Tag Archives: condition survey

Why use Asset Surveyor for your physical assets?

Why use us is a common question and often it comes back to who they used before. Rogue surveyors with little or no experience have been a problem in the industry often being hired due to price.

Yet it has been proven counter productive when we are hired to redo everything they have done due to poor quality and incomplete asset data collecting. The initial saving on the rates of the rogue contractor are lost as they are often disappearing into the sunset after payment is already made.

With ourselves we have a structured Asset Integrity Framework. You know exactly what we are doing and when. You can gain access to your data on a daily or weekly basis not awaiting a contractor to provide it to you several months later.

We partner with you to make sure you get the right outputs and objectives from your surveys. We are in Facilities and assets for the long-term and continue to develop our strategy, software and technology to evolve with the industry and pioneer new developments.

Another important factor is as as  contractor we have worked with many of the large Facilities Management companies as well as the majority of Asset Surveying companies in the UK. If you are looking for a cost saving as well as receiving the same or improved standard of surveying take into account that working with us directly removes a layer of expense. As well as giving peace of mind knowing we have been in Facilities for over 25 years and experience of surveying for over a decade with some of the largest organisations within the UK and globally.

Asset / Condition Surveying App

 

The new App we have produced pretty much does everything you would want from a survey from software. After surveying myself for nearly a decade I can understand the frustrations of poorly thought out or programmed software. Part of that problem normally comes from the developers not actually “surveying”. As such what they see as logical and easy can be awkward and time consuming for a surveyor.

Even taking a photograph takes time which is why I tell people to assess if they actually need the photos in the first place. With a camera on a recent contract it could take as long as a minute. This was down to a delay in the camera starting up, delay for flash to charge, delay for the camera to store the photo. Then transferring a photo number to paper and then adding to a spreadsheet later. Doesn’t sound a big issue to just “take a photo”, but when you add  that photo to 2000 assets that is 33.5 hours just to take those photos. Which is why I always ask the question “what is the added value?”.

So with that in mind and many other issues as you can see from the App it already has most of the problems solved. The rest come from adjusting your choices of data collection and methodical working. As the data collection of this App simplifies everything else.

Condition surveys

We carry out condition surveys on all buildings, primarily for Mechanical and Electrical equipment. Although we have carried out condition surveys for housing association stock previously and “Fabric” of commercial buildings.

What is the advantage of a condition survey? The first thing you will receive is a status of your assets. E.g. you may have an air handling unit in very good condition but the maintenance on its motors have been run to fail. As such the condition of the motors is in a far worse state than the air handling unit they serve. Highlighting this issue allows you to pre-plan replacements or take a look at your maintenance regime to see if you need to improve maintenance.

The important thing here though is you get a better overall perspective of all your assets and equipment on site. As a Facilities Manager this could mean approaching your client and explaining that some maintenance needs improving and more investment. As a client you can pass judgement on if that investment is required or should you continue with running things as they currently are.

The 2008 recession seen a lot of maintenance cutbacks and they are beginning to show in equipment in recent years. As such I highly recommend getting a condition survey if you are unsure of the condition and what assets you currently have. Adding to this if you have a full asset survey undertaken with condition and age you can build a forward maintenance program for the upcoming years.

Asset Surveyors available.

As an asset surveyor and lead I have worked in the industry for almost a decade. As well as having over 20 years experience in the Facilities Management and maintenance industry.

We have experience and knowledge that has evolved over the years from data collection for confirming bids and contract values to :-

  • Lifecycle.
  • Compliance.
  • PPM regimes based on FSG20.
  • Identifying staffing levels required on contract.
  • Barcoding for easy identification of assets.
  • Site auditing for logbooks, maintenance and compliance.
  • ESOS – (Energy Saving Opportunity Scheme).
  • TM44 – Inspection of air conditioning services.
  • Confirmation of maintenance regime inline with O+M from manufacturer.

With experience in the Middle East, Asia and the United Kingdom myself and associated surveyors can offer services of high quality and consistency throughout. As well as support services if so required.

All surveyors have a minimum of 5 years experience within asset surveying as well as backed with over a minimum of 10 years Mechanical and electrical knowledge.

Telephone UK : +441213189630 | Telephone Spain : +34693100715

Condition surveyor available.

I carry out M+E and fabric surveys and although this is a bit of a plug i will also explain what a condition survey is to those who are unaware.

Matt Wilkie Asset Surveyor and FM Manager

When carrying out a condition survey its main focus is in identifying the condition of assets. In the Mechanical and Electrical condition surveys (M+E). This could be identifying things like has the maintenance been carried out and to an acceptable standard. Is the equipment operational and in good working order. How soon would the equipment last before it needs replaced.

Does the equipment sit in or out of scope? E.g. a contract may say all things are in good working order but you discover many items are failing or outside of compliance and regulations. E.g. an electrical isolator may be 50 years old but its replacement would also lead to an entire rewire from where it was originally fed. This needs to be identified as a risk and to be removed from scope or an adjustment in budget to cover its costs.

Fabric is similar because although its not pumps, motors and air conditioning. It does have things like periodic refurbishments and repairs. This means things like mold that can cause paint flaking and health issues are a problem. As well as ground movement cracking walls etc. which can often see written into a contract what is defined as a chargeable crack and what you should expect to absorb within the contract at no extra cost.

All these things affect building a contract for maintenance and as such its a critical part of renewing a contract or setting one up. It gives a realistic view of the business and all its assets as well as identifying any assets that are missing from the system completely.

Am I Obsessed With Asset Surveying?

Matt Wilkie Asset Surveyor

Ok I have to admit I love surveying but in general I enjoy doing any job well. What I find with asset surveying though is you can often take data as far as a client wants and beyond!

