What are the Trends in Water and Energy Management in FM in the UAE? Video

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The UAE has one of the highest per capita consumption rates of water in the world and relies on energy intensive, desalination processes to obtain fresh water. Energy and water management are, therefore, highly debated and important topics, which have significant implications for Facilities Management (FM).

In a recent interview with the Grid Initiative, KAIZEN’s Donna Meyrick discussed the latest trends in water and energy management in FM. These aspects of asset management have, over the past couple of years, become increasingly significant as they can potentially reduce overall returns to landlords.

There is a recognized need in the UAE to rationalize water and electricity consumption in order to reduce carbon-intensive activities. This has increased the region’s environmental awareness and increased the momentum for improved water and energy management. An increased understanding of carbon credit trading has further added to people’s awareness and concern about these issues.

In response to these financial and environmental areas of concern, KAIZEN recommends that appropriate water management to be implemented across all property portfolios.

Using automated irrigation systems to optimize water distribution in landscaped and foliage areas may reduce water consumption in a project. In new developments, gardens can be stocked with more regionally appropriate plants and trees, which have lower water requirements.

The implementation of a number of other methods is a great way of getting people involved and interactive in addressing this environmental concern. Such methods include the installation of double flush systems and waterless urinals and aerators for WCs. Other initiatives may include waterless car cleaning.

KAIZEN highlights the management of chillers and chilled water as one of the most effective energy savings that can be made.

A recent cost benefit analysis for a commercial property (Loft Offices in Media City) has been undertaken by KAIZEN. The results of this analysis indicated that actually replacing five of the chillers was more effective in reducing the landlord’s operational expenses than maintaining this asset until its manufactured expected expiry.

KAIZEN therefore tries to ensure that all projects use a Building Management System (BMS) for chilled water systems. This ensures effective use of energy by optimizing the difference between the temperatures of supply and returned chilled water (delta T). Through implementation of such measures, KAIZEN is enhancing the financial and environmental sustainability of property in the UAE.

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Choosing the Right Agency Service for your Needs

Finding the ideal real estate property ~ whether that’s a commercial building, a villa, or apartment tower, requires more than the ability to finance the property. You need to be in sync with an exceptional agency service that understands your goals. Here’s how choosing the right agency service can help you:

Commercial Buildings

For people with commercial buildings seeking property management services in the United Arab Emirates, it’s important to engage with a real estate company in Dubai that has experience in the region. A great facility management team does more than just take care of daily maintenance problems. You want someone who has an eye on continuous improvement and making tenants happy while building your bottom line. A top-line team will have experience in energy management, build-outs, asset life cyle, maintenance, and cleaning. You need your tenant problems handled in a timely manner and your vacancy rate at zero.

Make sure whatever real estate company in Dubai you contract with has a proper license. The head of the Dubai Real Estate Regulatory Agency warns that some unscrupulous companies are doing business in the city, resulting in headaches for commercial property owners. Licensed property management companies are required to submit a bond of 5 million Dirhams. Unlicensed property management agents have been collecting rent and not passing the funds on to the property owners.

It’s also important to look for a real estate company in Dubai that is familiar with your type of building. Property management needs for an office building are much different than a hospital or restaurant. Go with a firm that understands your special needs.

Villas

Modern villas make popular rentals in Dubai. They’re a good alternative to a hotel for a short vacation, and also make excellent monthly rentals for corporations who need short-term executive housing. Villas can be one or two-stories and share a connecting wall with another unit. They usually have a small courtyard and either a small garage or covered parking space. Because of the transient nature of villa rentals, it’s important to utilize a real estate company in Dubai that knows how to attract customers to keep the vacancy rate low. Good villa property management companies have experience in marketing, locating tenants, and creating iron-clad rental agreements.

Most villa property managers are happy to greet your tenants upon their arrival, collect rent and provide an extensive property inspection upon the tenant leaving. Managers will also take care of all maintenance, arrange photo shoots as necessary and list your villa on websites that attract the most attention. You need to pay a fee for all this service, of course, but it’s a small price to pay for sitting back and watching the monthly checks roll in.

Before signing up with a property manager for your Dubai villa, do a little homework. Get some referrals and follow up with those people. Also check out some of the other listings of the company you’re considering. Do they have quality photos and appealing text? Before you sign on the dotted line, make sure you examine the management agreement and understand the language completely.

Apartment Towers

As the home of the tallest building in the world, Dubai is no stranger to skyscrapers and apartment towers that reach into the sky. Providing a vertical footprint helps make living in this modern city affordable, with rents comparable to smaller cities in America. Because of the large amount of people living in a relatively small area, it’s important to have a property management team that knows how to handle people and the issues that inevitably arise.

