Facility Management Articles
Welcome to the FM Innovations articles page. Here we will gather the most important and interesting FM articles from across Australia. Please check back here often as this page will be regularly updated. For case studies on FM Innovations click here, for News please click here.
FMI shines in national FM software survey
Late last month I opened up the Facility Perspective magazine to see what interesting FM news there was and I was surprised to see that a national FM software survey had been conducted by the FMA Australia and Service Works Global. I don’t recall the last time an extensive national survey was conducted so this was a real surprise.
Agile and green. The emerging workplace (r)evolution
Since it first emerged around a century ago, the modern office environment has evolved through a number of stages to become what we now recognise as the contemporary workplace of today. Along the way structural economic shifts and the introduction of new disruptive technologies have created periods of rapid change and uncertainty, which in turn have fuelled innovation in office design. For example, in relatively recent times the introduction of networked computers and the internet have underpinned an explosion of real-time asynchronous communication and driven a rise in global, always-on business delivery models.
From good to great – 7 tips to transform your proposal writing
Writing responses to Requests for Proposals (RFP) takes time and costs
money. Our clients frequently ask for tips on how to improve their
proposal writing. Here are our top tips to writing a compelling and
10 Reasons to Implement an FM Works System
Implementation of an FM system is all about mitigating risk and
streamlining your processes as well as having a history of your property
management and reports at the touch of a button. Here are 10 excellent reasons to implement an FM Works System.
Building managers and sub-contractors; an under-used resource?
In our efforts to reduce costs, increase sustainability and improve the economics of operations in commercial buildings, we sometimes bypass the people who can help us the most. Building Managers are a library of data. Building Managers, being on the front line of operations, have access to a huge plethora of information as they deal with supplier’s subcontractors, plant equipment, and day-to-day operations. Building Managers see what performs, what is troublesome and what works.
Customer Feedback Is Not Scary
Receiving customer feedback enables a company to correct any issues or concerns customers may have with the company's products and its services. When customers provide feedback, a company is able to save money, time and improve relationships with customers. A dissatisfied customer may tell five or six other people about his bad experience, which could harm your company's reputation and have an effect on market share and profits. Feedback allows you to correct these problems.
Managing People Through Change
Many organisations go through periods of change which are driven by either internal or external influences or both. Change is signalled by the appearance of words like innovation, redundancy, growth, outsourcing, diversification, relocation and competition. The key for organisations is to make changes before they are forced upon them. Planning and preparedness can minimise the impact that change can have on profitability, stability and employee satisfaction. Employees in particular are not fond of change because it interrupts routines and exposes them to the unknown.
Balancing Energy Efficiency and Occupant Comfort
The single-minded pursuit of GreenStar and NABERS sustainability ratings for buildings is leading directly to compromises on indoor environmental quality and productivity. In responding to the challenge of reducing greenhouse emissions, intense international attention has been focused on the way we design and operate built environments. Major efforts are being directed at improving thermal performance of building designs and enhancing the energy efficiency of building services within them. Both these mitigation options carry implications for the indoor environmental conditions of buildings. For example impact building occupants.
Reactive Is No Longer An Option – Why It Is Critical To Be Proactive
We have seen a decline in spending in the FM industry as a whole this past year and with the economic outlook still a little precarious we need to be innovative in our approach to clients’ needs. More companies are undertaking restructures and we have seen quite a few redundancies across the board. Cutting back on staff does mean a lot more work for those remaining and it’s at times like this we encourage companies to review their FM processes as a part of their overall restructure. If people are leaving and there are fewer resources to manage the infrastructure, then it makes good sense to invest in FM solutions to streamline the FM business and manage a lot of the current manual work for you.
Implementation of an FM system is all about mitigating risk and streamlining your processes as well as having a history of your property management and reports at the touch of a button.
Removing The Mystery of LED Lights
Many people involved in lighting will have heard a version of the
“LED horror story”; a story that follows a familiar path. A company or
organisation (Company X) decides to invest in a new form of lighting
technology. They research the marketplace and speak to different
lighting companies and professionals. LED lighting quickly becomes an
attractive candidate, along with T5 fluorescent and induction lights
Choosing Good Leaders
Companies so often choose poor leaders, even though we know how critical good leaders are to all businesses. We see high producing individuals get promoted into management roles that require a totally different mindset to be successful. The explanation for this is that we focus on the wrong things; how charming a candidate is and how impressive their resume or academic achievements are. None of which has an influence on leadership potential.
What is Reflectance?
