Kaarin Kalavus

Director, Abu Dhabi
I am passionate about using technology to assist clients in streamlining their processes, reducing mundane tasks and improving data quality.
Kaarin Kalavus
Kaarin Kalavus.jpg
I work as a Director in BIM (Building Information Modelling), where I develop, implement and manage digital-information strategies. I am passionate about using technology to assist clients in streamlining their processes, reducing mundane tasks and improving data quality. 
I have a natural affinity for complex data challenges which allows me to provide our clients with streamlined and pragmatic solutions. My enthusiasm and attention to detail enable me to forge strong, long-lasting relationships with my colleagues, peers and clients.

I began my BIM career through research at Northumbria University’s BIM Academy and pioneered the development of standardised BIM object libraries for Laing O’Rourke’s Explore Manufacturing pre-cast concrete products.  

My 13 years of BIM experience has been varied and extensive. For our Middle East business, I have supported the development of BIM-enabled quantification capability, as well as the establishment and leadership of the regional digital transformation and change programme to digitise the cost-management service line. 

I also contributed to the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar™ programme, where we realised a programme-wide BIM strategy to deliver an open BIM for use across the lifecycle of an asset, and Abu Dhabi Airport’s new terminal, where I played a leading role in delivering the digital-data strategy for Facilities Management (FM) and making the BIM FM integration a reality. 

For my ongoing efforts to transform and digitise clients’ processes, I received a Women in Construction – Professional award in 2019, and since 2022, I have been a member of Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB)’s Dubai Hub committee, helping to shape their approach with construction professionals in the region. I am a Chartered Construction Manager (MCIOB) by the Chartered Institute of Building and hold a Facilities Management Professional (FMP) credential.  

Q. What attracted you to join Turner & Townsend?

A. I joined in 2015 while relocating from Qatar to UAE (United Arab Emirates). Prior to this, I had several discussions with Turner & Townsend about joining because several of my former colleagues worked for the company and provided encouraging feedback about the way it operated.

Q. How has your career at Turner and Townsend developed? 

A. I have had an excellent career progression and am grateful for the opportunities for growth that have been provided to me. I advanced quickly from Consultant to Senior Consultant and Principal Consultant as a result of my ability to solve complex challenges, form strong relationships with colleagues, peers and clients, and keep an open mind to learning. This was followed by admission to our Chairmans Group collaborative development programme over 2019 and 2020, and promotion to Associate Director. I was then promoted again to Director in May 2023.

Q. Which project are you most proud of being involved in at Turner & Townsend?

A. My most long-standing commission at Abu Dhabi Airports. 

Q. How do you contribute to Turner & Townsend making a difference?

A. I am open minded, I maintain a positive can-do attitude, and am always happy to assist my clients and colleagues to meet their goals. My focus is always on delivering high-quality work for our clients and bringing out the best of our teams to drive high levels of personal and client satisfaction. 

Q. Describe your typical day.

A. I usually begin my day by going through my inbox and calendar and identifying key action items. Some days may be spent entirely in meetings or workshops, discussing project progress or determining a course of action. On other days, I’ll sit at my desk conducting reviews, preparing reports or dealing with other client issues. I also supervise a team of specialists whom I mentor and support to ensure that we continue to provide high-quality service and that they have the necessary skills to do so. Although that my days can be quite structured, they do vary and that keeps me stimulated.

Q. What do you most enjoy about working at Turner & Townsend?

A. Our Middle East is a region full of diversity and I am grateful to have seen our offices grow over the years and forge new relationships with people who have joined the business. 

Q. What is the emerging trend in your industry specialism and how are you responding to this?

A. Artificial intelligence is making its way into construction technology to automate repetitive tasks and analyse project data near real time. We are actively looking into technologies available in the marketplace to assist with better ways of working.

Career highlights

  1. Promoted to Director

  2. Achieved CIOB Chartership and joined CIOB Dubai Hub Committee

  3. Promoted to Associate Director

  4. Promoted to Principal Consultant

  5. Joined Turner & Townsend as Consultant