When people think of higher education and all the things which help keep universities running, facilities management may not be high on that list. However, there are so many aspects of facilities management which are actually crucial in the running of higher education facilities. Not only does facilities management ensure higher education buildings are in full working order, secure and safe but it also ensures they look good – and whilst that may seem trivial to some it is actually essential in ensuring students choose these universities and provide them with the money they need to continue.
How a university looks on the inside and out, plays a huge role in a student’s decision to learn at that facility – and as universities rely on students for funding, getting their aesthetic right is paramount. Not only that, but once students choose their university, the interior and exterior look of the campus can have a large impact on the productivity of both staff and students.
For all the reasons mentioned above, it is essential to understand the FM considerations in higher education and implement them properly.
The Importance of Planned Maintenance
Having a planned maintenance programme is important as it ensures your facility is always running at its best – it helps to spot any major malfunctions or issues before they occur meaning you can avoid costly repairs, downtime and closures. It is the most cost-effective way to manage your facility and this is no different in higher education. Keeping your facility running is essential for students to continue learning.
Planned maintenance can be tailored to the exact needs of your higher education facility – with a schedule that is adaptable and flexible. This means tasks can be performed at times which avoid shutdowns and business downtime – whether this be out of term time or at night.
Planned maintenance keeps your facility running smoothly, safely and securely. And, for when absolutely necessary reactive maintenance can fill any gaps – as we all know the unexpected can happen.
Currently, it is more important than ever to ensure your facility is hygienic and adaptable. Adaptable in the sense that it can change according to social distancing guidelines – ensuring it is COVID-19 secure. From implementing one-way systems, installing posters and signs reminding students of the rules, putting sanitizing stations around the building and maintaining the highest hygiene standards your facilities management team can help.
Security is essential in higher education, or any educational facilities for that matter. With such a large number of people in one space at any one time it is essential their safety be paramount – in addition to the security of the building being maintained at all times, including when empty.
Your facilities management team should be able to ensure your building is secure – through implementation of CCTV, alarm systems and security guards. At higher education facilities this is particularly important especially at halls of residence.
Hygiene is also a priority at educational facilities – again, as such a high number of people come and go from these buildings every day. For this reason, it is important to carry out daily cleans and deep cleans to ensure your facility meets all necessary hygiene requirements and is a space in which students are happy and comfortable.
As the years go by, it is becoming increasingly important to consider the energy efficiency and environmental impact of facilities. This is especially important in higher education with many universities aiming to go greener. Your facilities management team should be able to ensure your energy usage is monitored and reduced where possible – with emission being kept as low as possible.
Of course, on university campus’ it is not only the buildings interior that needs to be well-maintained. There is often a great deal of outdoor space surrounding universities – whether that be open grassy areas or smaller open spaces at city campus’. It is important to maintain the landscape around these areas so that they are a pleasant space for students to enjoy as well as to ensure they are safe and secure. The same goes for car parks as many students will drive to campus – any university owned car parks should be maintained to ensure their safety and security.
Universities are always having to consider their budgets, and in times when budgets are tight many higher education facilities are deciding to outsource their facilities management to dedicated companies. As a dedicated property maintenance company, MSL can provide in depth facilities management services – from planned maintenance and reactive maintenance to security and hygiene services. Get in touch today to find out how MSL can help you.