Award-winning digital tool set to cut maintenance ‘guesswork’

An online tool recently launched by the team behind SFG20, the industry standard for building maintenance, can help facilities managers improve building services performance, cut long-term operating costs, meet low carbon targets, and ensure equipment performs well for its full intended operating life.

SFG20 Resource Modeller is targeted at one of the biggest challenges faced by commissioning teams: How to accurately estimate the long-term cost of maintenance.  It is designed to accurately price the specific requirements of any building so FMs can find the most cost-efficient strategy for managing service and maintenance tasks.

Although only recently launched, it has already been recognised as one of the top facilities management innovations in the past 12 months by voters in the 2023 Tomorrow’s FM Awards.

“The complexity of estimating maintenance, particularly in large commercial new builds or refurb projects, has defeated many project teams,” said SFG20 product director Paul Bullard. “However, the financial and environmental impact can be colossal particularly as around 80% of the total cost of a building is accounted for during its operational life.”

He said that key factors to consider include the quality of the building design, its location, the materials used, services installed, and size. However, in many cases the specific characteristics of the building are ignored, and the maintenance strategy is simply based on the total floor area.

“Using floor area as a rule of thumb is usually little better than guesswork, particularly in multi-use buildings and specialist facilities where operating and occupancy patterns can be difficult to predict. This often leaves the building operator with an expensive legacy,” said Bullard.

“The need for a tool that can eliminate much of that guesswork has been there for some time and we were delighted to be able to bring Resource Modeller to the market.”

SFG20 uses a ‘traffic light’ system to help users prioritise tasks. Red indicates maintenance essential to ensure legal and regulatory compliance; orange covers tasks that will help to maximise the operating efficiency of an asset, and green is for work that can ensure services are running at their optimum level to maximise their lifespan.

Once the user provides the Resource Modeller with a building’s details, such as its location, internal floor area and asset list, they can create their own bespoke maintenance plan and choose the maintenance schedules that are most applicable.  

The time and skills needed to deliver the tasks and hourly costs are also calculated to help building operators manage resources and budgets. This also gives FMs the necessary data to explain their estimates to clients and defend expenditure.

The tool is aligned with the RICS new rules of measurement (NRM) and is suitable for a wide range of sectors and building types. Its standardised approach gives users access to a central hub of maintenance schedules and checklists to help ensure each building project is compliant with UK legislation.  

“Resource Modeller has been launched at a particularly important time for FMs,” said Bullard. “Building managers face an unprecedented number of challenges including dramatically higher energy and equipment costs, increased scrutiny of safety compliance, low carbon targets, and skills shortages.”

“This digital tool can help them keep on top of costs while also ensuring they are focusing efforts in the right areas – so avoiding over or under-maintenance – while also remaining on track to meet their wider legal and environmental obligations.”


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