Initials and acronyms dominate the building industry’s dictionary – DPMs, UFH, CHP, INCA, FEES – but your blogger does wonder sometimes if everyone is up to speed on what they all mean. In fact mention BIM to most building professionals, and they will smile confidently and tell you, “Yeah … I know it’s the buzz word in the construction industry – we’ll all have to comply by 2016,” but don’t ask them to go into the detail about how it will actually affect the build process.
Significantly FM – or facilities management – which is a growing market for our property maintenance and repair services, will be one of the main beneficiaries of Building Information Modelling, as it will provide the ultimate “as built” owner’s manual on a property.
Facilities managers have a huge responsibility to care for buildings: the scope of their work ranging from dealing with accidental damage inflicted on washroom fittings and worktops, to finding a solution to where the window cleaning cradle has scraped the surface off a dozen cladding panels.
Sadly, what a lot of FMs and other professionals across the construction industry don’t understand is just how broad a service Plastic Surgeon – PS if you want to abbreviate it – actually offers; covering the repair and restoration of just about every common substrate or component.
It is a sector, like social housing, where we are certainly gaining momentum and a lot of credibility, thanks to the core skills of our Finishers and our competence at managing different scales of contract. As a result you will find teams from Plastic Surgeon’s regions undertaking such tasks as making good chips, stains and other problems with marble basin surrounds or bar counters in major hotels, or helping office managers bring all the desks and workstations up to scratch by working weekends and evenings. And just like the snagging services we provide to the country’s big housebuilders, these interventions save time and money for facilities managers or estates departments.
As Bruce Meechan, (a civil engineer and construction journalist) concurs in a White Paper we commissioned on the FM sector, “Plastic Surgeon asserts that repair is in almost all cases a cheaper, quicker and more sustainable recourse than replacement for damaged items. It is also the case that cosmetic repair does not cause interference with the normal operational life of a building and therefore will not result in any downtime.
“Further to this, by repairing such items as windows, work-surfaces, wash-basins and fitted furniture, one avoids the need to make good or replace surrounding plasterwork, tiles or other substrates. Overall, the repair option offers the speedy, straightforward and financially expedient solution; employing the minimum of resources.”
We can, basically, save you a fortune by repairing materials at a building’s snagging stage, carrying on right through its life by repairing as part of an ongoing maintenance cycle, through to being there when accidental damage occurs. Bruce Meechan explains: “Plastic Surgeon has teams of Finishers located around the country, each operative being equipped with a hand held computer, as well as a their vans stocked with repair products and access as well as safety equipment. The company’s national call centre, meanwhile provides a rapid means of contact and allocating assignments that are routinely carried out within one to two working days, depending on complexity.”
So rather than ordering a replacement item, and organizing one or more trade contractors to effect its installation, Plastic Surgeon can carry out an effective repair at a fraction of the price, typically saving our existing FM clients three pounds for every pound spent on the services of one of our Finishers.
Thankfully we are getting there, the FM sector is increasingly beginning to understand us – and if they don’t, our CEO Rob Mouser can explain all, just as he did a couple of weeks ago for BIFM Dorset members, with a talk. Or you can download the entire White Paper, entitled Sustainable Repair & Maintenance – Facilities Management here.