By Building networks
Facility Managers - Tips to avoid wasting money and time on compliance fixups you do not need to do.
From years of experience, when training and supporting facility managers, it has become more and more apparent that there are mixed messages coming from all directions. They don’t know what they don’t know. Navigating the rules becomes a minefield, knowing who the most reliable source is for information, and how to more confidently deal with unexpected BWOF issues, notices to fix and those famous words ‘that doesn’t comply’.
Using our experience and ongoing feedback from our clients, we have developed some easy solutions. Designed to help facility managers navigate through the building compliance process, through a blend of online learning, support services and consultation around the tricky stuff that turns up in buildings.
Anita Brosnan, Mackersy Property says, “The ability to interact with a technical expert, not only provides a deeper appreciation of the subject, but also provides for continuous learning in a legislative environment.”
Some examples (with tips) of some traps experienced out there are:
TIP: Replacing an old handrail is not the only option. And what benchmark did the auditor measure against? A handrail in an historic building will never comply with current code but may still be perfectly safe.
TIP: That was bad advice from the tradie. Did any party (tenant, landlord, tradie, FM manager consult the guidance on schedule 1 of the Building Act to figure out what does and does not need consent. Check it out here.
TIP: Challenge this. Where is the biennial sprinkler survey and what does it say? Sift between defective and proactive maintenance issues versus recommendations which are optional. If your sprinkler is really old it may need a full replacement but that is a new building consent project and comes with lots of other compliance requirements.
TIP: Ask for a copy of the last alarm survey. Which era of standard was the alarm tested to? What were the readings? Where were they taken - at bedhead or in corridors?
TIP: The technician is there to service and maintain what you have not designed or specify more. That is an HVAC consultant’s job. If there are concerns about air quality, then this is a separate conversation from maintaining what you have onsite as is.
As you can see above each of the scenarios requires more unpacking before immediately saying YES and spending time and money on a fax that (a) May not have been needed at all, (b) There is more than one option to fix, or (c) Saying yes would lead to more compliance issues, not less.
If you are new to compliance or the FM role
We can teach you what you need to know, what to ask of your consultants, contractors, and tenants.
Note: When you get some technical support or training, you may see things perhaps get worse before they get better! This is because we will open your eyes to some stuff that may not have been done.
Phoenix Lavin, Design & Construction Interface & Transition Manager says, “I send my FM Team members on Building Network Courses because previous attendees have been really positive about what they learnt, and most importantly what they are going to change to make their days more efficient”.
We have trained many of you already in building compliance 101, but for those who are new to facilities management, we have a new solution package just for you. Check this out here
If you are experienced in an FM role but need a sanity check or some specific support
One way to avoid the trap of overs or unders is to bring it to one of our regular monthly online clinics where you can pose your questions to our tech facilitator and be guided as to what to do next.
Michele Shephard, Institute of Environmental Science and Research says, “I’ve really enjoyed the group engagement and insight the resident expert and host provide … all backed up with great resources and useful commentary.”
You have the opportunity for a one to one or to have an independent review of what is going on, a stocktake of your compliance and a scorecard of how you rate against the legal requirements. In our experience, there is always room for improvement.
If you have trained with us before, been on our webinars, or online school and would like to advance your knowledge our ‘stocktake option’ may be for you. Check these options out here
If you are an organisation / corporate wanting all team members to get on the same page
Please contact us for a discovery call where we can discuss your needs and how we can assist. Please contact us for a discovery call
The industry does not sit still or wait for anyone, when goal posts change, and unexpected things crop up, navigation becomes even more challenging. It may not seem like it but we are all trying to achieve the same thing - a building that works for people - that is safe and meets the legal requirements it needs to. We bring the different sides of the industry together and through this networking we can learn more from each other’s perspective.
Jared Olsen, Senior Building Compliance Officer - Wairoa DC says, “It always a nice refresher to sit down and have a quick discussion regarding topics that are common in the industry, through the master class webinar where we can discuss items with other BCAs and also non-regulatory individuals and get thoughts from both sides of the fence.”
To see our FM support packages click here
Check out this ground breaking determination 2018/028
What the determination was about
Note: although the notice also referred to the missing detail on the Compliance Schedule for some specified systems this was not under dispute.
The applicant challenged the notice by taking a determination.
Are key locks allowed? No!
Locks (on an escape path) that automatically relock on closing (and require a key to open) do not comply. Ref: C4.2 of NZ Building Code
Who is an occupant?
We all know there are gaps between the Building Act, the NZ Building Code and FENZ regulation with regards to the definition of what is an occupant of a building. Are they just lawful occupants or are we insuring trespassers and thieves can also escape?
The term occupant is not defined in the Building Act or Building Code. The TA contended that the owner had to allow for BOTH lawful and unlawful occupants to escape. However, MBIE endorses the view that “occupant” means someone who is lawfully on the premises (Note the TA considers). Read the determination detail on this point. It is interesting.
What is the interpretation of the word “occupant”, and does that include unlawful occupants?
Every retail space in NZ, or most of them, will not comply if the definition of “occupant” is changed to any person, any time.
Blogs and Vlogs by Rosemary (Rosie) Killip