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An ITP Business Publication | September 2010 Vol. 05 Issuee 009 9

Essential information for FM & strata professionals, building owners, developers & contractors Es

Licensed by Dubai Media City




Al Fara’a’s Martin Gold on pushing the right buttons for the company’s FM division

















02 Online

23 Interview

06 Comment

29 Case study

08 News

39 Sector Analysis

18 Analysis

48 Janitor’s keys

What’s on the web? The most popular FM stories of the month.

Imdaad’s Farid Halabi predicts how facilities managers will adapt to changes in the industry.

A round-up of the regional news making an impact in the FM industry. This month, issues over fire safety, recruitment sanitation are making the headlines.

Are Dubai’s plans to boost surveillance going a step too far? And how will security service providers keep homes safe when owners are away?

Al Fara’a Properties launched its FM division one year ago. Martin Gold explains how it has progressed since the launch.

Facilities Management Middle East discovers how executives at the US $4 billion Dubai Pearl project have prepared for future operations and management.

Service providers explain the importance of using personal protective equipment in the workplace.

We ask experts in the FM field what companies should look for in a security service provider.

September 2010 1


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• Huge Khalifa port project names financial advisor Stuart Matthews, senior group editor • KSA and the UAE have most construction What can be done to ease the projects current burden being placed on • Saudi KAIA airport projects still on the table each municipality’s civil defence force? • From tread to shred


How will the new federal arbitration law affect the facilities management sector?

2 September 2010

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EDITOR’S CHOICE • Stringent inspections put ships into shape • Dubai Cares to clean up schools in West Africa • Thirsty Work • Facilitating sustainability

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Get yourself connected ust recently I stumbled across a social networking website, which many people had told me about, but I never showed much interest in it until I found out how it could help me as a journalist. Sure, I’d visited pages where I could contact my friends and family, but this was different; this site could help me connect with people in the business world. First off, I created a profile for myself and, afterwards, a group where people could discuss all things related to facilities management. Quickly I came into contact with key industry players who spoke to me and each other about topical issues. Obviously, being social is a vital characteristic that journalists must have, but it can also benefit business people, from the independent plumber to the CEO. Networking online isn’t about having a chat over a cup of tea and a croissant before heading to a conference and swapping a few business cards here and there; it’s about spreading information about your services to the maximum number of people possible. More than that, you can raise awareness about issues you feel strongly about, such as sustainability, Jointly-Owned Property law regulations and fire safety. You can recommend people and be recommended by others, thus creating further attraction to you and your business. You can look at what competitors are up to, share ideas and introduce yourself to people from across the globe that you otherwise wouldn’t have the opportunity to meet. In a world where the economy is feeling the pinch, you can put yourself at ease by connecting with the right people who can help you get the best out of your company. So get yourself connected and, if you are already, tell us how it has helped your business by sending an e-mail to the below address.


Sarah Blackman, deputy editor

Subscribe to facilities management Middle East for free Log on to 4 September 2010

RE: Home owners to sink under charges This is a standard requirement when buying an apartment in UK, or most European countries. Levies are invoiced each month to each owner. The average US$750,000 apartment in London will have a levy bill of about US$1000 to US$1200 per month. This is no different than owning a quality house and budgeting for maintenance. I think people in Dubai have been lucky to avoid paying a maintenance levy. Buy-to-lets are a business, so profit margins are unpredictable. Most buy-to-let owners in the UK do not pass the levies on to the tenant - they tend to be built into the rent. Robert Why was this not thought about before? Was the Dubai Municipality sleeping over this crucial issue? With rents dropping and tenants not easily available, I am sure the investor community in Dubai will have one hell of an issue to face in the future. Emkaybee This is the final death knell. Kiss the Dubai property market goodbye. Reality Check RE: Kuwait to tackle blackout crisis If this plan reduces the energy consumption, it will be very good for the market. Jay Popp RE: LEED for less Well said and described. It should start at the beginning stages of the project and with the buy-in from the client and the design team. Mahmoud

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Time for change? Imdaad business development manager Farid Halabi predicts how facilities managers will adapt to modifications in the industry s I set out to write my MBA thesis, the idea that came to me seemed ingenious. I decided to centre it on the changing environment of the FM market in Dubai and the UAE. Not only was it a topic of interest to me, but the timing couldn’t have been better. Before the release of RERA’s latest JOP [Jointly-Owned Property law] regulations, the price war reached comical levels, some developers became self-proclaimed community managers, and unofficial owners’ associations (OAs) were starting to try their hand at tendering facilities management services to replace their existing FM service provider, with or without the blessing of the developer. The freehold FM market was a snake pit at times. Meanwhile, RERA was putting the final touches on its revised JOP regulations and the market was finally going to be regulated for the benefit of all involved. So what were the likely outcomes of these changes and how will facilities managers adapt to this new environment? One theory is that these OAs are the end users. Consequently, the people who invested their money in these homes would induce a shift in the selection criteria of FM companies. Instead of thinking about price, they will require quality services and better


energy and resource management. Personally, I have faith in some of the OAs and their ability to make the correct decisions. The other and more worrying theory is that OAs will come onboard, and then the first thing on their agenda will be to reduce service charges. I have personally had a discussion with a

“Eventually professional integrated FM companies will turn their backs on the regulated market”

certain OA member who was claiming that he is set out to prove that the budgeted figures for the coming years’ fees were inflated and the developer must be pocketing the difference. After a lengthy review, I came to realise that the developer has actually done a pretty decent job; nothing seemed odd or out of the ordinary. This lead me to believe that there is a very strong feeling of mistrust towards developers. This is worrying, and I urge OAs to initially have a non-biased look

Halabi has mixed reviews over whether the JOP law regulations will benefit the facilities management industry in the UAE.

6 September 2010

at all records before making a judgment, and preferably consult with an expert. A friend, who is a facility manager with one of the developers, has told me that some OAs discussed wanting to negotiate reductions in services charges in the region of AED6 to AED7 per ft2. And he raised the possibility of OAs reaching these charges and reducing the operations to the watchman and breakdown attendance model. This will obviously lead to poor quality of buildings, deteriorating assets, and a reduction in the lifespan of these facilities – outcomes which will inevitably cost end users far more in the long-run than any savings they can make in the short-run. Eventually, professional integrated FM companies will turn their backs on the regulated market and focus on non-freehold projects, leaving the OAs in the hands of the community managers and small-scale maintenance contractors. In the coming months there will be close to 3500 registered OAs. But are there enough accountants, lawyers, or community managers to attend these OA meetings? Some will see this as an opportunity to go into community management. This raises deeper questions: are there enough community managers qualified to prepare community rules, deal with insurers and auditors, budget and manage service charges, manage sinking funds, perform FM tendering and, more importantly, audit the maintenance operations to ensure the asset lifecycle is not jeopardised? These coming months will surely bring some interesting developments. For the future of this industry, however, this period is as worrying as it is exciting. Halabi has been working in various areas of the FM industry, from consultancy and CAFM system implementation, to operations and business development, for nearly 10 years. He holds a diploma in FM from FMH in South Africa, a B.Sc. in Civil Engineering and a MBA from the US. Halabi is also an IFMA certified facility management professional.


FM job seekers must “up their game” The perception of the ideal candidate has changed since the downturn, according to recruitment consultants Job seekers must “up their game” now that the FM recruitment market has taken a dramatic U-turn, specialists in the field have warned. According to recruitment advisors, there are currently more experienced facilities managers than there are FM jobs in the region, meaning that candidates must increase the level of their skill sets if they wish to compete with other potential employees. “I believe that, since 2007, the perception of the ideal candidate has altered. During the boom the recruitment process was at times haphazard, due to pressures There are now more experienced facilities managers than FM jobs available, meaning candidates need to improve their skills if they wish to compete. of volume of work and project candidates in the region to meet demand for FMs with GCC exdeadlines,” said Kobaltt senior the demand. Hence most comrecruitment consultant Helena perience. Before the downturn, panies, pre-summer 2008, were Gammon. this wasn’t as essential. desperately recruiting interna“Clients are now able to be “Employers are now looktionally to plug the shortfall in more selective and will wait to ing for real Middle East or skills in the region,” she said. recruit until they find the most international experience that “The facilities managers still suitable candidates.” relates directly to knowing and here in the region really do Hays senior recruitment understanding local requireconsultant Leonie Yates has also need to raise their game. We do ments,” explained Millennium have a core selection of good found that the job market has Solutions managing director FMs working in the region, with Simon Hobart. altered considerably since the qualifications and serious profesdownturn and, before the sum“Too many recently-arrived sional calibre, but many more mer of 2008, many companies FM employees have gained high who do not. FM is always going positions and salaries without hired employees based on their Hays senior consultant Leonie Yates. to be an industry that people availability, not their talent. achieving the required results.” think they can do with little or “The market was hugely Yates seconded this argument remains steady and the numno experience.” candidate-led, meaning there ber of available opportunities and added that FM companies Another change to the job were too few experienced FM is increasing. are now less inclined to employ market has been the increased “We foresee that, when the international candidates until market matures within the there is an urgent need for a IDEAL CANDIDATE QUALITIES next five years, the number skill set that they haven’t found of available jobs will increase. in the region. • Longevity of service – canThe opportunities are also “This is because many interdidates who show commitnational candidates arrive and do not as limited as last year,” ment to a company insisted Gammon. not settle here. They are unable • Specific FM skill and And Yates added: “There is to adjust to the working condiindustry experiences tions, which can be very different now a demand for middle man• UAE-based candidates agement and operational FM to their country of origin. And, • Knowledge of all areas candidates for newly-awarded candidates already based in the relating to service charges maintenance contracts because UAE are seen as a safer option and sinking funds there are many more built and for employers,” she said. • A degree an/or industry completed assets than there Despite the changes in the specific qualifications were before.” Gammon: Clients are able to be more selective. market, however, the job pool

8 September 2010


Lack of maintenance to blame for summer blazes Maintenance of active and passive protection measures is crucial to decrease the number of fire breakouts in the region, experts in the field have said. Following a series of recent blazes across the Gulf, specialists in fire engineering have stressed that facilities managers must take responsibility to increase the level of safety within residential and industrial areas. Promat Fire Protection sales and marketing director Mark Lavender said maintenance of compartmentation is vital to prevent fire spread, as the division of the building into discrete fire zones offers perhaps the most effective means of limiting damage. “If a fire happens in your neighbour’s building and there is nothing to stop it spreading from their property to yours and many others, as is the case in Sharjah, Al Quoz etc. then this is a real issue. “We know that when many companies experience fire damage, business interruption can be devastating. Statistics show that many companies never recover after a major fire. The loss of their property and the ability for a company to continuing trading is dramatically affected.” In July, Kuwait Tower was ignited by a neighbouring build-

