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Mabanina – a retrofit programme for ‘our buildings’

Joelle Khoury, Etisalat Facilities Management, speaks exclusively to Climate Control Middle East

| | Mar 6, 2014 | 8:48 am
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In an innovative move, Etisalat Facilities Management has initiated Mabanina, a programme to manage UAE buildings with a view to maximise energy efficiency, reduce water consumption and bring down building maintenance expenses. Joelle Khoury, Project Manager of Mabanina, and Sales and Marketing Director at Etisalat Facilities Management, speaks exclusively to Climate Control Middle East about the initiative.

mar2014-interview01Could you please share with us information regarding the criteria to qualify for the Mabanina programme? If a project qualifies for the programme, are we looking at actual financial assistance or are the FM services going to be rendered by Etisalat Facilities Management?

In keeping with Mabanina’s wider objective, which is to support the UAE Government’s goal to reduce the country’s carbon footprint, we have tried to keep our criteria as concise as possible. Mabanina operates under a five-year contract, during which period we will retrofit the structure for water and energy efficiencies, and facilitate facility management. We are hopeful that more and more building owners will realise the business appeal and register for this initiative. We are especially targeting residential and business towers, which are the most common type of buildings in the UAE. Overall, there are more than 30,000 buildings in the country that can benefit from Mabanina’s goal to maximise energy efficiency, and reduce water and energy consumption.

Could you throw light on the payback mechanism?

One of the distinguishing features of the Mabanina initiative is to eliminate the worry of building owners to raise capital for any upgrade of their buildings. The process is transparent. We start with an open conversation with the owner to understand and assess his needs. In all cases, even before the contract is signed, we conduct a preliminary energy audit of the building completely free of charge to give the owner a fair idea of the type of work and costs involved.

Once the contract comes into effect, the Mabanina team conducts a comprehensive audit of the building’s energy and water consumption. Capital costs towards the retrofit are furnished in full by Mabanina ahead of any onsite work. This is followed by the execution of the building retrofit, which includes a free upgrade of the air conditioning and the lighting system.

The financial benefits of the retrofit are immediate and are reflected in the following month’s utility bills received by the building owner. Payback to Mabanina starts six months into the contract. The payback is derived from the difference in the building’s utility bills before and after the retrofit, and is sustained on a monthly basis, until all the development costs from our side are met. Thus, the owner is able to completely pay back the cost of the retrofit out of savings accrued.

How does Mabanina facilitate buildings to achieve LEED certification or to conform to the sustainability standards set by Dubai and Abu Dhabi? Also, how will Etisalat FM be able to assist in ensuring that the facilities maintain their efficiency in the long run, after the audits and retrofits are done?

Mabanina offers considerable leeway to building owners in terms of the degree of sustainability that they’d like their structures to achieve. Not all owners insist on LEED certification for their buildings. But for those who do, Mabanina can support them in achieving their goals. That said, Mabanina offers a high quality of service that is aligned to the Dubai Municipality Green Building Codes.

The most important guarantee to our clients is the high-quality of service we provide due to the wide range of technology and expertise we deploy into the project. Some of the technology we use come from trusted industry leaders, such as Schneider Electric, General Electric, Philips and Siemens. And every member of our team is either recognised as energy auditing executive by international bodies, or holds extensive expertise in the field of energy preservation.

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One comment on “Mabanina – a retrofit programme for ‘our buildings’”

  1. Owais says:

    Very creative and innovative idea in reducing energy consumption.

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