The office building needs care and attention to stay functional and protect its occupants from weather and pollutants. In addition to safety and maintenance, you must also make sure it looks good to clients. All of this requires resources, which can be expensive if you don't perform scheduled and regular tasks to keep it on top.
Proper maintenance helps preserve the essence and market value of commercial buildings. Have you seen unkempt buildings? Look like good investment properties? Failure to maintain a commercial building spells doom and repels potential tenants.
This article examines the benefits of commercial building maintenance and the ways to maintain commercial buildings. It's a fun ride.
We have a wide range of property maintenance Melbourne services at Hitch Property Constructions.
Ways to Maintain Your Buildings
Remain in Operational Configuration.
Buildings that are currently occupied as well as essential facilities like research centres, hospitals, and museums should maintain their operational configuration. The importance of the assets contained in these buildings as well as the functions that they serve drives the requirement for ongoing environmental control.
Revise Building Schedules.
In unused non-critical facilities, such as a technical college or university classroom building, consider revising the BMS building schedule so mechanical equipment operates intermittently to maintain indoor air quality, but not to condition empty spaces to occupied conditions. Consider running mechanical equipment for an hour or two twice a day. Manage peak cooling and 12-hour heating load. Reduced indoor humidity and fresh air would prevent microbial growth and contaminant buildup. Each facility has a unique strategy.
Revisit Kitchen Schedules.
It is a good idea, in establishments where kitchens are not being utilised to their full capacity, to limit the use of makeup air units and exhaust fans to the times of day when food is being prepared. In the event that the kitchen is not being used at all, it is recommended that the makeup air units and exhaust fans be turned off until the kitchen is put back into operation. This is especially important in the event that the makeup air heating system is in place.
Reset Chilled Water Temperatures.
If you cool the building with chilled water, you might want to consider setting the temperature of the chilled water supply to be slightly higher while the building is vacant. During the height of summer, the system is intended to take into account the rejection of both sensible and latent heat that is produced by the people who are inside the building. Buildings with no occupants in the spring, when temperatures are typically lower, have lower cooling loads and therefore require less heat rejection.
Focus Your Maintenance.
Concentrate your efforts on performing maintenance on the critical needs or critical spaces that have to be kept operational in order to accomplish your mission. It is important to be aware that certain maintenance issues, such as a leaking roof, do not have an automated means of being detected. In most cases, the occupant is the one who reports those.
Turn a Negative into a Positive.
The circumstances as they stand right now are by no means ideal; however, it may be possible to transform these difficult circumstances into a favourable opportunity. Examine whether a scheduled upgrade or renovation project can be started earlier on those buildings or areas that aren't being used at the moment and make a decision based on your findings. In preparation for the possibility that additional space will be required during the summer, a renovation project that had been scheduled to take place during that season may now be brought forwards.
Hire security and secure the access points to the building
If you have many employees and clients, you must use security to keep intruders away. Keeping track of who enters and exits the building may seem excessive, but it's beneficial. First, you'll keep all occupants safe and then guard company property. Only authorised personnel will have access to the building and its adjoining property. This will prevent criminal acts and conducts from endangering people, equipment, and structures in your care.
Use high-quality materials for the exterior and interior.
Always use the best high-quality materials when adapting a building to your liking and needs. This also applies when building a business structure. The material's quality will prevent fast deterioration and keep your building in good condition in all seasons. If one crack appears, others will follow. This means you should act quickly to repair all exterior problems and ensure they don't spread to the interior.
Perform regular HVAC and elevator maintenance
It's impossible to imagine large office buildings without HVAC systems. Its purpose is to cool, heat, and clean the inside air for the building's occupants. It suffices to say how many problems neglecting the HVAC system can cause, the worst being Legionnaires' disease, a serious respiratory condition similar to pneumonia caused by Legionella pneumophila.
