• Technical Services
  • Commercial Building Technologies
  • Environmental Responsibiity
  • Operations in Commercial Buildings

We all have different ideas of what a crisis within your facility really is, and we all have different priorities based upon the commercial landlord, the purpose of the building, the tenants priorities and the location of the building.

We all have our limitations of what we can cope with and what we are expected to cope with from our client; the documentation doesn’t always align with the real world.

Lets take a typical day in a typical building some where on the east coast of Australia, and lets set the scene:

It’s a building manager’s office, which is located in the basement of a 15 level, 70’s building, with say 30 or so tenants. All the tenants are good payers, all well behaved, and all in “professional” industries.

Tradesman in office celing space working on HVAC system

Maintenance Repairs in commercial office tenancy

Essential and Non-Essential Services

There are two types of services in a building, these are “essential services” and “non-essential services”.

  • Essential services are typically about life, for example fire systems and Emergency Lighting.
  • Non-essential services are typically about comfort and services, for example air conditioning and general power.

Incoming Phone call for an Emergency Repair: Panic or not to Panic.

Here are just a few ideas, which we have put up on offer, for a process in taking action for such a repair.

Upon receipt of the telephone call consider these positions:

  • Q1 Safety, ascertain if there is a risk, in your thoughts remind yourself of the weakest possible individual, be that a child, an elderly person, a disabled person, and how the situation would affect them. Is the issue apart of the essential services system? This establishes your urgency.
  • Q2 Property, ascertain the risk to property, this is particularly relevant with water leaks. Consider non strata property also such as cars.
  • Q3 Ascertain inconvenience to residence or tenants, is it a loud continuous noise, is it a trip hazard or bump hazard that would need a barrier,etc.
  • Q4 Ascertain if this is part of the essential services, i.e. all lights have failed, including the emergency lighting.
  • Q5 Ascertain if the issue is not an essential service issue, then how will it affect the site, will it become an essential services issue in a few hours.
  • Q6 Is the issue in your scope, e.g the domestic dishwasher has stopped working. That said, it can become an issue if the dishwasher is leaking over the floor and dripping into the floor below, remember concrete is porous and will allow water to seep through. Can the caller turn of the water to the dishwasher without effecting their other water services?
  • Q7 Has the individual providing the information reliable, that is, a resident can be emotionally invested while a building manager will be a little more objective (or at least we hope so).

Judging urgency can be a subjective task, the first priority is safety, and this includes if the maintenance issue is a part of the essential services system for the building and the adversity to the essential service if the maintenance is not completed urgently.

In our view, the first priority is always safety, then property, then inconvenience, then comfort and services. Consider Hygiene is a part of safety, so don’t delay with blocked toilets, and other bathroom issues.

We haven’t mentioned cost in our priorities, in the larger and less urgent matters cost certainly can plays apart. Keep in mind most of the pricing for emergency call-outs has already been established with existing vendors so there is already an established market value. We are also of the view that for any corrective maintenance, that is not urgent, which has cost over $5000 then at least three quotes should be sought. This process is a whole other article as the cheapest price is rarely the best value.

Call to action for Commercial poperty maintenance

About Nigel Wraight

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