More than half of all U.S. buildings are more than twenty years old, providing building owners with unique problems each year. Over time, systems break down, become inefficient, and cost more money to maintain. The key to addressing all of these issues is having a plan for the future.
Planning for the Future
Buildings don’t collapse overnight. It takes time for a building to deteriorate, which means there is time to prevent the deterioration from happening. Experts suggest that a 3-5 year maintenance plan will keep operations running smoothly without causing a delay in any one process.
The best way to develop this plan is to first assess each of your systems individually. What is the condition of each piece? What kind of lifespan does each piece have? How are they being used? Asking these questions will give you an idea of what your building will need as time goes on.
The next step in the plan should be the budget. Now that you have taken a condition assessment, you can put a budget in place for each system piece you will need to address in the next 3-5 years. In addition to the condition assessment, it is important to add budget lines for mandatory maintenance (i.e. fire safety), preventative maintenance (i.e. roof repairs), and unplanned maintenance (i.e. old systems that might break down).
Leverage this information with Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) to execute your maintenance plans. The eight pillars of TPM will allow you to take an integrated and comprehensive approach to your building and equipment maintenance needs. This will help you get out of re-active “firefighting” mode and into a pro-active, planned approach. This will save you money and down time while creating a much safer environment for your staff. If you do not have a TPM plan in place we would be happy to send you information on TPM and help you get started.
Getting the right people involved is also key. Facilities managers know their buildings inside and out. They know how they function and what is needed to keep them running smoothly. It is critical for building managers to hire competent facilities managers, and respect their opinions on building needs.
At the end of the day, it takes a thorough plan, a clear budget, and a competent team to effectively manage an aging building.