Before we discuss the importance of Planned Preventative Maintenance, I wanted to explain exactly what is meant by PPM. This is a form of maintenance that would be carried out on your property, the equipment and building fabric. These periodic inspections and testing are undertaken at regular intervals by specially trained engineers to prevent the potential for breakdown, confirm safety and more importantly for my focus to ensure it is efficient in operation. There are other methods to maintain properties one includes Condition Based Maintenance where you maintain the equipment based on the conditions. Now all this said there are significant savings to be maintained here by continually maintaining the building.
I believe that a well maintained building will maintain and deliver in the region of 15% savings on average. Therefore, a poorly maintained building could actually cost you more money in terms of the plant running 24/7, Water leaks, plant over compensating and heat loss through poorly manage insulation.
PPM is not all about increased building efficiency, it was designed and implemented to ensure prolonged life of buildings and equipment. However, I believe it is important to combine both your maintenance and energy strategies with support from the top.
Who should be selected to do this work.
Some organisations choose to select outside contractors to carry out this work to ensure competitive costs, flexibility of their staff, wide skills offered and training already provided. This often provides more advantages over direct labour. But here you need to consider that other criteria’s need to be built into any contract regarding response, you do not want plant in ‘Hand’ for long periods of time. The important factor here is the ‘Energy Management’ needs to be a consideration in their contract. Introducing KPIs into the contracts ensuring utility management was being maintained reducing waste and possibly driving down energy consumption.
- Heating and Pipework Systems
- Air Conditioning
- Building Controls (BMS)
- Energy Management Systems
- Plumbing and Sewage Systems
- Electric Systems
- Fabric (Insulation, Roofs and Windows)
What are the PPM Activities
The PPM Activities needs to be incorporate into the following areas regarding efficiency and health and safety:
- Service of plant and equipment, boilers, chillers and ventilation plant
- Ensuring health and safety
- Ensuring comfort of the occupants
- Protecting value and investment of the property
- Regular inspection
Each one of these areas I have witnessed in my time where there are examples where this has impacted on savings or it has impacted on waste. If you take the comfort of the occupants as an example, I was once called to a clients property where they were using too much gas. When we arrived we had complaints that they were too hot. The engineer was on site reviewing the chiller because it was not coping with lowering the temperature (it was the hottest day on record in the UK). On further investigation we found the heating plant was still operating. The chiller system was fighting the heating system and the heating was fighting the cooling system. Significant costs and significant savings were made. By providing regular inspections based on condition these areas will be eliminated. There should also be seasonal variations to consider regarding heating and cooling.
Possible PPM Checklists
When providing a PPM service to a property I would recommend developing a checklist that is bespoke to the property. This should cover all the areas to deliver efficiency, comfort and health and safety. I would also ensure that manufacturers instructions on PPM are also followed here too. The checklist should be base on the areas and the activities required.
Maintenance records are vital part of the PPM and play an important role of energy management. These need to be compiled in a comprehensive ‘log book’ with a possible software system managing the process. Here we need to compile installation and service records. Therefore each asset being recorded in the building with and associated PPM aligned with efficiency checks. This should be implemented when the building is commissioned. However, the amount of times I arrive to a property, I ask for evidence that there is a Energy Log book and there is just a ‘shrug’ of the shoulders. In my experience the buildings that have maintained good records are the properties that are achieving good energy savings and there is very little waste. Whereas the properties without records appear to suffer form wasted areas.
- Carry out a comprehensive asset review and document all yours assets and categorise them into heating, cooling and lighting.
- Take photos of this equipment
- Then build a database of documentation around these assets.
- Research and collect datasheets and manuals for each asset
- Put together a PPM schedule around each asset
- Create a electronic file store these assets and all the data that is associated to them
Building Log Book
In England and Wales, Building Regulations part L1 requires the building owners to receive a Log Book to manage the efficiencies of the building with sufficient information about the fixed assets. L2A and L2B then refer to log books as a mean to providing compliance and can be seen as essential tools for fulfilling efficiency. This will provide understanding to provide reduced running costs to the property. It is at this point I would like to refer the reader of todays article to CIBSE TM31 which explains to process to develop the Building Log Book and it provides a template to help you create your own.
Lastly like all good processes around maintenance and efficiency the building owners need to implement monitoring to maintain and improve on the efficiency levels. This will ensure that the maintenance and energy policy is being maintained.
Providing a good Planned Preventative Maintenance program and following guides set by the likes of CIBSE, The Chartered Institute of Building Services there are significant savings to be made and maintained. It is like my normal scenario of buying a ‘New Car’ would you buy a new car and not maintain it? The benefits of maintaining a building could not only prolong the life of your assets but it could deliver between 15 – 25 % energy savings.