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Jason Ruehland talks about the challenges in delivering FM in one of the most critical sectors – Healthcare.


Possibly one of the most challenging arena for FM to operate within the healthcare environment demands more than simple cleaning and maintenance of facilities. Power management is a critical component integrated into the facility’s BMS, particularly when it comes to overseeing the primary and backup power supply of equipment on site. These include the storage for medicines, machines used in treatment such as medical gases, as well as life support systems.


The hospital’s HVAC is another crucial element, where minimal air changes are called for in order to maintain a healthy environment. Achieving this requires the deployment of sensors to help monitor the overall environment. Ideally, the data produced from these systems should be collated into one interface for easy management, but often a challenge in the current market involves working with outdates systems.


“Most hospitals are over 10 years old and the equipment, such as the BMS, are just as old. Therefore these systems are not as intelligent as what is available in the market today. We have observed in many cases, that sensors have not been commissioned properly or are not capable enough to provide accurate reports on how the building is performing.” asserts Jason Ruehland, Managing Director, Emrill.


“When Emrill does an inspection for facilities management or energy services, we look at upgrading the B<S by simply turning on sensors that are available or installing additional sensors to get an accurate idea of how efficiently the BMS is operating.”


The Managing Director continued to explain that most BMS deployed over a decade ago, tend to operate from a computer setup that is based on-site. The latest systems differ significantly however, with some offerings being web-based, enabling remote access and monitoring of the building’s performance.


Whereas the outdated platforms required direct input to address rising issues and alerts, the current technologies not only allow engineers to access and diagnose problems from off-site; many of the tasks and responses can be automated. Building protocols such as changes in the air temperature and lighting can be turned off or reduced, brining substantial operational energy savings to end-users.


“We deploy operating systems that are available in the market, but ensure we recommend the right system for our clients, that would give them clear visibility of how their building is operating and accurate reporting on energy performance and savings opportunities,” explains Ruehland.


The integrated FM provider’s considerable knowledge in the realm of healthcare is garnered from the collective experience of one of its joint venture partners, Carillion. As one of the largest construction, operator and maintenance firms active in healthcare, Carillion aided Emrill aligning their operational procedure, emergency protocol and maintenance programme for healthcare, to the international standard.


Ultimately, the goal is to achieve better operational performance with energy savings for the clients.


“For hospitals, it enables immediate savings on their energy costs that can be put back into the new medical equipment, employment of staff and providing patients with the best care. BMS to FM companies is what a stethoscope is to a doctor giving us the first insight into what is not operating as well as it should in a building,” beams Ruehland.


Article source: September 2015 issue, pg39, FM ME magazine