Specializing in MEPF and ELV systems, Commtech Asia is providing IR operators across the Asia-Pacific region with a complete project management service aimed at maximizing efficiency and avoiding the many potential pitfalls around IR development.
If only constructing a world-class integrated resort was as easy as design, build, launch. The reality, of course, is very different.
The complexities of IR design – from the vagaries of the land plot to the conflict between presentation and functionality and the many safety issues along the way – make development of these large and incredibly intricate buildings a veritable minefield.
That’s where Commtech Asia’s expertise and approach proves so vital. Since setting up its Asian operations in 1992, Commtech Asia has established an outstanding reputation for providing innovative and professional services in the construction industry throughout the Asia-Pacific region.
Focused primarily on MEPF (Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing and Fire) and ELV (Extra-low Voltage) systems, the company oversees the mission critical installation and validation of building services, from commissioning management to project and construction management. The company’s scope includes independent testing and commissioning management, peer design review and solutions, due diligence survey and building audits, energy analysis, cost saving and sustainability solutions, as well as alterations and amendments solutions.
Naturally, the company’s skillset has translated seamlessly to the IR industry.
“Typically, clients will opt for a traditional project manager to take complete ownership for the successful delivery of a project, which will include MEPF and ELV management,” explains Division Lead at Commtech Asia, Bhupinder Parmar.
“Very often, the importance of MEP and ELV sometimes gets overlooked. However, within IR projects, the reliance and importance of MEP and ELV integrity is significantly increased due to the nature of the business, which is fast-tracked – the sheer scale of the projects and the phased opening requirements.
“Having the experience and ability to understand how these phased opening requirements can influence other planning requirements is invaluable in being able to prioritize schedules of work. With so many moving parts and key interfaces in IR projects, not to mention the general internal client team composition, being able to understand and influence decision making to maximize efficiencies in the delivery process can only come with experience.
“By having independent MEP project and construction management, the required project focus can be better achieved, through an expert and holistic overview that identifies and addresses key pinch-points within the programme, developing intelligent solutions to mitigate potential delays.”
Key to the smooth running of an IR – both during the early phases of opening and once fully operational – is the effective planning of procedures, as well as potential challenges that a property’s layout may present.
Not only will an efficiently orchestrated construction project reduce the likelihood of issues in the future, it can also greatly reduce build and operational costs.
“Integration of design and construction is vital at an early stage to mitigate scope creep and escalating costs, and also to minimise any shortfalls due to a client’s requirement for the early operation of certain elements of an IR to start generating revenue,” Parmar says.
“It’s important to highlight here that while partially opening the IR properties, we need to develop a robust mitigation plan to run the MEPF/ ELV system infrastructure, whilst passing through the non-operational areas. This solution must cater for business needs and maintain continuity of quality standards for guests, in addition to ensuring the integrity of the property and the maintenance of essential safety and security systems.”
Sector knowledge is essential to thrive in the IR development arena. Time, not cost, is often the primary focus driving projects for Asia’s IR operators. The faster a scheme can open, the quicker it can generate revenue and make returns for its investors. Accelerated project programmes can give construction teams very little time to co-ordinate all the systems and services prior to the start of construction, another reason why employing an expert coordinator from the project outset can prove an intelligent commercial decision.
IRs differ from other large-scale buildings in multiple ways, not the least of which is the convergence, under one roof, of so many distinct business types – from the casino itself to F&B, retail, hotels and more – all typically served by the same centralized core system.
There is also the fact that IRs are 24-hour operations, while the amount of bespoke design and special features included within most IR projects easily exceed anything typically seen on a more traditional project.
“On top of that, due to ever-evolving technology, extra pressures are often placed on MEPF and ELV to implement all these dynamic requirements in the minimum possible time frame, whilst mitigating cost implications, while construction is already in full swing,” Parmar observes.
“To overcome such challenges, Commtech Asia has a process driven, innovative tracking and reporting methodology, that in conjunction with our coverage, knowledge and experience of all integrated building systems, allows us to introduce and deploy ‘out of the box’ solutions quickly at any moment in time.”
Commtech Asia’s expertise has already played a significant role in assisting the rapid growth of the hospitality industry in the region, with the company now based in Hong Kong, Singapore, Philippines, Japan, Macau, Australia, China, Taiwan, Korea, Thailand, Malaysia and the UAE.
“This geographical coverage allows us to undertake a number of regional roles and means we are well versed in all building codes of practice,” Parmar says.
Among Commtech Asia’s most significant current assignments are IR projects in Macau and the Philippines, with the company pointing to those two countries, plus Japan and Australia, as its priority focus when it comes to IR developments. Next on the agenda is expansion into Vietnam and Cambodia, while Commtech Asia is also working on other large-scale hospitality projects throughout much of Asia – predominantly in China, Japan and Thailand.
“We feel that expert knowledge of local markets and cultures backed by our regional IR management team gives us a distinct sector advantage,” Parmar adds, pointing to more than 150 years of combined management experience in delivering large scale integrated resort projects throughout Asia as a key factor in the company’s ongoing growth story.
“Commtech Asia’s Independent MEP Project Management approach is a new concept that we feel is a significant benefit to the IR construction market. We believe we are the only independent consultant purely focused on the critical MEPF and ELV elements of the project.
“As this is our primary focus, we provide the necessary feedback and offer time critical solutions to our customers and other project team consultants on the MEPF and ELV installation. This is transformative in the sector and marks an innovative approach that brings real cost and program benefits to our increasing roster of customers across Asia and beyond.”