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Building maintenance – a practical approach to the EN 15331 standard in China

This article continues the Reliability series on the practical implementation of international maintenance standards in China. Previous articles include A practical bluebee®-driven PAS 55 / ISO 55000 implementation and A practical application of international maintenance standards in China.


The challenge of maintenance preparation


Transition from construction to maintenance represents a major challenge in the Chinese market, more particularly when it comes to documentation for Operation & Maintenance (O&M). While building owners find it very difficult to obtain real as-built drawings, equipment documentation is also lacking and maintenance guidelines impossible to find. As a result, FM teams are often left to improvise their maintenance activity, relying on the experience of their team members. This usually results in a reactive approach to maintenance (“fire-fighting”), leading to higher life-cycle costs, higher risk – including safety risk, and shorter systems and building lifetime.


As buildings become higher and more complex, the challenge is more difficult to overcome and the consequences more acute. The trend to use BMS (Building Management Systems), which leads some people to believe that automated buildings with somehow manage themselves, or BIM (Building Information Models), whereby owners may think that a complete building documentation is delivered in 3D format, has unfortunately not helped.


This is the challenge that Siveco tackles, by involving during the construction stage of the building to help owners prepare for the maintenance phase. For this, Siveco relies on European standard EN 15331 Criteria for design, management and control of maintenance services for buildings to provide the backbone for consulting services, along with the use of our bluebee® suite of management tools.


Overview of an EN 15331-based approach


The goal of EN 15331 is to maintain the value and the designed performance of the building during its service life. In order to reach this goal, the standard defines specific criteria for maintenance preparation and operational activities.


EN 15331 can be summarized as below:


Siveco will involve at every stage of the process, starting with maintenance strategy consulting (definition of a building strategy and maintenance policy adapted to the reality of China, which is definitely not the same as that of European and US markets: it is useless to define a great strategy that local FM suppliers and building engineers will not be able to implement).


Siveco will then help build the maintenance documentation (which may be integrated in the BIM model), namely equipment data (from an O&M not a construction perspective), spare parts lists, preventive maintenance and inspection instructions, as well as related supplier information and manuals.


An initial maintenance plan is then created, from which the building O&M budget can be estimated. This will provide the basis for the selection of FM service suppliers, giving clear minimum guidelines to comply with and a baseline for cost comparison between suppliers, instead of relying on relationships, cost cutting or fanciful claims for supplier selection.


More than just reports and data, Siveco deliverables are provided in an immediately usable form, as part of a system, bluebee® cloud, which is used in every step of the process. bluebee® cloud is designed to ensure EN 15331 compliance and constitutes a useful training tool, as it helps owners and FM company teams to visualize otherwise theoretical concepts.


Once operation has started, Siveco can provide long term support for the entire process – from maintenance plan to feedback, as shown in the illustration – by implementing the bluebee® cloud FM solution and providing related consulting services. Alternatively all data can be exported from bluebee® for transfer to any other FM software the operator may select.


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