Interviewee: Ian Gibson, managing director, Robertson FM
Issue: When FM advises on design
15 September 2016 | Herpreet Kaur Grewal
What will put FM at the heart of the construction project process?
With the adoption of BIM and Government Soft Landings, design teams increasingly seek advice on design and handover requirements at the earliest point in the project through the input into the EIR (Employer Information Requirements). Having 17 years' experience in PFI contracts, we've been able to provide a vast amount of operational and 'in use' data to aid this process.
All stakeholders realise that FM firms are in it for the long haul, so our input into the design and build is crucial if the building users are to have the best environment to carry out their processes and the buildings are to be maintainable. We can provide the aftercare for new buildings and facilities through our customer service teams. These teams understand the design issues early and can begin establishing operational requirements prior to practical completion.
What conversations are you having about the school being built on the site between Wellington Road and Redmoss Road in Aberdeen?
We have started consultation and input with all the stakeholders into planning, particularly on whole life costs and ensuring that design criteria take into account accessibility for maintenance as well as selection of products.
In what ways can FM input make buildings better for their users?
FM input into design really benefits users. What may look pleasing on day one can be a long-term issue - floor finishes at entrance areas that soil quickly and glass partitions that gain fingerprints no matter how often they are cleaned are two soft FM examples. In hard FM, large glazed areas and increasingly efficient insulation standards can often give rise to heating and ventilation issues. Again, with input and experience FM can assist in alleviating these problems at design stage.
Progressive FM firms are looking at energy and waste in more detail and can enable reduction of both streams.
What advantage do service providers with construction arms/construction providers with service arms have?
All too often businesses work in silos. Over the past few years Robertson Group has had an overall focus on transforming the built environment and has been able to win more business by enabling significant benefits for our clients. Issues can be resolved fast with one point of contact.
Are building designers more aware of the whole life concept? If so, why?
BIM is driving this and will continue to as component attributes are loaded on to information-rich BIM models. As these evolve with each BIM project we work on, so will the reliability of the information.