Facility management profession has increasingly important with the global high awareness on the need for creating and achieving a sustainable built environments. We build buildings, we set up facilities, and we stay within and operate the services. As time goes by, we started to experience the breakdown and decay of the facilities as well as its aesthetic values. Why not, just like all matters in this world, there is a limited lifespan and facilities are not excluded from this natural process. We then have to spend time and resources to clean, re-paint, repair or re-furbish in an attempt to bring back the facilities to their normal operational conditions. Often, there are insufficient allocations of time and resources to complete the rejuvenation process for many reasons that can be deployed to rejuvenate the facilities to an operational level that provides reasonable comfort to both the owners and the occupiers of the facilities Asset Management Wealth Advisory.
What is Facility Management?
There are many definitions to refer to when searching for the relevant definitions of facility management but a good place to start will be the International Facility Management Association (IFMA), British Institute of Facilities Management (BIFM) and Facilities Management Association of Australia (FMAA):
Facility management is “a profession that encompasses multiple disciplines to ensure functionality of the work environment by integrating people, place, processes and technology” as defined by IFMA, while BIFM’s Facility management is “the integration of multidisciplinary activities within the built environment and the management of their impact upon people and the workplace” and FMAA’s Facility management is “a business practice that optimizes people, process, assets, and the work environment to support the delivery of an organization’s business objectives”.
When one look at the interpretations by these recognized institutions, which is representing a broad spectrum of the facility management industry, one will notice the consistent use of the key words by these associations when talking about facilities management,
• multiple disciplines/activities
• work environment or built environment
• people, processes and technology
If we reflect back from the past, facilities management has naturally evolved from what seems to be a ‘break and fix’ kind of works to something that tries to fix it before it breaks. As in all engineering tasks, there is always a natural drive towards doing something better today than what we use to do. And what it takes to achieve this involves the three key drivers as mentioned above.
Some typical drivers that cause changes in the way Facility Management is carried out are:
• Processes that are continually improving
• Integration of different disciplines/activities
• Environment – natural disasters, man-made catastrophe
As building owners and occupiers realized that the cost of Operations and Maintenance of a building is becoming increasingly substantial part of their operational costs, the emphasis on facilities management increases and the main driver here is costs. The concept of Total Asset Management come into play as building owners start to focus on not only the development cost of a building but also the cost to maintain the building throughout the building life cycle. Not only the costs of facilities becomes the focus but the role that facilities management play in business operations and impacts on building occupants’ health and safety has moved building owners to take a more strategic approach to facilities management. The main emphasis will be on whether the facilities are to operate efficiently and in a manner that give building occupants an acceptable comfortable environment.