A MONTH IN QUOTES Josef Kleindienst, CEO of The Kleindienst Group, speaking about The Heart of Europe on The World, Dubai: “The quality of this place is the quality nature has to offer: clean water, fresh air, and you have to follow this quality – you can’t build a non-green building in

Alarms and fire suppression systems must be inspected on a regular basis, say fire bosses.

ing, leading experts to speculate that poor maintenance and the lack of active protection systems such as sprinklers caused the breakout. “The older apartment block was unlikely to have had a sprinkler system. In addition, the fire spread throughout the building, which would indicate that the compartmentation was not in place as it should have been or was not well maintained, leading to a far greater break-out than should have been the case,” explained Buro Happold global director of fire engineering Andy Passingham. Residential fires are often sparked by cooking incidents, cigarettes and electrical faults, while chemical leaks and neg-

ligence are the major causes of industrial blazes. Installation of alarms, fire fighting equipment and fire suppression systems can prevent damage and injury, but this equipment must be continually inspected, according to Garald Todd, associate director for the Fire and Risk Division at WSP. “Management companies need to take the initiative to keep the fire and life safety systems working in proper order,” he said. “While the Civil Defence plays a large and important part of improving the fire and life safety conditions throughout the UAE, the onus should be upon the developers, consultants, engineers and contractors to ensure build-

this kind of environment. It’s very important to follow green building ideas. Reduce energy consumption, produce energy out of solar power systems and other ideas.”

with large infrastructure and public utility projects in the pipeline.”

Ahmed Pauwels, CEO of Epoc Mess Frankfurt, organiser of Garden and Landscaping Middle East: “The UAE construction industry is estimated to be worth around AED2.63 trillion ($714.8bn)

FM Expo event director David Wilson talking about this year’s exhibition, which enjoyed a 21% increase in footfall compared to last year, according to a recent announcement: “This year’s FM Expo surpassed all expectations and has now set the bar even higher for

ings are designed and constructed as safely as possible and, once built, maintained,” he said. He added that there is also a lack of knowledge among the general public when it comes to knowing how to use firefighting equipment: “Basic instruction on the use of these extinguishers can help prevent small fires from becoming a large devastating fire.” Passingham insisted that fire safety is “very much on the radar” in the Gulf and a modern apartment building in the region would likely to be fitted out with smoke detectors and sprinklers. Todd agreed: “New buildings have a considerable amount of fire safety equipment included within them. They have everything from sophisticated detection and notification systems, to first-aid hose reels.” But when it comes to fire safety in the region, the level of standards need to be dramatically increased, according to Lavender. “The situation is improving, but slowly, and not at the pace that should be expected, especially due to the number of highprofile fires that are occurring on a regular basis. The need to change the law, introduce legislation or enforce fire safety regulations should all be considered and driven forward,” he said.

next year when we will return with a bigger exhibition, more features and a world-class conference.” Dinesh R, operations manager of National Pest Control, spoke to The National newspaper about bed bugs: “They are just everywhere. They are found in public transport, buses, in labour camps, shared accommodation, posh limos and villas.”

September 2010 9


TENDERS Issuer: Central Tenders Committee Tender No: AA/37/2009/2010 Description: Maintenance of seven elevators in the Kuwait Municipality headquarters Closes: September 19 Fees: KD100 Contact: Central Tenders Committee Issuer: Royal Commission for Jubail and Yanbu Tender No: 370-S17 Description: Maintenance and assistance services of the Royal Commission Health Centre facilities in Jubail Industrial City Closes: September 19 Fees: SR12,500 Contact: Royal Commission for Jubail and Yanbu, Supply Management Department Issuer: Royal Commission for Jubail and Yanbu Tender No: 840-S56 Description: Provide labour, equipment tools and materials for the maintenance of public, institutional, commercial and residential buildings. Closes: September 20 Fees: SR3000 Contact: Royal Commission for Jubail and Yanbu, Supply Management Department Issuer: Saline Water Conversion Corporation Tender No: JD/R/M/394 Description: Provide specialised services to carry out the ‘boiler inspection plan’ and ‘life evaluation programme of boiler Unit 13 in Jeddah Closes: September 22 Fees: SR500 Contact: Issuer: Central Tenders Committee Tender No: CPA/263 Description: Construction and maintenance of truck parking lots in Kuwait Closes: September 26 Fees: KD2500 Contact: Central Tenders Committee

10 September 2010

UDC in US$400m bond sale for Q4 United Development Company (UDC) is to sell around US US$400 million (QR1.45 billion) of convertible bonds by the end of this year to fund its projects and new business lines, including facilities management, a senior finance executive has revealed. Abdullah Araj, executive vice president of finance of the Qatari investment company, told Bloomberg that the money raising would fund its facilities management ventures, including that which is looking

after Pearl Qatar, its mixed-use mega-project. Convertible bonds allow the holder to ‘convert’ their debt into an equity stake in the issuer’s company. It is less popular as a method of money raising than initial public offerings as it is a newer concept in the GCC, analysts said. The move is part of a wider move for real estate companies and the country at large to diversify its economy. Last month, it was reported that Barwa Real Estate Company received the first US$3.5 bil-

lion tranche for one of its units as the first stage of a financing deal with Qatari Diar Finance, the money management arm of developer Qatari Diar. UDC, which works over four main business sectors, posted a net operating profit of US$97 million for the first half of 2010. Pearl Qatar, as a work in progress, was valued at US$986 million in the company’s last financial statement. The value of assets considered work-in-progress increased from US$759,257 to US$986,979 million.

UAE students selected for intensive training Students from across Dubai have begun an intensive training programme to learn about property and facilities management. Wasl, the asset management group owned by Dubai Real Estate Corportation, inducted 24 scholars from private and public schools, as well as universities, including the American University of Dubai and the Dubai Women’s College. The students will be rotated across departments such as human resources, facilities management, land, finance,

Training will last from one to three months.

project management and procurement. “We are delighted with the high level of interest the summer programme has drawn from potential interns. This

is evident from the fact that this year we have inducted 24 students interning with us. In selecting the students, we have also kept in mind the requests received from all our departments on the number of interns required and the criteria they are required to fulfill,” said Wasl HR general manager Husam Al Sayed. The training period will range from one to three months, depending on the department’s requirement, following which the interns will receive a stipend and a certificate of completion from Wasl.

Emcor Facilities Services wins US $16mn Al Ain mosque contract Emcor Facilities Services (EFS) has won an US $16.88 million (AED62 million) contract to offer maintenance for 650 mosques in Al Ain. Musanada, the Abu Dhabi general services company, awarded the contract, which will last three years and will cover the servicing of the mosques’ MEP equipment and managing and repairing ancillary work.

“Our solid international knowledge, local experience and workforce are what gave EFS the functionality and mobility to begin work in just a few weeks,” said Emcor’s UAE managing director Richard Burl. EFS presently delivers services to 600 projects across the region valued at US$272.28 million. Such projects include King Abdullah University for Science

Emcor will maintain 650 mosques in Al Ain.

and Technology in Saudi Arabia and the Jumeirah Lake Towers community in Dubai.


Imdaad signs Burj Khalifa waste deal The FM company will undertake a three-year waste-management contract at the world’s tallest building Imdaad has signed a three-year contract with Emaar to undertake waste management and recycling for the Burj Khalifa. The FM company will collect and dispose solid waste and collect all recyclable material generated from the entire building, including 1044 residential apartments, on a daily basis. “Delivering waste-management solutions to one of the world’s most prestigious buildings is something we look forward to with great enthusiasm. Our agreement with Burj Khalifa is indeed a major milestone in Imdaad’s development, and testifies to the world-class services provided by us,” said Imdaad CEO Jamal Lootah.

Imdaad, in conjunction with Burj Khalifa’s management team, will develop and operate an environment management system. This will include monitoring systems to ensure compliance with sustainability requirements. “Burj Khalifa is setting benchmarks in sustainable development through several concerted initiatives. A focus on recycling is one of the key pillars in this sustainability drive. We will continue to focus on initiatives that will enhance energy and wateruse efficiency, with an emphasis on global best practices in our environmental management system,” said Emaar Properties CEO Issam Galadari.

Scott Wilson to build Kenyan sand dam

Dubai Cares launches sanitation campaign

Eighteen volunteers from engineering consultancy Scott Wilson will help build a sand dam in Africa to provide regular, clean water to the community. The initiative was brought about by the firm’s registered charity Scott Wilson Millennium Project, and work will begin in Kenya this month. “This will be an intensive two-week volunteer assignment in harsh conditions to help the Akamba tribe obtain water,” said Hussain Saberi, a recent graduate, who joined Scott Wilson in March. “Thanks to our head of department, Mark Ainger, for supporting me on this, and for giving me the opportunity to apply the foundations learnt from my work experience to help assist communities in need.” The project will also introduce sustainable farming practices, including soil management.

Dubai Cares has allocated US US$18 million (AED66 million) to promote the benefits of hygiene and provide access to clean water in schools across West Africa. The ‘Wash-in-Schools’ education programmes will directly

12 September 2010

West African Schools suffer from poor hygiene.

Imdaad will collect solid waste and recyclable material from Dubai’s 828-metre tower.

benefit over 1.7 million children in Mali and Sierra Leone. In Mali, 55% of schools do not have a water point and 54% do not have adequate sanitation facilities, according to national statistics. And, in Sierra Leone, only 39% of the population has access to improved sanitation, while only 57% has access to an improved water source, according to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). Poor sanitation facilities and shortage of clean water are two key factors affecting school attendance, particularly for girls. “Dubai Cares has allocated US$18 million to improve access to better-quality of education in Mali and Sierra Leone. These actions form an integral part of Dubai Cares’ efforts in implementing His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s vision to ensure quality primary education for children in

developing countries,” said Dubai Cares CEO Tariq Al Gurg. The Mali programme will provide basic low-cost water and sanitation infrastructure to ensure a healthy and adequate learning environment. It will also focus on hygiene promotion in both the school and the community to ensure behaviour change over the long-term. Meanwhile, Dubai Cares will support UNICEF and Plan International, a children’s organisation working with communities in 48 developing countries to alleviate child poverty, in implementing pilot ‘Wash-in-Schools’ programmes in two districts of Sierra Leone. These will provide wash facilities, peer education on healthy water and sanitation practices, and implement school and community-led total sanitation approaches to ensure the reach and sustainability of healthy sanitation.


