Someone commented recently that property managers are the unsung heroes of many organisations.
Most people don’t think about these quiet achievers until something isn’t working or a utility bill hasn’t been paid.
In promoting energy and water efficiency, we encourage people to turn off lights and computers when not in use and report leaks etc but the real action usually happens behind plant room doors and on roof tops.
Unfortunately, tuning chillers, boilers, fans, cooling towers and other equipment, installing variable speed drives and checking complex building control systems are not things you normally write home about.
Facility managers are also constantly under pressure to cut costs and often have to defer plant upgrades and preventive maintenance so that limited funds can be directed to the ‘pointy end’ – which generally means that staff spend more time fixing equipment when it breaks down.
This week, instead of sending a complaint, why not send a compliment?
Send your property team an email or a ‘fault’ report to say ‘Thanks – The temperature in the office is just right!’ or ‘Just thought I’d let you know that the lights are all working!’ or a simple ‘Thanks for doing a great job.’
Do it now – and pass this on!
Your mention of preventative maintenance reminded me the landlord of the house we rent who’s always reluctant to spend money & do preventative maintenance. I’ve asked the real estate a number of times if we can get the roof painted as it’s getting rusty. He doesn’t wanna spend the money. Eventually he’ll have to fork out for a complete new roof. We just recently had 3 large windows replaced because they were rotten. If regular maintenance was done they probably would’ve still been ok. It makes more sense to me to do preventative maintenance than wait till something completely fails
I wasn’t even thinking about residential properties. Many landlords are okay when it comes to doing maintenance that affects the property value or might otherwise result in major investment later – but there is no incentive for them to do anything to improve energy efficiency (e.g.. improve insulation or pay a bit extra for efficient motors for central heating) when the tenants (you!) pay the energy bills. ‘Green leases’ are starting to address this in commercial buildings at least.
Yes. Like lubricants in a machine, only their absence gets noticed.
Exactly. They can make adjustments so it works more efficiently but most people don’t notice as long as it keeps working.
When it’s quite warm in the summer, our facilities team asks us to turn all the lights off in our offices to conserve electricity since the air conditioners are working overtime. It’s not much I suppose, but it’s a start.
Sorry – I just realised that I hadn’t replied to your message. When we ask people to turn off lights & other equipment on hot afternoons in Australia, it’s generally to try to avoid an electricity spike that can affect an organisation’s power bills for the next 12 months. But even if the primary motivation is cost, it is still good practice and saves some energy – so we should try to do it more often!