Are you harvesting all the illuminance you can by utilising the reflectance of your surfaces, particularly your ceiling as it represent your largest uninterrupted surface, or are you short changing yourself? High reflectance ceilings can conservatively yield an energy savings of up to 11%. A correctly illuminated area increases work production as well as the quality of output
The Sydney Opera House Joins FluoroCycle
FluoroCycle is a scheme that aims to increase the recycling of lamps that contain mercury and reduce the amount of mercury entering the environment. To achieve this, FluoroCycle provides a national, voluntary scheme which businesses, government agencies and other organisations can join as Signatories. The scheme gives public recognition to Signatories for their commitment to recycling. The Sydney Opera House Trust has recently been recognised by the Australian Government for committing to recycle fluorescent lights from its iconic building.
The Big FAQs About Building Management Systems
A Building Management System (BMS) is a computer-based control system installed in buildings that controls and monitors the building’s mechanical and electrical equipment such as ventilation, lighting, power systems, fire systems, and security systems. Systems linked to a BMS typically represent 40% of a building's energy usage; if lighting is included, this number approaches 70%. BMS systems are a critical component to managing energy demand. Improperly configured BMS systems are believed to account for 20% of building energy usage. These are some frequently asked questions about BMS
Building Management System Grief
Building Management Systems (BMS) were designed as a labour saving device. They can be an absolute delight to work with, delivering information accurately, driving plant equipment, lighting, and other assets effectively or they can be an unmitigated disaster that continually delivers grief and anxiety to those responsible for running the building.
Growing your FM business requires a clear understanding of your unique KPIs
As a senior manager or owner in a business, do you find you have a very busy role, provide your full commitment and time and yet, frustratingly, the measurement still falls short on some of those financial expectations? We have all heard the cliché “it is not the hours you put in but what you put into the hours”. Often though, the senior manager or owner in a business puts a lot of effort and time into just dealing with the day to day needs and issues of the business and can be too time poor to focus on growing the business.
Hosted Software vs. In House. What will suit your business?
Interest in hosted software solutions has been growing over the past few years and the number of businesses embracing such solutions has grown steadily. This interest and its benefits have been made possible by a number of factors in Australia many of which are now generally available to industries of all sizes and locations. The tyranny of distance has long been a limiting factor in Australian business culture but with the rollout of the NBN and its promise of a competitive and affordable internet infrastructure this is finally a thing of the past.
Poor drinking water quality in the workplace equals lack of productivity
The beloved kitchen tap, we either drink from it with confidence or avoid it and only use the water to wash dishes. In this brief article we will take a look at the journey your water takes on the way to your tap and you can make up your own mind about its suitability to drink.
Responsible Property Investment; Environmental Social And Governance Issues Influencing Decision Making For Commercial Property Investment. An Australian Perspective
The worldwide commercial property investment market was worth over
11,130 billion dollars US in 2010. The commercial property market has a
large detrimental environmental impact as it consumers around
three-quarters of the world's energy and emits at least three-quarters
of global greenhouse gasses.
Reflections on 2011
FMI would like to take the opportunity as we do at this time every year to thank all of our clients, suppliers and staff for their exceptional contribution to our continued success. Loyalty and dedication are two words that I can relate to you all and even though this year has had its ups and downs for us, we’ve come through it smiling and confident because of your unrelenting support.
Reflecting on the year 2011 and what has been happening in our world, I am once again surprised at how much we have achieved and would like to share some of the highlights.
"Smart" buildings cut energy costs
Information Technology facilitates exceptional efficiencies for businesses.
Powerful analytics are helping firms better manage supply chains, improve
resource allocation, detect fraud and optimise many core business functions. A
report recently published and compiled by Microsoft, Accenture and Lawrence
Berkeley National Laboratory examines how building owners, operators and
occupants can achieve significant energy and cost savings through the use of
smart building solutions. It is based on insights from a detailed case study of
a smart building pilot program being conducted by Microsoft at its corporate
Leadership and fairness the key to increasing productivity and profit
Comprehensive research presented at the Future Jobs Forum confirms that innovative, positive leaders and progressive management practices are central to increasing productivity in Australia’s workplaces. An 18 month study by the Society for Knowledge Economics, found that companies with strong leadership and a positive workplace culture are significantly more productive and profitable than their less progressive peers. The report found that High Performing Workplaces (HPWs) have 12 per cent higher productivity than Low Performing Workplaces (LPWs) when ranked in terms of their innovation, employee engagement, fairness, leadership and customer satisfaction.
