Early operator involvement boon for FM staff
Experts say design stage planning is important for FM, reduces costs
Planning for maintenance in the building's design stage is important and early operator involvement should be encouraged, according to experts.
With the GCC continuing to invest approximately $700bn on modernising infrastructure and social services, with the UAE alone accounting for around $100bn, Schneider Electric has emphasised the importance of design stage planning.
Goktug Gur, country president, UAE and Oman, Schneider Electric said: "Schneider Electric understands the need for simple, safe, error-free installation, performance, and maintenance. A key component of this is early planning. Facilities managers cannot afford down-time; so one of the challenges we face is providing a solution that truly minimizes error."
The energy management company recently launched its Acti 9 products, where Gur also announced that the firm will be working with partners in the UAE and Oman at the very initial stage of projects to ensure its system for circuit protection, lighting control and energy monitoring Acti9 can easily connect to a building's facility management system and offer optimum energy efficiency, alongside other benefits.
"Acti 9 and its Smartlink communication system integrate seamlessly with any facility management architecture, combining basic control with optimum protection while ensuring energy efficiency even in the most demanding environments," Gur added.
With safety featuring as the primary concern for facilities managers, Gur said the product guaranteed the downstream circuit is always safe, regardless of overvoltage conditions, wear or operator experience.
In an interview with fmME, Steve Bartley, facilities management and technology director, Serco Middle East, said the firm always pushes to get the FM operator early involvement.
"We’re seeing more and more of it now in the Middle East, where they understand that involving an FM company early – well those cost money because it’s putting more money in at an early part of a project, which is the risky part. But it actually does bring the long-term savings."
He added that this allows firms to come up with a potentially cheaper longer-term maintenance costs.
Bartley said that client education about spending money upfront is important. He said: "Once you’ve got case studies which show that by spending that little bit upfront, you save long-term, people start [doing it], but you got to go through that journey a couple of times, and say, no we did this and it worked. So that’s starting to happen now; more and more clients and developers are willing to accept bringing an FM operator on board even if it involves paying a little bit more upfront."
Read the January issue of Facilities Management Middle East for the site visit at Zayed University, Abu Dhabi with Serco Middle East to see how they used early operator involvement to their advantage.