Construction

The key trends in community management

Three60 Communities’ GM Alan Rowlands, GM on energy-efficient solutions across community management in the region

Alan Rowlands, GM at Three60 Communities, a subsidiary of Eltizam Asset Management Group, says community management is evolving to help FMs and community managers find a better balance between the cost and experience.

“Community management has evolved through the years and has taken on the task of building and defining quality lifestyles, connecting people and further improving the quality of services,” he told MECN sister publication Big Project ME. “New major trends to have emerged in the industry include focusing on smaller services apart from larger facilities, and integrating the latest technological advancements and smart solutions. Other trends involve establishing a more robust customer service ethic and integrating advanced facilities management (FM) solutions to achieve greater visibility and increase customer trust.

“Based on these trends, we can safely say that experiential is now at the core, rather than transactional. As such, community or facilities managers are studying key elements to find a balance between cost and experience and understand how these elements can be used to bring out the greatest value.

“Moreover, the adoption of smart solutions is growing in the Middle East, simultaneously with unparalleled technological progress happening in the region and worldwide. In the FM market, advanced technologies, including the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence and computerised management systems, have changed the approach to community management and altered the way businesses operate in the region.”

According to Rowlands, Three60 Communities is a strong advocate of power and water conservation efforts. 0

“For power, we monitor and control the electrical lighting in the parking and common areas to ensure that only essential lighting is used at night,” he said. “We also control the different kinds of air handling units to manage temperature as per requirement. As such, we make sure to switch off the fresh air handling units (FAHUs) after office hours in commercial buildings. Similarly, we also change the temperature settings of FAHU day and night as per ambient temperature, in addition to controlling the chilled water flow by adjusting the variable-frequency drive parameters.

“We have achieved year-on-year energy and water savings exceeding $1.29m between January and September 2019, by implementing a variety of initiatives to reduce consumption across our portfolio.”

Outside the UAE, Three60 Communities is managing the Al Mouj Muscat and Muscat Bay developments in Oman.

“Being the community management operator in Al Mouj Muscat, our research and experience demonstrate that we need to concentrate our efforts on a programme of education, and to lead by example, to positively impact energy conservation,” he explained.

“Areas that we want to improve upon are recycling rates, the need to reduce excessive packaging and the promotion of more efficient water consumption. For this, we have introduced new recycling areas within Al Mouj Muscat, and we are planning an innovative green scheme comprising a composting area. Here, residents are rewarded for responsibly processing their green waste in return for free compost for their gardens, while we also have a scheme to recycle household and car batteries.

“Our energy efficiency schemes at Al Mouj Muscat have resulted in a 40% year-on-year reduction in electricity consumption in certain aspects of the business. These include replacing conventional incandescent lighting systems with highly efficient compact fluorescent lights; smart street lighting that switches on/off 20 minutes before dusk and dawn; optimising lighting across the project by ensuring that timers are in situ and working efficiently; reducing the consumption of potable water by warranting repair of potable water leaks to under two hours; ensuring that treated effluent water (recycled water) is used for horticultural purposes and ensuring that irrigation systems are running efficiently; and reducing the need for high-pressure washing by using less water and greener detergents.”

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