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Path to enlightenment

CIBSE’s recently launched Guide M and its awards highlight vital role of facilities management in building performance, says John Armstrong

At the end of 2014, CIBSE launched the new edition of CIBSE Guide M: Maintenance engineering and management.

The guide brings together everything designers and facilities managers (FMs) need to know about maintaining and operating buildings in one authoritative publication.

This new edition is intended to bring maintenance into sharper focus, by helping facilities managers to deliver effective workplaces and discharge statutory duties.

It will also help services designers to appreciate their role in providing installations that are safe, economic to maintain and operate and capable of giving satisfactory performance over their full lifespan.

Nick Mead, CIBSE president-elect, says:  “CIBSE’s Guide M is essential reading for everyone involved in designing, installing or operating building services. It is a comprehensive guide to good practice in the operation and maintenance of buildings.”

Pressures on the supply, security and cost of energy are putting greater pressure on the FM industry to deliver energy efficiency.

Current UK legislative requirements, such as the Carbon Reduction Commitment Energy Efficiency Scheme and the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme are aimed at maximising the benefits and minimising the downsides of the energy impacts of a business.

Guide M emphasises that maintainers have an integral part to play in managing energy and there is a chapter dedicated to energy efficiency as well as a chapter on building controls.

The guide was produced in collaboration with the Building Services Research and Information Association (BSRIA), the Building and Engineering Services Association (B&ES) and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) to allow a common data structure for the presentation of asset information.

Economic life data provided in the guide is structured by system and elements, numbered to match RICS’ New Rules of Measurement 3 and providing maintenance task references corresponding to B&ES’s SFG20.

Group effort

Jo Harris, chair of the task group responsible for the guide, says: “This has taken a huge effort, with input from a broad set of stakeholders. I’m really pleased with the completed document. It gives the readers a great insight in to how to operate and maintain hard FM services.”

Other chapters in the guide include design considerations with regards to health and comfort, maintenance, commissioning, handover and operation and maintenance manuals including current BIM (building information modelling) guidance.

On the operational side, there are chapters dedicated to maintenance strategy, business risk assessments, maintenance contracts, condition surveys, maintenance audits, training and competency.

For this edition, CIBSE has also brought all the relevant UK legislation together in one chapter discussing the requirements for inspection and testing.

There is also a summary document created during the research for this chapter that will be available from cibse.org/knowledge to provide an overview of basic requirements for compliance with legislation in the management of a building.

Guide M reflects the importance and drive of CIBSE’s FM group, which has gone from strength to strength since its establishment in 1996.

It provides the opportunity for CIBSE members and the building services industry in general to make a substantial contribution to the continuous improvement of facilities management. To join the group (which does not require CIBSE membership), or to find out more about events and activities, visit www.cibse.org/fm.

There is also a new facilities management operations category in CIBSE’s Building Performance Awards in February. Geoff Prudence, chair of the CIBSE FM Group and a member of the awards judging panel, says:

“FM professionals should be involved at the earliest stages of a building’s design, so that the best possible operational efficiencies can be achieved over its lifecycle. After all, who knows better than the facilities management team about the costs and effectiveness of different maintenance strategies and the effect that system choice has on these?”

Printed or electronic copies of Guide M are available for purchase from www.cibse.org/knowledge, with electronic copies downloadable for free as a benefit of CIBSE membership. 

John Armstrong is CIBSE past president

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