Elevators can be a liability, but they rarely detach and fall like in the movies. Stuck can be frustrating and dangerous for those with heart conditions and anxiety. Damaged elevators don't leave a good impression on visitors, so schedule regular checks and repairs.
Check the sealants on windows and doors.
Check all window and door sealants to protect the building from the weather. You'll have an energy-efficient building that's good for the environment and your utility bill. Proper sealants prevent heat loss through window and door frames and prevent mould and structural damage from condensation on walls. Easy-to-apply sealants can be applied after work hours or before employees arrive.
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Hire cleaning services
Employees, visitors, clients, and other businesspeople leave trash behind. Unavoidable, and therefore a daily concern. The only solution for a company is to hire a cleaning service to maintain hygienic conditions and tidy up after employees leave. You'll always have a decluttered, organised office, providing civilised working conditions for your employees and gaining a productive, dedicated team.
Keep roof and gutters free of debris.
Roofs and gutters protect buildings from the elements. Clogged gutters and leaky roofs can damage the building and the company. Water damage can cause short circuits and electrical fires, which can at best stop business temporarily and at worst be life-threatening.
Regular gutter cleaning and roof checks can prevent this, as can quick response to interior leaks or damage. Hiring ASAP Sydney Painters to paint your roof and building will keep them in good shape.
Life-Cycle Costing and Standardization
Budgets, timetables, customers, reputations, and other factors in the design process don't always mesh. Value engineering is used when design and construction budgets are tight. Value engineering once meant designing with long-term costs in mind; now it means cutting costs.
Life-cycle costing is a more inclusive method of calculating costs and can influence design decisions to minimise facility costs. It's the annual cost of a product (in this case, a building) that includes capital, installation, operation, and maintenance costs. Over the facility's lifetime, maintenance and operation costs will be significant (energy and personnel). This method will provide valuable input, especially for the customer/owner responsible for facility costs over time.
When logical and cost-effective, standardising a product reduces inventory and purchases. Standardization can include equipment manufacturers chosen for quality, repair response times, and local parts availability, manual maintenance requirements, and online maintenance manuals, among other things. HVAC equipment, pumps, fans, switches/receptacles, circuit breakers, paint type and colour standardisation, restroom fixtures, flooring, lighting fixtures and lamps, doors and door hardware, roofing slopes (avoid flat roofs) and materials, and many other items should be standardised. Standardization lowers inventory, training, and maintenance costs. This makes maintenance easier and cheaper. Customers and maintenance staff are open to new products and ideas, but they should have a good track record and life-cycle costing. Even if initial costs are high, long-term costs can be significant. Architects/designers must standardise early.
Why Buildings Fail
As facilities are completed, the owner's maintenance responsibilities increase. (And, even though the need for maintenance services increases with the addition of new buildings, for many government agencies, manpower and budgets have often been frozen or reduced, compounding the problem.) It is not the responsibility of the architect/designer to maintain the facility, and this aspect may not be fully considered during the design process.
When decisions are made regarding design without the maintenance perspective, it can often lead to a facility that is more costly to maintain than necessary, or that has components that cannot be maintained. Following are some examples:
- Ceiling lights installed that can only be accessed and changed out with scaffolding, requiring the closure of the entrance to a facility for a week.
- An air-conditioning unit installed above a drop ceiling in a restroom or office area with no room for a ladder to be properly set up. The technician can only access the unit if he or she stands on the restroom or office partition (not a good safety practice). The result: The unit will not be properly maintained and may need to be relocated.
- Lights installed in new buildings that are not accessible at all; ultimately, these will be abandoned when the lamps fail.
- Lights requiring an access panel to be cut into existing walls to access ballasts.
- High-cost, custom lighting fixtures/lamps installed in parking garages. As they fail, these will be replaced with lower-cost fixtures.
- Rooftop air-conditioning units with no elevator access to bring chemicals to the units (even small chemical containers weigh 50 pounds). A technician must carry chemicals up to the equipment (not a good practice for back safety).