Remembering Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs, the visionary behind the Macintosh computer, iPhone, iPod and iPad passed away last Wednesday aged 56. Steve Jobs has been credited with changing the way we live, the way we view technology, the way we listen to music, the way we communicate, the way we think about art, design and invention, and much, much more. The American entrepreneur’s genius consisted in being able to manipulate technology in order to implant it in everyday life. While many post-war computer manufacturers had launched into a race for power, performance and technical prowess, the Silicon Valley man’s sole ambition was to create simple and useful products.
Floored by flooring options
It can seem as though there are countless flooring options for your office space. You possibly thought that selecting something for the floor would be one of the simplest decisions you would need to make for the interior of your business. There are a considerable number of alternatives and here are some of the most popular and reputable choices.
Three major issues affecting a successful FM practice
Recently I posted a question on LinkedIn which sparked a fair amount of interest as it is a topic that brings out the passion in FM professionals. My interest in posting this particular question was to gather a global view from a range of companies and countries to see if their issues are similar wherever they live in the world. My question was: “If you were to name your top three major issues that hinder successful management of your FM practice, what would they be?”. I received feedback from professionals in Australia, UK, USA, India, Nigeria, Trinidad and Tobago, Sweden, Kenya, Indonesia and Canada. And that’s so far. I want to thank all of those respondents who provided a very interesting insight into their market and their current roadblocks to ensuring they run their facilities as efficiently and professionally as possible.
Planning an asset portfolio audit program
Whatever the specific reasons may be for an asset audit program, one thing remains critical: the need for thorough pre-planning before anyone sets foot out on site to conduct the audit. The intended benefit of conducting large scale asset audit programs, particularly over a wide geographical area such as state-wide or national portfolios, can be extremely difficult if not impossible to salvage if the information reported at the end is not what you expected or required due to a lack of understanding or clarity at the beginning.
Innovative cleaning products arrive in Australia
Solucare is a new range of commercial grade cleaning products designed in a unique controlled dose concept. The products are produced as a correct dose of powder concentrate sealed in a soluble capsule. There are no more chemical drums, mixing, or mechanical dosing and the application process is simple to follow. The sachet dissolves completely due to its composition, polyvinyl alcohol. The trigger sprays are reusable and the distribution costs are reduced, therefore reducing transport and emissions to the environment. Solucare offers an immediate cost saving and sustainable solution to forecast usage and accurately input into a budgeting process.
IAG discovers success is on the inside
The nature of the facilities management industry often sees companies
cycle the maintenance of buildings between professional outsourcers and
running a dedicated team internally.
Like many others,
Australia’s largest general insurer IAG has been through this cycle for
its Direct Insurance operations, most recently bringing the function
in-house in September 2010. They have built a team devoted to improving
service delivery to internal customers and presenting a more
professional image to the Group’s customers. IAG insures over 1.2
million homes and 3 million vehicles through brands that include NRMA,
CGU, SGIO, SGIC, Swann Insurance and The Buzz.
How IT has transformed the FM industry
Sixteen years ago when I first came to Australia and became involved in the FM industry, there were a limited number of true facilities management software systems available and indeed most of them were from European or American suppliers. They were mostly large, cumbersome and extremely expensive systems, not very endearing to a Facilities Manager who always seemed to have the smallest corporate budget. The responsibility of a Facilities Manager has come a very long way and with this growth of responsibility there has been an increase in the availability of systems and processes to assist.
Tools of the Telecommuter
True productivity at a remote distance requires much more than the basic
connectivity and email. While most companies set up their telecommuters
with technologies such as Virtual Private Network (VPN) access and
blackberries/iPhones, there are some additional tools you personally
need to seek out that will enhance your experience. It is in fact these
additional tools that safeguard your home computing along with levelling
the playing field with the co-workers who are located in the office.
New Disability Access Standards
In seeking to improve the accessibility of public buildings, under the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 the Attorney-General last month tabled the Disability (Access to Premises – Buildings) Standards 2010 (the Premises Standards) in Federal Parliament.
Improving Building Energy Efficiency Through New Financing Arrangements
A new financing mechanism designed to assist building owners to gain access to commercial finance for environmental upgrade works on their buildings has been introduced by the Local Government Amendment (Environmental Upgrade Agreements) Act 2010 (LGEUA Act). The financing mechanism is intended to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by improving energy efficiency in the building sector through cost-effective loan financing.
Go Beyond The Hour
On Saturday March 26, people and businesses around the world participated in Earth Hour 2011, turning off their lights at 8:30 p.m. local time. The FM Innovations' office was shrouded in darkness, as was our entire building here at 455 Bourke St, Melbourne. CBRE did a fantastic job at getting all their tenants to switch off for Earth Hour 2011. We all helped CBRE break last year's record, switching off non-essential lights & power in over 38 million square metres of managed property globally. And it doesn’t stop when the lights come back on. This year, Earth Hour is asking people to take the next step and go beyond the hour, by committing to ongoing action for the planet.
