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Last edited 25 Jan 2021
Maximising maintenance budgets after lockdown
As of June 2020, businesses are reopening across the country and many are inviting people back into their buildings. As we return to buildings that were vacated in, most often, a brusque manner, there are a number of considerations that need to be addressed to bring employees safely in. Once the immediate safety aspect is addressed, we are now looking into the care of our nation’s buildings and their occupants.
Business Focused Maintenance (BFM) is a framework to help organisations make sure that maintenance of buildings ensures safe and healthy environments for workers while at the same time managing cost in a most effective way.
BFM looks at the needs of the business and puts them first and foremost. Whether it is a focus on uptime, maintenance costs or environmental impacts, this methodology challenges the planned preventative maintenance frequency of the building services plant.
The assessment methodology takes into account plant history (age, condition, failure history, plant loading and maintenance history), the number of standby plant items (redundancy) and the level of resources available. The six-step process offers an objective approach to a purposeful redefining of a planned preventative maintenance program.
 Condition-based maintenance
Many of the intrusive maintenance tasks can be replaced by condition monitoring (CM) which in turn leads to condition-based maintenance (CBM). The actual practice of CM is far quicker in terms of person-hours than time-based PPMs (Planned preventative maintenance) and often involves zero down time to the asset and therefore no impact to the business. Furthermore, it greatly reduces the incidence of maintenance induced failures.
In addition to the usual array of gauges on an asset or its building management system (BMS) sensor display that can be used to monitor plant performance, common CM methods include thermal imaging, vibration monitoring, acoustic emission monitoring and lubricant analysis. Regular use of these methods at appropriate intervals can be far more cost-effective than regular time-based generic intervals, whereas for non-critical plant, the most cost-effective maintenance methodology may be to run-to-failure.
 Efficient planned preventative maintenance
Since BSRIA first publicised the BFM methodology in 2004, an increasing number of building owners have adopted the methodology. We have conducted BFM in public and private offices, data centres, warehouses, libraries, art galleries, hospitals, care homes, schools and universities and have recently been contacted to provide BFM services to a manufacturing site. The tried and tested BFM method has proven effective in delivering maximum availability of critical plant whilst simultaneously offering environmental sustainability, time and cost savings in a number of different settings.
By applying the BFM methodology, the facilities team can be confident that the most appropriate maintenance technique has been selected for the services in the building to ensure health and safety, operational continuity and maintenance cost control.
This article originally appeared on the BSRIA website under the title, 'Maximising maintenance budgets as we return from lockdown'. It was written by Nick Blake, BSRIA Principal FM Consultant and published in June 2020.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Benchmarking as business tool.
- BSRIA articles on Designing Buildings Wiki.
- Business focused maintenance.
- Coronavirus and the construction industry.
- Facilities management.
- Facilities management audit FMA.
- Facility condition assessment FCA.
- Hard facilities management.
- ISO/PAS 45005 Guidance for working safely during COVID-19.
- Operational costs.
- Planned preventive maintenance.
- Property management.
- Soft facilities management.
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