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Facilitating better buildings

Emcor Facilities Services is undergoing significant expansion in the Middle East. Christian Roberts explains why the market is growing and how facilities management prolongs the life of buildings.

Emcor CEO Christian Roberts
Emcor CEO Christian Roberts

Emcor Facilities Services is undergoing significant expansion in the Middle East. Christian Roberts explains why the market is growing and how facilities management prolongs the life of buildings.

Where is Emcor Facilities Services expanding its business?

With more than 1000 staff throughout the Middle East, we currently have offices in Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Next month we're opening offices in Oman and Saudi Arabia and early next year we're planning to open offices in Egypt and Jordan.

 

To preserve their brand, developers understand that they have to also preserve their buildings.

Our expansion is in line with our revenue growth within the Middle East; in 2006 we were about US $6.8 million (AED 24.8 million) and this year we are going to touch the $100 million mark.

I understand Bahrain is developing into a significant market for facilities management?

The Bahrain market is substantial and in the last 18 months it has come alive.

We've started working on the Bahrain Financial Harbour which is a major project for us and we expect more long-term contracts to follow on from that. Our services are unique for Bahrain, as there aren't many facilities management companies that can provide the total facilities services that we can.

To a point it's been dominated by management companies with an affiliation towards looking after maintenance services.

The value that Emcor Facilities Services has is that we provide total facilities services and property management solutions throughout the Middle East. So it's looking at the bigger picture if you like and that's where Emcor Facilities Services adds value.

What's the advantage of consulting a facilities management company before you start construction?

Consulting a facilities management company at the pre-design stage of a project can significantly add value by bringing practical operational advice and input that can influence the design development.

Such early FM involvement can lead to cost efficient long-term solutions for operating the completed facility and ensure long-term sustainability and quality standards are maintained over the life cycle of the development.

As a result, the need to maintain the assets of the facility for the future are taken into account at a much earlier stage, and can be performed effectively.

How does it extend the life of the building?

FM extends the life of the building by ensuring its assets are maintained to international standards through scheduled preventative maintenance programmes and periodic building health checks. Such an approach ensures that the assets of buildings are regularly serviced to perform to their expected outputs and life spans.

Do you think developers in the Middle East are beginning to realise this?

Definitely, although this hasn't always been the case. Developers are becoming a lot more aware that they are constructing buildings that carry their brand for life. To preserve their brand, developers understand that they have to also preserve their buildings; otherwise they face not just a tarnished image but loss of future business.

Would you say Emcor Facilities Services' regional expansion is due to both the booming real estate market and this new awareness about the value of FM companies?

Most certainly. But also you have to understand that developments taking place in the Middle East are not taking place anywhere else in the world. Therefore, Emcor Facilities Services has to ensure that the solutions we offer our clients are right at the forefront of FM. What we are creating in the Middle East is new and a world above what is happening anywhere else.

Do you think the growth in the FM market will last?

Our vision is very much for the long term. One of our key strategies focuses on having more local knowledge and talent in the business to ensure a sustainable FM model for the Middle East. In line with this we are working with local universities in the region on various initiatives.

We estimate that by 2014 we're going to be looking to employ between 300 and 500 facilities managers who need to be from the region. This will ensure our longevity in the Middle East market.

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