Dealing with a building that's past its prime

Has your building seen better days? If running costs are spiralling and repair work is more of a fire-fighting exercise, it might be time to rethink your maintenance provision to secure the lifecycle of the property. A proactive, planned approach can get it back on track.

In older buildings, some of the plant equipment may have been in place from the start. And until problems occur it's easy to assume all is well. However, following the old adage – if it ain't broke, don't fix it – has long-term implications: avoiding general maintenance and failing to upgrade will cost a great deal more in the future. Coupled with the need to provide a space that people can continue to live or work in, the issue of how to bring a building up to date can be a complex one.

The answer lies in a programme of Planned Preventative Maintenance (PPM), which refers to a regular schedule of pre-planned maintenance activities conducted by a qualified expert to ensure the smooth running of all mechanical and electrical equipment in the building. This means someone frequently checks on performance levels to build up a picture of any potential problems in the future, much like a car service.

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Ideally, a PPM should be underpinned by a dilapidation report which offers a detailed snapshot of the current condition of the building complete with recommendations. This way, maintenance work is based on facts, so failures and costly breakdowns are prevented before they have a chance to interrupt daily life and affect the bottom line.

The benefits of a planned approach are numerous, and the service fees can be offset by the savings from improved operating costs and better energy efficiency. Owners and property managers also have the peace of mind of knowing that issues are covered, so there's no need to go from one reactive repair to another. In fact, according to research by Stanford University, the cost of not dealing with a problem can be as high as 30 times the original intervention value.

Sowga is an experienced PPM provider

At Sowga, we have extensive experience of devising and running PPM programmes for clients, helping them to maintain and refurbish their built environment with minimum disruption. Our customers have experienced first-hand how PPM can prolong the life of their assets and create a better, more reliable internal environment.

As a maintenance service contractor for large commercial and residential properties, we have the advantage of getting to know our clients' systems so that when the time comes for upgrades we can arrange this with minimum disruption to the business. New installations on client sites can be meticulously planned and calculated, with road closures and different phases of the project orchestrated so as not to cut across operations within the building or outside on street level.

Building a strong working relationship with your PPM provider can help to alleviate the concerns inherent in running a building that continues to meet the need of its occupants well into the future. If you'd like to discuss how a maintenance programme could benefit your organisation, contact our operations office today on 01798 871000.

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