13 December 2023
The Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) recently updated its guide to Maintenance Engineering and Management. Mark Richardson, General Manager at Batchelor Air Conditioning and Refrigeration, discusses the importance of choosing the right contract and contractor.
Widely viewed as an invaluable resource for anyone working in building services, Guide M is based on industry best practice. This third edition once again highlights the importance of professional maintenance, alongside the responsibilities of building operators.
Whatever the age of your air conditioning, HVAC or refrigeration system, the simple truth is that it needs looking after. Energy-efficient equipment can only remain that way for so long without the benefit of professional maintenance.
Most rational people would not splash out on an expensive car and then try recoup some of the cost by skipping major service intervals. Your system is also a significant investment, so it makes sense to take care of it. A regular maintenance programme also means that potential problems can often be identified and resolved before they have a serious impact on your business, in addition to adhering to legal requirements such as leak checking and system labelling.
The CIBSE guide identifies a variety of contract options available to building operators, including Planned Preventative Maintenance and Inspection and Maintenance options.
Planned Preventative Maintenance
Often referred to as PPM, this type of contract involves the provider conducting service tasks as part of an agreed plan or programme. The intention is that correct completion of this programme will minimise the risk of loss of service from the plant and optimise its economic life. Maintenance tasks for a PPM contract should be both site and usage specific.
Inspection and Maintenance
For a fixed sum, the service provider will visit a site and look at the item of plant to confirm if it is working correctly. If the plant can have any maintenance conducted on it (such as topping up oil, checking filters, etc.), this is also completed, with materials charged as additional costs. Any work of a more specific nature or any repair will have an extra cost associated with it. CIBSE adds that the choice of service provider should be influenced by their experience and familiarity with the specific plant.
Choosing your contract
The guide authors point out that choosing the correct maintenance contract can be affected by factors including:
- The client’s own in-house capabilities
- The future property/estate strategy
- The level of funding available
Choosing your contractor
Batchelor Air Conditioning & Refrigeration has been supporting customers for more than three decades, offering advice on all types of service agreement. Every customer is different and we pride ourselves on tailoring our packages accordingly. We won’t try to sell you something you don’t need; nor leave you exposed to unnecessary risk of disruption.
Issues we can help with include:
- Carbon emissions and leaks (F-gas)
- Electricity consumption and operating costs
- The integrity of pipework, filters or thermostats
- The energy efficiency of your system
- General repairs and updates
Guide M: Maintenance Engineering and Management (2023) is available free to CIBSE members, or for £150 to non-members.