Last edited 14 Jun 2018

Planned preventive maintenance

Maintenance is an essential to ensure that buildings and other built assets present a good appearance and operate at optimum efficiency. Apart from decay and degradation of the building itself, inadequate maintenance can reduce performance, affect heath and threaten the safety of occupants and those in the vicinity.

Maintenance can help:

  • Prevent the process of decay and degradation.
  • Maintain structural stability and safety.
  • Prevent unnecessary damage from the weather or from general usage.
  • Optimise performance.
  • Help inform plans for renovation, refurbishment, retrofitting or new buildings.
  • Determine the causes of defects and so help prevent re-occurrence or repetition.
  • Ensure continued compliance with statutory requirements.

Very broadly, maintenance can be:

  • Condition-based, 'corrective' maintenance. Reactive maintenance undertaken to repair something that has broken
  • Planned preventive maintenance (PPM) which is scheduled and can prevent damage from occurring, helping to avoid breakdowns and down-time.

PPM has the advantage of enabling more proactive approach to maintenance, and helps prevent small issues from becoming larger issues at a later date, with the knock-on negative impact on productivity. This also means that costs are distributed more evenly.

Planned preventive maintenance may be scheduled on a PPM calendar which incorporates manufacturer’s suggested maintenance schedules for individual items based on dates, equipment running hours, distance travelled, and so on.

For small sites with fewer items to maintain, a spreadsheet may be sufficient as a PPM calendar. Various software packages are available for larger sites.

A PPM calendar provides a single interface for all maintenance, making it easier to track and manage maintenance. It can also generate reminders or alerts when a maintenance event is due. The calendar should be capable of providing a variety of scheduling options, i.e. after a set number of usage hours, a set number of weeks, etc. This allows the maintenance plan to be customised according to the needs of different items.

A calendar can also be used to manage the inventory of spare parts and supplies, enabling the re-ordering as and when necessary to avoid unnecessary delays.

NB. NRM3: Order of cost estimating and cost planning for building maintenance works defines preventative maintenance as:

'...the planned and controlled programme of maintenance and inspection carried out at predetermined intervals (or corresponding to prescribed criteria) and intended to reduce the probability of failure or degradation of the functioning of an item. This includes inspections, adjustments, cleaning, lubrication and/or selective replacement of components (e.g. filters) and minor repairs, as well as performance testing and analysis intended to maximise the reliability, performance and life cycle of building systems, equipment, etc. Preventive maintenance consists of many checkpoint activities on items that, if disabled, may interfere with an essential installation operation, endanger life or property, or involve high costs or long lead times for replacement.'

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