How FM companies tackle bad weather conditions
FM companies reveal how weather conditions change standard operating procedures, as they look at KPIs come rain or shine
The UAE has been hit with dusty and hazy weather conditions since the start of this week. The National Centre of Meteorological Services has also reported fog in certain parts of the UAE.
Adverse weather conditions have forced facilities management (FM) companies to rethink operations with one eye firmly on the SLAs and contractual agreements.
High access cleaning specialists Grako told fmME about the impact of the weather. “We have to stop the work in many cases unless the client advises us to continue with the work (provided there is visibility and wind speeds are below 24 kmph). Another aspect that all stakeholders need to keep in mind is the formation of dust on wet façades which ends up being counter-productive,” said Grako’s managing partner Alain El Tawil.
He also said that no sooner the weather clears up, the teams rush back into action to catch up on lost time. Grako’s staff follow strict health and safety protocols set in place by IRATA, which they always adhere to.
Along with the perils of external cleaning, Emrill’s technical director Stuart Harrison said that extreme changes in temperature can affect the energy use in buildings.
However on the other hand, a few FM companies haven't been affected by the change in weather conditions.
Ejadah Asset Management Group senior executive director Tarek Nizameddin said: “The current weather has not had a major impact on operations. The dusty weather created poor visibility condition which was communicated to our drivers to take extra caution on UAE's roads. We have also applied specially developed operational procedures that include an increase in frequency of cleaning, security patrolling, while providing staff with respiratory masks.”
Data is also playing its part in helping FM companies predict weather conditions.
Harrison said that Emrill has collected several years of data that helps make accurate predictions for extreme weather events.
By monitoring ‘degree days’ – a term used to measure the amount of cooling required to achieve a set temperature – the FM company was able to justify higher cooling and energy usage in 2017 as compared to 2016.
“Emrill uses a propriety method of prediction and mitigation, so if we foresee extremes of weather or temperature - in either direction - and we can prepare and try to reduce the impact. For example, if we expect a pressure system to result in a dust storm or high winds, then we’ll make sure the impact is reduced and step up the cleaning plan following an extreme weather event,” Harrison said.
On the other hand, Ejadah has subscribed to specialised geographical data centers and weather channels that provide predictive and real time data and alerts about weather conditions. “These channels feed our command and control centre which update the sites accordingly,” Nizameddin added.