There is so much information that most people overlook simply because they haven’t gone so in depth for it or even more so important never asked people who know how to get the data what they want.

Being able to not only show true information that shows the cost of labour, number of employees needed, maintenance regimes depending on budget, manufacturers specification, company specifications or industry standards as well as many other variables you can show how much each thing affects the overall annual costs.

For example a if you took a manufacturers recommended maintenance for condensers on air conditioning units you would find it doesn’t come anywhere near that which is needed for desert conditions. Adapting the maintenance and showing the variables of if they increased maintenance, what to expect if they kept to manufacturers recommendations or went to a run to fail program. You could actually build 3 different scenario’s and show the annual costs and labour needed.

Because in reality sometimes it doesn’t make sense to maintain equipment beyond its expectations as it could simply be burning money which could instead be replacing units on a regular basis and reducing costs as well as improving efficiencies of the units.

Its partly why asset surveying appeals to me as you can find and show where a company can not only save money but predict where they will need to invest or maintain more. Getting the balance right helps keep companies producing and within realistic costing. The big issues these days is showing the viability of what we do as companies don’t often see the value until we are finished and showing figures.

I have been involved in the asset surveying myself for years as well as general surveying and building surveying. All in all though if your wanting a varied and interesting career I highly recommend surveying!

Why Do Housing Associations Carry Out Condition Surveys?

There are multiple reasons housing associations carry out condition surveys not only for incoming and outgoing tenants but also for new and old stock. Several of these key areas are explained below.

With old stock properties bathrooms, kitchens, windows, boilers not only have standards to adhere to for the home to be liveable but also legally have to be compliant with changes in regulations. For example you will find heating boilers have moved in many homes and this is primarily for safety to reduce the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Although most people in the general public don’t follow these strict guidelines and often unaware until their boiler breaks down, housing associations and other organisations in a position of trust and responsible for others will always have to adhere and often ahead of government changes.

Bathrooms and kitchens in ex services quarters are often well maintained but extremely old and outside of an acceptable standard for housing associations. So upon ownership transferal there is a need to rip out bathrooms, toilets and kitchens which normally have already seen a life of 35 years far beyond what is acceptable even if in good condition.

We have a standard that is nationally set and need to comply with it where possible. Even if we cannot carry out the repairs and upgrades at that time a program will be set for the replacements for the near future.

On hand overs between tenants though its often a different reason as tenants can and do change things without informing the housing association first. Many a property I have found walls missing, new kitchens, altered bathrooms etc. etc. All seems a good idea at the time by the tenants until they want to move out or exchange homes. The housing associations are often flexible in these types of situation as long as an acceptable standard has been met. Only issue normally comes around is when things need to be ripped out to be put back to fit for purpose e.g. a kitchen that has been fitted by a tenant that cannot be maintained by the housing association or that the tenants have made something dangerous.

All in all though the condition surveys carried out by housing associations are to the benefit of all parties to not only make sure the building is in a safe and liveable condition but also its maintained to a level that can be sustainable and often improved upon.

Property Condition Surveys For Social Housing.

I have carried out many condition surveys for social housing throughout the United Kingdom and wanted to talk about the key reasons this is done as often people don’t realise why they are carried out.

Because there are multiple surveys often being carried out at the same time. Main one being related to health and safety but also followed with energy efficiency and refurbishments.

The one I personally mainly cover is the issues relating to the age of the properties inherited onto a housing associations books. Generally we find that ex military,Royal Air Force or even ex council houses often don’t meet our requirements as a housing association so we need to begin to bring the property standard up to specification.

The decent homes standard is something that was introduced and is often referred to as part of the ideals your looking to be able to provide as a standard.

Often though inherited housing stock is well below par when it comes to ages of bathrooms, heating systems, kitchens and windows. Often age and other factors also mean some buildings being prone to things like condensation and damp. Being able to understand the affects and prevention of how one thing impacts on another is an important factor in improving a homes condition.

For example wall and loft insulation can often have a huge positive impact on a home not only for the resident but in also maintaining the quality of the home reducing the number of repairs as well as extending the life of some components of the home.

So although sometimes people don’t see the immediate benefits in fact they have probably forgotten the surveyor was ever there by the time large budgets are allocated for entire estates. But even looking round the plumbing of a house a resident isn’t aware that we are often looking for things like pipe lagging to protect the pipes from frost as well as help in lost heat. Both having a positive impact on the resident and the housing association stock of done properly.

Asset Verification Surveys

An Asset Verification survey or “AV Survey” for short is generally carried out at the start of a contract changeover period. I wanted to cover the reasons why Asset Verification is so important in a contract.

Most companies on a large scale leave their general maintenance to Facilities Management companies or some other external body who deals with the day to day maintenance of their facilities and equipment. The problem is between the client and the FM company the data is often not updated on a regular basis.

This creates a problem with contract evaluations as they can be under or over valued for maintenance. For example if your equipment was all 50 years old and constantly breaking down but the basis of the contract is written in as “new” you could expect a huge amount of extra repairs during the contract period. The opposite happens if you have replaced a lot of old equipment yet its still on the asset lists as very old. Because the incoming FM company would put additional repair costs to the equipment or even remove it from contract completely until brought up to standard.

So the asset verification process is extremely important in getting  the right budget for the right maintenance. But going forward as long as the  FM company and client manage their asset lists correctly they should only need minimal updating with changes, repairs etc. as long as its kept up to date!

From a replacement point of view having the asset verification completed often shows a lack of maintenance as well as a lot of equipment in poor condition. These can now be allocated a time period of replacement and expected life before they need replacing.

The reasons I wanted to stress this is that the asset verification is normally coupled with asset condition surveys as they can both and ideally need to be done together. Your paying for a surveyor to assess things are there it doesn’t take much longer to give it a condition code!