for fire testing


Lars Anders, Managing Director, Priedemann


Pramod Challa, Chief of Engineering, Dubai Civil Defence Andy Dean, Head - Façade Engineering, WSP Sajid Raza, Advisor & VP - Technical, Butler Engineering Kieran Diviny, Façades Manager, Hyder Consulting Mike Luna, Regional Manager, Building Products, Intertek


Tea / Coffee Break & Networking

Session - 4(16.00 - 17.45)


Unveiling the real value of façade Engineering - A provocative statement on technical design leadership vs. copy/paste intelligence

  • Focusing on the job – client groups, expertise range, service availability
  • Avoiding information loss – workflow from concept to machine
  • Innovation realized – case studies and client value
  • Experiencing sustainable technology – service strategy for façade consultancy industry
Micha Pawelka & Anees Backer, Managing Directors, Priedemann Middle East


Simple analysis about design & construction of point fixed glazing

  • Stress patterns & features of point fixed glazed structures
  • Precautions in the design & construction of point fixed glazing
Taylor Chou, Regional Head, Kinlong Hardware


Inspirational façade designs in composite panels

  • Ventilated façade systems (New vent systems from Technomarket – SLIDER, BOX & TACK)
  • Fire rated composite panel system & power of A2 fire rating
Mallikarjuna Rao, Group Director - Alubond Global Operations, Mulk Holdings


PANEL DISCUSSION: Façade engineering for high performance buildings:

  • Structural form and architectural design considerations for tall structures?
  • Integrating sliding windows in a unitised curtain wall system
  • Role of surface finish in high performance buildings
  • Surface finish considerations to sustain extreme weather conditions


Ihab Mouallem, Commerical Director, Gulf Extrusions


Tarek Farid, Associate Principal, Perkins Eastman Belarmino Cordero, Senior Façade Consultant, Inhabit Group Issam Ezzeddine, Principal Design Architect, National Engineering Bureau Miro Party, Sr Construction Manager, Arabtec Construction Ammar H Alul, General Manager, Schüco Middle East Bertrand Barrat, Export Manager TMEA, Axalta Coating Systems


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