A well-rounded lifestyle

As Al Rostamani Real Estate's latest residential tower comes to completion at Dubai Marina, Alison Luke takes a look around the MEP installation.

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By  Alison Luke Published  October 21, 2006

|~|5p18main.gif|~||~|With the winter season in sight and the annual sailing season warming up, Dubai Marina is preparing for its busiest time of the year. And this winter it is set to be busier than ever as the development continues to take shape south of Dubai city centre.

Stretching along Sheikh Zayed Road from Interchange Five, a series of high-rise residential developments forms an impressive skyline and a major part of the Dubai Marina.

Among the first to come into sight when travelling from the city centre is Al Rostamani Real Estate’s Number One Dubai Marina. A cylindrical structure with bold white stripes of cladding, the 54-storey tower reaches 210m into the Gulf sky, giving those on the upper floors enviable views over the marina and Palm Jumeirah.

Construction of the Al Rostamani tower has recently completed and preparations are being made for the arrival of the first residents. One of the towers in the development offering properties on a freehold basis, each floor has an average of five apartments of varying sizes.

The building includes high-speed elevators, indoor and outdoor swimming pools at the fourth storey and a gymnasium. It is crowned by a helipad.

Trans Gulf Electro-Mechanical won the contract to install the mechanical, electrical and plumbing services on the project. Having completed commissioning of the plant in late June, the firm is continuing work at the building in a facilities management role.

“As part of our initial contract we have a [facilities management] role for one year,” explains Trans Gulf Electro-Mechanical electrical project manager Sankarannair Sreekumar. “We installed all of the equipment and the client asked us to take care of it for this period also.”

Construction started on site in January 2004 and Trans Gulf was involved from the early stages of the structural works to ensure that distribution routes were installed as required. “We had to work along with the civil contractors, especially in the basement, as we had to install [the electrical] conduit when they poured the concrete,” explains Sreekumar.

The installation of the MEP services then followed the construction of the building, which led to the individual mechanical, electrical and plumbing services being fitted in parallel on a floor-by-floor basis.

“The building was going up at the same time as the MEP was being installed,” says Sreekumar, “we worked from the ground upwards, following through the floors as the construction was being completed.”

For installation to be carried out effectively under this programme of works, close co-ordination between the different trades was essential. Weekly team meetings were held between the different contractors involved, but as all firms were based on site throughout the job any issues could be easily talked through when necessary Sreekumar reports.

MEP plant is divided into five areas throughout the tower: at ground floor, roof level and in technical rooms on floors five, 26 and 47. “All three technical rooms serve around one-third of the building each,” explains Sreekumar.

Each is of a similar design and includes the same plant; servicing of the building from the rooms is to floors above and below.

The main hv electrical supply is provided from DEWA mains and fed through a step-down transformer into the main electrical distribution room and switchboard. From here, distribution around the building is by busbar to smaller, local distribution rooms on each of the floors.

Nine copper busbars, each of 1,600A, stretch to varying heights within the main electrical riser; each feeds around eight to ten floors. This supply is tapped into at each floor and the apartments fed via local distribution boards.

“We have three tap-off points on each level that feed by cable into two distribution boards,” explains Trans Gulf operations manager Mohammed Arif Ahmad, “One [distribution board] is for the essential supplies; one for the equipment [plant]; and the third for the normal lighting and small power in the apartments.”

“We have a 12,000kVA supply and a 1,000kVA standby generator for essential services only,” explains Sreekumar. This standby power serves central systems such as fire alarms, security cameras, access control and emergency lighting.

Air conditioning is provided by a chilled water system via air handling units located in the technical rooms. Three 635TR centrifugal chillers in the ground floor plant room supply the chilled water for these. The three chillers feed into a single supply for the ahus, enabling the plant to operate as demands require.

Chilled water is pumped from the chillers to circulating pumps in each of the technical rooms in turn so the supply “jumps” up the building. “This will limit the pressure head and it balances the system,” explains Sreekumar.

A central building management system (bms) automatically matches the chiller operation to the building demands. “All three do not need to run together, they do not take 100% of the load,” explains Ahmad.

“They are switched on and off automatically as needed and work in sequence to prolong the life of the plant.” This sequencing means that on one occasion the chillers are switched on in order say A, B, C; the following switch-on sequence would be B, C, A and so on.

Energy efficiency measures have been taken on plant where possible and measures such as daylight saving controls on the lighting, plus heating of the two fourth floor swimming pools by heat pumps add to the efforts.

All of the MEP services are ultimately controlled via the central bms, which feeds back to a ground floor control room where cctv, access control and fire alarm systems are also overseen.
With commissioning complete, the first residents are expected within the next few weeks, just in time to make full use of the waterfront facilities during this year’s winter season. ||**||

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