Covid – 19 Building Maintenance Strategy

Can IM+SS support you to ensure that you deal appropriately with the implications of reduced building occupancy and the closing/mothballing of sites as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic?

The current Government restrictions mean that businesses are facing never seen before challenges, and buildings are seeing significant changes to their use. The COVID-19 outbreak presents new challenges in how to meet maintenance obligations; simply turning equipment off and closing premises will not be a sufficient approach by Duty Holders at this time.

Given the current Government restriction measures, simply stopping the undertaking of certain planned maintenance is not an option and if a ‘business critical’ building maintenance regime has been introduced instead, it is crucial that some vital activities are not overlooked or assumed to be capable of being halted, particularly if they are creating their own public health hazards. For example, one potential outcome of the current lockdown could be a significantly heightened risk of legionella in water systems, unless the appropriate water hygiene regime is robustly implemented.

Our building management strategy ensures that all fabric, mechanical and electrical systems are reviewed and risk assessed in order to minimise the risks to clients’ buildings, assets and occupants. Our approach will target key areas of maintenance activity, dependent on the building type, and will be tailored to the specific needs of each customer and their estate.

The support focusses on several key areas where we can provide support remotely, including:-

Reducing the risk of COVID-19 transmission: It will be crucial that measures are implemented to ensure the risk of the spread of the virus is minimised, through the introduction of processes to control air transmission, naturally boosted ventilation and increased air supply ventilation and extraction, plus review of positive and negative pressurisation of specific areas of buildings which are not necessarily being used for their intended functions – temporary isolation units, for example

New Maintenance Strategy: A clear maintenance strategy for partly or fully mothballed premises can be developed and implemented. We can assist in directing maintenance resources to where they are needed most, which is particularly important to those who are operating a reduced workforce. Individual asset assessments can also be undertaken.

Water Management: A review of the current water risk assessments and water hygiene regimes will be undertaken. A mitigation strategy will be proposed to combat any legionella risks, particularly in reducing water storage capacity and a new, revised flushing regime introduced for all infrequently used water outlets

Passenger and Goods Lifts: A review of the number and current usage of the lifts will take place. Also the respective alarm and entrapment release risk/response capability will be undertaken and the identification of where certain lifts need to be placed “out of action” to mitigate such risks

Fire Risk: The most up to date fire risk assessments will be reviewed and where changes are required, these will be identified and we will work with clients on the implementation of corrective measures

Protecting Asset Lifecycle: We can assist you to ensure that the correct approach to mothballing is adopted so there is no negative impact on an organisation’s lifecycle plans in either the short-term or longer term.

Re-occupancy and re-commissioning: Once the current restrictions are eventually lifted, it will be vital that a systematic and prioritised re-commissioning of the mechanical and electrical systems is introduced, as well as water systems present within each building. This will help mitigate the risk of equipment failure, downtime and potential damage to the building assets, as well as large repair and replacement costs. Reducing any risk of the transmission of legionella within water systems will also form part of this strategy.

If you need assistance in introducing your own “COVID-19 Building Management Strategy”, our highly experienced technical team of consultants are here to help and guide you. Please contact Keith Parker on o7891 567 698 or email at keith.parker@imassltd.com

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