By Jenny Eagle
The Big 5, 2009, saw almost 50,000 visitors and more than 2,000 businesses from 50 different countries, which attests to the popularity the international fair enjoys. fmME speaks to a number of participants for 2010.
It is the first time Sunil Shah, partner of UK-based DPP Sustainability (Development Planning Partnership) and former chairman and member of the British Institute of Facilities Management (BIFM), is attending The Big 5, in Dubai.
He is one of many guests running a certified training course by the BIFM at the event and is advising facility managers about climate change and energy management. “It was an honour to be asked to present at such a prestigious event,” said Shah.
“There are a lot of experiences and practices I can share and I am coming not only to impart my own knowledge but also to learn about how design in such climates is effectively achieved to understand how the impacts of climate change can better be managed.
“There is a lot the Middle East can offer in terms of good design measures.”
DPP works with clients to develop effective energy and sustainability strategies. It can propose the best cost savings and reduce energy demand to as low as is practicable ensuring later capital costs are minimised.
Shah heads up the Sustainability service and has been involved in the sustainable FM field for over 10 years, providing support on international projects. He is a UK government advisor on sustainability in the built environment and author of Sustainable Practice for the Facilities Manager. He joined DPP in January 2009 from Jacobs Engineering, where he was head of sustainability.
According to Shah, climate change is the single biggest issue affecting the planet and will impact all countries in different ways.
“The world’s climate is changing and will change further in the coming decades as a result of increasing concentration of greenhouse gases,’ he said.
“Since the Industrial Revolution, levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere have grown by more than 30% leading to global warming: the average surface temperature increased by 0.6ºC during the 20th century,” said Shah.
“The 10 hottest years on record have all occurred since the beginning of the 1990s with global average surface temperatures rising by a further between 1.4 to 5.8ºC by 2100.”
He said the impact to FM will be vast including: increased legislation and taxes to reduce carbon emissions; leasing and refurbishment of buildings to cope with the variable weather patterns and peak summer temperatures; increased flood risk and flash flooding affecting properties and drier summers and prolonged periods without rainfall leading to subsidence and affecting staff, citing the 2003 European heat-wave, which is estimated to have caused 26,000 premature deaths and had an estimated economic cost of $13.5 billion.
Despite this, Shah said the future is bright for facility managers.
“The current economic crisis is placing greater pressures on understanding how existing buildings are operating and the value they offer and provide. This is the forte of the facility manager to showcase what they offer across a range of areas not only related to cost savings, but also the delivery of services, performance improvements and risk management.”
His training course will cover topics such as Behavioural Issues: Getting buy-in from your staff, Introducing an energy efficient campaign, Management and Processes: Good operational practices and Carbon footprints and reporting.
Shah said he was keen to meet with facility owners and construction organisations operating in the region and wanted to find out where good practice sustainability measures had been implemented.
BIFM: Climate Change and Energy Management for Facility Managers will be held at the Big 5 Expo at Dubai World Trade Centre on Tuesday, November 23 from 9.15am-4.30pm (registration starts at 8.30am).