First phase of new high-specification 200,000sqft, seven-floor campus development has been handed over on schedule despite COVID-19 restrictions
ISG has announced the completion of phase one of University of Wollongong Dubai’s new campus at Dubai Knowledge Park.
According to a statement released by the construction specialist, the first phase of the new high specification 200,000sqft, seven-floor campus development has seen ISG handover levels one, three, four and six to the university. These key areas house UOWD’s English Language Testing System (IELTS) Centre, alongside student lounges, laboratories and lecture theatres, as well as the university’s leadership, management and administration offices.
Having commenced onsite in November 2019, the first phase handover is fully aligned with the fast-track programme, which will see ISG deliver the new campus ahead of the start of the new academic year in September.
In the statement, ISG said that it has been working on the campus project with an ‘absolute focus on the health, safety, and wellbeing of every operative across its sites, and strict compliance with UAE Government’s health and safety guidelines, ISG worked diligently to successfully mitigate the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on productivity’.
Comprehensive measures have included the review of safe travel to and from site, one-way site route planning, agile shift patterns and flexing the number of operatives on site to conform with strict social distancing regulations, the contractor said.
ISG has also recruited dedicated occupational health first responders and introduced daily temperature checking of operatives, as part of a robust package of measures to maintain consistently high productivity rates.
Furthermore, ISG has accelerated the roll out of visualisation technology to reduce the requirement for site visits during the crisis. Using 360-degree cameras, inspections and validation work have been carried out remotely, increasing efficiencies for operatives and project stakeholders, the statement said.
Project teams across the territory have also utilised the UAE’s official contact-tracing app to allow timely and accurate identification of any infection risks.
Scott McCulloch, general manager, Middle East, ISG, said: “Celebrating this key programme milestone for the UOWD has extra resonance during this unprecedented global crisis. By adopting a smart, agile and above all a robustly safe approach, and working in full collaboration with every project stakeholder, we have collectively risen to the challenge of operating in this ‘new normal’ and achieved an outstanding result.
“Technology has certainly played an important role in maintaining our productivity rates on site, and our strong tech-led credentials have helped us to deploy smart innovations quickly to generate immediate efficiency benefits. I would like to thank our outstanding project team for demonstrating the creativity, drive, and professionalism to operate under the most demanding of circumstances. And our client UOWD, Woods Bagot, Cundall, C&B, other project consultants and our valued supply chain partners, who have supported us tremendously, as we strive to deliver this project safely,” he added.
The ISG statement said that from the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, ISG and its key stakeholders have been working closely to accommodate the immediate and future potential requirements for social distancing measures on the newly created teaching, social and administrative spaces at the campus.
This collaborative approach has enabled spatial planning revisions to be made and dynamically incorporated into physical spaces with negligible impact to the programme.
Andy Phillips, chief operating officer, UOWD said, “UOWD is building the campus of the future with a focus on delivering a first-class education environment that meets the demands of evolving higher education models. Being in Dubai gives us access to some of the most advanced technologies in the world, which have been woven into the fabric of our new building.
“Our campus will have state-of-the-art facilities that will enhance our student experience, support modern teaching methodologies, and cater to the increasing expectations of the new age higher education model.
“Students will benefit from the cutting-edge technologies, modern architecture, and a mix of traditional and innovative learning spaces. We are looking forward to opening our new campus at the start of the Autumn semester,” he concluded.