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Improving FM – A Turn-Key Solution Beginning Before Construction?

December 11, 2018

Why aren’t the Facilities Manager’s involved with architects and consultants when designing new builds? It seems to make so much sense that an experienced Facility Manager should work hand in hand with an architect to provide practical advice on the everyday usability of a building.

 

More often than not, a Facilities Manager inherits a wonderful building that is aesthetically amazing but potentially lacking on some scale the practicalities required to manage and maintain sustainable facilities delivery.

 

A recent article in FMJ highlights the maintenance spend on buildings over their life-cycle ranges from 4.5% to 10% of build cost per annum while 70-85% of the maintenance costs can be influenced during the design stage.

 

The article goes on to highlight some clear points where Facilities Manager can get involved at ground zero on the project and add experience and insight that the architects may not have on a practical level. During the initial planning and design stage more emphasis has to be put on including a Facilities Manager as they have invaluable knowledge on retrofitting solutions to improve facilities delivery, so why not get them involved earlier and save time and money?

 

If introduced during the design stage the Facilities Managers could ask the questions; How would we access that space? How could we possibly clean that? Can a MEWP fit in there? Why is that concealed, where is the access? Are you adding a man safe system to that roof? The list could go on forever.

 

It is clear that early engagement with Facilities professionals is nowhere near being commonplace on new build projects, so what is the answer?

 

In our opinion, architects and consultants need to see the value that an experienced Facilities Manager brings to the table, and either introduce an in-house resource to continually review plans or identify specialist FM consultants to partner with on projects moving forward.

 

Taking it one step further, the facilities delivery model could be identified before the building has even been built, and the design could take shape with the long-term plan in mind. This means that the Facilities Manager involved in the design, would continue involvement throughout the build and then take control of the building on handover – improving continuity and retaining all knowledge.

 

The article goes on to highlight the benefits that adopting this approach would bring “Involving facility managers in project design will result in designs and material choices that make facilities easy and more cost-effective to operate and maintain creating a better outcome for both the client and most importantly the end-users of the building”.

 

We would be interested in speaking with clients, architects or consultants who would be interested in discussing an FM solution that could be introduced at the design stage and carried on through practical completion, handover and on to asset and life-cycle management – a true turn-key solution. Contact Mark Taylor on mark.taylor@autonomousfms.com to discuss potential opportunities.

 

Here is the link to FMJ and the article – ‘Constructive Criticism’ – https://www.fmj.co.uk/constructive-criticism/

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