How Can a Building Management System Help Optimise Planned Maintenance?

    Within general building management and maintenance there is a convention of using SFG20, the standard maintenance specification for building engineering services and healthcare facilities use the Health Technical Memoranda (HTMs). Both provide access to a growing library of comprehensive maintenance schedules and contain prescriptive lists of what you should do, and when, for good reasons – poorly performed maintenance can pose health and safety risks.

    The moment you start to use the data available from building management systems (BMS), though, things get interesting. It’s at that point that building managers can start to optimise maintenance activity. As such, there’s a move towards a more optimised approach to building management, combining the insights provided by a modern BMS in conjunction with established maintenance schedules.

    There’s no doubt that the existing regulations are useful, but they are also really prescriptive; a rigidity that is being challenged by modern BMS technology, which can be integrated into planned maintenance and deliver more flexibility.

    For example, data gathered from BMS technology can advise when an air filter needs changing instead of based on a set schedule. This gives the building manager advanced warning to arrange for the works to be carried out, allowing for a proactive approach, rather than reactive. This helps provide a higher standard of care for building occupants and potentially save money by changing filters based on need versus a maintenance schedule to avoid costly, unnecessary filter changes.

    So where does this leave us? There’s a comprehensive discussion to be had with The Building Engineering Services Association (BESA), which writes the SFG20, around how it could work with an organisations, industry and the education communities to put together a new version of the regulations that allows for enhanced levels of optimisation driven by ever-evolving technology. There is a strong rationale for examining SFG20 and its role in supporting the creation of the building management system of the future.

    These are the sorts of industry-leading debates and discussions that students at Leeds Beckett University’s School of Built Environment, Engineering and Computing are learning about as a part of their studies and how to manage buildings of the future within specified recommendations.