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22 March 2019
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Bob Swartz
Bob Swartz

06 August 2018 Bob Swartz

Buildings, like people, need care and maintenance to age gracefully, says Bob Swartz, national sales director at Roth, a Sodexo company.

We have all heard that it is important to visit your dentist twice a year and to see your doctor for a regular check-up. It is important to practice personal hygiene, exercise, and eat right, to live a long and healthy life.

Buildings and facilities also need a planned programme of care and maintenance to operate at top efficiency for their expected operational life. Mechanical systems need to be serviced usually twice a year and the building exterior needs to be inspected at least once a year. Parking lots must be cleaned and kept in good repair, and carpets and floors need regular maintenance. Grass, trees, and bushes need trimming just as a person needs a haircut.

If you didn’t go to the dentist for five years, it wouldn’t be surprising that you might wake up one morning with a toothache that needs costly fast attention. This is no different from a HVAC unit that has had no maintenance for five years and suddenly stops working entirely or its operational efficiency drops radically. 

Many think of a facility or building as a non-living object, but it expands, it contracts, it moves constantly, it can become sick, with mould growth or poor air quality to the point of making it unusable for its designed purpose. 

So as you look at your buildings and your facilities, and you are thinking of best practices to take care of them, create your timelines based on the ideals of how people take care of themselves. 

Think about how you change your wardrobe and habits as the seasons change, how is that different from FM and the operational changes from season to season? Buildings and people both need care to function and give their best performance. 

Just as people can age gracefully, so can buildings, and this mindset can lower the lifetime total cost of operation for the facility, saving capital dollars, and giving a maximum return on investment.

Bob Swartz is national sales director, roofing division, integrated facilities management at Roth, a Sodexo company