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Now is the time to prepare for winter risk management

By 29th June 2021News

As we reach mid-summer, the autumn and winter months are approaching and require plans to be made for facilities to be ready for all eventualities.

Advance planning is one of the essential elements required by FMs to ensure their facilities are able to manage risks in all areas and particularly when preparing for the winter months and anything that they may bring.

Atalian Servest business director William Heaney says the pandemic has reinforced the importance of having a thorough understanding of how buildings operate and how FMs can provide a positive experience for all building users.

“As we approach freezing temperatures and cold and flu season, the three areas FMs should be focused on maintaining are a compliant technical infrastructure, enhanced sanitisation and supporting the wellbeing of building users.

“Most importantly, these must be maintained to recognised industry standards such as BICS, CIBSE and BESA.

“The core activities as we progress into the winter months include full assessments of key systems susceptible to failure due to low outside air temperature drops, such as water treatment systems and ensuring there is a controlled transition within BEMS systems to take into account lower ambient temperatures and required optimisation periods.

“For this to be successful, it is essential to combine clear delivery specifications with an experienced workforce, including supply chain partners.

“FM’s must consider their approach to energy and carbon management when developing a winter readiness programme.

“With the increased demand for ventilation systems to run on 100% fresh air and heating systems compensating for this upturn, increased filtration changes and air quality monitoring, utility consumption in winter will undoubtedly increase.

“To manage this, energy monitoring regimes should be implemented, with a particular focus on benchmarking and out of hours consumption.

“This will ensure HVAC systems are not demanded unnecessarily (eg by incorrect frost protection set points or un-representative sensor readings) and that building warm-up periods are not excessive,” says Mr Heaney.

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