Oct 26, 2016 | By Tess

With every new development in the construction industry, one of the hardest and most crucial steps of having them implemented on a large scale is having them tested and standardized. Considering how important it is to have well made buildings that can support not only weight, but other types of stresses, construction standards cannot be ignored or simply glossed over. With the advent of 3D printing in construction, a whole new set of standards will have to be put in place, which account for everything from what materials are used, to how they are deposited.

image source:@hhshkmohd

In the United Arab Emirates, where arguably one of the most ambitious 3D printing construction plans is being put forth, officials have just announced that their standardization is moving swiftly forwards, and that a new Index is being put together for the standardization of 3D printed buildings. The new Index is part of UAE Vision 2021, a strategy laid out which “sets the key themes for the Socio-economic development of the UAE”.

As part of this vision, the UAE is seeking to implement new and innovative technologies across all sectors, perhaps most notably in the construction sector. For a country that has been scrutinized for its harsh treatment of its foreign laborers, it is not entirely surprising that this area of focus is one they are seeking to turnaround. A key part of this turnaround will of course be the implementation of a “Smart Buildability Index”, which will allow for the standardization of new construction technologies.

The new Index, put forth by the Federal Demographic Council, will be used to standardize building designs that integrate new and innovative building techniques, including 3D printing for instance, as well as locally manufactured building materials. Ultimately, the Smart Buildability Index is aiming to promote innovative and technologically advanced processes that will allow for faster build times, and in turn, more productivity. According to officials, the Index will be introduced in early 2017 for construction projects over 2000 square meters in size.

Dubai's first 3D printed office building

Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, explained at the Index’s launch: “Such Indexes should be developed to ensure standards in the UAE are on par with the highest international benchmarks. Standardisation is a positive step that will enable major construction projects to better serve the citizens of the UAE, help them achieve happiness and promote further national progress and prosperity.”

At the ceremony, which was attended by many UAE officials, Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum also stressed the importance of advancing and integrating smart solutions into all aspects of society, especially in preparing for a post-oil economy. An important part of this integration is of course Dubai’s 3D Printing Strategy, which seeks to implement additive manufacturing technologies in various sectors, including construction, healthcare, and consumer products.

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