The high performance building of a facility may be a term that has been used severally to explain what we tend to once considered to be “green” buildings. Despite the ever-changing language used in describing these facilities, it’s remained consistent that the characteristics used to outline these structures are based totally on the physical attributes of the building.
Example of such characteristics are;
- Energy and water potency
- High-quality indoor environments
- Conservative resource use
We cannot achieve high-performance facilities without high-performance facility management. High-performance facility management requires a careful balance of inputs such as energy, labor, materials, and finance. It requires excellence in work processes such as how we maximize space, utilize technology, and lead and manage our facility management workforce. The desired output is a safe, healthy, comfortable and productive work environment while saving energy and resources, and operating in a cost-effective manner.
As we improve building systems to deliver high-performance, we will need to maintain a high-performance environment in the delivery of facility management services. Through a systematic evaluation of current facility management processes and procedures, based on experience, best practices, benchmarks, and industry standards.
Only a complete and dedicated facility management organization can put themselves and other businesses on track to providing high-performance facility services.
High-performance buildings are characterized by their efficient use of resources and their ability to enhance the safety, health, and productivity of its occupants.
High-performance buildings also have to operate economically which is an outcome of an effective strategy, planning, and management of the facility, while maintaining the other elements listed above.
The following characteristics of a high-performance building have been identified by the Energy Independence and Security Act of the United States in 20071:
- Reduced water, energy, and material used
- Improved indoor environmental quality
- Reduced negative impact on the environment
- Increased use of environmentally-preferable products
- Increased reuse and recycling
- Integrated systems in buildings
- Reduced environmental and energy impacts of transportation
- Consideration of the effects of the building on human health
These are excellent attributes of any building.
However, their presence does not guarantee economically efficient operation or long-term performance without the input and supervision of a well-qualified facility management organization.
The facility management staffs have knowledge of other inputs that will dictate the long-term performance of the facility portfolio.
These factors and many others are additional inputs to any organization handling their facility management processes and can act as drivers or obstacles for the operation of high-performance facilities.
An equal commitment to a high-performance facility management organization can make the long-term management and operation of high-performance facilities much more readily achievable.
Organizations considering to succeed in the attainment of high-performance facility management should be working on outsourcing their facilities wholly or in parts to a competent and dedicated facility management organizations.
Of course, most organizations would have to have been living as a hermit if they have been unaware of the rapidly changing business models over the last decade.
Facilities Management has been in its infancy stage in Nigeria. Most organizations Facilities used to be managed by an in-house services team and outsourcing is confined to cleaning, catering, and security with specialized maintenance being done by external specialists. In some companies, various office services were included in the Facility Manager’s responsibilities.
Now, most organizations are gradually embracing to outsource their facility management activities to Facility Management organizations and provide few internally provided services.
Organizations are outsourcing and the role of the Facility management manager is changing from managing tasks and delivery teams to managing client expectations and contractors’ performance.
All the above changes will make it possible for the role of the facility manager to change from being seen as a respected fixer of operational problems to being an invaluable enabler of flexible, sustainable workplaces that can enhance the productivity of the business.