New year, new challenges

For the winners of the inaugural MEP Middle East Awards, 2007 ended on a high note. With a strong field of entries in all categories, the judges had a tough time making their decisions and all finalists should be proud of making it to through to the latter stages of the competition.

COMMENT, MEP

For the winners of the inaugural MEP Middle East Awards, 2007 ended on a high note. With a strong field of entries in all categories, the judges had a tough time making their decisions and all finalists should be proud of making it to through to the latter stages of the competition.

The entries gave a snapshot of the outstanding work being carried out in the region's MEP sector and the variety of projects that are being undertaken. They also demonstrated the often major challenges that firms in the industry have to overcome on a daily basis just to get the job done. Ever tighter schedules, constantly updated technologies and staff recruitment and retention are just some of the factors that MEP professionals face while completing installations in the region's buildings.

And as 2008 dawns, the challenges to the MEP sector are likely to increase even further. The sector is at the forefront of the changes that are underway in the Middle East's construction industry. With sustainable engineering and green building construction set to become top priorities in the region, everyone from clients to manufacturers are likely to be demanding the attention of MEP professionals as they strive to understand how the forthcoming standards will affect their businesses. But as well as bringing challenges, this focus on sustainability will offer vast opportunities to those in the MEP sector.

It is the MEP services afterall that will play potentially the most vital role in ensuring that future buildings constructed will meet the energy conservation requirements being put forward. And what other profession will realistically be able to explain and implement the necessary technologies to reduce energy and water consumption in buildings?

The construction sector already relies heavily on the knowledge and experience of MEP professionals to ensure that the latest developments can be successfully completed. It's time to get prepared for that reliance to increase further.

The push for change is coming from the global market as well as the local one and the results of the latest talks in Bali are likely to have a substantial impact within the next few years. While final agreements have yet to be made, the groundwork has been laid for even tougher targets for the reduction of CO2 emissions in the future. And with these comes implicitly the need to reduce energy use in buildings.

With opportunities like these to hand, the scene is surely set for an even bigger batch of winners throughout the industry in 2008.

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