We noticed you're blocking ads.

Keep supporting great journalism by turning off your ad blocker.

Questions about why you are seeing this? Contact us

Font Size

- Aa +

Wed 8 Jul 2009 04:00 AM

Font Size

- Aa +

The nature of reality…

A manmade oasis in the middle of Dubai's desert, the high-end botanical Al Barari development is the vision of the Zaal family. fmME talks integration, sustainability, delivery and operations with FM manager Robert Hunter and senior landscape manager Robert Rye.

The nature of reality…
Taking shape: a ‘leaf’ nears completion at the 14.2 million square foot Al Barari botanical developement. The FM provision has been involved from the design stage and will move on to operations.
The nature of reality…
ROBERT HUNTER: ‘FM has been central to plans’.
The nature of reality…
ROBERT RYE: ‘Green to the eye and environmentally friendly in its operation’.
The nature of reality…
Hunter and his FM team have been heavily involved in way-finding - determining the best specs.

A manmade oasis in the middle of Dubai's desert, the high-end botanical Al Barari development is the vision of the Zaal family. fmME talks integration, sustainability, delivery and operations with FM manager Robert Hunter and senior landscape manager Robert Rye.

Al Barari FM is a full service provider. What is your development remit?

Robert Hunter:Our remit is to establish a total facilities and property management company within Al Barari to contribute towards the design and handover of the project. This will lead into operational management when the development is completed.

We have worked with the design team, headed by Robert Rye, to find a balance between being not only visually appealing, but also operable, maintainable and sustainable. - Robert Hunter, FM manager, Al Barari

The Zaal family has an extraordinary vision for the Al Barari development. Why did Mr Zaal create an in-house FM team, as opposed to outsourcing?

RH:It has always been Mr Zaal's intention for his vision to extend beyond the construction phase of Al Barari. Everything about the project is driven by his desire to provide the best product and unrivalled service.

In order to deliver a facilities management service in keeping with the standards set during the design and construction phases, we believed this was more likely to be achieved if the service was delivered by Al Barari staff who are motivated by pride and accomplishment, as opposed to outsourcing our requirements to a team who are motivated by financial gains.

So facilities management has been integrated from the design stage, how has the development benefited from FM consultation?

RH:Phase one of Al Barari is a unique residential community containing exceptional villas, landscaped parks, winding waterways and themed gardens.

In fact, over 60 percent of the development is given over to gardens and open space. We have worked with the design team, headed by Robert Rye, to find a balance between being not only visually appealing, but also operable, maintainable and sustainable.

Since July 2008 we have been contributing towards product specifications, life-cycle and replacement, infrastructure maintenance, way-finding, waste management, water recycling, transition management, logistics, and eventual operation. All very challenging, but as the eventual operator we will certainly benefit from our involvement during each of the design, commissioning and handover phases.

Furthermore, we have been working with our project team and the consultants to ensure the handover documentation we receive is provided on time, and in a format that is accurate and consistent; very important. Al Barari is obviously high-end. How will you work with residents to ensure seamless, unobtrusive FM?

RH:With strata law requiring the establishment of home owners associations, we expect to have frequent communication with our residents, during which times we will inform them of our planned maintenance schedule for each month.

In addition, the community manager will be provided with our annual maintenance schedule and the planned activities will be posted within the monthly newsletter and on our community website. We want to encourage our residents to contribute towards the smooth operation of the community, and we will welcome any feedback regarding our scheduling of events. As you said, 60 percent of the development is laid over to landscaping. How closely do you work with the development's landscape architects?

RH:Since the landscaping is such a large part of Al Barari it is important that it be not only aesthetically pleasing, but also user and operator friendly. We have had ongoing discussions regarding vehicular access, maintenance, water consumption and waste collection, all of which have had to be considered from an operational perspective. We feel we have reached a satisfactory compromise and are now looking forward to the handover and full operation.

Al Barari may be a manmade oasis in the desert, but the aim was always to work with the natural architecture of the landscape and to enhance it. - Robert Rye, senior landscape manager, Al Barari

What does the scale of the landscaping mean on a day-to-day basis, in terms of nature and the built environment cohesively complementing each other?

Robert Rye:Al Barari may be a man made oasis in the desert, but the aim was always to work with the natural architecture of the landscape and to enhance it. This has been achieved with the introduction of numerous gardens and waterways, and with the natural contour of the ground each of our properties has a beautiful view overlooking the adjacent nature reserve.

How does the Al Barari Sustainability Charter impact the development in?

RR:Part of the vision of Al Barari is to deliver a community that is green to the eye and environmentally friendly in its operation. In keeping with the vision we are currently constructing a sewage treatment plant and two polishing plants to recycle waste water, which will be reintroduce into our system to provide the majority of the water for the water ways and the irrigation network.

For waste storage we have introduced the Equinord system with each leaf cluster having two collection points, whereby the waste is placed into one of four bins for recycling. These bins will collect kitchen waste, paper, plastic and cans. In addition, we have been composting all our landscaping waste on-site and we will continue to do so after handover.

How will you encourage residents to buy into the development's various environmental schemes?

RH:It will be our responsibility to educate residents and inform them of the benefits associated with supporting our initiatives for reducing, reusing and recycling wherever possible. We will provide the means for the residents to participate and champion the cause during our monthly community meetings, where we will also arrange presentations from local companies to support our ongoing initiatives. On handover, will the FM provision strategically change at all?RH:We have established a new company called ‘Wojood' to provide total facilities and property management throughout Al Barari on handover. We will be responsible for the provision of all the services associated with the operation of our community and villas including MEP, civil, cleaning, waste management, pest control, window cleaning, security, re-circulated water, joinery, landscaping, and concierge services.

All of which will be delivered via our network of preferred specialist contractors and our own in-house engineering team.

Working with the landscaping team and others, what is the ongoing and long term goal of the development's FM team?

RH:Al Barari comprises two phases. Phase one is nearing handover and phase two is currently undergoing master planning design.

On handover of phase one, the development's FM team will form part of the Wojood management team, and will be responsible for delivering the operational facilities management throughout Al Barari phase one. Phase two, with its mix of commercial retail and lifestyle components, will definitely require some support from the FM team, so there are a few opportunities available in the future.

Arabian Business: why we're going behind a paywall

For all the latest construction news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.