- Trees planted very close to new buildings. This is a common problem, which results in clogged downspouts during the rainy season and will lead to premature roofing failure.
- Lack of enough telephone outlets, electrical outlets, and computer outlets/cables. It is far less expensive to install extra equipment when a building is being built than to add equipment after the building is in service. This often leads to exposed wiring, holes in finishes, and other degradations of a building's aesthetics.
- It is installing inferior-quality components to save up-front money. Carpet is a good example. For a small initial cost increase, the long-term cost is reduced dramatically. There are carpets that can be installed with 20- to 25-year non-prorated warranties.
- Installing a large glass architectural structure in front of a new building, which then requires the purchase of a $1 million piece of equipment to facilitate cleaning the glass.
- Installing exterior "uplights" (lights installed flat in concrete or the ground), which inherently fail due to moisture getting into the fixtures.
- Equipment installed easily during construction that is nearly inaccessible after final walls and other appurtenances are completed.
- Installation of high-maintenance security systems.
- High-maintenance equipment installed with no local vendor support.
Check out Hitch Property Constructions for a huge range of Melbourne property maintenance services.
Helping Buildings Succeed
Given the maintenance issues that arise, what can be done to make our facilities more maintainable and, thus, less costly to operate during the building life? Consider the following:
- There must be meaningful dialogue between engineers, architects, designers, customers, maintenance personnel, and, eventually, contractors when the job is awarded. The dialogue must start at the first meeting and carry throughout the project.
- Just as the architectural or engineering firm uses its staff for quality control or a contractor for constructability review, the in-house maintenance group should also be considered a resource for design review. This group can point out items that may lead to long-term maintenance issues or increased maintenance costs.
- One valuable input to the opening meetings and throughout the design process is the maintenance standards for the organization.
- There must be close interaction throughout the design and construction phases, including input to and review of design drawings and specifications by maintenance personnel. Some organizations now assign knowledgeable maintenance professional to be part of the design and build the team and reduce the routine maintenance burden on this individual during the project period - an excellent idea. In other organizations, maintenance staff will need to negotiate their involvement in the project.
- Adequate time must be allowed for review of documents. Maintenance professionals need to assert the importance of their input to the organization and then schedule an adequate time so the reviews are meaningful and input is well thought out. By being involved from the first meeting on, maintenance staff can avoid last-minute reviews, which allow only a cursory review instead of the necessary in-depth reviews they deserve. After all, these decisions affect the maintenance workload and the agency's operational costs for decades to come.
- There is no doubt that everyone in the design and build process has the same goal in mind: to build an attractive and functional facility that is pleasing for everyone to occupy and use. The final step is also to consider the maintenance requirements to keep it that way.
Regular import maintenance isn't mild on your property. Have you considered that no one will rent your commercial building because the parking lot and walkway are unkempt? Add value and maintenance to your property, and it will sell quickly.
Take care of your office like your own home. Since you're responsible for everyone in the building, you must ensure they work safely and healthily. If you start building maintenance early, you'll have fewer problems and lower repair and renovation costs.
FAQs About Property Maintenance
An SMP or a Standard Maintenance Procedure is a vital part of keeping your equipment in top shape, keeping your employees safe, and maintaining your plant's overall productivity. An SMP is a document containing instructions on how to perform maintenance tasks correctly and efficiently.
Vacuum refrigerator coils. Clean gutters and downspouts. Inspect roof for damaged or loose shingleWash windows and screens. Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
For Organizational Management users, Simple Maintenance is best used to establish the basic framework in organizational plan development. Simple Maintenance uses a tree structure, which allows you to create a basic framework for organizational plans, using streamlined procedures.
Repairs and maintenance expense is the cost incurred to ensure that an asset continues to operate. This may involve bringing performance levels up to their original level from when an asset was originally acquired, or merely maintaining the current performance level of an asset.
Fixed. A scheduled maintenance work order is generated at a fixed interval set by the user, irrespective of when the last scheduled maintenance was completed.