Lesson of Labour
MMG talks about its FM contract with the American School of Doha
Both schools had a large, modern library as well as a dining hall, football pitch and a 400-metre track.
The renovation and expansion of the elementary school also began in 2007, which included the removal of 42 mobile cabins, an expanded library, a new and larger multi-purpose room, a bigger cafeteria, two additional elementary science labs and a new central office complex. This building was completed in June 2009.
The school now has up to 2,000 students and a student body representing more than 79 countries.
With this large scale project now complete, MMG is responsible for all operations and maintenance; cleaning; landscaping; pest control; photocopiers; fire detection; firefighting; master clock; PA; audio visual; BMS; lighting control; CCTV; swimming pools; road blockers; sliding gates and lifts.
The company was also present during the construction of the new High/Middle School buildings and for the renovation and expansion of the Elementary School. It acted as the client representative, attending weekly meetings with the contractor and consultant and reporting to the school management.
“Taking part in a large expansion is a big challenge and an opportunity at the same time. Perhaps the most difficult and nerve-wracking part was to impose a very tight and strict schedule and make sure the school was ready to receive and accommodate students on time,” said Fady Haddad, senior facilities manager for ASD.
“Knowing that every minute counts, we had to closely monitor the progress of the construction work with the contractor and consultant to coordinate and prepare the MMG team for take over.
“Facility management is looking after the school’s facilities and managing the buildings and services, which includes hard and soft services. Hard services include engineering services, electro mechanical services, plumbing and water management and energy and safety services.
“Soft services include housekeeping, garden and lawn, pest control, waste management, vendor management, mail room services, staffing solutions, hospitality services and security services etc. It includes the safety of the students and the people around the campus.”
MMG’s main role was to witness the testing and initial operations of the systems (fire alarm, fire fighting, chillers, BMS), inspection and issuance of snag lists, follow up with the contractor and consultant for rectification of snags, modification advice for the maintenance of floor drains, ceiling and access doors.
It ensured all documentation and drawings were available as O&M (operation and maintenance) manuals of different systems, warranty letters, testing and commissioning reports, load schedule of the electrical panels and as built drawings and agreeing on acceptance of work before final ASD management approval.
To carry out the work, MMG has a team which includes; a senior facilities manager; HSE officer; project engineer; facility coordinator; call centre operator; BMS operator; team leaders; technicians; services supervisors; cleaners; watchmen; and gardeners.
Other work carried out by subcontractors includes: cleaning services; pest and rodent control; road blocker and gates; HVAC; lifts; fire pumps; BMS system; landscaping consultancy; swimming pool maintenance; tri logistics female cleaners; and fire alarms.
“Projects depending on input from third parties are always challenging and need a great deal of control and supervision. Cleaning and landscaping, for example, in such a sensitive place, are areas where MMG has to pay particular attention and closely supervise and control the activities,” added Haddad.
The school has a number of events it hosts each year including Halloween Carnival, International Week, Olympic Day, Qatar Night and the popular Friendship Festival.
MMG recently finished running the electrical works, barricades, fences, signage, safety, housekeeping and related maintenance for the Friendship Festival, which was held last month.
The event brings over 5,000 visitors to the school, a mix of Americans, locals and various other nationalities. It lasts for one day and the income raised is invested back in the school.
It takes place in three separate areas within the school: the football field, where there is a bouncy castle and games for the children; the dining hall, where external vendors set up food stalls; and the gym, where vendors sell clothes and Qatari related souvenirs.
“The Friendship Festival is ASD’s biggest and most high profile event. It is organised by the Parent Teacher Association (PTA) in collaboration with MMG, which in turn provides all of the logistical support before and on the day.
The planning and execution of the festival requires a great deal of time and dedication,” said Haddad
“The logistics for this event are very complicated. In order to ensure everything runs smoothly, we start planning over a month in advance with the physical set-up starting the week before the event. We have a dedicated team of people working on it (project engineer, three supervisors, 20 cleaners and one facility coordinator).
MMG works closely with ASD’s director of security to set up security scanners/metal detectors for visitors to pass through before entering the festival and signage around the school to ensure people know where they need to go, and what they need to do in an emergency.
There are up to 30 external vendors and MMG provides everything they need, such as tables, fridges, power connections and water. It is also responsible for submitting a map citing the location of all the vendors during the event to plot electricity outlets and water pipes.
In case of emergencies, the company organises an ambulance to be on site for the duration of the festival and puts up the signage for emergency exits.
It handles all the cleaning during the event and post event clean-up. It has to restore everything as it was overnight, allowing the school to resume as normal the next day.
