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DGJ Facilities Management: What's New

by Ramy Eid Facilities Manager

The Facilities Management - FM department has recently introduced two complementing services to its current portfolio: Buildings Energy Auditing and Condition / Operational Readiness Assessment. Hereafter, we will be presenting a concise overview of these two services, the clients that can most benefit from these services and in what manner, and finally how both Services can, not only add value to the FM department’s current service portfolio but as well, pave the way for new and diversified sources of business opportunities to the Overall range of Services at DG Jones.

Starting with Energy Auditing Service; conserving Energy and improving Indoor Air Quality is the primary target of the energy auditing activity. This is more relevant now amid the heated discussion on climate change (COP26).

Organizations with large Fixed Cost Utility Bills would be the prime target market. Sizable savings can be achieved in commercial facilities like shopping malls, hotels, hospitals, universities, office buildings, as well as heavy industries…  

In Energy Auditing, we look for Energy Conservation Opportunities (ECOs) whether in reducing consumption in the cooling system, water, and power distribution, steam consumption in industrial facilities and building envelopes, or introducing renewable technologies, recycling solutions, and data analytics.

As per ASHRAE, three Energy Auditing levels were identified: Level I Walk-Through Assessment, Level II Energy Survey, and Analysis, and Level III Detailed Analysis of Capital-Intensive Modifications. The FM Department conducted a Level I Audit in Beit Al Quran Museum in Bahrain, where quick win ECOs including introducing renewables (PV) were identified as Phase One and acted upon. In the Second Phase, we are conducting feasibility studies for the remaining ECOs.

Acting on the Energy Conservation Opportunities identified in the Energy Audit for the purpose of reducing the energy bill, would require organizations to undertake Retrofit Projects, Energy performance Contracts (EPC), measurement and Verification Exercises (M&V), as well as establish strong Facilities management practices including Energy management program to preserve the savings and continuously monitor and improve the building’s Energy Intensity.

These specialized activities would Open many Business Opportunities for our organization to engage in, whether in Quantity Surveying, Project & Construction Management, Design Management, Facilities Management, Konstratek’s CAFM Software, and Data Analytics, as well as Contracts & Claims.

As for the Condition / Operational Readiness Assessment Service, it is an important task when taking on a facility by the FM Team. It is, as well, a regulatory requirement by RERA under the Building Completion Audit (BCA) to be carried out on a jointly owned property prior to the handover of the property from the Developer to the Owners Association (OA). Insurance, as well as Civil Defence/ Municipalities jurisdictions, would result in organizations regularly, or when the need arises, surveying their facilities, especially their Life Safety systems. Also, this service is part of the Real Estate purchase due diligence process, especially for existing properties.

The purpose of the exercise is to identify significant defects which the developer or contractor is required to rectify. If the property is existing and the defect liability period has expired, then such information can still be used by the Owners Association/ facility operator as a tool to inform the planned preventative maintenance and enable them to budget accordingly. Additionally, this informs the client concerning the property’s operational readiness and major health and life safety issues.

The task will usually include a physical inspection of the facility's common areas and infrastructure, and operational testing of the MEP equipment as per relevant international standards. Whilst the physical analysis inspection will be visual based and non-destructive in nature, where appropriate, our assessor will use a variety of non-intrusive methods of testing to provide further statistical information relating to specific defects. The measuring equipment used (thermographic camera, vibration meters, manometers…), can provide valuable information which would otherwise not have been available. Such tools are employed to detect features of hidden defects and establish patterns of defects and the extent of the damage.

The FM department has already conducted a Condition Assessment/ Operational Readiness Audit for the Kanoo School, Diyar Al Muharraq, Bahrain, and issued the final report powered by Archibus’ Condition Assessment Module. This also created opportunities for additional revenue for the organization by involving Quantity Surveying and Construction Management to price and manage the execution of the remedial works. Not to underestimate as well the resulting business opportunities for the Facilities Management and Konstratek’s CAFM Software and Data Analytics.