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July August 2019 Marina World

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MARINA REFURBISHMENT The JA Marina at JA The Resort in 2018 (left) and in 1981 (above), when it was known as Jebel Ali Golf Resort. New life for old in the US and UAE by David Canfield Many ‘new’ marinas in the USA are built by reconfiguring existing facilities. However, refurbishment, repairs and full redevelopments have also been undertaken in regions more typically known for greenfield developments, such as the Caribbean, Latin America and the Middle East. Refurbishment requires not only strong technical experience but also close coordination with the facility management and the contractor so that the operational needs are met and expectations of both the facility owners/developers and users are managed. Lessons learned from the UAE Marinas have been growing at a staggering rate in the UAE, increasing from less than 1,000 berths 30 years ago to over 6,000 berths today. Most marinas and floating pontoon systems are designed with a 25-year service life per marina industry standards, so it is inevitable that many existing marinas will require refurbishment and upgrades to maintain industry standards and remain competitive with newer marinas in the marketplace. The JA Marina at JA The Resort (Formerly Jebel Ali Golf Resort), Dubai, one of the first marinas built in the UAE in 1980, recently underwent a full refurbishment. The project turned an outdated marina, situated within a protected basin, into a full-service marina of high modern standards. The refurbishment covered complete pontoon replacements, with select reconfiguration customised to accommodate the existing basin geometry, market demand, current design standards for navigability, upland access and available budget. After detailed investigation, the existing quay wall was found to be structurally functional as were some existing precast pontoon anchor piles. Utility services to the berths were replaced and upgraded, where necessary, to supply the improved slip mix. Applied Technology & Management (ATM) - a consulting company with over 30 years’ international experience in the marina sector - was involved from the early stages of refurbishment conception, which encompassed a thorough design process, permitting, tendering and construction coordination. Based on the project experience, the following key considerations relating to marina refurbishment can be highlighted. Often with refurbishment projects, as opposed to new or full redevelopments, more stringent budgetary constraints are imposed. Targeted engineering studies are an efficient way to reduce the final cost. It is also imperative to review costs during concept level through detailed plans - and to coordinate with the contractor and facility management - to ensure budgets are understood and remain on track. David Canfield When reconfiguration is limited or not necessary, performing a thorough and rigorous inspection of existing facilities (including destructive and non-destructive testing) is useful for determining specific components that can be reused, given typical component service life. In this case, some piles could be re-used, which provided considerable savings. Other components may be able to be upgraded with minor improvements. Designing new components to current standards and incorporating them into the overall existing marina facility is a challenge. It may involve the need to incorporate some aesthetic improvements or make clear that, while the retained items may not totally conform, they are functional and adequate for their intended use. Strong relationships with regulatory authorities are vital, as authorities must be satisfied that the new overall facility performance meets current standards, especially when incorporating both new and older/existing components. It is important to maintain strong communication with the entire project team as well as up-to-date communication with marina patrons during construction in order to manage expectations and minimise disruptions to existing services. Construction projects often include unforeseen delays and communication is critical. “In order to undertake a successful marina refurbishment, it is imperative that a strong relationship exists between the current marina members and the management team,” notes Andy Savill, manager at JA Marina. - July/August 2019 39

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