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Building Services & Maintenance


Students: the ultimate test of maintenance strategies


Transient occupants such as students provide a special challenge in the development of a maintenance strategy, along with a host of other considerations all of which are embedded within the terotechnology approach to optimising assets. Martin Corbett explains


erotechnology uses an integrated asset management strategy in order to achieve optimal performance, and this needs FM and end-user involvement from inception of the design process in order to provide feedback on design, performance and costs to optimise life expectancy, efficiency and utilisation of physical assets. So the comprehensive approach required in this sector needs to encompass user involvement, value engineering, construction quality control, improved technology, workforce skills and deployment of resources. If this opportunity for comprehensive input is missed and buildings are designed without the FM perspective and user feedback in particular, then this could cost an additional 200 times the initial capital cost over the life of the building as advised by the Royal Academy of Engineering 1:5:200 rule in 1998 – in that the initial construction costs of a building is 1, its maintenance and operating costs over the years is 5, and the business operating and salary costs is 200. Over the past five years or so, the Homes for Students team has been


T 106 FACILITIES


exposed to a transient population due to the specialist work carried out in the purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) market. We have realised the massive impact of what a transient occupancy has on the chosen maintenance strategy and terotechnology approach – possibly this changes the Royal Academy rules relating to the PBSA user category, which could be 1:50:2000 due to the increased considerations of a transient occupant as set out in the examples below.


Dealing with a demanding clientele Ultimately students hold the purse strings, vote with their feet and will go elsewhere (at great pain to operators and investors) if the environment and social spaces, materials and the facilities are not right and the building design cannot be adapted easily to changes in technology and to marketplace demands over its lifecycle. Students have become more discerning, akin to hotel guests, as they are paying a lot for their accommodation. This has changed a lot since I was at university a ‘few’ years ago! Some students in London pay upwards of £30k/annum and therefore expect (or demand) service


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