The Blueprint of Efficiency: Understanding Building Operations Management

Published on:
January 26, 2024
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In recent years, building operations management has gained significant value from many investors and real estate management units.

The lifts transporting workers to their floors, the meticulous monitoring of HVAC systems to maintain a comfortable environment, and the detail-oriented deployment of cleaning teams to maintain high-level hygiene standards, are just some of the essential elements within building operation. 

In a nutshell, this process doesn't only work on the upkeep of elements within the premises but also helps reduce energy waste and make your building eco-friendly.

According to the stats, one-third of global energy is consumed in residential, public, and commercial buildings for heating, ventilating, cooling, lighting, cooking, water heating, refrigerating, and operating mechanical devices and electrical appliances.

Energy Information Administration (EIA) projects that global energy consumption in buildings will grow by 1.3% per year on average from 2018 to 2050. Residential and commercial buildings consume approximately 60% of the world’s electricity.

In this post, we will understand building operation management and how it helps increase the efficiency of your building. 

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What is Building Operations Management?

Building operations management is the process of maintaining the physical infrastructure of a building, including its facilities, systems, and equipment.

This includes HVAC systems to elevators, plumbing, security systems, and lighting. Effective building management requires careful planning, and execution to ensure the safety, comfort, and efficiency of the buildings’s occupants. 

Types of Building Management 

There are four main types of building management;

  1. Commercial Management: It involves the management of office buildings, shopping malls, and other commercial properties.
  2. Residential Management: It involves the management of condominiums, apartments, houses, and other residential spaces. 
  3. Facility Management: It centered down to specific facilities within a building, such as data centers, labs, manufacturing units, and factories. 
  4. Corporate Real Estate Management: It involves the management of properties added to the company’s real estate portfolio including the leasing, acquisition, and disposal of properties. 

Key Areas Addressed Through Building Facility Management

Lighting Automation Systems

Building Operations Management systems often come with high-tech sensors, occupancy controls, and lighting systems that shut down automatically when not in use. The interiors, parking garages, and walkways are also centrally maintained and operated. Moreover, the security system is also connected to the light system so when the sensor picks up any activity around it will pose a threat. 

Emergency Systems

Emergency systems maintenance is crucial because, in emergency events such as fires, they can help in preventing property damage and loss of life. A well-managed emergency system helps the smoke from spreading and shut down systems like elevators in the affected areas. 

Data Diagnostics System

Building facility management helps in the upkeep of a data diagnostics system which enables teams to gather, assess, and interpret data for making wise decisions for building. With the use of such analytics, facility teams get actionable insights about the maintenance of space. 

Heating, Ventilation and Air-Conditioning 

HVAC is the most important aspect that is only managed through a well-scheduled maintenance plan. It consumes the maximum energy of the building. The lack of management in HVAC increases the expense of heating and cooling systems and disturbs the comfort of the whole space. 

Security Systems

Building operation management can also be used to access, control, and maintain the security systems, it includes video surveillance, and intruder detection using CCTV. Video analytics also helps in locating suspicious activities and monitoring sensitive places.             

Best Practices for Buiding Operations Management 

The management of building operations runs alongside the building's usage, impacting every structure aspect.

Consequently, how these operations are managed greatly shapes the experience of residents, and clients, and directly impacts the benefits for investors. Here are some best practices to follow in building operations management. 

Build a Detailed Operations Management Process

The management team must have complete knowledge of the actual condition of the building to come up with the most suitable process. The department in charge should have all facts and reports in hand to assess the situation and build a detail-oriented operation accordingly. 

Opt for Dedicated Building Operations Management Software 

Digital technology has given us multiple ways to manage our building operations and the most common is operation management software, such asXenia. 

This building operations management tool is an all-in-one frontline workforce management solution, providing excellent facility maintenance services.

As a mobile-first solution, Xenia addresses a multitude of building facility management operational requirements ranging over maintenance, management and CAPA workflows. The program does so with the help of different features, bunched up in a nifty package that centralized everything on the get go.

For instance, you have an upcoming building maintenance management activity, for which an SOP is required. In this case, all you need to do is use the integrated SOP AI tool in your Xenia account to create any number of SOPs, ranging over tons of customization and shareability options.

