César Moreno
Director General
Enlace de Tecnología, Proyectos y Servicios (ENTEC)
View from the Top

Maintaining Mexico's Structural Diamonds

Tue, 11/01/2016 - 14:25

Q: What challenges does ENTEC face in its maintenance services, especially with high-rises?

A: Our 13-year-old company has five business units, including the aerospace unit that does heliport design and construction. We also provide information regarding governmental approval processes and its required documentation. Aerospace is our most active area. In second place is our height-access equipment and services that focus on exterior maintenance such as window washing on high rises and work-site safety. ENTEC oversees the care and maintenance of some of the tallest buildings in Mexico, including Torre Reforma, which is special in terms of space, architecture and structure.

New high-rise construction benchmarks are coming into the market continuously. Torre BBVA Bancomer and Torre Reforma, in particular, grew alongside each other with different construction systems. The emblematic towers represent a challenge when it comes to deep cleaning. In the case of the BBVA Bancomer tower it has a second skin that makes it difficult to reach important parts of the glass. On the other side, Torre Reforma has two walls of concrete with two long beams in the center of the building that create a clear division of the internal space.

Q: How do Mexican companies view their investment in building maintenance?

A: Unfortunately, maintenance is seen as an expense when it should be considered a service. New buildings often age more quickly than they should due to a lack of maintenance. The real estate market is quite aggressive with developers. It attracts clients to our company that prioritize structural cleanliness. They request our maintenance services to keep up with the competitive market.

On the public sector side, there is a paradigm shift under way because the government is starting to see the importance of caring for offices and structures and is acknowledging the private sector’s ability to increase the durability of these spaces. In the past, entities such as CFE and PEMEX managed all their services internally and developed and controlled their own heliports and structures. Now, they are outsourcing to keep a tighter focus on their core services. The authorities are collaborating with private companies to efficiently care for their buildings. They allow external companies to take care of details such as maintenance and air transportation. The parastatals are now striving to reduce the tasks they juggle to serve the country more efficiently, thereby giving the private sector more opportunity and equality when it comes to services.

Q: What maintenance issues are most commonly overlooked?

A: Maintaining the quality of a building is a clear challenge. Funds like Fibra Uno acquire a great number of buildings that all come with considerable responsibilities, such as the collection of rent. Owners have to be particularly organized to distribute shareholder profit correctly. Users need to be assured a decent level of quality. High-rise buildings are especially difficult and many complaints center on parking accessibility, elevator congestion, waste management and cleanliness. The maintenance and care of each structure directly affects the asset’s value, which is important considering that Fibras are based on trusts and assets, not just rent. Funds like Fibra Uno invest in quality to increase and sustain value.

Q: How is the entrance of international companies affecting Mexico’s safety standards?

A: International companies enter Mexico and end up readjusting the country’s standards with their global expertise while respecting traditional construction guidelines. Our company prepares for these shifts by studying international and local standards. ENTEC’s experience in other countries helps us measure Mexico’s international competitiveness and find areas of opportunity to develop. Even though many of the safety products we are introducing are new to Mexico, people must realize they were adopted by other regions a long time ago. Companies need to adapt to the country’s quickly changing landscape. New generations have an incredible amount of access to global information and they are using it to break paradigms.