Maintaining buildings effectively and efficiently isn’t an easy task – but it gets much easier when you have clear goals, KPIs and transparency across your organization, as well as over your contractors and subcontractors. Understanding what constitutes success in this field and creating a clear path to achieving these goals comes with industry experience, through knowing potential pitfalls to avoid and best practices to adhere to.
With that in mind, let’s look at the “three S’s” that define – and deliver – building maintenance success.
In all cases, safety of both staff and tenants must be an absolutely central indicator of how successful your building maintenance program is. A building that does not ensure and promote the physical safety and well-being of both groups can not be considered healthy or valid.
The general concept of building safety goes beyond simple metrics such as the number of incidents per year or lost-time injury rates. A fully safe building maintenance program should also consider the following:
- Environmental safety factors such as air quality and incidence of volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
- Facility safety in terms of access control, after-hours monitoring and physical security.
- Active and timely reporting and response to new safety issues and problems.
Ideally, a program ought to have a dedicated safety officer as well as people throughout the organization for whom ensuring and promoting safety is a core job function.
In a world where going green is an increasingly important part of many corporate and civil initiatives, a successful building maintenance regime must also consider the critical components of sustainability. The term encompasses a broad variety of practices and efforts, but largely revolves around the idea of optimizing energy and material usage while re-using and recycling as much as possible.
Sustainable cleaning involves using cleaning chemicals and substances that have a minimal environmental and air quality impact, as well as keeping track of the energy and water usage of said cleaning programs. Meanwhile, there are a number of ways to optimize a building’s energy consumption.
These can include ensuring that lighting, heating and ventilation systems are only employed as necessary during active hours; installing energy-generating devices such as solar panels; and renovating a building’s core mechanical and electrical systems with newer, more energy-efficient technology.
One of the core success goals of any building or facility manager should be the overall satisfaction of its tenants. Many of the operational expenses related to managing buildings stem from having to replace tenants, from lost months of rent to the cost of advertising for and finding new clients.
By creating and sustaining cleaner and healthier buildings, building managers can play a critical role in ensuring tenant happiness.
Building managers can play a critical role in ensuring tenant happiness.
Another key metric here is responsiveness. Problems will always crop up. Whether it’s a space that requires urgent cleaning or some physical malfunction causing issues in a given area of the building. While it’s impossible to prevent all problems from occurring, your success – and the satisfaction of your tenants – can be measured by how quickly and effectively you respond to these problems and communicate about their resolution.
Every tenant appreciates knowing what’s happening in their offices and apartments, and this communication forms another key success metric for building managers.