EmiratesGBC and MEFMA host joint networking event on Facility Management and retrofitting
Emirates Green Building Council (EmiratesGBC), an independent forum aimed at conserving the environment by strengthening and promoting green building practices, has joined hands with Middle East Facility Management Association (MEFMA), the dedicated platform for the Facility Management (FM) industry, to host a networking event focused on the role of Facility Management companies in the burgeoning retrofit market in the UAE and the importance of education and trained professionals in post-retrofit maintenance.
The discussion was moderated by Khaled Bushnaq, Vice Chair of EmiratesGBC, with panellists including: Ali Al Suwaidi, Board Member of MEFMA; Stuart Harrison, Support Services Director of Emrill Services LLC; and K. Anbalagan, Managing Partner of Proleed Mechanical Engineering Consultancies. They discussed three key topics: training, retrofitting certifications and the importance of energy auditors in building retrofitting.
Khaled Bushnaq said: “Training and trained professionals play a pivotal role when it comes to post-retrofit maintenance and the continuation of preventive care implemented in any building. One of the key purposes of the joint networking event was to put the spotlight on the current situation of training within the industry and identify next steps to follow with the aim to create a fully integrated facility management industry adequately equipped for the ‘retrofit revolution.’”
Ali Al Suwaidi added: “Facility management is at the core of the retrofit process and plays a key role in ensuring long-term sustainability of buildings. It is crucial that we work together so that we can evolve and adapt to new retrofit processes. We have been collaborating with EmiratesGBC, and find these joint networking events extremely useful to keep a line of communication amongst stakeholders and further develop the building and facility management industries.”
To kick-start the event, the interactive discussion analysed training as the frequently cited missing link within the FM industry, and how FMCs are effectively training their personnel when it comes to short and long-term maintenance of building energy systems and for the implementation of preventive care in their building operation schedule.
Aiming to shed light on the missing components that come in the way of sustaining energy saving and performance after a retrofit project is completed, experts took a look at the role of FMCs and how equipped they are in handling post-retrofit building systems and energy management systems.
The second discussion was on retrofitting certifications, and how ISO 50001 is emerging as an important certification in the commercial sector where savings in energy management are almost guaranteed, such as in the UAE.
Lastly, the panel discussed the importance of energy auditors as an essential component in the list of certified professionals needed for a building retrofit process and how FMCs can benefit from hiring certified energy auditors directly on their team as opposed to outsourcing the auditing task.
“At EmiratesGBC, we strive to promote green building practices and have placed a strong focus on education and workshops to create awareness within the industry and to help stakeholders in their efforts to make a greener UAE. Events like this highlight our commitment to support the development of the industry towards sustainable development,” Bushnaq explained.
As an independent forum aimed to promote green building practices, EmiratesGBC regularly hosts and participates in multinational events, conferences and forums. EmiratesGBC has also developed a suite of activities, inclusive of networking events, technical workshops, focus days and facilitated training based around specific issues related to the built-environment that meet the needs of its members, of the UAE community, and the wider Middle East.