Strict inspections put ships into shape The number of ship breakdowns has decreased due to regular maintenance and good management Rigorous marine maintenance inspections have reduced the “ships of shame”, an industr y expert has said. Speaking to Facilities Management Middle East, Mladen Nikolic, managing director of Mare Nostrum, a marine consultant based in the UAE, said the occurrence of ship breakdowns has decreased due to regular onboard inspections that many people in the industr y feel are too stringent. “Each company has its own theor y on how often internal inspections and audits should be performed. However, in my experience, I find that an annual schedule of internal inspections is best, while maintaining a general shipchecking schedule to ensure that the ships aren’t only kept up to scratch at the time of an inspection,” he said.

A vessel is exposed to far more extreme conditions in its lifetime than an average building.

“There is plenty planned maintenance software which can be used to manage this process, and to help vessel crews and management to plan and perform maintenance on the vessel in due course, ensuring less breakdowns and therefore minimis-

ing lost time due to technical problems onboard.” A vessel will, in its lifetime, be exposed to much more extreme natural conditions than an average building; the wearand-tear in all departments of the ship is much greater. Lack of good management

onboard can also put a crew’s life at risk but, according to Nikolic, health and safety standards have improved. “It is impossible to eliminate danger from the shipping industr y. A vessel is a live asset operating in a dynamic, ever-changing environment which can, at any given time, throw a proverbial cur ve ball which hasn’t been foresee. “However, over the years, the safety record of the shipping industr y and its ability to deal with and mitigate dangers onboard has increased dramatically,” he explained. “This is mainly due to the implementation of ever-more stringent international safety regulations, but also due to the evolution of better equipment, materials and practices onboard to reduce this risk,” said Nikolic.

Lift sector looks to growth in refurbishment maintenance

Otis general manager Sebi Joseph remains positive about opportunities in the Middle East.

14 September 2010

The lifts and escalators sector in the UAE is looking increasingly to refurbishment and maintenance for growth due to the slowdown in construction impacting on the demand for new equipment, an elevator expert has said. “The global slowdown in the worldwide construction market has presented some challenges for Otis in terms of the new equipment business. Otis’ service business, however, continues to be a key strength, with 1.7 million units under maintenance worldwide,” said Otis general manager Sebi Joseph. In today’s competitive marketplace, customers’ expectations of their lift equipment are

high. Building owners and tenants expect even greater standards of safety, more reliability, higher levels of performance and more stylish aesthetics. “The implications of neglecting a building’s plant and equipment can be deadly, particularly when it comes to elevators. “And, due to the huge amount of people using them, the need for individual repairs and services is on the increase. “We are now starting to see signs of recovery in terms of new equipment, and remain positive about the opportunities in the Middle East, including Abu Dhabi, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Kuwait specifically,” added Joseph.


September 28th 2010›Fairmont Bab Al Bahr›Abu Dhabi The Building Sustainability into the Middle East conference is the ideal platform for you to learn, discuss and network with the leading companies and individuals driving the region’s sustainability initiatives. For contractors, developers, sustainability consultants and engineers, this conference is an opportunity to be part of the solution and make a difference – from the construction phase to the behaviour of tenants in buildings. To sponsor the 3rd Building Sustainability into the Middle East Conference contact Andrew Parkes, tel: +971 4 210 8570, email: PLATINUM SPONSOR





Abu Dhabi offers Estidama training Developers and designers will learn about the Pearl Rating System thanks to the Urban Planning Council bu Dhabi has launched a training programme to help developers and designers understand the new Pearl Rating System (PRS), which falls under the Estidama framework. The programme, designed by the Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council, will teach delegates how to achieve high Pearl ratings for new buildings in the emirate, and higher levels of sustainability in future developments. “The successful implementation of Estidama’s principles and guidelines cannot be achieved without ensuring a seamless understanding of this initiative,” explained Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council (UPC)general manager Falah Al Ahbabi. “The Estidama training programme will not only introduce the key aspects of Estidama to Abu Dhabi’s urban development industr y, but will also aim towards integrating sustainability


Pearl rankings will apply to all projects built as part of the 2030 plan, unveiled at Cityscape in April.

practices into Abu Dhabi’s urban development process.” The first course on of fer is ‘Understanding Estidama and the Pearl Rating System for

Buildings, Villas and Communities’, which will provide an over view of Estidama, and what is needed for developers to achieve cer tain Pearl

cer tification levels. Secondly, the ‘Application of the Pearl Rating System’ course will equip delegates to apply PRS credits to projects, while the final ‘Administration of the Pearl Rating System’ course will require application assessment. All three courses will run until 11 Januar y, and qualify students as Estidama Pearl Qualified Professionals. Abu Dhabi’s PRS was unveiled earlier this year as par t of the Estidama framework. The UPC plans to use the strict sustainable guidelines to evaluate all new buildings in the emirate. Achieving an adequate Pearl rating could eventually become compulsor y for all future developments. Pearl ratings evaluate buildings in the design phase, during construction, and up to a year after the building has achieved full capacity, making the system far more onerous than LEED or BREEAM rankings.

End users wake up to importance of locally-grown plants Raising awareness about the harmful effects of non-native species of vegetation on the environment has increased the demand for local plant- ife, the director for The Gardening and Landscaping Middle East 2010 trade exhibition has said. Introduced plants and foliage in gardens, such as the quick-growing Eucalyptus, tend to be extremely draining on water resources, and need a far greater use of fertilisers to encourage their growth.

16 September 2010

But now there is an increasing swing towards the use of native vegetation that has evolved over time to local conditions in order to conser ve resources and preser ve the environment. “Awareness is increasing about the harmful effects that some introduced species of vegetation can have on the Middle East’s extremely sensitive environment,” said Wilbert Heijmans, group exhibitions director at Epoc Messe Frank-

Drought-resistant plants are becoming popular.

furt, organiser of Garden and Landscaping Middle East. “While many non-native species may look good and take root extremely quickly, they are often resource-heavy. Increased

use of local or regional droughtresistant plants are now becoming more and more common here,” he added. The Gardening and Landscaping Middle East 2010 trade exhibition, a three-day event, will highlight this trend, and introduce products from garden machinery, tools, furniture and water features right through to swimming pools, landscaping tools and architectural landscaping and irrigation systems when it opens on 31 October.


Blu hotel achieves green certificate The Radisson Blu has invested AED1.25m in sustainable initiatives, including recycling programmes Dubai’s Radisson Blu Hotel has received a Green Globe Certification from Farnek Avireal after investing US$340,312 (AED1.25 million) in sustainability initiatives. Rezidor, which was handed the management contract for the Deira property in 2006, has gradually brought its green policies in line with its own business programme. Initiatives included replacing inefficient and high-power consuming air-conditioning with energy-efficient systems and introducing recycling programmes. “The Green Globe Certification Audit is based on a number of environmental factors; in all, we had 250 points to address. “It is always more challenging for an older property to attain such rigorous standards

but, considering that, it is so much more rewarding to be recognised for our achievements,” said chief engineer Arthur Rodrigues. Farnek Avireal currently has the exclusive rights to utilise the Green Globe brand, covering tourism properties within 20 different countries throughout the Middle East. Through the company’s webbased Hotel Optimiser technology, GGC participants can calculate their CO2 emissions, including the financial cost, which enables them to track their performance in terms of Farnek Avireal’s Markus Oberlin: embracing sustainability makes good business sense. energy and water consumption, to stay in sustainable hotels. as well as non-recyclable waste to be environment-friendly. Thus embracing sustainability production. Independent surveys have makes good business sense,” “The Radisson Blu Hotel is revealed that hotel guests are said Farnek Avireal general a great example to prove you becoming more environmenmanager Markus Oberlin. don’t have to be a new hotel tally-conscious, and prefer

Saudi Arabia to spend US$39bn on sustainable projects Saudi Arabia will spend US$39 billion (SR150 billion) on the construction of “smart buildings” over the next eight years to promote long-term sustainability in the country. Studies show that cooling, heating and lighting systems used by smart buildings can save 30% on energy consumption, cut down 50% of water consumption and minimise up to 90% of waste produced by residential and business towers. The Saudi Build 2010 and Saudi Stone-Tech trade shows are expected to provide contractors, real-estate developers and building owners with direct access to a range of smart building solutions from hundreds of exhibiting companies from Europe, Africa, the

Building owners in Saudi are making their facilities increasingly more energy-efficient.

Middle East and Asia. “Building owners are becoming increasingly interested in making their facilities more energy-efficient to save money and decrease operating costs. In this regard, smart building solutions provide a convenient way to improve the energy efficiency and optimise the performance of buildings,” said Saudi Build project manager Shahid Bhatti. “Saudi Build and Saudi StoneTech will offer a complete array of smart-based solutions to match the needs of any building. We will have exhibitors from all over the world, including at least 42 national pavilions.” The two events will be held at the Riyadh International Convention & Exhibition Centre from 18-21 October 18.

September 2010 17


Surv eyin g

Dubai plans to spend US$136 million on boosting surveillance in the emirate, but what led to this decision? And if criminal activity is expected to increase, how do security service providers plan to protect vacant properties while residents are away?

secu rity number of reports have suggested that security is being cranked up in Dubai. In July, the police announced that they would boost surveillance in the emirate by installing security cameras “everywhere”. Dubai is also pushing crime prevention through environmental design in the built environment to influence decisions that precede criminal acts by increasing the level of surveillance, access control and territorial reinforcement. But are these measures really necessary, or is the city in danger of turning into a ‘Big Brother’ society? The recent growth in the security industr y has been driven by a number of factors, including the increasing number of major events being held in the UAE, such as the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, as well as concerts and festivals. Furthermore, the growth in the population has led to the need for tighter defense measures, according to Emrill customer ser vices director Alan MacMillan. “As a country grows, expands and matures, so must the measures to protect


18 September 2010

its assets. This is not only done through physical security measures, but through other protective measures such as governance, change in laws and the introduction of new laws,” he said. Political, economic and social tensions in the Middle East have also pushed governments and private companies to take the necessary steps towards creating a safer environment. “It has become imperative to invest in enhancing security measures to maintain a healthy business ambiance and secure living environment, as well as to protect nations from internal and external threats,” explained World Security CEO Mahmood Amin.

