04 Jan Sustainability & Green Initiatives
Sustainability & Green Initiatives from a Community Management perspective
Are our modern conveniences and facilities inherently at odds with a more sustainable world? Not if we can replace wasteful practices with sustainable and green alternatives. Managing facilities at a community scale can transform our world, by making sustainability a matter of adding up positives.
From periodic maintenance to everyday consumption, the opportunities to deploy green solutions are everywhere. Water-wise measures can reduce the volume we use for landscaping and cleaning. Innovative technologies can reduce our dependence on harmful chemicals, for hygiene necessities like pest control and water tank cleaning. LED lighting, efficient elevator systems, real time and responsive automation of HVAC systems, and demand controlled ventilation are only a few measures – among countless more – which can each be used to reduce the drain on resources, while still delivering outstanding and best-in-class results. The true value of community management lies in being able to stack all these positives as one optimal and synergistic system, which evolves constantly as new innovations emerge.
Speaking from a personal standpoint, finding myself in a role where I can actively contribute to a more sustainable world is perhaps one of my greatest sources of satisfaction.
Creating sustainable solutions by integrating communities
Community management, as a means to create optimal sustainability, is not an entirely new concept. The centralized facilities management of commercial real estate has demonstrated what can be achieved in buildings, at the level of a single location as well as across an entire portfolio.
Technology is the core enabler that is driving this new vision for infrastructure and facilities. For instance, the energy consumption of community scale temperature control and air quality management is vastly lower. Energy savings to the tune of 15 to 20% have been achieved by taking this approach to lighting, HVAC, pumps and other traditionally consumption heavy amenities. Networking gadgets and automation, at a community scale, makes it possible to identify specific equipment that needs to be replaced or serviced. Not only does this ensure a seamless experience for occupants, it plugs energy inefficiencies that quickly add up. Introducing sensors, for common areas and commercial spaces, allows us to have responsive lighting and environment control, based on whether the space is occupied. Similarly, using sensors to take the guesswork out of controlling temperature and water quality, in swimming pools, ensures that the highest standards in hygiene and comfort coincide with the optimal use of energy.
Whether we consider cleaning, renewable energy, automation, security, waste disposal, or virtually any other aspect of managing a facility, community scale deployment unlocks both best case performance, as well as savings in cost and consumption, at the same time.
The road ahead
I’ve always been of the opinion that the most substantial way in which a great idea can be empowered is by implementing it in the best possible manner.
Several of our recent initiatives at Al Fajer have centered on bringing sustainable tech-enabled community management to market. With our fleet of energy efficient street cleaning trucks, we have been able to deploy a single solution that optimizes quality of life, hygiene and energy efficiency, at the same time. We have introduced cleaning systems that use much less water and need minimal chemicals, while still providing results that are superior to previous technologies. We are investigating the use of robotics for cleaning high-rise facades and expanding our capabilities to include many more innovative strategies, to help create the sustainable and green communities of the future. In recognition of this commitment, Al Fajer Facilities Management was awarded the ISO 41001:2018 accreditation in September 2019, the world’s first international Facilities Management System.
Creating a sustainable and eco-friendly society, with a high standard of living for all, is no longer inconceivable, and tech-enabled community management will be a key strategy, for humanity to achieve this goal.