Over the past decade, facilities management has evolved to encompass roles that were previously outside their traditional scope of work. Nowhere is that more evident than in Dubai and the Middle East, where rapid growth has necessitated the adoption of a more collaborative approach. Facilities, whether residential, commercial, industrial, or mixed-use have grown to expect service over and beyond the ordinary to provide their residents and visitors with an enhanced experience that meets requirements across sustainability, ecology, energy efficiency, and health and wellbeing. As client needs evolve, so do the expectations for facility managers to meet their demands. Consequently, facility managers have had to change their approach and adopt a model where stakeholders work closely with customers to better understand their needs, and to provide them with services that meet their expectations for healthy, efficient, and sustainable living and working environments.
With greater awareness of the environment, sustainability practices are now a pillar in any facility management offering. This started with waste management services, where comprehensive strategies that included recycling programs, composting initiatives, and partnerships with local recycling centres became an important consideration for asset managers and their stakeholders. At Imdaad, for example, this led to the creation of FARZ, a state-of-the-art Materials Recovery Facility for household, commercial, and industrial waste; as well as a commitment to sustainability through its Green Cleaning initiatives, where we adopted best practices in the use of eco-friendly materials across our cleaning products to minimize the use of harmful chemicals, promote healthier indoor environments, and reduce our environmental impact. Imdaad has also minimized the use of plastics across its internal and external activities and introduced vehicles that run on biodiesel.
Sustainable landscaping initiatives are now an important consideration beyond the aesthetics of creating and maintaining outdoor gardens. This can include the selection of native and drought-resistant plants, the use of organic fertilizers, as well as the promotion of biodiversity for healthier soils. Here, water conservation measures, including water-efficient fixtures, regular leak inspections, awareness campaigns, and educational programs to promote responsible water usage are considered integral to service provision. In addition, strategies for sustainable pest control, where the use of non-lethal methods such as repellents to discourage unwanted birds and animals, the use of humane traps, and chemicals and substances that do not cause damage to the environment are now an important part of standard operating procedures. In addition, modern practices require the minimization of the amount of packaging used, optimization of logistics to eliminate unnecessary travel and the leveraging of technologies to monitor and track consumption to make data-informed decisions.
Another cornerstone in today’s facility management sustainability programs is the introduction of energy efficiency measures. At Imdaad, this has led to the creation of Imtedaad, a dedicated division specializing in energy management and the introduction of the latest technologies and practices in energy efficiency, including energy-saving measures such as the adoption of LED lighting, motion sensors, and smart HVAC systems to reduce electricity consumption and carbon emissions. In addition, Imdaad promotes the use of clean energy resources by conducting energy audits and recommending appropriate measures such as the installation of solar power or other renewable energy systems to generate clean energy on-site.
Ultimately, this has led to the integration of smart technologies, and the adoption of smart building systems and automation technologies to optimize energy usage, monitor facility performance, and make data-driven decisions for sustainability improvements. Foremost among these is the prioritization of indoor air quality, with special attention paid to ventilation and air filtration systems to enhance indoor air quality, reduce pollutants, and improve the health and well-being of occupants. By partnering with local and international IT companies, Imdaad has introduced IoT cloud-based solutions to manage air quality, water infrastructure censoring, and asset monitoring for assets ranging from single homes, through to commercial buildings, industrial sites, and residential communities.
A critical success factor in any sustainability commitment is stakeholder collaboration and employee engagement. Cooperation and coordination with suppliers, contractors, and tenants to promote sustainable practices throughout the supply chain is imperative for ensuring a holistic approach to sustainability in facility management. From the initial energy management and sustainability audits through to the final installation and application of agreed measures, facility managers need to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of their sustainability initiatives, measure performance, and demonstrate long-term effectiveness and benefits to all concerned. To be most effective, these initiatives should be supported with on-site workshops to encourage participation and commitment to the common goals of efficient energy management, sustainable ecological living, and healthier living and working conditions.
From residential sites to industrial cities, the results have demonstrated that a collaborative approach towards a common good effectively produces long-term savings, healthier and more productive environments, and satisfied residents and visitors.
To upgrade your facilities management with Imdaad, or to explore how sustainability practices can be integrated with facilities management, please contact us.