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A minute of your time... Jafar Khair

Al Habtoor Engineering corporate planning director Jafar Khair outlines the firm's newly published Building Services Planning Manual and how this can help the efficient completion of projects.

Jafar Khair
Jafar Khair

Al Habtoor Engineering corporate planning director Jafar Khair outlines the firm's newly published Building Services Planning Manual and how this can help the efficient completion of projects.

What is the Building Services Planning manual?


For the success of a project it is imperative that [MEP services] are well planned and properly integrated with the other works.

The Building Services Planning Manual provides guidance in the initial preparation, subsequent review, monitoring and controlling of programme for building services (MEP) activities within a construction project.

It describes the processes involved in various MEP disciplines, including a detailed activity breakdown and their inter-relation and interactions with other works.

It is designed to act as a guide for planning and programme managers intending to develop an integrated programme incorporating the various building services disciplines with other works.

Section one provides the activity breakdown structure for various building services processes. It also provides a coding system for easy identification and organisation of the various disciplines.

Section two provides an activity flow diagram for various services including the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (hvac), electrical system and fire-fighting. This highlights the sequence of activities in a typical building project and includes a complete work breakdown.

Section three provides a graphical interface of MEP systems with other activities. It will help planning and programme managers to develop an integrated programme in the initial stage for easy monitoring and control of the project.

Section four describes the interface of services with other activities in tabular form. This gives detailed information on the relationships of activities by giving the predecessor, successor and lag to be used with other activities in a typical project.

Section five gives information about the activity production rate for various building services activities. It gives details about the manpower needs of each activity and the time needed for its completion. 

It is very important that procurement of all materials and equipment be completed in time for the construction activities to be completed as planned.

Section six gives a detailed list of important materials for various building services disciplines, together with approximate times for technical submission/approval, procurement, and fabrication/delivery. The delivery period indicated, takes into consideration the lead-time for procurement.

The next section gives basic information about MEP equipment that is commonly used, including its functions and suitability for use in various places. Further sections detail the installation process for the individual MEP systems in a building. These include step-by-step guides for the various complex processes involved in the installation through to the testing of the system.

Why has Al Habtoor Engineering produced the manual?

The construction boom in the UAE is increasing daily. It has catapulted the demand for complementary activities like MEP and each project needs fundamentals from each of these areas.

Secondly there are many existing books that explain the planning of civil and other works for projects, but none cover detailed planning of building services. Thus there was a pressing need for some standard manual that provides such guidelines - this is how the concept of the Building Services Planning Manual developed.

Who was involved in the creation of the manual?

In the creation of this manual we co-ordinated with the UAE Authorities, DEWA, Dubai Civil Defence, clients and MEP contracting firms.

Who is the manual intended for and who can receive a copy?

This manual is intended for planning engineers/managers, programme managers, project managers, team members, building services engineers, MEP engineers/managers/coordinators, consultants, other contract personnel and others who participate or have an interest in any aspect of the management of MEP services in building construction projects.

Most clients, consultants, project management offices and educational institutions can receive a copy.

What was the project's aim?

Planning is a fundamental and challenging activity in the management of construction projects. A good construction plan forms the basis for developing the budget and schedule of the work required.

Planning involves the choice of technology, definition of work tasks, the estimation of required resources and durations for individual tasks and the identification of interactions among the different work tasks.

In modern day construction projects, MEP services form an important part of the overall project. For the success of a project, it is imperative that they are well planned and properly integrated with other works.

The manual is intended to act as a guide for the planning and controlling of building services in a typical project. In this edition the main focus is to identify the various important disciplines and sequence of activities that need to be undertaken in order to render the various services to successful operation.

What's been happening since May 2007 when the idea was launched to the industry?

The development of the manual actually started in mid-2006. In May 2007, Al Habtoor conducted a workshop seminar to make sure the idea will help the industry and to enhance the contents and collect, debate and review ideas with other experts in the field.

Based on that workshop and continued discussions, we consolidated and finalised the contents of the manual and launched it accordingly.

Where can people obtain a copy of the manual?

This manual is currently available from the corporate department of Al Habtoor Leighton Group. Tel: (+971) 4 285 7551 ext 305 or email: zaharan.s@habtoorengg.ae

Does Al Habtoor have any other publications planned?

Several manuals are set to be published by the company in the future such as the Civil Planning Manual, Mobilisation/Demobilisation and Project Closing Strategy; these are currently under development.

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