One important, yet often overlooked facet of sustainability is responsible building management. Routine upkeep can keep structures from falling into a state of degradation that may require extensive resources to fix—or could result in replacement altogether. Keeping facilities up to date and operating efficiently is not only necessary to maintain property value, but plays an important role in preserving the integrity and overall lifespan of a building.
The US Department of Energy has identified several different approaches to building maintenance, including predictive maintenance, which is scheduled based on time intervals; and preventive maintenance, which is scheduled when mechanical or operational conditions warrant (1). Both of these seek to repair or replace damages to facilities before obvious problems occur, and are preferred by many maintenance service providers.
The third and most common type is reactive maintenance. Still seen in close to 57% of facilities and informally known as the “run it until it breaks” method, this is when no actions or preventive measures are taken to maintain facilities or equipment until they cease working and need repair (1). This approach is most likely to impede productivity, and is also the most expensive when it comes to repair and replacement costs in the long run.
Numerous studies conducted by industry experts agree that companies who engage in predictive and preventive maintenance see a significant return on their investment through reduced long-term costs. However, finding a reliable and cost-effective maintenance service provider can be a daunting task, particularly for clients with complex facilities or multi-site requirements. In a 2018 maintenance survey, close to 49% of facilities reported that the common challenge they face when attempting to stay on top of building maintenance is sheer lack of resources (2).
Whether the goal is hanging a whiteboard in a collaborative office space, establishing an ongoing maintenance program at a sensitive data center, or facilitating a tenant improvement in an active office environment—the bottom line is that clients are looking for cost-effective and easy solutions for their facilities that will not disrupt operations or break the bank.
Facility Solutions, Swinerton’s maintenance and service provider arm, was born out of this client demand for reliable, full-service, day two partnerships. Through cost-efficient and consistent programs, Facility Solutions maximizes quality throughout a building’s lifecycle to ensure structures remain up to date, code compliant, and operating efficiently throughout their entire lifecycle.
“Providing a scalable service is our goal. Our tactical Facility Solutions teams perform simple repairs to small renovations. When projects extend beyond Facility Solutions’ capabilities, we engage our larger Swinerton build teams. This scalability enables us to partner with clients on projects of all sizes and varied complexities,” says Christopher Foster, National Facility Solutions Director at Swinerton.
Establishing a relationship with an ongoing maintenance and service provider like Facility Solutions is also an investment in the safety and wellbeing of the building’s users. Some companies have seen higher rates of productivity and overall satisfaction from their employees when a space is well kept, and all amenities remain in working order.
“We initially developed Facility Solutions to ensure we were addressing our clients’ small project needs and being a full-service provider,” says Derek Jaschke, Swinerton Project Executive. “However, we discovered there is a real need from national clients to help their facilities teams coast to coast. We see now that Swinerton Facility Solutions is filling this need for a national construction service team.”
Having a full-service partner on call also positions companies to take practical everyday steps to adapt to increasingly sustainable practices. For example, in Colorado, several clients made the call to install charging stations for electric vehicles at their properties. Facility Solutions provided turnkey service, from procurement of the car chargers to full installation and coordination of electrical and concrete trade partners.
Just as no step towards creating greener environments is too small, no job is too small for Facility Solutions—even if it seems as simple as switching outdated lightbulbs for energy-efficient LED bulbs.
Facility Solutions has made significant strides toward ensuring there are trained teams in each of the regions Swinerton currently works, prepared to partner with existing clients on recently finished Swinerton projects or establish new, ongoing relationships with companies looking to save on maintenance through a reliable full-service partner. The team leverages Swinerton’s nationwide resources and expertise to ensure that clients receive the same reliable service from coast to coast.
“Following our Corporate Services model, Facility Solutions is a service team that can deliver a multi-site program consistently across our geographic regions,” Jaschke says.
With the flexibility to adjust to the unique challenges of active working environments and various markets, Facility Solutions provides a much-needed service to alleviate a common pain point experienced by many companies and property management firms.
Maintaining and maximizing building quality throughout the building’s lifecycle also has bigger implications, allowing companies and firms to be better stewards of their resources and workspaces, and ultimately see greater profitability and success while remaining nimble and adaptable.
1. US Department of Energy “Operations and Maintenance Challenges and Solutions.”
2. Plant Engineering 2018 maintenance survey.