Telecommuting: Transforming The Way We Work
Many managers struggle to embrace telecommuting, but it makes happier workers and has many benefits for the company as well. As technology evolves, many of the barriers that have traditionally limited telecommuting continue to disappear. The tedious standard of spending 40 hours a week sitting in a cubicle is fading as employers and workers both embrace the benefits associated with telecommuting.
FM Future For Younger Generation
Recently on LinkedIn, a question came up on an FM industry group discussion, posted by Muzamil, a young Facilities Assistant in the United Arab Emirates. His question ‘Do you think FM has a good future for the younger generation?’ really caught my eye. Why is this even a question?! Are we so engrossed in ourselves and the changes we are passionate to make today, that we have completely failed to inform the younger generation how exciting and critical FM is to our future?
Corporate Green Policies
Just 7 per cent of people believe company claims of action on climate
change, a new survey commissioned by the Carbon Trust has revealed. The
research, which quizzed 1,000 adults across the UK in February and
March this year, also found that an overwhelming 90 per cent of people
wanted firms to commit to the emissions cuts demanded of the UK in order
to meet the EU’s 2050 climate change targets.
Tax Breaks for Green Buildings
The Tax Breaks for Green Buildings program will provide tax incentives
to encourage energy efficient retrofits of commercial buildings.
Businesses that invest in eligible assets or capital works to improve
the energy efficiency of their buildings will be able to apply for a
one-off bonus tax deduction. Approved projects will be able to claim a
bonus tax deduction of 50 per cent of the eligible assets or capital
works on proof of performance levels being met. The program is expected
to provide a boost of up to $1 billion over its life to incentivise
business to undertake major energy efficiency retrofits. The program is
scheduled to commence from 1 July 2011.
Earth Hour 2011
Switch your lights out for Earth Hour 2011! Saturday 26 March at 8:30pm.
With holiday season well and truly over and a lacklustre summer to boot,
many employees may be in need of some rejuvenation. No matter the size
of your company, having a team of motivated, hard-working employees is
crucial to your business success. When people lose their motivation,
however, their job performance suffers -- they become less productive,
less creative, less of an asset to the company. The bottom line: You pay
a heavy price when employees have motivation issues. As their boss,
what can you do to ensure that they are as productive as possible?
Greening Our Roofs
"Green roof" is not a Colorbond shade, but Australians could be forgiven
for thinking otherwise. Growing plants on top of new office buildings
is mandated in several cities in Europe, North America and Japan, but we
have few examples of green roofs here and little understanding of their
benefits and possibilities.
Over the past few weeks we have seen in the news a number of articles
about breaches in information and data security. At Vodafone customer
records were leaked after a password to the telco's internet database
was shared by a number of people. And at the University of Sydney the
detailed records of thousands of students past and present were being
stored online where they could be easily accessed by the general public.
Green Star Rating Tool
For eight years now, the presence of Green Star in the Australian market
has driven innovative design and construction of buildings and
generated strong demand for new green products, services and
technologies. But what happens once the Green Star rating is
achieved, the builders down tools and the tenants move in? Is a building
still 'green' if it is not managed and maintained to the intended
Disaster Planning and Recovery
As the flood waters recede, businesses in Queensland and Victoria are
starting to walk the lengthy road to recovery. In the wake of the
overwhelming tragedy, business advisers are urging businesses to have a
plan in place so that they are ready in the event of a disaster. Many
businesses face an ever present risk of disaster. Not just floods but
fires, computer theft, damage from internal sprinklers and denial of
Empire State Building Goes Green
The Empire State Building has become New York's largest commercial purchaser of green energy after signing a new contract with a renewable energy supplier.
Reflections on 2010
As 2010 draws to a close we reflect on the past year and all whom have
supported us. FM Innovations would like to thank all of our clients,
suppliers and staff for their hard work and dedication. 2010 has been a
successful year for the company and we look forward to further
collaboration and growth in the coming years.
SWAHS Project Completion
FM Innovations would like to thank and congratulate Sydney West Area
Health Service (SWAHS) for completing their spatial management project.
The project took place over two years and involved the hard work of
SWAHS’ Rosie Bonham, FMI’s Ray Lodge and Suzanne Gormley.
