FM at design needs to be enforced

If the Middle East is to compete on an international business level, FMs need to be involved at the start.

NEWS, Facilities Management

facilities management Middle East urges developers to implement FM during design to ensure a building can reach an optimum operational status.

With so many new buildings being launched every week in Dubai the opportunity to include FM at design phase is here.

It is more cost-effective to implement sustainable practice now than to waste money on retrofitting in order to keep up with international standards in 10 years time.

The Middle East has a reputation for unrivalled development, but if it wants a reputation for creating buildings that are efficient and sustainable then increasing the pace of facilities management at design stage is vital. Something Mark Povey, general manager, marketing and events, Transguard Group, agrees with.

"If Dubai is to realise the dream of being a first class place to do business, a luxury tourist resort and an exceptional place to live, then the massive portfolio of real estate that we are developing to achieve this dream has to be maintained, serviced and delivered to exceptional standards," he says.

Buildings need to be economically and environmentally efficient if places like Dubai want to compete with other world cities and remain business hubs in the long-term.

Increasingly large international companies are looking at corporate social responsibility and shy away from buildings with large carbon footprints.

But it's not just environmental issues that come to the fore when talking about FM inclusion at design phase.

Life cycling costs can be managed effectively by incorporating the correct equipment, reducing costs overall.

Fahad Jafar, managing director of new FM consultancy, Smart Life stresses the point: "Building owners need to pay attention to the functionality of a building because there is a new source of revenue that they have never thought about. Owners just think they can get revenue from renting it out, but those who are willing to listen can save money."

David Graham, general manager, Farnek Services agrees: "Having FM in the design stage of a building is vital. The more forward thinking developers are employing FM in the design stage and consultancy. The money they spend they will easily recover during the remainder of the building's life."

FMs who spoke to facilities management Middle East at this year's FM EXPO in Dubai also stressed the need for FM involvement alongside the MEP installation.

"In this region the facilities managers take over operation after the building is handed over. It would be better if they were brought in along with the MEP contractors, before completion stage, to ensure there are no problems," says V.R. Gudekar, manager, Bahwan Engineering Company.

"The contractors aren't aware of the difficulties faced by FMs, they just construct and go. It is the FM who sees what goes wrong and where and how to deal with it."

With the developments taking place in the region, the Middle East has the perfect opportunity to lead the world in creating sustainable and energy efficient buildings.

A point facilities managers in the area are continuing to push and highlight.

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