Time to put a value on MEP

If construction projects are to end in success, the value of the input from the MEP sector has to be recognised. But in the Middle East’s fast-paced construction world it appears that this is not always the case.

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By  Alison Luke Published  December 2, 2006

|~||~||~|If construction projects are to end in success, the value of the input from the MEP sector has to be recognised. But in the Middle East’s fast-paced construction world it appears that this is not always the case.

Clients and developers are so busy chasing ambitious deadlines and seeking lowest cost tenders that the time afforded to install the MEP services on site is getting ever shorter.

More worrying is a new trend being reported from the sector that developers are employing small firms with limited or no quality assurance or quality control in preference to more established firms that have these procedures in place.

It’s well accepted that the problem has arisen due to the speed at which projects are being announced and limited resources on the ground. There is simply not enough established manpower to go around all of the work that is coming online.

Back in July, the poaching of staff from other firms made front-page news in this magazine and word from the industry is that this is continuing. The problem is worldwide and follows years of under-training by firms and the industry in general, but the scale of work involved in the Middle East means that this region is feeling the effects more than most.

The danger is that the effects of using these ‘alternative’ firms will affect the reputation of the entire sector. If MEP services are not installed correctly, the building cannot function effectively and visible problems such as mould growth are only the beginning of the long-term costs to owners.

If any developers were in doubt over the value of good MEP professionals two perfect opportunities to find out arrived in Dubai during November in the form of the ASHRAE conference and CIBSE briefing. Sadly, neither clients or developers seemed to hold a presence at either event. ||**||

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