Peace of mind Unsurprisingly, crimes of theft occur more and more in the summer months, particularly during Ramadan, when many residents go on vacation. Thus the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the Dubai Police has been taking action to improve this situation.

“It has become imperative to invest in enhancing the security measures to protect living environments” - Mahmood Amin

“The plan aims at combating crime and promoting safety and security by increased security patrols in all areas of Dubai, particularly residential, public places, markets and commercial centres,” CID director Brigadier Khalil Ibrahim Al Mansouri told Gulf Today. Private companies such as Landmark Properties, G4S and Emrill Services are also checking on homes that have been vacated temporarily. “We are conducting patrols and checks of residences for some of our customers. We recommend that people do enlist a service provider or friends and family to check their homes regularly while they are away,” said G4S COO Dave Zack. But increased safety doesn’t just come down to regular spot checks; service providers are also insisting that residents themselves have to be on their guard. “Approximately 30% of all burglaries start with an unsecured window as an entry point,” said MacMillan. “Residents should ask their neighbours to carry out day-to-day tasks such as going into their property frequently to make it appear that the place is still occupied and being used.” Amin also said that property owners have become complacent about home security because of the “low crime rate” in the region. “We all have high-value items, and some properties require alarm systems. Residents need to us common sense to protect


their assets. Leaving your car unlocked with your laptop, iPod and designer sunglasses on the passenger seat is not a wise move in any country,” he said.

Technology Although there is still a demand for human interaction, security systems have gradually become more automated due to the advent of new technologies. There has been rapid growth in IP (Internet Protocol) video surveillance, which is expected to dominate the video surveillance market in the near future, with network cameras and video servers being the major trends. Unlike CCTV technology, IP cameras can send and receive data via a computer network and the internet. “Remote video monitoring was unheard of until recently, and can now be done cost-effectively through SIM cards and GPRS technology. The trend is a more effective use of technology with less emphasis

Emrill customer services director Alan MacMillan

ww ww constr nsstrt uucctiion onw weeekkoonnlilinee.ccom om

on personnel. Everyone wants to ensure cost-effective solutions,” said Zack. Another growing trend in the GCC, is the use of biometric security systems, which are used to identity of individuals in the workplace and at government sites, including airports. “This is the most secure and convenient authentication tool available, as it represents a person’s unique biological identity, which cannot be stolen,” added Amin.

“Slight hyperbole” Security is improving in the region, but it may not necessarily becoming more stringent. And the suggestion that surveillance cameras will be installed “everywhere” is a bit of an exaggeration, according to experts. “I think perhaps the term ‘everywhere’ is a slight hyperbole, as Dubai does have privacy laws in place which do not permit surveillance systems to be installed in certain areas and premises,” said MacMillan, adding that the application of surveillance technologies is not geared purely towards that of security,” said MacMillan. “Having well-deployed surveillance systems can assist both the police and

“As a country grows, expands and matures so must the measures to protect its assets” - Alan MacMillan

Amin: property owners have become complacent about security.

Roads and Transportation Authority in future planning of roads and infrastructure to reduce congestion, and can assist the authorities prior to, and during, any largescale events that Dubai hosts regularly.” Zack seconded this argument and added: “I think increased security is not a Middle East phenomenon, with heightened awareness and action being taken worldwide. Governments are responding to their responsibilities to do their best to keep citizens safe.”

WHAT’S HAPPENING IN QATAR? The Qatar 2010 Crime and Security Report, compiled by the Overseas Security Advisory Council, showed that crime within the Gulf state has increased significantly since 2005. Qatar’s Ministry of Interior recorded a total of 923 criminal cases in 2005 and 3976 cases during 2006 — an increase of 330%, the report stated. Between 2005 and 2006, there was a 237% increase in the number of suspects arrested (from 1096 to 3702). And in 2008, 8527 arrests were made for residency-permit violations. The government of Qatar is monitoring crime trends carefully, and is making an effort to enforce stringent security measures. “During the weekends and after hours, some parts of Doha are off-limits to expatriate families, unaccompanied females and minoraged children due to overcrowding and large numbers of foreign male labourers,” explained Emrill customer services director Alan MacMillan.

September 2010 19


LEDing the way As fears grow over possible blackouts in the region due to electricity overconsumption, RWN Trading marketing director Carol Prince explains how we can keep the lights on for longer without damaging the environment he need to switch to sustainable energy solutions is more important than ever in the region, as demand outstrips supply on a regular basis. Lighting represents 22% of electricity usage in the Middle East, and this is a much higher statistic than anywhere else in the world. If GCC consumers switch the lights in their homes to more efficient solutions, this will save up to US$400 million and 5.1 megatons in carbon dioxide emissions annually. Briefly, Light-Emitting Diodes (LEDs) are the efficient lighting solution for today’s energy issues. And the future of lighting will soon see a widespread adoption of this solution. LEDs are available as small solid lightbulbs or in cluster form with diffuser lenses, which are ideal for the home environment. These cluster beams can use as many as 180 bulbs per cluster, and the light is spread evenly. Quite new to the market are dimmable LEDs, which offer extra savings in energy because, when they are dimmed to the zero position, they emit no energy, unlike their traditional counterparts that still emit energy loss at zero. At present, the drawback to switching to LED has been the initial cost, but the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of LED lighting systems will drive demand for

Lighting represents 22% of electricity usage in the Middle East.


“If GCC consumers switch the lights in their homes to more efficient solutions, this will save up to US$ 400 million annually”

20 September 2010

more affordable LED lights. Irrespective of cost, there are still tremendous financial and energy savings to be achieved. The operational life of white LED lamps is 50,000 hours. This is more than ten years of continuous operation, or 20 years of 50% operation. The long operational life of an LED lamp is in stark contrast to the average life of an incandescent bulb, which is approximately 5000 hours. The long lifespan of the LED naturally has a direct impact on maintenance requirements. With incandescent bulbs, the true cost of the bulb is in the cost of replacement, the labour expense and time needed to replace them. These are important factors when considering lighting options for an

RWN Trading marketing director Carol Prince


average office, as maintenance costs to replace bulbs can be enormous. These issues can all be virtually eliminated with the LED option. The key to switching to LED lighting is reduced power consumption. With correct design, an LED circuit will realise approximately 80% efficiency. In a nutshell, this means 80% of the electrical energy is converted to light energy. The remaining 20% is lost through heat energy. Incandescent lamps operate at about 20% efficiency, with a staggering 80% of the electrical energy being lost as heat. Furthermore, LEDs do not cause heat build-up, producing only 3.4BTUs (British Thermal Units) per hour, compared to up to 88BTUs for incandescents. If we translate LED vs. incandescent into a financial example, a 100W incandescent used for 12 months, with electrical cost at 33fils/kilowatt per hour, equates to a total of AED290 spent on electricity. The same example for LED with 80% efficiency

The lifecycle of LEDs is much longer than that of incandescent bulbs.

equates to an electricity cost of AED44 per 12 months. This means a saving of AED246 over 12 months. The true savings are actually much higher when you take into account that traditional lamps need to be replaced more frequently, usually within a year, and this involves manpower and maintenance costs. Also, some areas will remain unlit if traditional lamps lose their power due to contractual obligations. For example, many buildings do not allow repairs to be carried out when public areas are open, so maintenance must be carried out during limited periods. The carpark illustration below shows very clearly the huge savings by swapping from the standard 40W lamp to 18W LED. This carpark has 900 incandescent, four

foot tubes which are on 24/7. Most last one year, and some last no more than six months. When we conducted the sur vey, 30% of the lamps had blown and had yet to be changed. FM managers need to be looking at the bigger picture when analysing the true cost of saving energy with LED. The obvious figures start with the lights themselves, but further savings can be made in cooling expenses because LEDs generate less heat, which naturally leads to less power needed. Companies have a responsibility to reduce their energy consumption and carbon footprint. This can be achieved in various ways, but RWN Trading promotes LED lighting as a start.By taking minor steps, such as swapping from traditional incandescents to LEDs, up to 80% of your light energy costs could be saved.

“With the correct design, a light-emitting diode circuit will realise approximately 80% efficiency”








75,000 hrs (10 yr+)

6000 hrs (1-1.5 years)




Brightness device



Power consumption


44W due to ballast

Power usage at 168 hours per week (7 x 24 hours) 3 KWHrs

7.39 KWHrs

Power usage at 168 hours per week, for 1 year

156 KWHrs

384.4 KWHrs

Running cost per year (AED 0.33 per kWh)

AED 51.50

AED 126.85

Total savings in running costs

1 year

5 years

Assuming 168 hours per week

AED 67,815

AED 339,075

September 2010 21


OCTOBER 27th›89L;?89@ Following the successful regional series of conferences held by Construction Week – the region’s leading publication for construction professionals in the Middle East – the Construction Week Conference, Abu Dhabi will bring together the leading executives in the city to debate the current issues and challenges facing the industry. Featuring panel discussions, Q&A sessions and networking occasions, the conference will be the ideal platform to promote your brand, meet new clients and learn from the most influential figures in the Middle East construction sector. To sponsor the 3rd Building Sustainability into the Middle East Conference contact 8e[i\nGXib\j, tel: +971 4 210 8570, email: Xe[i\n%gXib\j7`kg%Zfd LEGAL PARTNER




Gold dust

Transparent businesses in the Middle East are a rare find, but when it comes to Al Fara’a’s recently-launched FM division, honesty is the best policy, says Martin Gold

September 2010 23


t has been one year since Al Fara’a Properties, one of the biggest construction companies in the GCC, launched its FM division. Despite being relatively new to the market, the business is already ahead of the game when it comes to creating solid client relationships. One of the reasons for its success is Martin Gold, a man who once landed a contract with a leading developer after saying: “We will make mistakes and we will get complaints, but the key thing is how we react to these mistakes and complaints. “I was told later I was being too honest,” says the FM manager, laughing. “But that’s just how we do things here.” Transparency is a rare find in this part of the world, but so far this is what Gold and his team have based their business on. “I sat in the first Customer Relation Management (CRM) monthly review meeting and, as well as looking at the good things they had offered to clients and customers, the attendees were also identifying the bad,” says Gold. “It is ver y unusual for a board to actually invest in finding out where they are going wrong. It’s refreshing.” The CRM department was launched by Al Fara’a in April this year. Its call centre, which is now taking 1500 calls a month, provides end users and clients with one point of contact for any maintenance queries they may have. While the department is taking care of customers, it is also promoting the group’s FM division, which is gaining more and more business all the time. “We are now getting quite a few enquiries from sources we didn’t expect,” says Gold. “Major projects and major clients are asking us to provide FM ser vices. So it is all starting to gel, and it’s working out ver y well.” In addition to the maintenance and complaints hotlines, Al Fara’a has a purchase and financing section. “This sounds silly, but we have found that our FM department can phone the purchase department if it has an issue about supplies.”


launch of the FM division this time last year. When the company delivered the development there, was a big pool of money that the owners had put together, and there were concerns over how this money would be spent. In the end, it was decided that it would be the best solution to invest in FM. “The bottom line is we wanted to stretch our customers’ money,” says Gold. “It has always been our belief

18,000 The number of employees working for Al Fara’a

“It is all starting to gel and it’s working out very well” that the reality of being successful is to meet our customers’ needs. We saw that we had the capability of securing much better pricing than what the market was offering, and guaranteeing the quality of the ser vice deliver y.” Now the FM business is moving away from managing Al Fara’a’s projects. “We can’t be an FM provider to our own developer,” explains Gold. Instead, the company is focusing on operating industrial factories and labour camps.

