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Schools, it’s time for your PPM survey

By: Kelly Bellerson

This comprehensive assessment offers a systematic approach to identifying, prioritising, and addressing maintenance needs before they escalate into costly disruptions. So, why do schools need one now?

Amidst the hustle and bustle of daily academic life, the importance of proactive maintenance measures can often be overlooked. Enter: Planned Preventative Maintenance Survey (PPMS).

RAAC Crisis

In the wake of the RAAC scandal, schools have become more cautious about the safety of their buildings – and rightly so.

Schools across the country are still finding reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC) in their properties, which is putting both students and staff at risk, threatening the structural integrity of their buildings and the lives of those inside.

This is where building surveyors come into the fold. Checking every nook and cranny, every pipe, every roof tile, you name it – they’re checking it.

Not only are they the solution to your RAAC worries, but their PPM surveys also ensure the longevity, safety, and efficiency of school infrastructure, ultimately safeguarding the well-being of students, staff, and the estate as a whole.

What is a PPM survey?

A Planned Preventative Maintenance (PPM) survey is a comprehensive assessment conducted to proactively manage the upkeep and longevity of the school’s facilities and equipment.

This survey involves inspecting all aspects of the school environment, including buildings, utilities, HVAC systems, electrical systems, plumbing, and grounds.

Additionally, PPM surveys help schools budget effectively by forecasting maintenance expenses and avoiding unexpected emergency repairs.

The primary goal is to identify any potential issues or areas of concern before they escalate into costly repairs or disruptions to normal operations.

Why now?

Spring is an optimal time for schools to initiate Planned Preventative Maintenance surveys for several reasons.

Firstly, with the winter chill receding, it’s an ideal window to assess any damage or wear incurred during the colder months, allowing for timely repairs before they escalate.

The longer daylight hours also provides ample time for thorough inspections of school facilities, both indoors and outdoors.

Additionally, by conducting PPM surveys in spring, schools can identify and address maintenance needs promptly as they head towards the end of the academic year.

What happens during a PPM survey?

After you have contacted your building surveyor, they will arrange a date and time to come to your school and assess the estate. This will include:

Assessment of Building Condition: The surveyor inspects the building thoroughly to assess its current condition. This involves examining structural elements, mechanical and electrical systems, as well as the overall fabric of the building.

Identification of Maintenance Needs: They identify areas that require maintenance or repairs to prevent deterioration or failure. This could include issues such as cracks in walls, leaking roofs, malfunctioning HVAC systems, etc.

Prioritisation of Maintenance Tasks: After identifying maintenance needs, the surveyor prioritises tasks based on urgency and severity. Some issues may require immediate attention to prevent further damage, while others may be scheduled for future maintenance cycles.

Cost Estimation: The surveyor estimates the cost of necessary maintenance and repairs. This involves considering materials, labour, and any specialised services that may be required.

Development of Maintenance Schedule: Based on the prioritised tasks and cost estimates, the surveyor develops a maintenance schedule outlining when each task should be completed. This schedule ensures that maintenance activities are carried out in a timely manner to avoid disruptions and minimise costs.

Recommendations for Improvement: In addition to identifying maintenance needs, the surveyor may also make recommendations for improvements that can enhance the building’s performance, energy efficiency, and longevity.

Documentation and Reporting: Finally, the surveyor documents their findings and recommendations in a comprehensive report. This report serves as a valuable reference for building owners and managers, providing them with insights into the condition of their property and guidance on how to maintain it effectively.

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