We keep coming back to the same problem.
At the AEC Network meeting on Wednesday one of the great talks was on Sustainability and Facilities Management by Gordon Ludlow, an FM Consultant, non-exec Director of British Institute of Facilities Management and Chair of BIFM’s Sustainability Group.
Facilities managers are in an unenviable position. On one hand everyone wants you when the plumbing fails or someone steals your car parking space. On the other hand, you’re persona non grata when it comes to commissioning a building – no-one wants to talk to you!
Gordon pointed out that sustainability had to have economic and social aspects as well as an environmental one. FMs have such a huge range of tools to help them meet the demands of managing facilities (‘buildings etc’) sustainably.
- Because FMs know about running costs they can tell you what your design decisions will cost in the long term.
- Because they know about users they can tell you if your design decisions will work (or even better, help brief your architects in the first place!)
- And because they have to be strategic thinkers, they can help you reduce the largest cost of a new building, its long term management costs.
But no one is listening.
It’s not because there’s no money in it, because there clearly is – see the value in Don Ward’s diagram illustrating this post (and taken from the July 09 AEC Network meeting presentation you can view here).
No-one is listening because the people who influence the decision makers on design, procurement and operation costs don’t care about life cycle costs. They don’t care because they might build or procure the building, but they probably won’t be using it, running it or funding its running.
So who will care?
The only people with the pain are the ones who will have it later. Get them involved and everyone will save money.Otherwise you’re wasting your breath.
How do you connect the building procurement people with the building commissioning/operating people? At the AEC Network the suggestion was that funders could provide the link. Whoever it is, find the link and you’ve got your audience.
Deborah Meredith says
It’s a problem that’s all too prevalent in Facilities Management. It’s great to see someone at the beginning of the chain (i.e. design) identify that we need to start thinking about the longevity of a building and that every link in the chain has a responsibility to the end user.
Great article and it is nice to see a topic of this kind. It all too often gets ignored in FM and should be highlighted more often. Thanks
Luke Lonergan says
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