Last week at a casual drinks get together in our office we started talking about the possibility of getting an FM Innovations team together for the Oxfam charity walk next year. After hearing just how gruelling this expedition can be, one of our team members asked ‘Why? What would we do such a punishing walk for?’ Apart from the obvious fundraising which we could do with much less pain! It’s all related to Corporate Governance and that’s how the next topic got started. Exactly what is Corporate Governance?
WSMenterprise 4.6.4 Release
The newest upgrade to the WSMenterprise software has just been finished and will be deployed to our clients over the coming months.
The market for environmental goods and services has expanded considerably in Australia in recent years and a number of studies have highlighted growing consumer interest in the area of more sustainable products and services. Environmental impacts such as climate change, loss of natural habitats and production of waste and pollution, combined with the current financial climate, emphasize the importance of the key green purchasing tenets of buying more efficiently and sustainably.
Green ICT in Tertiary Education
With more and more Universities and TAFEs looking to slash greenhouse emissions and become more sustainable, the focus is now turning to information technology. At the recent TEMC 2010 conference in Melbourne, there was immense interest in sustainability proven by the number of information sessions centred on this concern. The importance of basic energy conservation is nothing new but the awareness that the ever-growing presence of technology in our lives has a substantial environmental effect is new.
Unexpected events can have a devastating effect on businesses. Crises such as illness of key staff, theft, fire, damage to stock, restricted access to premises or IT system failure could all make it difficult or even impossible to carry out your normal day-to-day activities. At worst, this could see you losing important customers - and even going out of business altogether. But with good planning you can take steps to minimise the potential impact of a disaster - and ideally prevent it happening in the first place.
FMA Australia Launch Diploma of Facilities Management
The Facility Management Association of Australia (FMA Australia) and Holmesglen are pleased to provide members of the Facilities Management industry with a customised Diploma specifically designed to meet the occupational outcome required by a professional working in this industry.
Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Licensing
Refrigeration and air conditioning (RAC) equipment is often a fundamental component of facilities infrastructure and when not installed, serviced or decommissioned correctly it has the potential to contribute to global warming. Fluorocarbon refrigerant used in RAC equipment can be extremely harmful to the environment. In fact 1kg of fluorocarbon refrigerant (typically used in split system air conditioners), if emitted into the atmosphere, has the same greenhouse gas impact as two tonnes of carbon dioxide. This is the equivalent of running your car for six months.
Certified Facility Management Scholarships
The FMA are now seeking expressions of interest from eligible FMA Australia members who wish to be considered for a scholarship to attain the Certified Facility Manager (CFM®) designation. While up to five (5) scholarship are available each year over a five year period, 2009 saw only 2 (two) scholarships awarded to Trish Ferrier Royal Freemasons and Paul Akhurst Queensland Performing Arts Centre who were both very worthy recipients.
Agile Software Development
Agile software development generally promotes a disciplined project management process that encourages frequent inspection and adaptation, a leadership philosophy that encourages teamwork, self-organisation and accountability and a set of engineering best practices intended to allow for rapid delivery of high-quality software. FM Innovations has started utilising this process to align our software development with customer needs and company goals.
Software Hosting Made Easy
FM Innovations have introduced a hosted solution for new clients wishing to utilise our state of the art software. This solution meets the needs of many businesses, small and large, who don’t want the hassle of hosting software on their premises and who are looking for lower upfront risk when it comes to expenditure. By using a hosted software solution clients gain greater cost control and flexibility.
Space in Health
Over the past 10 years FMI has been continuously developing and enhancing a space and data management software system suitable for both the Health and Education industries. Smart Facilities Managers in the health industry understand the importance of this data and the systems needed to manage the operational complexities of large and diverse facilities. In this industry, with the high cost of construction and the politicising of service delivery and performance, a more effective infrastructure control mechanism which provides better long term planning and operational optimisation is welcome.
Bullying in the Workplace
My mother has always said to me “Treat people the way you would expect to be treated yourself”. That phrase has been my mantra over the years and I remind my children of it if they forget their manners or have a disagreement with their friends. Instead of retaliating when confronted by an unnecessarily disrespectful person, my first reaction is to write their name on a piece of paper, screw it up and throw it into the back of the freezer. Effectively, leaving that person to ‘chill’. In fact, sometimes we even have a little ceremony which is a great way to get rid of any frustration and make it a laughable matter. It makes me feel better, but unfortunately it doesn’t always end there!
Intelligent Key Management with Traka and FM Innovations
FM Innovations has been working with Traka to integrate their intelligent key management cabinets with our Vehicle and Fleet Management Software for some of our tertiary education providers. We look forward to a long and beneficial partnership with Traka as we seek to improve, simplify and streamline our clients business processes for managing their assets. As the Traka key cabinets can be used for vehicle keys, room keys, equipment keys and any other key you can think of, they are ideal to integrate with FM Innovation's WSMenterprise suite.
