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Tue 1 May 2007 12:00 AM

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Developers should show us the money

Getting the right systems in place before hand-over to the end user should be more of a priority in the Emirates.

"Suppliers would prefer to work directly with the end-users or specialist consultants in order to make sure that the product can and will achieve its maximum potential in terms of increased comfort and at the same time reduced operation and energy costs."

This statement comes from a recent research report released last month called, The Booming Middle East Market for Building Management Systems.

Now in an ideal world, it would be extremely beneficial if either a specialised BMS consultant was brought in or the FM was consulted about which BMS system would best suit their wants and needs once the building has been handed over.

Reality? According to the report: supplier meets MEP contractor, supplier explains the product and features of a BMS to MEP contractor and the MEP contractor is so concerned over the cost, that the other features are overlooked.

In a place where image is everything, image could soon become nothing if the technology operating behind the scenes eventually stops working due to ‘cheap' and inefficient systems being chosen at the design stage. Dubai has willingly been put in the spotlight and if the region, along with the rest of the Middle East, is to live up to its visual reputation, it is vital that developers, architects and MEP contractors start thinking about the long-term post construction activity.

Developers need to be allocating larger budgets to systems and technologies that will help operate the building once handed over. They also need to carefully think about the MEP contractor they employ.

Much of the local business community is still negotiating a steep learning curve. This lack of knowledge and understanding negatively impacts on a building's life cycle. Developers should be awarding MEP contracts to reputable and knowledgeable contractors who understand the benefits a BMS can bring.

A solution to the problem could be to avoid employing individual MEP consultants who think they know what will be best for the FM and instead, employ an FM consultant.

FM consultancy at the design stage would give the FMs more control and enable the facilities managers responsible at handover to operate and sustain an efficient working building.

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