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Summer is no holiday for facilities and maintenance teams

By Pradeep Singh, Senior Design Partner - Education, Trend

When the last bell rings and students are free to enjoy their summer holidays, the building maintenance staff roll up their sleeves to start vital maintenance work. Empty school buildings mean less disruptions – of both student learning and maintenance. This allows facilities teams to conduct work so that premises are ready for the upcoming school year. While the work never stops for the maintenance teams, the summer break is a time to perform both required tasks and large projects.

Maintenance work does not only mean cleaning
Cleaning a facility and basic upkeep work is just a portion of the work a maintenance team oversees. The systems that make the building work – air conditioning, heating, lighting, fire and security all need to be looked after. Facility managers should start summer maintenance by checking the control panels installed in the buildings, carefully inspecting sensors and valves, and evaluating the current BEMS technology. It’s important to take precaution to make sure the equipment and the system are up to date and working properly. This is more than a routine maintenance service; empty education facilities allow teams to complete prolonged repairs or even have things replaced if needed without having to take the facility out of service.

Run optimisation tests on the BEMS
A BEMS system operates behind the scenes to make sure that the building systems are properly controlled and can help contribute to an optimal learning environment. Regardless of the time of day or year, the BEMS system must be adaptable to provide building occupants with a pleasant temperature and appropriate lighting, best suited for their activities. The BEMS can also control and manage energy usage to support cost savings. This is especially important for the education sector, where budgets are often limited and adjusting building systems to accommodate for changing occupancy or holiday breaks is key.

When running optimisation regimes, the focus should be on checking whether the BEMS system allows teams to:

  • Manage the building remotely – giving facility managers the ability to monitor a building’s infrastructure from anywhere means they can address alarms, adjust heating and cooling or monitor building occupancy conditions even if they’re not on site
  • Use data intelligently to reduce the energy usage of your building. Reviewing metering and energy tools helps to consume less energy, e.g. adjusting the temperature setpoint by 1°C can decrease consumption by 10 per cent​
  • Map out the building to create zones and schedules – helps manage the energy consumed to what is really needed by targeting zones where energy needs to be managed differently, e.g., spaces with higher capacity and those that are used only occasionally or being used by just one person instead of a group

Evaluating the current technology
Although the extended summer break might sound to many like a pleasant period – when time is flowing more slowly, with less work and business chores – for the facility maintenance team it is quite the opposite. It’s a prime time to reassess their building performance throughout the whole year and make steps to improve their estate environment ready for the new term. It is vital to providing optimal working and studying conditions by making the most of modern building controls technology that convert existing assets into a smart building fit for today and many years to come. 

About Trend Control Systems
With a worldwide distribution and support network covering over 50 countries, Trend Control Systems is a major international supplier of building energy management solutions (BEMS).  The vast majority of Trend’s control systems are supplied, engineered and commissioned by approved systems integrators. Trend Control Systems is part of Honeywell Building Technologies. See our education page.