Projects Le Grand Chateau, Al Fara’a Properties’ pilot project, was the reason behind the

24 September 2010


Furthermore, the FM team is working with private customers, and has recently snagged some buildings for a client with 18,000 properties in the region. “They would like us to move in and do a formal tender,” says Gold, adding that no details about the project or client can be mentioned at this time. The biggest project currently managed by Al Fara’a is the Abu Dhabi fish market, which has special requirements when it comes to FM. “What’s important about this particular project is that you have to be really careful about separating customeraccess areas from food areas. It supplies meat, fruit and vegetables as well as retail shopping. So we took into account the maintenance

side of things at the design stage of the project,” says Gold. Al Fara’a’s FM division has its own on-site staff, facilities managers and labourers. It also takes care of MEP maintenance in-house. Since the company is part of a firm that has been around for 30 years, it already has its own purchasing powers, which come in ver y handy when making deals with ser vice providers. “We tr y not to outsource because we have got such a fantastic inhouse capability. But we have to outsource services like pool maintenance due to the fact there are chemicals involved, etc.

Somebody could get hurt and we don’t want that to happen,” says Gold. “Lift maintenance also has to stay with the manufacturer because this ser vice is so technical and specialised.”

Solid Gold background Being from the UK, Gold knows all about high standards when it comes to construction and FM, and this is what he hoped to bring to Al Fara’a when he joined the company eight months ago. He started his career providing maintenance for the Eastern Electricity board in England, and then went on to fitting showers, hoists and lifts for disabled facilities such as nursing homes, hospitals and commercial spaces in the north of the countr y. “This sounds ver y different in terms of FM, but in fact it was more intense because, if someone is using a wheelchair can’t get down the stairs, you have to be there quickly,” says Gold. “We implemented hoists for people, some of whom weighed 50 stone [317kg], and you have to be ver y diplomatic when dealing with this type of thing, but it’s a ver y good environment to learn your trade.” He then went on to work as a customer care manager for Wates Construction, and took care of maintenance for private schools. The firm then split into four, and Gold moved on. “The company I worked for was transferred to Manchester, and I was living in South Yorkshire, so my old construction director asked me to come and work for another company,

“You will always argue about money, but if you provide a good service and you get on with your client, then the relationship will blossom” ttiioonnnwe weeek w eeekko koonnline lilinnee.ccom om

September 2010 25


A big pool of money, put together by owners of residences in Al Fara’a’s Le Grand Chateau, was spent on facilities management. The company’s FM division was launched soon after.

closer to where I lived, and look after its maintenance.” Gold’s new company was quickly bought out by ROK plc, a top construction company in the UK, and he was faced by one of his biggest FM challenges yet. In 2007, Hull, a city in North East England, suffered severe flooding, and 17,000 properties were damaged. It was up to Gold and his colleagues to repair some of the wrecked homes. “ROK is ver y, ver y big on maintenance insurance work, so we were asked to refurbish 150 properties, and I took on the role of project manager.” Gold then started up an FM division for the company’s office in Yorkshire, also in the North East. Within one year the business achieved a turnover of US$3 million (£2 million). “We were providing FM ser vices for some ver y big clients around York, and it was going ver y well. Due to the good relationship I had with clients, we had £1 million pounds on the books within six weeks.” The facilities manager then decided to move abroad, and worked briefly in Doha, Qatar before joining Abu Dhabibased Al Fara’a in December 2009.

26 September 2010

UK standards So what is the difference between the FM industr y in the UK and the FM industr y in the UAE? According to Gold, it’s the level of knowledge. “I ran an FM company in the UK, and basically had four repair people on the road. Here I have 600,” he says. “People multi-tasked in the UK, but here it’s ver y labour-orientated, not skillorientated, and that’s what I have found ver y hard. “With the strata law coming in and a certain amount of things that seem to be happening here, the UK standards will be adopted more than ever.” But will the UK standards translate to the Middle East? “I think the basis of it will. Most of the time it’s about basic health and safety,” says Gold. “Employers and owners’ associations have a duty of care to make sure ever y


It has been one year since Al Fara’a’s FM division was launched

space is safe and that fire alarms work and sprinklers work. These are basic things that, at the moment, seem to be overlooked here.” And it’s not just the labourers who need educating. According to Gold, his biggest challenge so far has been convincing developers that they need to introduce FM into their projects at design stage. “We have to understand where problems lie at the ver y beginning of a development,” he insists. “How will you change lightbulbs when the ceiling is 20 feet high?” Gold says that one of the most important stages of a development is the defect period where plant, machiner y and equipment are ser viced. “One of the things I am tr ying to do with Al Fara’a is to tell clients their defect period is one year, and they are responsible for that year. “A shower hose might cost you about AED5 and a better one might cost you AED15. But it will cost you over AED300 to replace the cheap one if you take into account the call that comes in, sourcing the material and sending the guy out to swap the hose. “You don’t even get the money back


for the AED5 hose because you’ve got no warranty [if you haven’t had the equipment ser viced].” But you can’t prepare for ever ything, and the ever-changing FM industr y is leading Gold and his team down a path they didn’t plan to walk on.

Strata It was reported recently that owners’ associations (OAs) will not be able to deal directly with the FM provider, according to the newly-launched Jointly-Owned Property Law regulations. Instead they will have to go through one of four com-

“Owners’ associations know nothing about construction and nothing about FM”

panies that appear to be management companies for the OAs. “This is hearsay at the moment, but [if the rule is introduced] it won’t work. OAs are voted in, and they know nothing about construction and nothing about FM. They only know what’s wrong with the building. We have to educate them, and we also have to run their business for them, and that’s what we are tr ying to do now,” says Gold. “I must admit I had a strategy to start with, but because of the new regulations that came out recently, I have had to rethink it.” If the rumours aren’t true and Al Fara’a must deal directly with OAs, how will it handle demands for decreased ser vice charges? “It’s like anything else; you will always argue about money, but if you provide a good deal, a good ser vice and you get

2009 Gold joined Al Fara’a in December of that year

on with your client, then the relationship will blossom,” says Gold.

What’s next?

Gold: the biggest challenge so far has been convincing developers they need to introduce FM at the design stage.

Al Fara’a is currently looking to the future and thinking of new ser vices that it can offer the market. Most importantly, it is concentrating on adapting to market changes. “One day we go one way and the next day we go the other way. That’s just the way business is,” says Gold. “The company’s vision has changed from being a premium construction provider to a solutions provider. That is what we are focusing our business on – looking for, and seeking out, solutions. We all think we are the best and we’re number one, but sometimes it isn’t actually portrayed like that. “We get complaints, but we react to them quickly and are honest with people. You can ver y easily turn a negative into a positive.”

September 2010 27

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Mother of pearl An insight into how facilities managers have prepared for the birth of a new multi-million dollar creation, and the ways the development will be nurtured in the future

ll too often, contractors and developers envisage a finished finished project running like clockwork work before the concrete is even poured. ed. They don’t account for the challenges nges that might lie ahead, and how their development will be managed d on a day-to-day basis. Plant and machinery is implemented mented without a thought to long-term g-term maintenance; car parks are built without consideration of potential logistical stical hurdles; and bins are installed without acknowledging knowledging the need for waste management. Luckily, executives at Dubai Pearl have taken off their rose-tinted spectacles cles and are looking at the big picture. It’s true; housekeeping ng staff can’t clean a project before it even exists, and d security guards can’t man an invisible corridor, or, but planning for these services in advance has been proved to benefit facilities managers, who are frequently left to pick up the pieces after er the developer has long since left. “One of the big problems ems you have worldwide is that developevelopers will construct a building ding and say, ‘I’m out of here, good d luck.’ People shy away from implementmplementing FM at the start of a project and then realise: we’ve got an n investment, we’ve got to maintain tain it,” says Dubai Pearl executive vice-president ce-president for sales and marketing Wayne Holder.


The centrepiece of the project is the four 73-storey towers that will be joined by the Sky Palace.

September 2010 29


Facilities management was introduced into the 1.85 million m2 development two years ago, just as design work had commenced. Now Dubai Pearl is prepared for future operations.

Under control Facilities management was introduced at the Dubai Pearl, a 1.85 million m2 development nestled between Media City and Knowledge Village, over two years ago, just as design work commenced. Due to the complexity of the project, all services and systems have been integrated into one central control and command centre managed by new Dubai Pearl subsidiary Quintaxis. “The most important thing is centralising. There isn’t redundant infrastructure all over the place; we have centralised the whole thing using a central Internet Protocal-based backbone,” explains senior vice-president for integrated community management at the Dubai Pearl Sushil Kurian Pilo. “We see patterns, so we can centrally monitor, control and manage all integrated systems. This allows for great benefits because, if you decentralise equipment, more heat is generated, and therefore more electricity is required to keep various parts of the development cool.” The constant monitoring of equipment and materials used to construct the proj-

30 September 2010

The scope

“We don’t just give someone a job and hope for the best. We go to the vendors and look at what they have delivered” ect will allow Dubai Pearl to avoid retrofits in years to come. There will also be a single point of contact for all customers with maintenance requirements. “We don’t have ten different agents doing ten different things, so it’s easy for stakeholders and end users to contact Dubai Pearl at any given moment.” Critical data, including images of the project as it progresses, is constantly transferred to the control centre so archives can be updated regularly. “After a wall is plastered, you don’t know what equipment and infrastructure has been implemented behind the plaster, so it is important to capture all incidents as they happen,” says Pilo.

