Five top tips for heritage office maintenance

Maintenance is essential for the safe and efficient running of a building. As the saying goes ‘prevention is better than cure’ and as a car would be regularly serviced, the same applies to buildings.

Maintenance is often straightforward, especially in a modern, purpose-built office, but heritage buildings can throw in some additional challenges. The good news is, it doesn’t need to be a battle.

Here are our five top tips for managing a heritage workspace:

1. Make sure the basic health and safety is covered.

Water hygiene, air conditioning servicing, electrical appliance testing (PAT), fire alarm maintenance, ductwork inspections and cleaning are all essential for ensuring a healthy environment for your staff. To ensure everything works: test, test, and test again.

This is particularly important while Covid-19 restrictions are in place. For example, if water systems and AC systems are not being used regularly, they become more susceptible to becoming contaminated with legionella bacteria.

2. Get familiar with your office environment.

Wear and tear will happen in any office. However, in a heritage building, if not maintained, it will soon look run down and any charming features will be overlooked. This creates an uncomfortable environment for your staff and a poor impression for visitors.

Take regular walks around the building at different times in the day. Really observe your premises and imagine what the first impression would be for a client. Is there a water stain on the ceiling? Is that lightbulb out? And don’t forget to talk to your staff and ask them for feedback. They may have some simple yet effective ideas for improvement.

3. Keep your maintenance records up to date.

Being too busy is an excuse we often use, but keeping on top of maintenance paperwork is essential and is a legal requirement. Doing it properly allows you to manage your planned preventative maintenance more effectively. And if you ever have a spot check or audit, you will avoid a panic and can prove your compliance straightaway.

4. Monitor your reactive maintenance tasks.

Being alert to the frequency of reactive tasks can help you identify how your plant equipment is performing. This can also help you manage future upgrades for your M&E kit. For example, if the boiler has broken down three times in the last month, is it prudent to spend more on parts and labour or simply upgrade to a new model?

In heritage buildings, upgrading to new plant equipment can be a cost-effective way to increase energy efficiency and encourage a more consistent, comfortable temperature.

5. Stay up to date with the latest maintenance innovations.

Innovate, don’t stagnate. Be in the know about new products and programmes that can make your premises more efficient and safer for your staff and visitors.

Technology is making maintenance monitoring simpler and more accurate. For example, we use 24/7 monitoring technology so that we are alerted to an issue as soon as it happens. That means a leak that starts on Friday night is sorted that evening rather than being a horrible shock for the first person in the office on a Monday morning.

So long as you are committed to a regular consistent maintenance programme your building should stay in good health. We strive for maintaining exceptional standards and would be happy to talk through any maintenance concerns you may have.