The purpose of this Guidance Note is to provide asset managers, property managers and facilities managers with information about incorporating sustainability within the property management lifecycle, with a focus on maintenance and monitoring.
The property lifecycle covers the following key stages:
A key element of maintenance and monitoring involves the type of strategy adopted. Maintenance strategy options include:
Continuing to make progress towards a Sustainable Real Estate sector requires an understanding of the interdependencies between the different stages of the property lifecycle.
Property owners and investors, and asset managers influence sustainability outcomes during operations through acquisition or development criteria. These can also be aimed at enabling good sustainability performance during refurbishment, and when disposing of the asset.
A Property manager’s primary focus is to oversee the operation and management phase of the property lifecycle. From a sustainability perspective, while the design specification of the property has a major influence on a property’s operational performance, the capability of the property and facilities managers during maintenance and monitoring activities are also important.
Condition based maintenance provides an opportunity to optimise the balance between different priorities, such as profitability, reliability and corporate ESG objectives, for example.
For example, condition based maintenance allows property and facilities teams to respond more quickly to environmental drivers such as the rapid decarbonisation trajectory of the electricity grid as compared to gas.
Conditional based monitoring is more cost intensive at the outset due to the level of preparation and appointment of specialists that is needed. However, costs are reduced over the operational lifecycle of the building, due to the proactive ability to address any problems before they arise.
The benefits of condition based maintenance include:
The table below summarises the key activities associated with monitoring, maintenance and the property lifecycle, and highlights where asset managers, property managers and facilities managers are likely to have a responsibility or specific interest.
Step 1: Acquisition of a property or portfolio
Step 2: Design and planning during development and construction
Step 3: Operation and management
Step 4: Monitoring and maintenance strategies
Usually, the decision to adopt advanced metering is instructed by the asset manager and the process of installing and managing advanced meters is coordinated by the property manager with input from the facilities manager.
Advanced metering follows four general steps.
The Better Building Partnership have produced an Acquisition Sustainability Toolkit which provides a useful reference covering areas to consider on acquisition.
If followed, the principles in the toolkit would ensure all relevant data and information is available to the asset manager and property manager, providing an indication of current performance, and the status of any improvements either completed, underway, or planned/identified.
Provision should, if possible, be made during a handover period to query any received information and seek clarification where necessary to ensure as seamless a transition as possible.
Due Diligence processes that are undertaken as part of development should be requested to enable a review of actions raised that relate to the operational phase of the property lifecycle.
Further, engagement with clients early in the development or refurbishment of assets should be encouraged. This will help to ensure that input into their specification enables effective commissioning and handover.
Property Managers should endeavour to maintain records during their tenure that enable a smooth transition on disposal of the asset to another property manager or buyer.
A key consideration in building design, or during refurbishment, must now be on maximising energy efficiency in order to support wider objectives aimed at achieving net zero carbon.
As around two thirds of the energy consumed by an average property is associated with its operational phase, there is an imperative for asset managers and property managers to consider energy during design.
It is important that during design, consideration is also given to building user experience, for example, through prioritising health and wellbeing. This consideration has increased in prominence during the pandemic, both as a means of encouraging people back to the workplace, and also as a response to rising awareness about the built environment’s potential impact on public health.
While decisions made during the acquisition planning and development phases have a considerable influence on a property’s future sustainability performance, the operational phase remains critical. For example, as the majority of property that will be standing in 2050 already exists, building design alone will not deliver on zero carbon.
The principal concern to a Property Manager relates to the operational phase. Appropriate steps must be taken to consider issues including, for example:
The differences between the three key monitoring and maintenance strategies are outlined below:
Condition based maintenance
Moving towards condition based monitoring should involve consideration of the following elements:
The following Guidance Notes contain related information:
Workman has successfully guided Patron Capital and APAM’s Arlington Business Park through the Fitwel accreditation process, making it the UK’s first business park to achieve this certification. The Fitwel standard provides a blueprint for making positive changes that are scientifically proven to enhance occupier health and wellbeing. Awarded two stars for wellbeing excellence, Arlington Business Park is the highest scoring project globally in the Multi-Tenant Base Building category. Read the case study here.
In 2019, Savills piloted an evidence-based approach to improving indoor air quality in central London offices. The team aligned their approach with RESET™ Air – Core and Shell, a globally recognised standard. They installed RESET-accredited sensors in a multi-occupied building on a busy road and monitored performance against RESET targets. This yielded useful insights into air quality and empowered the building team to take action to improve performance. Read the case study here.