The centrepiece of the US$4 billion (AED14.69 billion) project is the four 73-storey towers that will be joined by a single rooftop known as Sky Palace. Residents will look out onto Palm Jumeirah and, to the left and right, Dubai Marina and the downtown Dubai skyline. To the north of the towers (closest to Palm Jumeirah) will be the four hotel complexes that will be branded by French crystal manufacturer Baccarat and the latest incarnation by Las Vegas hotel Bellagio. To the south will be the majority of the entertainment-based podium buildings, which will eventually include a 1800-seater opera house, several retail outlets, a sports centre, another Las Vegas hotel – the MGM Grand – and the Skylofts apartments.

45% Of the project area which will be landscaped


“We are not postponing facing any challenges. We are already finding solutions to them” Ser vices provided to these project elements, such as security, MEP and infrastructure maintenance and landscaping, will be outsourced to sub-contractors who will each have a ser vice level agreement (SLAs) to comply with. These SLAs will then be converted into trackable key performance indicators (KPIs), which will be monitored constantly. “We don’t just give somebody a job and hope for the best. We go to the vendors and look at what they have delivered,” says Pilo. “We also monitor the response times of each ser vice.”

Coping with strata By the time Dubai Pearl is handed over

Dubai Pearl founder and CEO Santosh Joseph SLAs will be converted into KPIs and tracked by Dubai Pearl.






















































Services: Lifestyle Management, Critical Services, Integrated technology, Central distribution, Safety & Security, Green Living

September 2010 31


to residents, the Jointly-Owned Property (JOP) law regulations will have been around for some time. So how will the project deal with owners’ associations and strata management? “Most of the common areas are completely managed by Dubai Pearl, but when it comes to the physical floor of the hotel, it will be up to the hotel and Dubai Pearl management to decide on who will manage the internal lobbies and common areas,” explains project founder and CEO Santosh Joseph. “Many of the hotels are branded, so they will have their own standards and SLAs to comply with. Whether a

35,000 The expected population, including 9000 residents and 12,000 working professionals

“We have even done trial runs on how laundry will be delivered to the project” bathroom has to be cleaned four or five times a day, it will be up to them. Again, these SLAs will be converted into KPIs that will ultimately be tracked by Dubai Pearl.” In the past, there would be one strata title assigned per project, but Dubai Pearl has introduced several strata components within the development. For example, residences and offices will be sectioned into two strata communities. “It’s very unfair to couple the hotel with the residences, as the hotel will have higher usage of water, electricity, etc.,” says Holder.

And when owners’ associations are formed, Pilo expects there to be no complaints over service charges. “The cost of such a development is usually much more in terms of maintenance, but we believe we will be able to bring it down by doing the right planning, and doing so in advance,” he says.

Planning for challenges The problem with most projects is that developers and contractors don’t plan for challenges that they are likely to face when construction is complete and units have been fitted out. Every single design detail will determine how smoothly a project will be operated in the future, from the signage in the car park that will keep traffic to a minimum, to pressure-reducing valves, which will conserve the water used inside a development. “People don’t even plan how a fivegallon bottle of water gets to the 66th floor.

Pilo: The most important thing when it comes to facilities management is centralising your services and systems.

32 September 2010


of water that comes from the atmosphere, which is then stored and irrigates the grass automatically, so you don’t even need tubing.” Joseph adds: “It is a little early to say how we will maintain the landscaping, but come 2011 or 2012 we may be able to be a bit clearer about this.” Even with the FM and design plans mapped out and a construction schedule in place, Joseph and his team are still realistic about the future of their project. “There will be hundreds of challenges, but we are not postponing facing these challenges.We are already finding solutions to them.”


The US $4 billion project will include four 73-storey towers that will be joined by a single roof top, known as Sky Palace.

This can bec become difficult, especially when they have 40 or 50 that have to be delivered to various offices and apartments,” ment says Pilo. “So we list all the “S challenges, bring the chall right cconsultants into a central discussion, and come out w with solutions for each and every ever problem. We have even done trial runs on how delivered to the project.” laundry will be delivere

Sustainability Quintaxis not only cont controls facilities manPearl, but digital agement at the Dubai P living’, community lifestyle, or ‘green livin management as well. centres and lifestyle ma centralised. Everything is centralis play, stay and live’ The project’s ‘work, p that the commuconcept also means tha nity can come together in a sustainable having to leave the environment, without h basis. project on a regular bas

Other green plans lined up for the project include the introduction of lightemitting diodes (LEDs). “LEDs are used throughout the project. The initial cost may be a little high, but the operating costs will be lower because this type of lighting generates little heat, therefore reducing the cooling load required in the development,” says Pilo. Dubai Pearl has earned LEED Gold certification through its various green initiatives. “Of course, we are trying to improve on this standard in terms of the points system. This integrated lifestyle and facilities management system contributes to extra points,” says Joseph. But how sustainable can one project be when 45% of it is made up of landscaping? According to Pilo, the FM team is looking into various eco-friendly methods of irrigation to maintain future plant life. “There are new concepts like green roofing, and we are looking into that at the moment. This is an excellent concept for podium levels – there is a constant level

Al Habtoor Leighton Group - main contractor Schweger Associated Architects - lead architect and masterplanner Arup - masterplan integrator Dar Al Estimada - energy consultant Dome International - environmental impact study Meinhardt Australia Pty Ltd - engineering services consultant Meinhardt Facade Technology - façade technology design Jappsen Ingeniure - vertical transport design Masuch+Olbrisch - development and traffic planning Cansult Maunsell Ltd - infrastructure and traffic impact study CK Design Works Pty Ltd - Baccarat residences architect Taubert Und Ruhe Gmbh – acoustice engineering Crown Consult - traffic consultant Portland Design Associates Ltd - retail design Theatre Projects Consultants - Royal Hall and associated cinemas study Schletterer Wellness & Spa Design - wellness and spa concept design strategy Wes International Gmbh - landscaping Equinox Middle East LLC - logistics consultant Fichtner Consulting Engineers - wastemanagement consultants Secure Parking Corporation Sal - car-parking management and operations Tamdeen - engineering solution Rmal Hospitality - hospitality D.G. Jones & Partners - quantity surveyor Colliers International - retail property management and leasing

September 2010 33


32 August 2010


Smart workplaces

Lewis Beck from Johnson Controls talks about the synergy between effective workspace utilisation and energy efficiency

ith more than 17,000 people managing over 139 million m2 of corporate real estate in 90 countries, Global Workplace Solutions has been included in the Global Outsourcing 100 by the International Association of Outsourcing Professionals. “It is part of the Building Efficiency business of Johnson Controls. This is a leading, full-line service provider of mechanical equipment and systems controlling heating, ventilation, air-con, lighting, security and fire management in non-residential buildings,” explains Beck, director of workplace consulting. Services include complete mechanical and electrical maintenance. Building Efficiency is involved in more than 500 global renewable energy projects, ranging from solar to wind and geothermal energy. The division’s solutions are estimated to have reduced carbon dioxide emissions by 13.6 million tonnes, generating total savings of US $7.5 billion since 2000. This experience has been brought to bear on some major corporate clients in the Middle East, says Beck. Johnson Controls itself is a global diversified technology and industrial giant represented in 150 countries, focusing on solutions that optimise energy and operational efficiencies of buildings. The company’s commitment to sustainability dates back to 1885, with the invention of the first electric room thermostat.


Tenant energy management The latest trend is tenant energy management, such as the system that Johnson Controls is pioneering at the Empire State Building refurbishment project in New York in the US. Not only will every

“Buildings are no longer sustainable by merely incorporating ‘green’ technology; sustainability is increasingly being measured by space utilisation efficiency”

floor be sub-metered for electricity, but individual tenants can opt for their own meters as well, and control and monitor their consumption via a website. But what about the workplaces themselves? This is where Global Workplace Solutions comes into play. “We see workplaces as opportunities to make big contributions to a company’s bottom line,” says Beck. Global Workplace Solutions does this by focusing on the entire real-estate lifecycle. This is critical, as real-estate costs are often the second-highest item on the balance sheet of a company. “Hence reducing the amount of space needed by optimising its utilisation will have a impact on a company’s bottom line,” says Beck. “This is particularly relevant in Dubai, where the recent boom saw companies occupying a lot of office space commensurate with their corporate status. Now, with the downturn, companies are seeking to cut costs and reduce overheads, with energy efficiency and workspace optimisation emerging as the two major trends in this regard,” he adds. “What we do at the outset is conduct an audit of the workplace in question in order

to determine how the space is utilised. It is critical to gather this sort of information before any improvements can be suggested or properly formulated.” This is often the most fraught part of the process, as it is often seen as an interrogation of a company’s culture and work ethics.

Visible Living Lab Global Workplace Solutions claims to have the latest technology at its disposal to ensure the initial, fact-gathering part of the process is rigorously scientific. “This goes a long way to reassuring companies,” says Beck. The Visible Living Lab, as it is known, is a web-based space management and real-time occupancy tool developed by Johnson Controls. “It helps businesses see in real-time where their workspace is occupied, and how it is being used. With this intelligence, companies are able to improve

September 2010 35


The recent boom saw companies occupying a lot of office space, which corresponded with their corporate status.

space utilisation, increase staff productivity and gain savings from strategic property management,” explains Beck. The tool uses radio-frequency smart tags to provide real-time intelligence. “The benefits of adopting such an approach are obviously financial, with potential occupancy savings of 20% to 30%. In addition, the accumulation of accurate data not only improves decision-making, but allows for location-based security and response in the event of any emergency,” he adds. Another benefit of this process is it attunes companies to current trends and developments with regard to workplace management. “A lot of workplace utilisation improvement is predicated on a mindshift change in culture and behaviour. It is often difficult for established companies to gain a comprehensive overview of their work patterns; we are able to provide such

a viewpoint, which impacts directly on sustainability and profitability,” says Beck. It also allows companies to benchmark themselves against global competitors.

