Need for regulating FM
A very critical subject for the realty and facility management industry is the need for an FM industry regulator. The last discussion of the day revolved around the pros and cons of having such a regulatory body. Sasidhar Chidanamarri, Associate Director, Energy & Environment Practice, Frost & Sullivanmoderating the discussion questioned, that given the 24% growth rate of the FM industry and presence of more than 300 players both organized and unorganized does the industry need a regulatory body or rating system of FM companies as followed in China, S. Korea and Japan or UAE system where Middle East FM association has partnered with Dubai real estate regulatory body to develop codes and standards. Shamsher Sindhu, Head – Infrastructure and Projects, Kotak Mahindra Bankexpressed that companies are already following voluntary regulations guidelines of organizations like BIFMA and IFMA, even client SLAs are a set of parameters so, some standard regulations may make a difference but instead of an external body, industry professional own body can collaborate with government agencies in terms of planning and development of buildings, towns and cities. Nakul Subramanyam, Executive Director, Morgan Stanley Advantage Services Pvt Ltd pointed out that FM is a B2B industry and defining what to regulate and how to regulate is a challenge. Some areas of facility management need regulating and classification of FM companies’ can give a formal structure to the industry. Adding to Nakul statement, Rohit Dalal, Head – Logistics, Housing & Real Estate, Atos (India) said that there is an ambiguity in defining what needs regulating – the individual, activity, output or impact of the industry. Instead, addressing the shortage of skilled work force in the industry is more important. “In FM, rather than academic qualification, skillset of an individual is more critical which should be recognized and validated as a first step toward creating certification programs for FM industry professionals” he expressed. Rajesh Pandit, Managing Director, Global Workplace Solutions, CB Richard Ellis – Asset Services – Indiafelt that the building industry from planning to managing stage had enough regulations already. Simultaneously, on operations side, quality control and ISO offer regulations. He felt that instead of creating another regulatory mechanism, the users and service providers could come together to support institutes offering certification programs for FM professionals to create skilled workforce which in itself will take care of quality services.
Improving Building Performance
After the highly engaging and interactive discussions, an interesting presentation by Mili Majumdar, Senior Director, Sustainable Habitat Division, TERIdrew the attention of the delegates towards benchmarking strategies to improve building performance. She briefed, “Globally, buildings have a large resource footprint in terms of energy, water and pollution and FM can positively influence resource guzzlers sectors like offices, commercial, retail and hospitality. GRIHA, the benchmarking and performance rating system rates the building only when it performs and this where the facility management role becomes crucial. Building performance is linked with resource saving without compromising on comfort. Such as setting set-points in HVAC to acclimatize the temperature as per the requirement, occupancy or other benchmarks. Interestingly, a rated building with all the compliances may not perform well because of the faulty operations & maintenance. The FM managers in many cases do not have drawings and other documents to know the design considerations of the equipment and thus may be running them at incorrect operating levels leading to poor performance of the building. For instance, sometimes VRV system is bypassed by the operator defeating the whole purpose of implementing energy efficient HVAC system.” Her inquiry from the FM industry representatives if they gave concession to energy efficient buildings or charged more to maintain these buildings featuring advanced building systems, led to an animated debate among the delegates.