The knowledge, efficiency, safety and financial benefits unlocked by today’s professional audits are too great for facility managers to pass up.
In a 2020 survey conducted in partnership with FM Magazine, readers listed energy management as their number one challenge. Budgetary pressure and extending asset life came in a close second and third, respectively. Tech adoption, new legislation and data and system security were also top of mind.
In today’s commercial environment, many building owners and facility managers are accountable for the safety of tenants and the compliance of the property, while also ensuring operational efficiency.
It is the obligation of a building’s facility manager to understand the inner workings of their property. An FM’s knowledge of their operational assets will usually depend on two key factors.
There is only so much an FM can truly understand from experience, expertise and walkthroughs. Critically analysing the building’s services, going through its entire core and coming out with specific data and reporting is the only way to guarantee a clear insight into the current condition of any assets and their operating environment.
Protecting people and their lives should always be a priority. Buildings, especially older ones, could potentially have many hazards invisible to the naked eye and be a lawsuit waiting to happen. Unbeknown to the property owner or manager, they may no longer comply with Australian Standards. Existing building safety issues can be identified in any audit process. FMs must fulfil their duty of care and WHS (work health and safety) obligations. Clear identifications of current hazards and risks will reduce their impacts from the health, safety and welfare point of view of building occupants and maintenance staff.
Keeping well-informed about changes and updates to the National Construction Code (NCC) provides the minimum necessary requirements for safety and health, amenity and accessibility, as well as sustainability in the design, construction, performance and liveability of buildings in Australia.
Auditing of operational assets will provide FMs with insights such as compliance awareness; a comprehensive audit for a building/s should allow for a full review of regulatory compliance across building services, to ensure compliance with the NCC and relevant Australian standards.
Avoid costly breakdowns to your building. The disruption of services such as power outages and breakdown of old and faulty equipment can mean lost profits, reputation damage and inconvenience for occupants. Following a detailed audit of building services, asset risk protocol can be applied to all assets comprehensively. Interpreting the data can highlight possible failure points, identify opportunities, improve productivity and decrease such costs as maintenance, energy and insurance. Therefore, risk profiling and understanding asset criticality are essential for risk mitigation and avoiding the costly failure of building services.
The condition of a building’s operational assets can have an impact upon operational expenditure. Ensuring reduction in wasted utilities like energy and water not only leads to lower energy costs, but also lower operational running expenses. A comprehensive audit of technical assets can identify how an asset is controlled or if further optimisation should be considered (such as implementing a BMS – building management system) or upgrading of equipment, with the intention of maximising ROI.
A professional audit of building services will deliver the above, with an extensive level of detail for the identification of the current state of all building assets and services. It is also an essential starting point in both the short- and long-term budgeting for maintenance and capital expenditure. This provides facility managers with the ability to project both short-term and long-term viable and economical solutions.
Specialist auditors can deliver specific audits or a combination of audits, with dedicated technical advisers in each area of auditing – fire, safety, mechanical, electrical, plumbing, BMS etc.
At Grosvenor Engineering Group, once contracted to perform an audit, our specialist auditors engage with the organisation to tailor a specific scope that will achieve the organisation’s goals and objective by providing them with optimal working data and solutions.
A full-scale on-site assessment and review on each asset and associated services is performed. To support the process, we go through ‘as-built’ documentation and previous maintenance records where available, as this further enhances the data yield. We then capture data on each asset, using our unique audit tablet software and infrastructure. Data, knowledge and advice is presented to the FM and then made available through our client web portal. Contact Us if you would like to find our more.
Will Dorahy is National Service Line Manager – Auditing at Grosvenor Engineering Group.