Swiss expert outlines vision of Dubai cost-effective and energy-efficient facilities management

Sunday 15 May 2016
Markus Oberlin

Dubai - MENA Herald: Markus Oberlin, CEO at Swiss-owned and Dubai-headquartered FM company Farnek, presented his vision of the facilities management (FM) sector, at a special event organised by Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) in collaboration with the Environmental Group of the Swiss Business Council recently.
Being renowned for their expertise in providing sustainable solutions, over 100 senior Swiss executives were present at the event, which provided a platform to exchange expertise, experience and to encourage lateral thinking to help support DEWA’s contribution towards Dubai government’s 2021 sustainability and environmental goals.
Attended by HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, Managing Director and CEO of DEWA and HE Christian Watts, Consul General of the Consulate General of Switzerland, who both gave opening remarks to business leaders and senior officials from Swiss companies specialising in energy, water and the environment.
Oberlin’s message was unequivocal – the way forward for building owners and managers is to focus on cost-effectiveness and energy-efficiency, driven by sustainability, technology and innovation, which according to Oberlin are inextricably linked.
“By reducing the amount of water we use, we save money. In terms of waste, the more we can reduce, reuse and recycle will save money. By reducing the amount of energy we consume, not only saves money, a simple A/C module can reduce your electricity bill by as much as 15%, it also cuts carbon emissions. So besides our responsibilities as good corporate citizens, there is a definite and undeniable incentive for everybody to join the cause – the bottom line benefits,” he said.
In terms of technology and innovation, the benefits for smart building owners employing smart solutions could be even greater. Benchmarking tools such as Farnek’s ‘Optimizer’ software can compare one building’s energy, water and waste performance with another similar building, offering a true appraisal.
In terms of more advanced technology and innovation, Farnek, has already partnered with Exeo, a Google Apps Partner, to roll out their TIME Attendance Solution among more than 3500 of its employees.
The next stage for Farnek will see the roll out of smart watches and smartphones loaded with the Time and Attendance software which tracks employee geo location based on google map.
Through a combination of Google Apps and Google Android for Work solutions, Exeo will build a customer Android Application for Farnek allowing access to information on the road with real time reports, where each authorised Farnek technician has access to a wealth of learning data, but without having to travel back and forth from the site to the office, saving valuable time.
For more immediate situations, technicians can make use of text and video chat as well as document and photo exchange. Dashboards and reports can easily be shared between the technician at the site, Farnek management at HQ and the customer.
Cloud-based analytic systems include remote monitoring for critical assets, which can now be linked to the mobile technicians, alerting them if any particular asset begins to fail.
“The trigger effects could be vibration, temperature, pressure or humidity for example. Today’s complex buildings are highly technical, operating with next generation property management systems (PMS). To deliver optimal performance, seconds literally count, in terms of the damage an electrical fault or a water leak can do to a US$250 million building,” said Oberlin.
Oberlin then pointed to the alternative. According to London School of Economics and Political Science, if global temperatures rise by 2.5 degrees celsius, by 2100 it could cost the global economy US$ 24 trillion principally from insurance claims for flood damage and to the public purse for building new and more robust defences.

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