Compass Software Technology - Newsletter 09 - March 2014

Managing the built environment is one of the core functions of FM professionals due to the many legislative and regulatory requirements but also it could help reduce or minimize the affects of sick building syndrome and building related illness. Our new Regional Pro3 solution allows Organizations manage the built environment more effectively to meet many of these requirements. Regional Pro3 also uses the LCC concept, which allows organizations track all costs associated within the built environment over its life so that informed decisions pertaining to these assets can be made.

Our NEW Regional Pro3 software package is just part of a total solution we offer to give you much greater control over all your property assets. Interested? We would love to talk with you.

Dominic Murnane
Managing Director

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Building Maintenance - Part 1

Facilities management is a complex profession, which requires a range of skills and knowledge, technology, which combine in-house staff and departments, outsourced specialist contractors that provide essential service and activities within the built environment. FM integrates both the hard Facilities Management (e.g. building fabric) and 'soft' Facilities Management (e.g. catering, cleaning, security, and health & safety) to achieve better quality, service and economies of scale for organizations.

This article looks at elements of the hard Facilities Management and what FM professionals should inspect in the building fabric periodically. FM professionals have a duty of care to ensure that hard Facilities Management complies with both legislation and regulations that require daily, weekly and monthly inspections on the built environment.

There are many guidebooks and procedures in existence that FM professionals should use, but from years experience in the FM sector we at Compass believe below should act as a useful starting guide for daily, weekly and monthly inspections on the built environment.

Daily inspection
  • Ensuring emergency evacuation routes are clear and unobstructed both internally and externally
  • Stairs and floor surfaces are safe for public use
  • The Access to buildings including footpath's are clear and safe for public use
  • Visual inspection on external building fabric for hazards
  • The fire brigade access must to be clear of obstructions at all times
  • Access gates are operational, boundary wall / fencing are safe
  • Gullies and manhole covers checked for visible blockages / damage

    Weekly inspection
  • Visual inspection of internal and external doors, door frames, windows and ironmongery
  • Inspection of internal wall, ceiling, stairwells and floor finishes for damage / cracking to ensure they are safe for public use
  • Look for any evidence of water leaks on wall, ceiling, stairwells and floor finishes
  • Fire / smoke alarms, fire exit doors are operational
  • Detailed visual inspection on external building fabric for spalling / exfoliating / cracked brickwork or masonry features
  • Check for signs of any damage due to pest infestation
  • Check flues, chimneys and appliances for discoloration that might indicate a carbon monoxide risk
  • Buildings access including footpath's, paved areas are clear and safe for public use

    Monthly Inspection
  • Visual inspection on roof fabric including ponding, loose flashing, plugged drains, air pockets, blisters, debris.
  • Check attics and any other un-used areas for moisture, vermin, damage etc.

    A FREE printable version of the property inspection checklist built into our new Regional Pro3 solution is available for you to use Here

  • FM managers should also ensure that the building fabric is maintained properly due to the "sick building syndrome" (SBS) and "building related illness" (BRI). The term "sick building syndrome" (SBS) is used to describe situations in which building occupants experience acute health and comfort effects that appear to be linked to time spent in a building, but no specific illness or cause can be identified. The complaints may be localized in a particular room or zone, or may be widespread throughout the building. In contrast, the term "building related illness" (BRI) is used when symptoms of diagnosable illness are identified and can be attributed directly to airborne building contaminants. SBS and BRI can contribute to significent loss in work efficiency as well as increased sick-leave absentism.

    Life Cycle Costing (LCC) is another useful tool for FM professionals to manage the built environment and equipment. LCC is a "cradle to the grave" approach for both the procurement and management of capital items, which enables organizations obtain the best use of the physical assets at the lowest cost for organizations. The LCC method is ideally suitable for FM professionals and is now practiced in both private and public sector. In Sweden, UK, Denmark, Germany, The Netherlands, France, Austria, Korea, New Zealand and Australia some form of LCC analyses is used in the procurement and commissioning of new energy efficient buildings, the refurbishment of existing buildings and building management systems.

    LCC is normally applied at the conceptual stage, the acquisition stage but LCC is very useful for FM professionals at the "in-service stage, when decisions are being made on whether to maintain, improve or dispose of asset or equipment". The LCC concept is incorporated into our Regional Pro3 solution offered by Compass which allows organizations track all costs associated with the built environment but also all the other assets and equipment. The benefits of using the LCC concept in the Regional Pro3 solution are;
  • It provides transparency on operational costs
  • Organizations will have the ability to plan for future expenditure
  • Organizations will have improved awareness of total costs

  • You want to optimise how you operate your Property, Plant and Facilities Maintenance
    Let Compass guide and help you to do it.

    Compass Software Technology Ltd.

    Head Office: Killarney Road, Macroom, Co. Cork, Ireland

    Rubicon Centre, CIT Campus, Bishopstown, Cork, Ireland

    Tel: Ireland: 026 23616 / 087 607 6565
          Worldwide: +353 (0) 87 607 6565

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    All Rights Reserved.
    Registered in Ireland - No: 503478

    Compass AFM is a trading name of Compass Software Technology Ltd.