The PTA announced this year it will be able to fund new projects in the Middle School to improve student learning. Proceeds from the event and other initiatives have helped to fund projects, such as the recent QR1,000,000 Lower Elementary playground, the “Visiting Author Programme,” theatre seats in the ASD auditorium, resurfacing of the elementary sports’ courts, lighting in the high school theatre lobby, landscaping, the Elementary chalkboard wall and “smartboards” for ASD classrooms.
“Having a professional company such as MMG to carry out FM on its behalf is important for a school because it ensures a single point of contact for all issues and concerns relating to school facilities needs,” said Haddad.
“FM is also responsible for protecting the school’s facilities and assuring that these facilities meet the need for achieving the ASD mission. It also simply makes life easier for the school as they do not need to worry about any of these issues, they know that they are going to be taken care of.”
MMG is now working on a study to build a new parking facility, which will be spread over two floors, for 420 cars.
ASD refers to MMG prior to any expansion, to recommend suitable companies to carry out the work.
Planning for the new parking facility is still at an early stage. The intent is to replace the existing car park that can accommodate 120 cars, with the two storey building that has tennis courts on the roof.
The car park will be used by the faculty and visitors coming to use the school facilities, such as the theatre and football club.
The school requested a feasibility study and MMG sourced two consultancy agencies to submit their proposals to the school management. The proposal needs the go-ahead from the ASD Board, which might need up to three months to approve the build and appoint the appropriate team for the job.
Subject to approval, construction might start next year since works can only be launched during the summer when classes are dismissed during vacation.
The operation of FM at ASD is run from the school premises. MMG has its own office where the facility manager, facility coordinator, help desk operator and PE (project engineer) are based, in addition to a facility for MMG staff to rest and take lunch breaks.
The Resident Facility Manager (RFM) is responsible for the facilities management at the administrative level and of the technical and administrative control of all the operators.
Acting as HSE officer, the RFM is in charge of instilling and enforcing all HSE standards and procedures and supports the ASD support services manager in case of emergencies and evacuation.
The RFM is in charge of: implementation of the FM plan, the planning, control and coordination, managing suppliers and subcontractors, analysing and reporting to the client, presenting new perspectives, improvements and recommendations and proposing and setting annual strategies and budgets.
MMG is certified in ISO 140001 Environmental Management System and as a part of its objectives, implementation of a recycling policy is a requirement.
ASD become one of the first schools in Doha to implement a recycling policy. Segregation of different materials, such as metal, plastic and paper, is organised into separate containers which is distributed in each class and in the common areas and hallways.
Training and awareness has been conducted on different levels between students, teachers and MMG staff and cleaners.
The recycling waste is collected by an external company and delivered to recycling factories in Qatar.
“Recycling is one of the best ways for us to have a positive impact on the world in which we live. It provides an excellent example to students and to people living in the community,” said Haddad.
MMG Maintenance Management Group
The largest operation and maintenance provider in Lebanon, covering all Lebanese territories since 1999 as well as other Arab countries with more than 600 sites and hundreds of employees.
MMG offers facility management services such as general maintenance, operations and management of assets, property management, as well as consulting services and audits. Today MMG is present in the UAE, Qatar, Syria and Jordan.
MMG carries out the following works at ASD
Operations and Maintenance
Facility operations and maintenance is the responsibility of the Division of Property Management and ensures good stewardship of the school with a comprehensive maintenance and repair programme based on preventive maintenance, equipment repair/or replacement.
Cleanliness of the school, offices and playgroup to provide a clean/safe environment.
A clean, safe and attractive landscape is vital for the appearance of the school campus. A groundskeeper may plan or carry out annual planting and harvesting, weeding and fertilizing, other gardening, lawn care, driveway and path maintenance, shrub, pruning, runoff drainage, and irrigation.
MMG implements an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) system. The team identifies whether areas are sealed properly; ensures a proper garbage disposal system; emphasises hidden areas for increased sanitary attention; regular monthly inspection and service; and service reports.
Maintaining the school photocopiers is done by monthly preventive measures and troubleshooting, to increase the longevity of the machines. This includes replacing parts such as drum kits in line with the manufacturer’s recommendations.
MMG’s role is to protect clients and property during fires and to ensure safety wherever people live in the school.
This involves regular inspection and servicing of the safety equipment; daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual inspections are carried out to ensure that the firefighting equipment is fully functioning, and to maintain all other aspects of fire safety management.
All detection systems require maintenance if they are to work perfectly in an emergency. MMG carries out routine programmed maintenance, modifies existing systems and provides emergency call-out services, all of which meet the relevant legislation and requirements.
MMG has established management and maintenance systems to ensure that the workers, tenants and other building visitors do not experience any on-site hazards.
CCTV monitors and/or records the activities in a given area for the purpose of safety and protection of the school property.
It helps to protect the students, guests and staff and is a visible deterrent against theft and vandalism. CCTV footage can be invaluable in the identification and prosecution of any perpetrators of crimes.