Utilities management in multi-storey buildings can be a complex topic, which is why some innovative thinkers at Wood & Grieve Engineers (WGE) looked for ways to help navigate the minefield.
When designing residential high-rise and commercial developments with multiple stratums, Hydraulic consultants are often asked ‘How does the metering system work, and how do people get bills for their usage?’
It’s a simple question that often requires a complex answer. However, WGE’s Saman Abdi decided it needn’t have to and, as a result, has created a document that thoroughly explains the process – including individual usage amongst a community of residents.
“Over the last few years we’ve seen the property industry grow and evolve, particularly in the number of multi-storey residential and commercial developments,” Saman said.
“Over time we’ve seen the introduction of new standards and processes as the number of multi-storey developments increases, and as a result there has also been a growing number of questions relating to utility management – particularly from developers, builders and owner occupiers.
“Information is readily available, however it is found in a number of different places. I decided there has to be an easier way to provide stakeholders with all the information they needed in one, easy-to-find place, and so began drafting the Metering & Billing Requirements Document.”
The document uses a fictitious scenario to help explain the metering and billing concept for cold water, natural gas and hot water services in a multi-purpose high rise residential development.
“The idea is to relieve any potential conflicts around responsibility of both the management of the utility systems, as well as the end user paying for the services,” he said.
“With knowledge comes power. People want to know what it is they are signing up for; if they’re presented with any surprises down the track, particularly after making a large investment – such as buying an apartment – you’re bound to create friction.”
As the property industry landscape continues to evolve, so too does type of infrastructure. Since Saman joined WGE five years ago, the market has seen a shift of tradition small/medium apartment blocks to modern high risers with multiple stratum.
“It’s been an interesting time in the market, and obviously utility management has had to evolve as the market does,” he said. “High-rise developments contain complex utility management systems. Our document helps to provide better understanding of the changing systems.”
“David was of invaluable assistance throughout the process – whether helping to pull together industry data, or helping with the language,” he said. “David is an experienced Engineer and has a strong understanding of the Australian market, which was of great benefit, and was the first person we showed the document once the final draft was finalised.
“I’d like to thank both for their assistance – it’s very much appreciated. We hope the industry gains value and benefit out of our hard work.”
Having worked as a Mechanical Engineer since 2004, Saman worked in his native Iran as well as overseas, including three years in Venezuela, before immigrating to Australia to join WGE in 2014.
Starting as a Draftsperson to gain a better understanding of the Australian market, Saman quickly rose through the ranks before being promoted to a Hydraulics Project Engineer last year.
His experience covers a vast array of projects across the world and, since joining WGE, has seen him involved with a variety of high rise developments.