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When driving around the University of Malta ring road, one cannot help but notice the sizeable construction taking shape on the east-facing side, the side that at a certain point runs parallel to Triq Mikiel Anton Vassalli. This is the new state-of-the-art building of the Faculty of Information and Communication Technology that was made possible through European Regional Development Fund and Government of Malta funding, amounting to around €17 million.

The new building itself is a landmark construction on the University's Msida Campus. It is a "new building" in more than one sense. It is predominantly a steel construction with a glass outer façade. It makes use of specially engineered glass panels that are filled with an inert gas and coated with appositely calculated reflective material. The building has no windows and it is climate controlled through an advanced Building Management System (BMS). The internal climatic conditions, such as temperature, ventilation, and humidity will all be managed by an automated system.

AIS Group, which encompasses diverse activities such as manufacturing, engineering design, IT, archaeology and environmental consultancy has last month tested the Group's ability to retain a business-as-usual level of service whilst at the same time reducing to a minimum the usage of company and individual employee vehicles.

This proved to be a very challenging undertaking as people were encouraged to leave the comfort of their car and try out alternative modes of transportation. The experience did leave positively interesting results both from the employee's perspective as well as from a business stand point. The event helped develop better relationships between colleagues across different levels through car-pooling. A marked increase in the employee's awareness of the environmental damage caused by cars was noted. This left a feel good factor for contributing positively towards improving the environment.

A common problem being faced by managers of large buildings is the seemingly runaway expenses associated with energy consumption. How does one go about stopping buildings from wasting energy, wastage which directly eats away the profits of any given organisation?

With the ever-increasing fuel and energy costs, we should be thankful that BMS technology provides an effective energy reducing solution’, said Ing. Anthony Bartolo, General Manager of AIS Technology Ltd. at a recent seminar held at the Malta Hilton.

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