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Workplace


Climate control equipment: the benefits of hire


By Andy Whiteley, National HVAC Sales Director, Andrews Sykes


which they are responsible consistently meet the requirements of the people and equipment directly affected. Uncomfortable or unsuitable environments can cause low morale, inefficiency and, in extreme cases, illness among the occupants. Sensitive equipment, raw materials or products can also be adversely affected by inappropriate or inadequate environmental control. This leads to unreliability, premature failure or excessive deterioration and wastage. Irrespective of the industry sector, the need for a supplementary or replacement climate control solution is likely to be encountered from time to time – be it for heating, cooling, ventilation or moisture control. Such requirements may have a wide range of causes and persist for unpredictable periods of time. As a result, facilities managers are increasingly turning to hired rather than purchased solutions. There are several advantages of this form of procurement, not least the ability to avoid potentially significant capital expenditure by financing the solution as an operational cost instead. Since the justification of capital expenditure often requires the achievement of demanding financial benchmarks, this route is frequently unsuitable for use in emergencies or for projects of short or unknown duration.


A


facilities manager’s primary role is to ensure that the buildings and services for


In many instances, the purchase of a capital asset is avoidable by the careful selection of appropriate, high quality rental alternatives. A hire arrangement also affords the end user a much greater degree of flexibility not possible with conventional assets. Changing circumstances often necessitate an increase, decrease, time extension or sudden end to the requirements. Such changes may be the result of rapidly changing weather conditions, the unexpectedly quick repair or replacement of a faulty system or an increase in seasonal demand. When a major property management company required the provision of air conditioning for a block of studio apartments in London, a capital investment was regarded as being too time-consuming and expensive to be completed before the summer heatwave. The solution was to mobilise, install and commission over two hundred portable air conditioning units in a matter of days to ensure the buildings’ occupants remained comfortable all summer long. Unlike permanently installed equipment, the responsibility for the routine maintenance and repair of rental equipment lies with the hire company and not the facilities manager, building occupier or owner. All equipment is fully checked, serviced and prepared prior to despatch to ensure its reliability and fitness for purpose. In the unlikely event of a breakdown, specialist technicians are on hand 24 hours a day to deliver an urgent response. In extreme circumstances, if a timely on-site repair cannot be completed, a hire provider with a national presence will have the capability to deliver replacement equipment with minimal disruption. This service is included in the rental price, instilling confidence in facilities managers and ensuring peace of mind for their clients. In the summer of 2015 a globally


renowned pharmaceuticals manufacturer encountered major disruption in one of its


76 FACILITIES


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