Driving Effective FM at Wodonga TAFE
Accurate and effective facilities management is of key importance to Wodonga TAFE and the facilities team. Ensuring Wodonga TAFE remains at the forefront of the facilities world is Damien Crawley, Manager of Shared Services. Damien is currently seeing a ‘Green’ transformation across the TAFE. Water saving strategies, solar panels and a lighting retrofit will see the TAFE save thousands of dollars in costs and emissions.
A quick Google search on the work ‘risk’ identifies many variations of what it means. References to hazard, exposure and gambling were the consistent themes - no where did I find reference to the fact that Risk can also be the source of immense opportunity for an individual or enterprise. For a business to manage its risks, it must first know what they are. It is easy to list the risks you know about, but what about the ones that haven’t happened yet or of which you are unaware?
Hepatitis B Vaccinations
As part of GJK’s commitment to the safety of its staff, and ongoing OH&S focus, a number of cleaning staff from the Department of Human Services, Office of Housing have completed their third and final round of Hepatitis B Vaccinations. GJK provides all their staff that work across the Office of Housing sites an opportunity to receive free vaccinations, serving as a preventative safeguard against some of the risks encountered on site.
One constant risk which management must ensure cleaning staff are addressing effectively is Manual Handling – any activity requiring the use of force exerted by a person to lift, lower, push, pull, carry or otherwise move, hold or restrain any animate or inanimate object. It includes repetitive tasks such as packing, typing, assembling, cleaning and sorting, using hand tools, and operating machinery and equipment.
Green Team Update
GJK Facility Services has been actively working towards the development of a sustainable environmental plan, both at a management level and at the ground level in our Head Office. Staff from each department have been put into Green Teams focusing on minimising our carbon footprint across a number of key areas including: transport, water, energy, paper, waste management, and green procurement.
FM and Procurement
With so much focus on cutting costs procurement departments in many organisations become more powerful. But moves to enforce existing contracts and drive expenditure reductions can put them at odds with FM departments. The global recession, and its subsequent focus on cutting costs, has seen procurement departments in many organisations become more powerful. Boosted by the greater attention paid to the profession by senior management, procurement has been only too keen to take advantage of the opportunity to get more spend categories under management, as well as enforcing existing contracts and driving further cost reductions wherever possible, often putting them at odds with FM departments.
Commercial Office Building Energy Efficiency Disclosure Obligations
In December 2008, the Australian Government’s Department of Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (DEWHA) issued a Consultation Regulation Impact Statement and Consultation Regulation Document (Consultation Documents) regarding the proposed Mandatory Disclosure of Commercial Office Building Energy Efficiency scheme. Such a scheme was considered necessary after finding that commercial buildings account for at least 10% of Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions, having risen 87% between 1990 and 2006, and that office buildings contribute the most significant proportion of emissions for the commercial sector.
Data Capture - Filling The Gaps in Information
Data collection projects can be quite risky in terms of time, cost and quality. Unfortunately, too often, these projects have produced disappointing outcomes. If the sourced data is of a high quality, the information management systems can drive great value for the organisation.
Disease Prevention in the Workplace
Whether the cause is H1N1 flu or another potential pandemic illness, facility managers (fms) need to prepare for—and be aware of—a possible worst case scenario. This is particularly true when faced with the prospect of more than 25% to 30% of their workforce absent due to illness (or symptoms of illness), yet still having to run and supervise the main functions of their facility.
10 Ways to Workplace Management
To achieve the above you will need certain management capabilities. But does that involve facilities management or workplace management? Whereas FM is focused on the delivery of technical services, workplace management is focused on the balancing of supply and demand and the sustainable delivery of workplace experiences, embracing all services, technologies and facilities that contribute to it.
Top 10 Benefits of an All-In-One Works Management System
Cost is always a factor when it comes to choosing facilities management software but return of investment is possible within 6 months with the purchase of WSMworks. For example, there is a substantial fine for building managers should any ESM task be missed and with an automated system such as WSM, these cannot be missed. Saving you money, your reputation and the ensuring the safety of your employees.
Creating Another Tier in the Property Market with Sustainable Property
A two-tier property market based on energy performance could be less than two years away, an environmental management and compliance firm has said. Sustainable buildings could see their rental yield reduced by up to 3 per cent and value by up to 16 per cent as a result of changes by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) to its Red Book.
