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‘General contractors cannot replace specialised workforce’

Consequences of sidelining MEP contractors could be severe, says V. Chandrashekar Reddy, CEO of UAE-based Elemec Electromechanical Contracting.

| | Dec 26, 2016 | 4:01 pm
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Dubai, UAE: MEP contractors in the GCC region are facing a multitude of challenges, such as accepting contracts, delayed or non-payment for their services and lack of recognition of their expertise. The consequences of pushing them to the sides, he warns, could be severe, as developers and builders do not possess the knowledge and expertise of a specialist, and there is possibility that a project’s quality can be compromised.

V. Chandrashekhar Reddy, CEO of UAE-based Elemec Electromechanical Contracting, says some of the big general contractors have started having their own MEP units to avoid recruiting external specialist sub-contractors and MEP sub-contractors. Explaining his point through an analogy, Reddy says, “It’s like going to a multi-cuisine restaurant and trying Chinese. I would rather go to a Chinese restaurant to try Chinese.”

Seconding Reddy’s analogy, Sahul Hameed, Technical Director at Thermo, says that general contractors may not be equipped to handle the requirements needed to fix ELV and BMS, as these are generally carried out by specialised engineers. This, he further says, becomes crucial when taking up larger projects, such as data centres. “I would say that they have to depend on MEP contracting even in some design-and-build projects,” he adds. “They can go ahead with the initial work and the procurement of materials, but for other things they need us.”

Both agree that specialised workforce is needed for the overall development of any project.


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