Demise of the office? What are some of the latest workplace trends? One thing Beck is confident of is that the traditional office set-up is here to stay. “There is a lot of talk about the demise of the office due to flexi-work and the freedom allowed by advances in telecoms and the Internet. However, workspaces are important for companies to brand themselves and inculcate a corporate culture among their employees,” says Beck. The future of the ‘smart’ workplace

is being shaped by various factors and trends. Buildings are no longer sustainable by merely incorporating ‘green’ technology; sustainability is increasingly being measured by space utilisation efficiency. “An immediate advantage of this is it helps reduce the quantity of vacant office space, which is an important consideration in Dubai at the moment,” says Beck. As a result, ‘smart growth zones’ begin to emerge in the urban fabric, which represents a fundamental shift in global spatial planning.

Beck: reducing the amount of space needed by optimising its utilisation will have an impact on a company’s bottom line.

“Now, with the downturn, companies anies duce are seeking to cut costs and reduce cy and overheads, with energy efficiency ng as workspace optimisation emerging the two major trends”

36 September August 20102010


Workplace solution providers to know As clients look for ways to create productive work environments whilst keeping costs energy consumption down, Facilities Management Middle East seeks out companies that can help them make informed decisions



Bene is a European company which provides office furniture, as well as consultancy services to help customers plan and design their work environment. “Gensler, a famous architect conducted a survey in 2006, which revealed that one out of five employees rated their workplace environment from ‘fair to poor’ and 90% admitted that their attitude about work is affect by the quality of their workplace,” says Bene managing director for the Middle East and Australia Ahmed Kandil. “So, when it comes to selecting the appropriate layout and design scheme for an office, our approach is to focus on productivity and the needs to the staff,” adds Kandil. Bene established its Middle East office in 2002 and since then, its annual turnover has grown from zero to over US $20.99 million.

While inexpensive furniture can keep short-term costs to a minimum, it can also send maintenance fees to rocket. This is one message that The Total Office is trying to get across. “Investing in LED lighting will bring your energy bills down, but if you are buying inexpensive chairs that have a one year warranty and carpet that gets hammered into a pulp after three months, you will need to keep swapping them around and this causes inefficiency,” explains managing director Siddharth Peters. But, it isn’t just up to suppliers, designers and FMs advise on products that have a long lifecycle; architects have to think about the functionality of office space. “Today, the customer viewing an office space tends to say,: the building looks great from the outside but if I can only fit 10 people in the office and I am paying twice as much, this won’t work for me,” adds Peters. The Total Office has been in the Middle East for around 14 years and has added more product lines to its portfolio since the launch, such as work stations, chairs and headrests.

SCHIAVELLO PROJECT SOLUTIONS Australian company Schiavello offers consultancy services and solutions for office interior design development, IT integration, cost control, fixed asset management and ongoing maintenance and warranty. The firm also provides consultancy services for MEP integration for offices and, according to Schiavello general manager Simon Green, general power and HVAC are crucial factors in the utilisation of space. “HVAC has to be taken into consideration allowing sufficient air flow and air change for the internal accommodation.” Green adds that a building designed for an office environment should provide good modular space offering a planning ratio between 10m2 per person to 12m2 per person. But are investors following these guidelines? “With the increase in the amount of vacant office space, the balance has now favored the occupier as choice is now available, and business owners are able to shop around for the correct office space in well designed towers, where the best planning and environment solutions can be implemented,” says Green.

BAFCO BAFCO is an office furniture manufacturer based in the UAE. Since 1991, it has collaborated with clients and interior designers to create environments that enhance organisational performance by improving the efficiency and quality of work life. The company’s main aim is to educate clients about ergonomics and tactics in developing space and energy efficient working environments. “Open plan offices, demountable glass partitions and task lighting are just a few of the products that we strongly recommend for enhancing energy efficiency. These sorts of technologies are available in the market and will immediately pay for themselves,” explains BAFCO marketing manager Gilbert Grino. “It is also now a must to implement occupancy sensors in areas, which are seldom used to automate energy savings.”

September 2010 37

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In order to prevent injuries or fatalities at work, companies should go out of their way to reduce hazards wherever possible. Where there is the slightest risk that someone could get hurt, personal protective equipment should always be used, as experts tell Facilities Management Middle East.

he dangers associated with a workplace vary from minor to extreme. From a scratch and scrape caused by a garden tool to a broken neck caused by a 200ft fall from a high-rise building, hazards can be found anywhere. Without question, these hazards should be addressed and eliminated from a working environment before a job begins, but whenever there are risks involved, it is better to protect ourselves with the correct safety gear than be sorry later. Of course, personal protective equipment (PPE) cannot stop dangerous incidences from occurring, but it can determine the outcome of an accident. “A safety harness cannot


US $136,000 The cost to a developer of a fatality on a construction site

September 2010 39


prevent a fall, but it can prevent falling to the ground. A helmet cannot prevent falling material, but it can protect one’s head against it,” explains Ray Tamal, business development manager for Miller, a personal protective solutions provider for safety at height.

Risk assessment The types of risks that should be considered in a workplace are mechanical (cutting, abrasion and shocks), thermal, chemical, biological or physical (noise and radiation). These risks can stem from using hand tools or heavy machinery, putting out a fire, cleaning a swimming pool, changing a lightbulb, wiring, maintaining the guttering and many more hands-on

EUROPEAN DIRECTIVES The hazards which can be found at a workplace and the equipment that should be used to protect workers, according to European standards MINOR RISKS: Cleaning materials; hot components below 50˚; non-extreme atmosphere agents; minor impacts and vibrations, which do not affect vital areas of the body; sunlight Appropriate equipment examples: Gardening gloves, gloves protecting against diluted detergent solutions, headgear, seasonal clothing, footgear, sunglasses

MODERATE RISKS: Dangerous chemicals, radioactivity, electrical and thermal hazards Appropriate equipment examples: Gloves for mechanical risks, safety footwear, high visibility clothing, protective glasses, worksite helmets, earplugs

IRREVERSIBLY HARMFUL RISKS: Ionizing radiation, low and high temperature environments, falls from height, electric shock, exposure to dangerous fumes Appropriate equipment examples: Fireman gloves, chemical gloves, anti-acid clothing, anti-heat and projections clothing, respiratory masks, anti-fall harnesses

40 September 2010

Edward Bowen, project engineer for Marine Tech, a fall-protection specialist.

jobs, most of which are related to facilities management and MEP works. These days when it comes to providing maintenance services, workers have to be multi-tasking. So how do we determine which types of equipment employees should be using from job to job? The protective equipment required for a particular occupation is dependent on the level of risks involved in the job at hand, and all of these risks should be assessed by a health and safety manager. If a worker is hammering a nail into a wall, for example, a metallic mid-sole of a safety shoe would help them to avoid a puncture that could result from stepping on a nail. “Some models have additional features like a heat-resistant outsole, water-repellent leather, anti-static and oil resistance,” continues Delta Plus Middle East key accounts manager David Jerromes. “Risk assessments should take into consideration the work environment (climate, breathing conditions, landscape configuration, floor

“Risk assessments should take into consideration the work environment (breathing conditions etc.)” - David Jerromes

type, height of work), tools involved, presence of hazardous products and vehicle movements.” As well as safety hazards that physically injure workers, health hazards can also be found at work, which can result in the development of diseases, deafness, blindness and lung damage caused by long periods of exposure to dust, fumes and noise, etc. Thus the duration of work should be taken into account during a risk assessment to determine the type of PPE, and which should be used. “If the hazard is dust, then you need to wear a respirator with a filter that is appropriate for that type of dust, or wear a respirator connected to a source of breathing air,” says 3M Gulf country business leader of safety, security and protection services Wajid Abbas. A worker’s medical history and injury should also be taken into account before they are exposed to a harsh working environment. Each job should be given its own solution; drivers should not wear the same kind of gloves as grinders or


painters, for example. In theory, PPE should protect a person from harm, but if an employer purchases the wrong type of equipment for a particular job, it will be rendered useless. “Unfortunately, workers are often given the wrong PPE, such as a dust respirator when the hazard is a fume or vapour,” adds Abbas.

Correct standards Companies should also check whether the equipment manufacturer has complied with the correct standards before purchasing equipment. “All PPE is subject to European standards, and a valid test certificate should be provided. Furthermore, an EC ‘Declaration of Conformity’ should be provided, which states that the product has been tested and certified by an independently notified body,” explains Edward Bowen, project engineer for Marine Tech, a fall-protection specialist. “We also recommend that the manufacturer of the products should work to, and hold, a valid ISO 9001 certificate.” Compliance to such standards involves correct use of material, testing, labelling and inspection. “Standardisation mainly focuses on performance.

“Workers are often given the wrong personal protective equipment, such as a dust respirator when the hazard is a fume or vapour” - Wajid Abbas

A harness should be worn whenever there is fall hazard.

When the risk is regarded as particularly high, tests and the resultant compliance by independent laboratories are all the more demanding. With EC certification, all PPE should display a ‘CE’ mark, and a user’s manual should be available from the manufacturer,” says Jerromes. What is also crucial when it comes to protective gear is that the workers themselves know how to use it. “It is no good providing a worker with a safety harness if the worker does not know how to wear it properly and how to clip it on safely so that he/she is protected. The most important element is education,” insists Bowen. A safety harness can also kill the casualty who has fallen from a height if recovery is not conducted in a timely and efficient manner. Death in a harness is the result of ‘othostatic intolerance’, commonly referred to as suspension trauma. The system straps around a worker’s legs and prevents blood flow to the major organs. If the casualty is placed in the normal recovery position, the deoxygenated blood flows back to the major organs, which results in death from toxic shock. Many manufacturers, however, offer systems which prevent suspension trauma from occurring. “There could be a number of reasons why someone would need to access areas which could pose a fall hazard such as cleaning or maintenance of gutters, roofs or replacing skylights. We always recommend the use of an energy-absorbing lanyard, which is part of the PPE connection to the harness. The length of this lanyard will depend on the requirements of the user and the building itself,” says Bowen. Energy-absorbing lanyards limit the impact of the harness on a person during a fall arrest.

Cost benefits PPE isn’t just a solution for the worker, but for the employer as well. After all, safe conditions in a workplace result in increased productivity and the reduction of costs due to accidents. For example, a lost-time injury will cost a developer from US$13,600 to US$27,200 (AED50,000 to AED100,000) in Dubai, Nets can be used to eliminate fall hazards but personal protective equipment should also be used when working at height.

