FMs should oversee MEP construction

Potential problems could be overcome before property handover.

Allowing facilities managers (FMs) in the region to oversee the installation of mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) works would result in fewer problems post-construction according to industry professionals.

Facilities managers questioned at the FM Expo in Dubai this week stressed MEP contractors were often unaware of the problems faced by FM professionals after the handover of property.

"You often find air conditioning units have been put in odd places, plumbing lines aren't installed properly and access chambers are too small for anyone to fit through," said V. R Gudekar, manager, facilities management division, Bahwan Engineering. "It's often a case of costs being cut because MEP installation is towards the end of a development. If an FM comes in a month or two before handover they can highlight the problems that need to be rectified before tenants move in."

Many FMs even stressed the need to employ facilities managers in the design phase. "The more forward thinking developers are employing FM in the design stage and consultancy," said David Graham, general manager, Farnek Services. "There are things such as how best to clean the windows and how many janitor cupboards you need that often aren't thought about by consultants. It makes the FM's life easier and cuts down on costs in the long-term."

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