Can you believe it!
Jakarta, 3rd December 2014
Commissioning projects is an experience by itself. I am in Jakarta today and tomorrow to start the commissioning stage of a hotel that has taken more than 8 years (!) to finish and still we are far from being done and dusted so to speak. I started this project back in 2008 with a 2012 target in our contract for completion. We are now well over two years past due date and the end is still not in view. However the operator, already on the ground for several months in anticipation of December opening, is now pushing to have at least part of the hotel open for business by February. So I am here to start the programming process for those areas targeted for operational readiness. The ballroom was already commissioned to a useable degree a few months ago (under duress!) for a high profile VIP function with the missing parts finished over the last few months. The ballroom can operate separately from the hotel. Now the pre-function, main entrance lobby, reception, lift lobbies, bar, all day dining and “some” guestrooms are being prepared for an official opening.
It is specifically at this stage when everything is supposed to come together that you find out whether it actually does! This project has been dogged with so much “value engineering” that now all these imposed short-cuts in quality are coming to the fore visible to everyone to see. After all our warnings and predictions these past months/years, we are now in a stage of “I told you so!” One of the biggest warnings we had put forward was the inexperience of the selected dimmer manufacturer. They basically have nil experience in doing smart lighting controls for public areas in high end hotels and as a result are totally unprepared for the task of programming. As a matter of fact we are teaching them how to do it. The “programmer” confessed to me that they are still writing the software for the programming as they have at this stage no way in identifying in quick file ways which circuit are the down lights, which the wall sconces or the chandeliers or which ones are the cove lights. As a result we spent nearly 3 hours trying to program by trial and error the pre-function area which would normally have taken less than an hour, all utterly frustrating for everybody. Add to that that we are now finding out that many circuits can poorly or insufficiently be dimmed and you get our picture of disbelief…I sent them back home tonight to do their homework first.
Light Watch 5-206: Installation nightmares… cove lights still a mess; no proper hardwired connection for table/desk lamps; poorly finished flexible strip lights, some dropping out, poor/wrong colour, loose control panels, panels without any indicator lights, the programmers desperately trying to understand what is what!.