More than 300 buildings in the UAE sign up for energy management initiative
Etisalat Facilities Management’s Mabanina programme to help owners meet international standards
February 9, 2014 5:21 by kippreport
When it comes to the facility management sector in the UAE, sustainability is the new buzzword, as building owners have come to realise the benefits of cost savings that accompany an eco-friendly approach.
More than 300 buildings have registered for a strategic energy management programme, called Mabanina (which is Arabic for ‘our buildings’). It was launched in October 2013 to bring down costs by improving energy efficiency and decreasing water consumption.
Offered by the Etisalat Facilities Management LLC, in collaboration with Energy Management Services (EMS) International, the programme aims to help owners meet international standards by achieving LEED certification and conform to the Estidama standards laid out by the Dubai Municipality.
Experts agree that this increased focus on ‘going green’ is a progressing trend in the industry. “Many building developers have already started implementing environment-friendly, energy efficient practices and techniques in the design, planning, procurement and construction stages,” says ShammasShoukath, facilities management co-ordinator atKhidmah.
According to him, facility management companies have an increasing role to play when it comes to sustainability and reducing the cost of operations. “Any building in the UAE will have 30 per cent to 50 percent of operational expenses in utilities.” He explains that key areas for doing so lie in monitoring areas where electricity, water, LPG, waste and other fuels are consumed in excess. Therefore, focusing on reducing energy consumption is essential, points outSarfrazDairkee, general manager at MAHY Khoory& Co. “What is really needed is knowledge application and understanding that there needs to be an analysis of the problem, rather than making a quick fix.”
He explains that the range of savings varies, whether low-cost measures are made to cut down or operational costs and long-term investments are made. “In these cases, results will pay for itself in two or three years.”
The Mabanina initiative will be implemented within buildings across the country in three phases over a five-year contractual period. The initial step involves a comprehensive reviewof buildings’ water and energy consumptions, as well as monitoring their current facilities management statuses.
Moreover, the programme allows building owners to opt for a greener approach without investing capital and by taking on the entire costs.
Joelle Khoury, project manager of Mabanina, and sales and marketing director at Etisalat Facilities Management, says: “This frees building owners to ensure the sustainability of their properties, while reducing utility bills without having to worry about capital expenditure. Mabanina’s simple payback scheme is also convenient, as owners can compensate Etisalat Facilities Management from the savings they accrue on utility bills over a five-year period.”