Introducing CIBSE’s new maintenance guide

Published:  04 December, 2014

BSRIA, Jo Harris, CIBSE Guide M, maintenance, refurbishment
Everything designers and FMs need to know about maintaining buildings — Jo Harris.

Everything that designers and FMs need to know about maintaining buildings and a great insight in to how to operate and maintain hard FM services — those are the objectives of CIBSE’s latest Guide M, as Jo Harris explains.

Much attention in the facilities-management (FM) industry is currently directed towards improving building performance by encouraging collaboration with potential operators during the design stage, but we must also retain focus on the core business of maximising the impact of the operation and maintenance of buildings.

The recently published and eagerly awaited launch of the updated ‘CIBSE Guide M: Maintenance engineering and management’ is testament to the continuing good work of the CIBSE maintenance task group. It is intended for the benefit of all those involved in the design, operation and maintenance of engineering services. Principal areas of revision relate to legislation changes and changes in best practice.

Guide M brings together everything designers and FMs need to know about maintaining buildings. It gives readers a great insight in to how to operate and maintain hard FM services. There are references to many other useful documents, but we’ve provided enough information to allow people to get on with their jobs and make informed decisions.

The guide identifies current good practice and addresses topics of particular relevance to those involved at all levels in maintaining engineering services. This includes designers, manufacturers, installers, maintainers, building owners, occupiers and operators, professional advisors and specialist providers. It is not expected that the reader will read the publication from cover to cover but that they will use it for reference and guidance as needs arise.

The new edition is intended to bring maintenance into sharper focus by helping our industry become more aware of its responsibilities and 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. What we all want is trouble-free operation of a facility, and the decisions made at the design stage can have the biggest impact on that.

It is clear that energy issues associated with security of supply and cost mean the onus upon the industry to deliver energy efficiency will continue to be a driver. Current UK legislative requirements, such as the Carbon Reduction Commitment Energy Efficiency Scheme (CRC) and the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) are aimed at maximising the benefits and minimising the downsides of the environmental impacts of a business. The task group emphasises in this guide that maintenance engineers have an integral part to play in managing energy. There is a chapter dedicated to energy efficiency as well as a chapter on building controls.

BSRIA, Jo Harris, CIBSE Guide M, maintenance, refurbishment
Bringing maintenance into sharper focus — CIBSE’s Guide M.

During the process of updating this guide the task group collaborated with the Building Services Research & Information Association (BSRIA), the Building & Engineering Services Association (B&ES) and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) to agree a common data structure for the presentation of asset information. This approach has resulted in the economic life data provided in the guide being structured by system and elements, being numbered to match RICS’s New Rules of Measurement 3 and providing maintenance task references corresponding to B&ES’s SFG20.

The indicative economic life-expectancy table in the guide has been thoroughly reviewed and expanded to cover many more asset types. Feedback to the maintenance task group on the accuracy of this table is always encouraged, as the absence of hard data makes this a problematic task. We highlight that there is a wide range of factors that affect these estimated lives and we encourage the industry to recognise these factors when recommending life-cycle replacements.

Other chapters in the guide include design considerations with regards to health and comfort, maintenance, commissioning, handover and O&M 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 we have 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 the link below to provide an overview of basic requirements for compliance with legislation in the management of a building.

Printed or electronic copies of Guide M will be made available for purchase from the link below. (with electronic copies freely downloadable as a benefit of CIBSE membership from the CIBSE Knowledge Portal).

Joanna Harris is a manager in the sustainable construction group at BSRIA and chairs CIBSE’s maintenance task group. She chaired the draughting group of the new Guide M.

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