That's just the tip of the ice-berg.

The full breath of Xenia's features range of preventive maintenance, building equipment management and maintenance, corrective actions, work orders for frontline teams, collaboration through real time field updates and much more!

On top of that, this software has both a desktop interface and a mobile app so you can easily manage all your operations from the office or on-field.

Xenia is much more than a regular maintenance software, it extends its services to other frontline departments such as cleaning, sales, customer service, security, and more. It offers customized tools, SOPs AI Writer, checklists, templates, and much more.

Our software allows you to easily manage service orders and perform preventative maintenance. With our extensive public template collection, learn the easy ways to manage your building operations. Learn how to manage your operations with the help of our large public template collection, which contains checklists, inspections, and SOPs.

Xenia stands out as a lightweight solution, delivering essential building operations management software features at a significantly lower price compared to its competitors. The monthly cost of alternative maintenance and management services is more than twice as much as Xenia's, making it a cost-saving choice for businesses.

Build a Competent Management Team

No matter how good the process is and how modern the software is, if the human factor is not guaranteed, the management activities will not bring the desired effect. A manager must be a person with professional knowledge, competence, training, and a good ability to handle situations.

Benefits of Building Operations Management Software 

  1. Maintenance Techniques: Shifting from a reactive to a proactive maintenance stance, maintenance agreements, setting a baseline for equipment inspection and upkeep, operation and maintenance records, and training for maintenance technicians.
  2. Contractor Start-Up and Handover Procedures: Pre-start-up procedures, equipment and system start-up, testing, operator training, substantial completion, and occupancy permit, handover procedures, record drawings, operating and maintenance documents, warranty, and post-warranty operation.
  3. Owning and Operating Costs: First costs of building ownership, new building construction project delivery methods, estimating costs, service life, depreciation, recurring costs, maintenance costs, utility costs, regulatory costs, utility billing analysis, and economic analysis.
  4. Risk Assessment Procedures: Defining risk, emergency response plans, activating an emergency response plan, types of risk what to do during an emergency, and what to do after an emergency.
  5. Greening Your Facility: Implementing a building monitoring system for real-time tracking of energy expenses associated with individual equipment, coupled with tenant submetering.  
  6. HVAC Controls: Components of control systems, specifying control systems and crafting control sequences, efficient utilization of control technology, leveraging control systems for energy efficiency, the influence of controls on operational expenditures, and upcoming control technologies and tactics.
  7. Commissioning and Testing: Functional acceptance examination; testing, adjustment, and balancing (TAB); and the commissioning of pre-existing buildings.
  8. Health and Safety: Health and safety regulations and policies, organizational health and safety programs, safe work practices, and building operating regulations.

FAQs Building Facility Management

What are Facility Management Services?

Facility management services are comprised of a wide range of tasks that ensure the functionality, comfort, safety, and efficiency of a building. It includes maintenance, space management, safety and compliance, cleaning and sanitation, security services, energy, and asset management. 

What are Facilities Services?

Facilities services indicate various services that are needed to manage a facility or building. It includes;

  • Hard Services: These are technical services related to structural elements of a building, such as mechanical and electrical services, plumbing, fire safety systems, and structural maintenance.
  • Soft Services: These services improve the personal experience and include cleaning, landscaping, catering, waste management, and office administrative services.

In summary, facilities services are all the activities needed to ensure that a building is safe and efficient and provides a comfortable environment for its users.

Summing It All Up!

Although, to the naked eye, a building operation might seem like a one-off instance where managers need to plan work orders to cover all kinds of maintenance management activities, there's a lot more to it. Commercial buildings, or any number of buildings sprawling over acrres of land require aggressive support in terms of preserving the structural integrity.

Thanks to modern-day solutions, we have building operations management softwar to render help at a moment's notice. These programs come with non-exhaustive features, as in, you need to know everything about facility management, in order to get the best user experience that any such online tool has to offer.

Otrherwise, it's going to be a lot more challenging.

Having said that, if you have been in the building maintenance sector, what are your thoughts on facility maintenance & management?

We'd love to hear from you on this. Feel free to reach out to us with your valuable feedback to help us improve our readers' experience.

Good luck!

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