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Safety Design in Buildings Conference

An intersec co-founded initiative

SDiB is the leading debating platform for safety and fire professionals in the construction industry. Initiated in collaboration with Intersec in 2012, the Safety Design in Buildings Campaign debates safety standards and practices in the built environment. Expert Talks discuss improved protection of people and buildings by looking at trends in the GCC and construction sector.

The event brings leading Fire Safety Consultants, Architects, Engineers and Testing Experts together with Safety System Suppliers to give updates on industry standards and provide a debating platform for best practice.

The conference programs in Jeddah and Riyadh will feature presentations and discussions including:

  • Retrofitting for Fire Safety: Assessing operational and business risks and incentives of retrofitting cladding for improved fire safety.
  • Using tools and technologies of BIM, VR, AR & 3D modeling to create optimal fire safety strategies and building operations.
  • Achieving fire safety in the construction phase: How to best involve the design team to mitigate fire safety risks.
  • Promoting an organisational culture of prioritising safety: from design, planning, implementation and building operation.
  • Meeting NFPA standards and Fire Safety considerations for high-security and military installations.
  • … and more


08.00 - 09.00 - Registration & Breakfast

09.00 - 09.15 - "Welcome and Opening"

Session I : Retrofitting for Fire Safety, Chairman : Andy Dean, Head of Facades | WSP

09:15 - 09:45 - Gregory M. Michaels, P.E., Fire Protection Engineer | US Army Corps of Engineers

"Fire Protection Engineering And Safety Standards Of U.S. Army And Air Force"

09:45 - 10:00 - Jaime Paucar, Project Director | Jensen Hughes

"New Developments in the Saudi Building Codes"

This presentation will discuss the evolution of the Saudi Building Code (SBC) provide updates regarding to the fire protection and life safety provisions. In particular, the presentation will examine major differences between the GCC Code, NFPA, and SBC provisions for various elements of fire and life safety, including means of egress, compartmentation, smoke management, fire service access to high rise buildings, and facades and cladding systems.

10.00 - 10.45 - Panel Discussion: Assessing Operational and Business Risks and Incentives of Retrofitting Cladding for Improved Fire Safety

This discussion looks into the announced changes to requirements for replacing facades. What are the anticipated ramifications for stakeholders? What are key concerns to be addressed to help prepare? What are possible obligations and potential consequences for asset managers? The panel features professionals from a variety of fields to share their views on strategies to mitigate business risk from an operational, government and legal perspective.

Moderator: Andy Dean, Head of Facades | WSP


  • Shamim Rashid Sumar, Director Business Development | JENSEN HUGHES
  • Ian Roy, Head of Property Risk Consulting (MENA) | Marsh
  • Eng. Ali A Mokhtar, President Safety Engineering Chapter | Saudi Council of Engineers
  • Craig Ross, Head of Project and Building Consultancy, Cavendish Maxwell

10.45 - 11.00 - Mike Ward, Sales Director | Coopers Fire

"Smoke And Fire Curtains In High-Rise Buildings"

11.00 - 11.30 Coffee Break

Session II : BIM, Software & Technology, Chairwoman : Shamim Rashid Sumar, Director Business Development | JENSEN HUGHES

11:30 - 11:45 - John Noone, Co-founder - Fire Engineering | Joule Group

"Fire Safety Design & Technology for Operational Readiness"

Designs are often driven to satisfy code requirements or to obtain approval. This may not meet operator or end user-requirements. This presentation discusses how to adopt a holistic fire safety design with emphasis on integrating operational and end-user requirements into the fire strategy design process. New operational facilities involve complex interactions of people, process, technology and environment - the presenter gives an outline of the technology that can facilitate a greater level of fire safety awareness and implementation. The presentation will showcase new technologies available to support operators in managing fire safety in their buildings that can be considered during the design process.

11:45 - 12:00 - Altaf Afridi, Deputy Vice President Marketing, MEA, Dormakaba

"Integration of Passive Fire Safety Code Requirements in Building Design using BIM"

BIM (Building Information Modeling) helps achieve operational safety in complex networks of Building Management Systems (BMS) and helps to effectively manage the integration of specifications in the design stage to enable compliance with requirements for approvals and minimise cost and delays from making changes and modifications in the construction phase.

12:00 - 12:15 - Simone Vernacchia, Senior Technology Consulting Director | PwC

"Using Tools of VR, AR & 3D to Create Optimal Fire Safety Strategies"

Exponentially increasing computer power and advances in software make it possible to radically improve fire safety in buildings by visualizing and factoring in human behavior during a building evacuation. This presentation gives an overview of technologies currently in used and developed for building design and how this benefits safety.

  • Using BIM and VR to identify hidden bottlenecks and natural crowd movements
  • Simulating scenarios to model evacuation strategies based on building layout
  • Using 3D and VR visualization to analyze fire protection and building operations

12:15 - 12:30 - "Looking to the Future of Technology and Fire Safety"


  • John Noone, Co-founder - Fire Engineering | Joule Group
  • Altaf A. Afridi, Deputy Vice President Marketing, Middle East and Africa | dormakaba
  • Simone Vernacchia, Senior Technology Consulting Director | PwC

12:30 - 13:00 - Panel Discussion: Bridging the Roles of Design, Implementation and Operations: Incorporating Design in the Early Stage of a Project to Mitigate Fire Safety Risks

The increasing number of fires on construction sites and maintenance related deficiencies brings added urgency to improve planning and establish procedures and guidelines. This panel brings together a selection of construction professionals representing stakeholders from the owner, programme manager, consultant and contractor to discuss how to start the dialogue earlier to plan out the safety requirements and putting them into practice, both in the construction phase and the management of buildings.

Moderator: Wael Allan, CEO | Tarouk


  • Peter van Gorp, Director of Fire and Life Safety | AESG
  • Tom Baines, Health, Safety, Environment & Quality Director | Arcadis Middle East
  • Andy Dean, Head of Facades | WSP

13:00 - 13:30 - Panel Discussion: Meeting the Standards in the Construction and Operation of High National Security Government Facilities

This panel brings together contractors, fire safety experts, civil defense and government representatives to discuss the requirements to meet NFPA standards in military and government projects, why they are so strict and how to best achieve them.

Moderator: Terry Smith, Managing Director | Bluewater Global Advisors, LLC


  • Gregory M. Michaels, P.E., Fire Protection Engineer | U.S Army Corps of Engineers (USACE)
  • Saeed Jaber Al Ghamdi, Technical Manager | Safety Innovations Training Center (SITC)

13:30 - 14:30 - Lunch

To see the updated program online click here

To register your attendance click here

Looking forward to welcoming you at the conference.

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The one and only platform to reach the whole Saudi Arabian security, safety & fire protection industry Intersec in Dubai is the world’s leading trade fair of Security, Safety and Fire Protection. With more than 1,300 Exhibitors and over 33,000 visitors from 127 countries, its remarkable results positioned Intersec as the largest and the most international show worldwide. The high number of trade visitors from Saudi Arabia to the event in Dubai and the huge demand for safety and security equipment / services in the Kingdom explain why Messe Frankfurt together with ACE Exhibitions have decided to launch Intersec Saudi Arabia in Jeddah. The high number of trade visitors from Saudi Arabia to the event in Dubai and the huge demand for safety and security equipment / services in the Kingdom explain why Messe Frankfurt together with ACE Exhibitions have decided to launch Intersec Saudi Arabia in Jeddah. The show will represent six key product sections: Commercial Security, Information Security, Safety & Health, Fire & Rescue, Homeland Security & Policing and Perimeter & Physical Security.