CoStar Study Finds Green Buildings Outperform Peers
In America a new study by CoStar Group has found that sustainable "green" buildings outperform their peer non-green assets in key areas such as occupancy, sale price and rental rates, sometimes by wide margins. The results indicate a broader demand by property investors and tenants for buildings that have earned either LEED® certification or the Energy Star® label (similar to a NABERS classification in Australia) and strengthen the "business case" for green buildings, which proponents have increasingly cast as financially sound investments.
ESD Green Building Design and Delivery
The incorporation of Ecologically Sustainable Development (ESD) principles into modern developments is one of the most important considerations that must be implemented in their design. Whilst the environmental benefits from designing for ESD are clear, the most overwhelming benefit is seen in the value provided to the occupants in terms of physical and mental health.
Exit and Emergency Light Maintenance
Emergency / exit lighting systems in buildings are required (under Part 11.1 of the Building Code of Australia and Part 11 of the Building Regulations 1994) to be adequately maintained. The standard recognised for such maintenance is AS/NZS 2293.2. The standard prescribes, that the installation be tested at six-monthly intervals by a discharge test to see that the fittings operate for the required duration of not less than 90 minutes. In addition, at twelve-monthly intervals the fitting diffusers and reflecting surfaces are required to be cleaned.
Innovation with Integration
Innovation leading to increase productivity is the fundamental source of increasing wealth in an economy. In today's economic environment, innovation has never been more important and acceptance of it more critical. Economists tend to focus on the process itself, from the origination of an idea to its transformation into something useful and finally to its implementation. Since innovation is seen as a major driver of the economy, especially when it leads to increasing productivity, the factors that lead to innovation are also considered to be critical to decision makers.
Aligning FM objectives with your corporate governance strategy
Corporate governance is not just a case of processes, customs, polices and laws affecting the way a corporation is directed, administered or controlled. Corporate governance also includes the relationships among the many stakeholders involved and the goals for which the corporation is governed. So how does this affect the Facilities Management team within an organisation?
Green Stars for Indoor Plants
From home to car to office and back again - we acknowledge that most office workers spend up to 90% of their lives or in enclosed spaces while commuting. But do buildings create a healthy environment for the people who work in them? The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development suggest that illness - such as asthma and respiratory problems, headaches and allergies - from indoor air pollution are now one of the most acute problems related to building activities around the world.
Quick Resource Guide; The Handling of Sharps
Keeping staff updated with OHS developments is an integral part of risk management and ensuring employee safety. One constant risk which management must ensure cleaning staff are addressing effectively is the handling of sharps; hypodermic needles, lancets, razor/scalpel blades or any other instrument which could result in puncture injuries or damage to skin.
Ins and Outs of the Disability Discrimination Act
Universal Access means equitable access for all, including people with disabilities, to any aspect of the built environment, services and facilities. The Federal Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (D.D.A.) provides information to people who design, build, own, manage, lease, operate, regulate and use premises about their responsibilities and rights under section 23. Section 23 makes it unlawful to discriminate against people with a disability, or their associates, in relation to access to, and the use of, premises that the public enter or use.
WSM 4.5 Release
WSM 4.5 is ready for release with some fantastic new features. The installation and upgrade process has been made simpler with the WSM setup guide. Enhancements have been made throughout WSMenterprise and WSMindustrial, a new reports management section has been designed, the web portal WSMplanNet has been upgraded, a new Vehicle Management Module designed and much more.
Become a Home Sustainable Assessor
The Federal Government recently announced the launch of the Home Sustainability Assessment Scheme (HSAS) and the Green Loans Program. Sustainable Footprint has recently been appointed as a training organisation for the Federal Governments HSAS. More than 1,000 people have undertaken the Home Sustainability Assessor training to become accredited by the Association of the Building Sustainability.
Essential Safety Measures (ESM) Explained and FM Innovations ESM Software
No matter what you call them; Essential Safety Measures, ESM, Essential Services, Fire Protection Services, etc. by law they must be maintained. When the construction of a commercial building is complete the building owner is responsible for its upkeep and maintenance, particularly its safety measures. FM Innovations has designed the WSM software to establish, track and manage all your essential safety measures once they have been established by a registered building surveyor or on the occupancy permit.
Here we talk about what are Essential Safety Measures and how we can help.
Growing Up: Rooftop Gardens
A group of young Melbournians is attempting to take climate change through a new program called 'Growing Up', designed to promote rooftop gardens atop inner-urban buildings. As you look out to a vista of concrete-topped roofs of multistory buildings, a number of young business people want to imagine a sea of green, with every available roof space covered in plants.
