Property management, security, safety neglected in construction
To attract would-be buyers, condominium developers usually showcase classy and lavish architecture and cool amenities, but they often neglect the ensuing daily management of their developments.
Saying that practice will have dire effects in the future operations of condominium, especially in terms of safety and security, Facilities Protection Inc. president Ariel dela Cruz urged developers to include the managers in the design stages.
Speaking in the forum “Building Manageability and Maintainability” in Dusit Thani Manila organized by FPI and BCI-Asia Philippines on Jan. 28, Dela Cruz stressed that the practice results to inadequately placed close circuit TV systems, poorly located fire alarms, tangled and confusing electrical wiring, or pipes too hidden to be repaired without damaging the walls and ceilings.
“Architects and consultants do not have this kind of operational experience. They know how to design the security and safety systems, but they have not experienced managing and running a building,” De la Cruz said in a later interview.
This is where property managers come in, he said. “[They] have operational experience in managing buildings and other facilities. As such, they know where cameras are needed and where they are not. They know where access control systems are needed and where they are not.
Dela Cruz narrated “horror stories” of condominiums that look good only on the outside but the insides are being neglected. Once serving as the president of a homeowner’s association in a condominium in Bonifacio Global City, Dela Cruz said he and the other officers have to introduce stop-gap measures, such as putting a wall above a pool that had leaking pipes going through above it. He added that they also had to deal with fire alarms, sprinklers, intercoms and a CCTV system that were either not operational or only partially working.
Good design of the condominium layout, he said, will translate to low operating, maintenance and management costs. “Product quality [of the unit] is not just the beauty of the development, but also of the quality of the electromechanical infrastructure.”
Aside from the property managers’ input, Dela Cruz recommended that builders incorporate newer CCTV, fire alarm and access control system, and media centers—structured terminals for voice, data, WiFi, etc.—that will ease troubleshooting and can easily accommodate future digital technologies.
FPI, which is venturing in the soon-to-be-$21-billion condominium sector of the property industry, is staunchly pushing for the inclusion of property managers in the design stages. It is actively reaching out to real estate developers, architects, engineers and others in the property sector, offering a portfolio of CCTV systems, fire alarms and access control systems.
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