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Interview: Pace

Monday 14 Apr 2014

Interview: Pace

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Tarek Shuaib, Managing Partner at Pace, Kuwait talks to WAN about the benefits of a multi-disciplinary team and the importance of investing in the latest technology 

Kuwait-based Pace is an architecture, engineering and planning firm of more than 300 experts whose knowledge ranges from interior design to landscape architecture and transport engineering. Initiated over 45 years ago, the practice’s portfolio currently boasts more than 1,300 commercial, residential, governmental, recreational and educational projects around the world, with schemes such as the Arraya Tower and Kuwait Business Town firmly leaving their mark on the Kuwait cityscape.

In this two-part interview, Tarek Shuaib, Managing Partner at Pace gives the inside track on working in Kuwait and explains how the firm has come to be the powerhouse it is today.

The evolution of Pace

Pace was founded in 1968 by my father Hamid Shuaib and his partners.  In the late 1960’s, Kuwait was right in the midst of a major cultural, economic and architectural boom. The state’s newfound oil wealth, coupled with an interminable national desire for progress and development, meant that possibilities were endless. Within a few short years, Kuwait went through what can only be deemed a metamorphosis - from a small, rural Gulf state to a modern, urban metropolis with a thriving economy.

This is the time when the Kuwait that we know today was coming to be. As all this was going on around him, my father saw a golden opportunity for local architects and engineers; to be a part of this historical transformation and leave a permanent mark on the country’s history. And that is how Pace came into being. Now almost five decades later, I truly believe his vision has borne fruit. Pace has become a market leader in Kuwait and the MENA region.

Gaining the edge as a multi-disciplinary practice

Working with a diverse team of experts does give us an edge at Pace. Our team consists of a number of professional architects, engineers and consultants from very different backgrounds; all applying their expertise and knowledge to bring something new to the table. This sets us apart from our competitors and gives us an upper hand.

As a multidisciplinary organization, we offer something rather unique to our clients: cohesion. Having the full team under one roof creates significant advantages, with inter-departmental communication taking place the very beginning. This allows us to create a fluid work flow that can solve problems quickly and effectively.

Moreover, our commitment to incorporating the latest construction technologies and software technologies, accompanied by training for our staff, helps us to maintain a competitive edge in the market and to uphold our position as innovators and industry leaders.

Investing in the latest technology

We constantly ensure that we incorporate the latest developments in technology into our practices, increasing the scope and location of our projects on an international scale and across professions.

We have recently introduced the latest Building Information Modeling (BIM) design processes across all Pace disciplines to support our move to Revit as our technical production software platform. BIM technology is being adopted increasingly by government commissioning bodies, ministries and private clients alike for its ability to support fast-track programmes and to support decision-making about a facility from the earliest conceptual stages of a project, through design and construction phases and onwards within a project’s full operational lifecycle.

We have developed our BIM project processes following the successful completion of complex and challenging projects in Revit, undertaken in conjunction with international partner consultants. This exposure allows us to take international best practice methodologies and standards to our work with public and private sector clients in Kuwait and the wider GCC area. The result is that we are able to inform and guide our clients towards efficiencies and innovations in procurement and delivery, whilst at the same time improving design coordination, engineering efficiency and construction quality.

Alongside our adoption of BIM has been our investment in a new Project Information Management (PIM) system which we are rolling out across the practice and onto our construction supervision sites in Kuwait and beyond. This software enables us to manage and share project information quickly and efficiently, streamlining the project delivery and auditing processes, as well as allowing us to focus the efforts of our design and engineering professionals on project quality rather than administrative processes, which in a region accustomed to hard copy processes can sometimes become diverting and time-consuming.

The integration of this system with our BIM processes during both design and construction phases, together with our project management focus on Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) protocols, demonstrates the value we attach to international best practice, innovation and above all project quality.

Alongside the latest IT technologies, advances in construction technologies offer new opportunities for innovation and quality, the benefits of which we are exploring with our clients. From innovations in construction materials and manufacturing processes, to advances in MEP and structural engineering systems, we have a proud record as an ‘early-adopter’ of new technologies and construction methodologies in the region. Our projects continue to benefit from these latest technologies through improved project efficiencies, reduced environmental impact, and savings in operational and management costs.

Part two of our interview with Tarek Shuaib will feature in the 23 April issue of News Review.

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PACE Kuwait

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