Mandatory Disclosure of Commercial Office Building Efficiency
The Commonwealth, State and Territory Governments have recently established the 'National Framework for Energy Efficiency (NFEE), which has proposed the Mandatory Disclosure of Commercial Office Building Energy Efficiency. Basically these regulations proposed would mean that by 2010 the energy efficiency (NABERS energy ratings) of commercial office buildings or tenancy equal to or over 2,000m2 to be disclosed at the point of sale or lease so that buyers and tenants can compare energy efficiency on a 'like for like' basis.
The Pitfalls of Slipshop Risk Management
Recently I met a facilities manager who was in the midst of a stressful legal battle which stemmed from an oversight which could have easily been avoided. It wasn't altogether his fault, in fact it is fair to say it was his boss channeled vision which bought them to strife. Perhaps the facilities manager wasn't firm enough in what he believed, but for whatever reasons, corporation X had decided to cut their facilities management budget as a knee-jerk reaction to the economic downturn. As a result maintenance schedules have not been kept up to date and an injury has occurred.
Complete Education and Tertiary Guide and the Role of Vocational Education and Training in Facilities
From its largely trade based beginnings, the facility management industry has grown progressively towards a business management focus. Critical to the accommodation of this result has been the number and scope of educational opportunities available for those looking to enter the industry as a career of choice. Since the range of responsibilities and demands being placed on facility managers has also increased during this time, facility managers already in the industry increasingly need opportunities available to upskill and meet the evolving needs of the industry.
Achieving Sustainability Ratings and Asset Value in Hotels
Sustainability has already become one of the quickest and most effective commercial initiatives that can be undertaken by any organisation individually, and the country as a whole. Many hotels are now taking steps to improve their sustainability outcomes. At the same time, guests are seeking evidence of environmental responsibility when they choose to stay.
FM Innovations Launch the Evergreen Software Rental Option
In response to the recent economic downturn and the current financial crisis, FM Innovations (FMI) is looking to provide solutions for our potential clients to take the pain out of the budget approval process. We understand that the legal and corporate governance requirements of managing infrastructure are still as critical as ever, however many companies are struggling to allocate the finances needed to implement the tools to manage their property effectively. As a solution, FMI is putting together an Evergreen software rental option which will allow companies to implement and run our Property Works management software solution for as little as $650 per month. However, we are only offering this to a limited number of exclusive companies who have a tight budget.
Essential Safety Measures - Are you compliant?
With the release of the Building Regulations 2006 it is now a requirement for all public buildings to have an annual essential safety measures report prepared before 13 June 2009.There is also an additional requirement for buildings constructed prior to 1994 to be issued with an essential safety measures schedule. After this date, all new buildings will have an essential safety measures list as a schedule to their Occupancy Permit.
Essential Safety Measures - Which ESM certificate is required?
A maintenance certification is not required in all states, nor is this required to be certified by a building surveyor/certifier, however under each of the states legislation the premises may be inspected by a member of the local council or fire brigade. Upon this inspection all maintenance documentation for the essential safety measures is reviewed and areas of non compliance may result in fines of $10,000 for individuals or $50,000 for companies. Even higher penalties apply, including jail terms in some states, if there is an incident and failure to maintain an essential safety measure results in a fatality.
Essential Safety Measures - What maintenance standard is required?
Form the introduction of the maintenance standard AS1851-2005 building owners have been unsure of their responsibilities in relation to the acceptance to the new maintenance requirements. In some instances building owners/managers have chosen to adopt some elements of this standard for convenience and also the water saving benefits but not enthusiastic in adopting other features. Click the link for a table that indicates the building owners requirements in relation to this issue.
Catch 22 of Facilities Management - A business case for Facility Management Software
In today's financial crisis, budgets are being slashed and panic seems to be ruling over reason in many cases. Regardless of any financial crisis, the facilities management of buildings is still of utmost importance with fines and mismanagement consequences firmly in place. Here we discuss a business case for implementing a sophisticated software solution that is easy to use.
The case for learning business acumen
In today's difficult economy it becomes more important than ever that each and every person in your organisation understands exactly how your business makes money, how and what they do on a daily basis, contributes to the bottom line and how the decisions they make impacts the profitability of the company, keeping the company strong enough to weather difficult times.
The Australian Government 'Green Building Fund' provides funding for retro-fitting existing commercial buildings
A new initiative from the Australian Government provides funding to assist with the green retro-fitting of existing commercial buildings. The Green Building Fund provides $90 million over four years to help encourage green-retro fitting initiatives, particularly those aimed at improving energy efficiency. Under Stream A of the funding, owners of existing commercial buildings can apply for grants ranging from $50,000 to $500,000. Grants are