September 2010 41


the inspection and use of PPE. This can be achieved by training and sharing of best practices and knowledge.”

Last resort Despite the benefits of PPE, safety consultants and manufacturers of protective equipment still say that the equipment should be used as a last resort and that reducing the hazards within a working environment should be the number one priority on any employer’s list. “The first thing that one should do is to eliminate the risk of a fall, and we are able to offer advice on how to do this. Where the risk still exists we will always try to

Delta Plus Middle East key accounts manager David Jerromes.

and a fatality can come with a hefty price tag of up to US$136,000. “It is much cheaper for contractors to prevent accidents from happening by giving labourers the security and the safety that they need to be able to go home at the end of the day,” says Combisafe sales manager Niklas Gustafsson.

Inspection Like all systems, PPE doesn’t last forever, and eventually needs to be replaced. According to Tamal, protective gear should be inspected before each shift. “PPEs are designed for maximum failsafe when in use; hence all PPE must be inspected before each and every use. Moreover, the user must be competent in

42 September 2010

“The user must be competent in the inspection and use of PPE. This can be achieved through training” - Ray Tamal

offer a design solution where access to the fall risk is prevented, i.e. keeping the user in fall restraint,” says Bowen. But Abbas says there is only so much a company can do when reducing hazards. “The truth is that jobs that require personal protective equipment carry inherent health and safety hazards. Therefore PPE is always a necessary part of the normal working environment.”


Governments in the GCC are starting to recognise the need for good parkingmanagement systems, but what new technologies will help meet this demand? ot so long ago, parking management in the Middle East wasn’t given a second thought. It wasn’t considered how bad parking systems and poor car-park designs could have a knock-on effect on traffic and, ultimately, the operation of a facility. Take a shopping-mall car-park, for example. customer e a p e. If a custo e has as a bad eexperipe ence tr ying to find a space upon entering the precinct, and struggles to find their way out because of bad signage, it could mean the mall will lose that customer, and many others, to its competitors. And with the growing number of cars on the road and the insufficient number of parking spaces, businesses such as hotels and restaurants could miss out on a huge amount of revenue. So have these problems been rectified? Well, no, they haven’t. But, at least now, government bodies and developers are starting to recognise the problems and,



because of the high demand for effective systems and solutions, the parkingmanagement industr y is finally starting to turn a corner. “A good parking-management system that facilitates traffic flow can maximise revenues for the owner and enhance the consumer’s experience, therefore increasing consumer g the t e chances c a ces of o a co su e returning,” etu g, says Jason Abboud, marketing manager for Bond Communications, a supplier of parking and traffic management systems. “Most parking-management systems also provide statistical information for the owner of that car park, which is extremely important for marketing purposes.” So which organisations are driving the sector in the right direction? Middle East Parking Symposium show director Davyd Farrell

September 2010 43


Guidance Kazarooni Company specialises in providing off-street and on-street guidance systems, which direct drivers into empty spaces using overhead LEDs and digital signs. “The car-park guidance system is designed to reduce the amount of time taken for a driver to find an empty parking space. It satisfies the driver by reducing time taken, and also satisfies the car-park operator by reducing traffic congestion and increasing parking efficiency,” says Kazarooni contracts manager Eyad Al Barkawi. In addition, as the time taken to find a parking space is reduced by digital signage, less fuel is consumed by cars. But this system must be paired with an accurate space-detection system, says Abboud: “If the information displayed in a car park is incorrect, then drivers will disregard the signs.”

Paying your way Efficient car-park access control, in the form of auto barriers, ticket-dispensing machines, disabled support systems and valet parking, are also contributing to the reduction of cars on the roads, smoother flow of traffic and revenue generation for car-park owners. Leading the way in access control is the Abu Dhabi Department of Transport. In January, the government body introduced the Mawaqif 2010 Plan, which aims to manage car parks and spaces in the capital.

44 September 2010

Since the launch, paid parking systems have been implemented in several areas around the emirate, including Corniche Road and Sheikh Khalifa Street. But is the government being fair in setting these charges? “Most parking charges in the UAE are rather fair,” says Abboud. “In shopping

malls, the first hour is usually free, and if a certain amount of money is spent in the outlets, the parking fee is waived. “For on-street parking, the fares are slightly higher, because it is the intention of the government to reduce the number of cars on the roads, especially when the average household owns more than one


“Our development is designed to combine automatic shaft construction and automatic parking systems. To explain, a parking facility will be placed in a deep shaft, 80 m below the surface,” says Herrenknecht head of research and development and product design Dr Marc Peters. “It has the same design principle as parking towers, but it won’t occupy any surface space.” The company has been working on projects in Abu Dhabi, combining the building of the parking facility with the foundation stage of a project. Thus a building is ultimately built on top of the car park. “Of course, this solution is a bit more hi-tech than regular car parks, and it will not be cost-effective ever ywhere,” warns Peters.

1100-1400 Efficient car-park access control, in the form of auto barriers, are contributing to the smoother flow of traffic.

car. These charges are likely to increase to encourage people to use alternative forms of transportation,” he explains.

Robo-parks One of the main problems facing drivers and car-park owners alike is that many developers are not maximising the use of land to provide sufficient parking spaces. Thus an increasing number of specialists are designing and building ‘robotic’ car parks. “These systems drastically reduce the amount of space required for parking by way of vertical stacking of vehicles on platforms when horizontal space is limited, and automated horizontal movements when vertical space is limited,” explains Al Barkawi. This solution reduces the amount of time it takes a driver to park and find their car to almost zero. So far, most automated car parks have been built above ground, but Herrenknecht, a German manufacturer of shaftbuilding machines, has gone one step further by introducing U-Park.

The number of industry professionals expected to attend the MEPS

MIDDLE EAST PARKING SYMPOSIUM The third annual Middle East Parking Symposium will be held at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre from 10-12 October. During the event, around 60 exhibitors will showcase various products and solutions, including payment systems, car-park guidance systems, barriers, access control, car-park security, design and planning software, car-park operation services and automated car parks. A conference with three parallel streams and a half-day workshop will be held in conjunction with the exhibition. In the technical stream, IPI, a not-for-profit organisation in the North American parking industry, will introduce eight experts who will talk about issues that need to be ironed out in the Middle East, such as planning and design, finance and investment, innovations in equipment and technology and operation and enforcement. Some of the speakers from this stream will also be involved in the half-day workshop, which is being organised in conjunction with the Miami Parking Authority. “This workshop will be for a limited number of people, and will be highly interactive,” says show director Davyd Farrell. The technology stream will look at the latest innovations and services available, while the Middle East stream will update delegates on ongoing projects and announcements of new projects. These projects will be explored on a city-by-city basis in terms of the UAE, and by country in terms of the Middle East. Farrell and his team anticipate around 1100 to 1400 individual industry professionals will attend the event. Key exhibitors to look out for BBond Bo ndd CCommunicationsSecure ommunicati i tionsSecure S Parking Al Arady/IMUM Parsons Kazarooni Boomerang Systems Energy International Globe Tech

Green Parking Herrenknecht ICA Traffic Precision Automation and Robotics Scheidt and Bachmann Siemens Skidata

September 2010 45


If an efficient number of spaces aren’t provided inside car parks, then businesses such as hotels, restaurants and malls and cinemas will lose out on a large amount revenue.

“It wouldn’t work at an opera house or the cinema, for example, because ever ybody will be waiting for their cars at the same time.”

Exhibition Robot car-parking technology, among other products and solutions, will be displayed at this year’s Middle East Parking Symposium (MEPS) to be held next month (see inset). “Automated or robotic parking systems have always been a big part of our event, and this year is certainly no different. We have more of these kinds of companies taking part in our event than any other

show worldwide,” says show director Davyd Farrell. In its third year, MEPS provides an annual meeting place for parking professionals to exchange ideas and make important new contacts. And from his experience in the parking industry, Farrell can make a solid predication as to where the market is heading. “With more mature and well-established markets such as Europe and North America offering fewer and fewer opportunities, companies the world over are looking at the Middle East now as a viable region to concentrate on. Five, or even three, years ago this wasn’t the case,” he says.

“By bringing industry professionals and organisations from all over the world together, we are making life a little easier for clients in the region. They will no longer need to travel to Europe or other destinations to meet new product and service providers.” But is the Middle East taking parking management seriously? “I would say there is now general recognition that parking is an issue, and there is a trend towards addressing it, but it is still very fragmented,” says Farrell. “I think it will take time for the industry to mature and reach a stage where we have many well-run car-park operations, either privately- or State-run.” Meanwhile, Abboud believes some Middle East countries are making a conscious effort to drive change: “In some areas, there are efforts to create a masterplan and set proper regulations allocating the appropriate number of parking spaces that should be provided in order to accommodate this increase.”

60 The number of exhibitors set to showcase their products and solutions at MEPS Paid parking helps to reduce the number of cars on the road.

46 September 2010



IFMA Foundation regional ambassador for the Middle East Mick Dalton

“The few points that everyone should look at are: recruitment cycles – when in the year do they have their highest shortages and do these periods coincide with down times; training – how frequently are the frontline staff trained; and how responsive is the management team to clients’ needs. Thereafter it depends on the type of security you are looking for and if the company has experience in the same industry.”

“You have to look at a company that can protect your assets, information and, most importantly, people. It should be highly professional and have an excellent standard of quality management systems. The company must also prove it has past experience in the various industries across the globe and offer a beneeds.” spoke package that meets all our needs.

American University of Kuwait maintenance and facilities manager Alaa Shanablah

Farnek Avireal division manager for security Mohammed Hassan

“Professional security providers should have considerable expertise in diverse commercial and industrial operations. They should be committed to exceeding customers’ expectations and providing a superior standard of service, technology, research and development, and health and safety methmeth ods. They should also have a good understanding of fire protection.”

“A reliable, recognised and financially-sound organisation that is consistently able to deliver a wide range of security services 24 hours a day. The company should exceed standard requirements through a professionally licensed, trained and competent workforce that achieves customer satisfaction while conforming to the protocols, laws and regulations stipulated within the country.”

Landmark Group senior facilites manager Amit Tawakley “The most important aspects to look at while choosing a professional security company are: whether it has a private security business department license, if it has integrity, and if it carries out inter-personal and onthe-job training. It should be professionally managed, have an excellent market reputation and good pricing.”

48 September June 2010 2010

Facilities Management Middle East - Sept 2010  

Facilities Management Middle East - Sept 2010 - ITP Business

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