Facility Management measures to increase building’s efficiency
Authored by RaghavKapur, Assistant Vice President, SILA
There is a constant pressure on the FM (Facility Manager) and his team to use resources more efficiently and conduct operations proficiently. There are several measures that can be adopted to increase a building’s efficiency and most of them are low cost and simple to execute. Let’s look at a few of them: –
Light Management –
Based on the requirements of the building and the residents, FM should determine the SOPs for light management. Primarily, it’s the common areas where substantial cost savings can be done, the FMs should conduct a thorough survey of the premises and remove light bulbs in areas they are over exposed and also where high luminance is not necessary. Couple of other ways to ensure light management is:
- Replace CFL’s with LEDs as they are far more energy efficient than incandescent or fluorescent lights, which emit light in a much wider band of wavelengths
- Manual timers can be used for controlling objects such as lamps or light strings whereas in-wall programmable digital timers can be used to automate indoor or outdoor lighting
Lift Management –
Understand your lift’s lifecycle completely which includes frequent checks of the motor rooms to ensure that the machines are in the right condition and also that the service standards are according to what was guaranteed. Create an on/off schedule based on the requirements and peak hours. Ideally, if you have two lifts in the building, keep one of them shut in the afternoon during the less traffic hours i.e. between 1 pm – 5 pm. This will eventually show a huge reduction in your energy cost and also increase the durability of the lift.
Waste and Water Management –
It’s the FMs responsibility to educate the residents to segregate and store dry and wet waste separately for a later disposal. The dry waste can be given to the garbage collection trucks whereas the wet waste can be converted into compost that can be used in the garden of the building. Installing a Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) & Rain-Water Harvesting tanks in the building is an effective way to reduce water usage and costs. Conduct a periodic water audit for equipment maintenance and water leakage fixes.
Developers these days add additional and high-end amenities in a building without factoring the costs that are incurred in the maintenance of these amenities. Optimize amenities usage through adherence to fixed operable times, for e.g. Run the gym and the spa only for fixed hours, this will help save on the electricity cost at large. You can also outsource your fitness lounge, banquet areas, etc., this will benefit in generating revenue that shall support the maintenance costs.
A FM will primarily implement processes and technology to measure service levels of every division such as housekeeping, security, MEP and others in order to improve the overall efficiency and productivity. Technology is being extensively used these days in order to reduce the dependence on manpower especially in lifts and parking lots through the use of Biometric Systems, Perimeter Protection & RFID Card readers. Technology has been a huge aid in providing assistance when it comes to managing several processes resulting in to a reduction of the maintenance costs.
Planned Preventive Maintenance (PPM) –
Having a robust PPM schedule in place helps ensure regular maintenance and checks of the equipment generating optimum use of the systems and increase in the durability of these systems. This will impact the maintenance costs as an efficient management of the equipment leads to a prevention of an unexpected breakdown. It also keeps the AMC providers on guard as they are aware that the internal team is continuously monitoring and auditing the operational efficiency and service delivery of the equipment.
Energy Audit –
A comprehensive energy audit is probably the best way to see fast results. You should ask your Facility Management Company if they can conduct an Energy Audit for your property on an annual basis to help with your savings. This is usually a week-long exercise where all parameters are checked using modern equipment such as lux level meters, anemometers, infrared thermal imaging etc. to analyze all the areas where there maybe inefficient energy usage. The end result of this audit will provide cost effective ways to transform your Facilities maintenance savings.
Robust Reporting and tracking –
At the end of each month the FM should ensure he sends across a Monthly Management report that highlights not only the activities carried out in the previous month but also tabulates the consumption of various parameters such as electricity, water, diesel etc. Having this comparison will help analyze if any of the measures are yielding any of the desired results or not, in an ideal scenario you should witness a steady downward trend which will eventually plateau at optimum efficiency levels.
Finally, give preference to supplier/vendors who follow environmental practices, as the products and equipment used here will directly be cost effective for the building.