'Involving FM in GCC building design a challenge'

Early FM involvement can improve overall functionality, but owner awareness about its benefits remains low, Chandan Singh, group COO of Dhofar Global, told fmME

FM operators must be involved at the design stage, Dhofar Global's COO said. [Representational image]
FM operators must be involved at the design stage, Dhofar Global's COO said. [Representational image]

The lack of early FM involvement in the GCC's design and construction sector continues to challenge the region's facilities managers, an expert told fmME.

Chandan Singh, group chief operating officer of Dhofar Global, said this trend must be changed in order to improve functionality within the GCC's built environment. 

Singh said that while Dubai Expo 2020 will drive demand for cleaning and maintenance services in the UAE and the GCC, there are some challenges that the region's FM service providers will have to overcome. 

"Strong emphasis on value-for-money solutions for building maintenance is a challenge we must first and foremost contend with," he said. 

"Implementation of fire safety and security features amid recent fire incidents – which is critical due to the increase in high-rise projects in the UAE and the GCC – is a concern.

"There is also a rising demand for low-energy solutions in line with government regulations, which has become a challenging subject.

"However, in my view, the FM industry’s biggest challenge remains raising awareness and educating owners and developers about the involvement of FM in the design stage to make the facility more beneficial in terms of lowered operational costs, enhanced building life cycles, and the creation of a better built-in environment for occupants." 

Singh expressed optimism about the GCC FM sector's growth prospects. 

"While the slowdown in construction activity this year is a concerning issue, I am confident of a quick rebound in the coming years."

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