A real estate company in Dubai will only be a good apartment tower property manager if it has experience in a number of areas, including marketing, tenant relations, health and safety, financial control, document control, and facility maintenance. It’s essential that a property management team that runs an apartment tower employ people with excellent listening skills in order to understand what the tenants want and what you need to run your building. The best property managers are able weigh tenant problems against bottom line issues and provide a happy and healthy living environment.

Attracting the right kind of tenant starts by running a well-managed property. This obviously includes things like landscaping, maintenance, and overall cleanliness, but also carries over into record keeping, handling late payments and conducting regular inspections. Make sure that whatever real estate company in Dubai you contract with to run your apartment building has no problem responding to noise complaints or interceding in other tenant on tenant issues. By maintaining peace and happiness in the apartment complex, your building’s reputation will rise and so will the monthly amount of your rents.

The Importance of Energy and Carbon in Facility Management

As global awareness of the consequences of climate concerns increases and these concerns are translated into regulatory initiatives, it is slowly becoming imperative for stakeholders in property and facility management to undertake steps to position themselves in front of these concerns. By doing so, not only do future regulatory initiatives have less of an impact on daily operations but implementation of energy and carbon management policies and plans concerning such,  have the potential for the generation of significant cost effectiveness and efficiency savings over the life cycle of any project. Thus property stakeholders who recognize the importance of energy and carbon management in facility management benefit directly in terms of efficiency, cost savings and an increasingly positive public perception.

Facility Management: Energy

For property stakeholders, in the United Arab Emirates, to fully understand the enormity of the importance of energy and carbon management, a necessary review of the numbers concerning energy consumption and generation is required. The United Arab Emirates is subdivided into seven Emirates, with Dubai being the largest with over thirty five percent of the population. Therefore the numbers are focused on Dubai, but are representative of the UAE as a whole.

According to DEWA, Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, the annual energy production in installed capacity is 9,646 megawatts with a peak demand of 6,637 megawatts in 2012. The latest numbers for 2013 show in increase in peak demand of 220 megawatts for a total of 6,857 megawatts, a 3.3 percent increase over 2012. Considering that the 2012 numbers represent 13,281 kilowatt hours per person in terms of per capita consumption, the increase in 2013 numbers will represent a corresponding increase in the per capita numbers as well. Thus illustrating an overall increase in costs associated with energy production and consumption in Dubai and possibly the UAE as a whole. This, despite implementation of energy initiatives by DEWA to reduce consumption by 2030. The ramification for property stakeholders is clear, as consumption increases and costs associated with increase production and consumption increase, these cost increases will be passed on to the consumer, reducing the overall bottom line of the property stakeholder and only by implementing plans and policies that reduce consumption and the overall facility energy footprint can these increases be mitigated.

Facility Management: Carbon

Unless otherwise stated, the carbon numbers are harder to quantify due to the nature and variety of carbon sources. For the UAE, and Dubai in specific, the numbers are correlated with the numbers for that of energy production and consumption. As a net exporter of fossil fuels, there is a tendency to count exports as inclusive of the overall carbon foot print of the UAE, as this has little to no impact on property stakeholders, this has been left out.

The United Nations has listed the UAE as having one of the largest carbon foot prints in the world with over 236.2 million metric tons produced in 2012 alone. These same numbers represent 10.6 gha or global hectares per person, as noted by the Abu Dhabi Environmental Agency.  Of these numbers, over fifty seven percent is from household consumption of energy, according to the UAE Ecological Footprint Initiative. While a reduction in carbon emissions were noted for 2013, this reduction came mainly from industrial sources and not the primary motivator of the UAE carbon production, households. Given the direct correlation with energy consumption, property stakeholders benefit by the introduction of policies that address both energy consumption and carbon production. What this means in direct terms, is policies and energy management plans that specifically target energy consumption and subsequently carbon production, cost savings can be realized and potential cost increases can be avoided.

Both the carbon numbers and the energy numbers clearly illustrate why proper facility management must make energy and carbon management a priority. What the numbers do not show is the esoteric advantages inherent with the importance of energy and carbon management. Property stakeholders, who are buying or selling, can gain by demonstrating their commitment to the importance of carbon and energy management through an increasingly positive perception of their commitment to the principles enshrined in properly prepared and implemented carbon and energy controls. In order for this to occur it is imperative that during any process of purchasing or selling of the stakes in property, that companion companies who are experienced in taking advantage of this public perception as well as understanding the importance of managing the property in terms of carbon and energy management be utilized.  Only by engaging the properly experienced and knowledgeable companies, that are experts in energy and carbon management, can the benefits previously mentioned be realized.