AC restored at Dubai tower after weeks of 'emergency maintenance'

AC services were first interrupted in Marina Crown in Dubai Marina on August 4

Air conditioning services at Marina Crown in Dubai have been resumed after maintenance work finished. Chris Whiteoak / The National
Air conditioning services at Marina Crown in Dubai have been resumed after maintenance work finished. Chris Whiteoak / The National

Temperatures inside a residential tower in Dubai are slowly returning to normal, more than 40 days after air conditioning services were interrupted.

Speaking to The National on Thursday, Abdul Khan, facilities manager at Stratum Owners Association Management said two of the three chillers in Marina Crown were now working.

"We switched the second chiller on Wednesday," he said.

"It is currently running at 50 per cent as we need to observe it for 24 to 36 hours, but by the weekend it should be running at 100 per cent, meaning cooling in the building will be back to normal."

Residents in the waterfront complex at Dubai Marina were first left feeling the heat on August 4, when air conditioning services were cut back in order for "emergency" works to be carried out on two chiller units.

During the interruption phase, tenants were only able to cool their apartments to a minimum of 25°C, causing many to complain as temperatures outside reached as high as 46°C during August.

When The National visited two apartments in the building on Thursday, the thermostat reading was 20.5°C in one apartment on floor nine and 21°C in the second apartment, on floor 30.

The air conditioning issues have affected the Carrefour shop within the building complex. Chris Whiteoak / The National
The air conditioning issues have affected the Carrefour shop within the building complex. Chris Whiteoak / The National

"We made so many complaints before because it was so hot, but thank goodness now things are back to normal," a house maid inside the flat, who asked not to be named, said.

“At last, at last … I will only believe it when I really feel it but the temperature does seem like it’s back to normal in the reception area,” another resident, 32, said.

The initial circular distributed by Stratum in early August said the AC would be interrupted for "two to three weeks".

However, the delay in services nearly doubled due to "unexpected problems with maintenance".

"Originally, the motor on one of the units broke down, and on the second one, we had problems with the tubes, they were leaking," Mr Khan said.

"Our manufacturing partner said one chiller could be fixed within two to three weeks, which is what we stated on the original circular."

Unfortunately, when the team restarted the second unit on August 30, it broke down "within a few hours", leaving just one chiller functioning again.

"That is what caused the extra weeks of delay, it really was unfortunate but it was out of our hands," Mr Khan said.

Since then, the third chiller has been fixed and was switched on Wednesday. Work is under way to fix the third unit.

"Two chillers running at 100 per cent is fine for a building of this size, so by the weekend everything will be running smoothly, Inshallah," Mr Khan said.

In circulars shared with The National, notices and emails were sent to apartment owners to alert them of the further delay. However, several tenants said they were not informed of the extension.

"Honestly, for me, I gave up asking because I am leaving the building in October but I do hope the issue gets resolved for others," building tenant, Rashid said.

"We knew nothing of the delay."

The 52-storey Marina Crown building houses 365 apartments and has a 60 to 70 per cent occupancy.

On May 5 last year, a similar complaint was raised by tenants, with one taking to a public forum to air her frustrations about the lack of working air conditioning within the building.

“The AC has not been working throughout the entire Marina Crown tower for one week,” the post read.

Speaking about the ongoing issue, Mr Khan said it is working to replace one of the chillers with a brand new model.

"AC units, if maintained well, operate in good order for about 25 years," he said.

"This building has been here for 15 years but the units were not well maintained.

"Since we took over managing the building last year, we have been working to resolve the issue and do hope to have a new chiller unit soon to avoid further interruption to AC services in the future."

Published: September 12, 2019 03:08 PM

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