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Essential Information 2

We are of course, not applying this document to original Design Criteria; that is a subject for another day.

  • But who audits the final cost of maintenance?
  • Do you know if something requires to be replaced or could it be purely an adjustment or maybe a spare part?
  • Are you told it’s cheaper to replace than repair and accept it at face value?
  • How do you know the work is correctly done, how do you know the quality of the repair will perform, is the repair equal to the original equipment, or has it been done at all?
  • Do you know if the works comply, were the risk assessments in place, does the repair require a method statement prior to work commencing?
  • Is the method statement of any value, is it really representative of what’s to be done, or is it filed away only to become valid when it’s all gone wrong?
  • What is the possible cost and responsibility if it does not comply and who is responsible if it goes wrong and it ends up in costly litigation?


*Who checks the checker?


The simple facts are that more engineers leave our field of engineering than are joining the Industry. Experienced people are retired or change vocation, to leave a massive “void” of experience.

Quite naturally the Maintenance & Service Industry, where it can, takes advantage of this “void” and sells lucrative contracts to building owners/occupiers to Maintain & Facilitate the HVAC services.

If the so called skills are not there in the first place, then why should they be suddenly available within the Contract you may tied into, assuming of course the building is maintained properly in the first place.

Do you get value for money, do you know if you are getting value for money and if you don’t, are you tied into long-term legally binding Contracts? Then what about the prospect of legal costs to extricate yourself from it?

What’s the going rate of a lawyer today, £100, £150, £200 per hour?

Why do owners/occupiers “let-out” this work?

Simply because they, who occupy the building, rarely understand the HVAC systems and consider direct employment of maintenance engineers too expensive. Or they are unable to manage direct sub contractors to meet the building needs, as they may not understand the systems within the building.

Have you installed a BMS, that may or may not tell the right story? Is the figure shown on the Screen correct, how do you know that, who last calibrated the sensor?

“Give me an answer” we hear you say,” tell me the solution to my costly problem”, “who checks the checker” “how is the work signed off for payment”, assuming the works been done properly in the first place?

The answer is to simply,

* Employ independent engineers to instigate actual physical checks of works done.
* Independently carry out audits over a 6 or 12 month periods of your F&M company/ service sub contractor, make sure he’s working for your benefit not his!
* Check the costs of repairs, product procured, & the time spent on site.
* Don’t accept a cost at face value, get it checked out.
* Facilitate dialogue with these companies to enable improvement if needed through a professional independent audit.
* Encourage them to understand your needs to protect you, “the client”.

Finally this is all about…………

* “Value for money” what you are paying out each year.
* Improvement of the building environment (happy staff).
* Lower energy costs.
* The right product (products) for the job in hand.
* Encourage performance where appropriate of your sub contractors.
* Partner with the best to get “best value”.
* Seek independent advice.
* Protect your investment as best you can.
* Get the best possible return for the revenue spent.
* FOC: Advice

It is a fact that you pay more for service and maintenance every time your contractor sends a new face to site. It costs you in real time, but the irony is it also costs the F&M company in real time!

How do we know this to be?

Having witnessed our Industry in action for 40 years. Not the “sexy” PR stories that abound at the front end of our Industry, but the day by day operation of 100’s of unhappy building owners, tenants and engineers who experience the non too “sexy” side of real HVAC running costs, to them and the environment.

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