With the construction market on track to become the Kingdom’s fastest growing economic sector by next year, The Big 5 Saudi, to be held under the patronage of the Jeddah Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs, will feature a new series of educational events for visitors to gain greater access and an understanding of the many opportunities that the country offers.
Developed in coordination with the country’s leading construction and building experts, the “Sustainable Design and Construction Seminar” series will look at the rapidly changing technologies, materials and techniques of the global construction industry whilst focusing on the local market’s key drivers and identifying solutions to potential challenges.
“Growth across the Kingdom has been phenomenal,” said John G. Spitz, senior vice president, Saudi Arabia, Hill International, a global construction consultancy that handles over $40 billion in projects across the country. Spitz, who will join the opening Leaders in Construction panel session, highlighted that the growth outlook for the next five years in the Kingdom is bright.
“This is not a recent development. Even during the financial downturn a few years ago, Saudi maintained steady growth, as the construction sectors in many other countries were struggling. The government has actually increased its investments over the past several years to the various ministries involved in construction and infrastructure development.”
Joining Spitz on the panel will be Andrew Johnson of Mace Group, who is serving as project manager of Jeddah’s Kingdom Tower, which is set to unseat Dubai’s Burj Khalifa as the world’s tallest tower. Also on the panel will be Jesdev Saggar, managing director for Capital Projects & Infrastructure, Deloitte; and Oliver Plunkett, Buro Happold’s Saudi Arabia country manager.
The free-to-attend seminar series will also include a number of Market Insight sessions, one of which will focus on the market fundamentals driving the push for affordable housing in Saudi, which already boasts over $1 billion dedicated to developing eight new housing developments across the country.
Also new for this year will be a series of sessions devoted to sustainable building design, including methods for minimizing post-project waste while improving energy efficiency targets. The sessions will cover steps for integrating recycled content in building materials and how best to present green building designs to clients from a business and savings perspective.
“The seminar series is a result of Saudi’s growing influence in the region’s construction industry and the demand for access to insight and information from experts working within the market,” comments Nathan Waugh, event director, The Big 5 Saudi. “Our visitors expressed a desire for more education content, and as a response to this we aim to bring expertise from local, regional and international sources to highlight the Kingdom’s exciting development in the coming years.”