Watts Sector

Spend now, save later

Despite the challenging economic climate, there is a positive trend in the Higher Education sector towards planned preventative maintenance (PPM). This is a strong indicator of the diligent approach now being taken by universities towards the upkeep of their building stock.

Planned preventative maintenance and Stock Condition Surveys are an essential tool that enable property owners to monitor and control costs, as well as optimising the value of their property portfolios over a pre-determined timeframe. At a time when estates departments are under close scrutiny to make every penny count, it has never been more important for universities to continue to provide a high quality physical environment. Making the right decisions across the whole property portfolio requires a thorough, strategic and systematic approach, bringing together the critical components of building fabric and services, energy and carbon.

To manage property effectively it is vital to measure performance and determine future requirements. A successful PPM programme enables estates departments to do this by relating the condition of the estate to projected improvements and their cost over a range of different timescales. With carbon management now high on the university agenda, PPM also has a key role to play in promoting an understanding of the direct impact on carbon and energy reduction associated with a broad range of strategic property decisions.

Enter a new PPM linked to energy and carbon reduction. In collaboration with Franklin & Andrews, Watts is now in the process of refining a new software tool linking lifecycle cost with in-built carbon and energy impact assessments. One of the key benefits of this software is the ability to perform scenario testing on different maintenance strategies at the touch of a button, enabling clients to make the right decision about their asset strategy. This can be employed across an entire portfolio or at micro level, looking at a single component, such as roofing, in one building.

This new online system is underpinned by extensive, reliable product resource and maintenance data which provides an essential tool for planning deployment of increasingly scarce resources within estates teams. This approach to PPM embraces lifecycle costing models more commonly associated with new buildings and translates them into the existing building environment. The aim is to help estates departments to plan their maintenance effectively and incorporate any necessary (or simply desirable) environmental improvements while setting realistic budgets and reducing the likelihood of unplanned future expenditure.

For further information contact Spencer Carroll, Director in Watts’ London office on 020 7280 8000.

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