M&E Systems and Plant Validation

A building services condition survey is an inspection of plant and installations to assess their physical and operational condition, giving you the assurance that any potential issues with performance are identified so that solutions can be found.

In many cases, the external physical condition of a buildings services or systems is not truly representative of its ability to perform the required function. For example, the condition of electrical connections inside a switchgear enclosure cannot be established by a visual inspection of the enclosure alone. In these cases, internal or intrusive inspections are required.

Plant validation is second nature to us, including read and record of existing mechanical, electrical and controls systems, typically within buildings scheduled to be fitted out or altered to Cat A or B. This may involve working to guidance such as BSRIA BG35/2012 Condition Surveys and Asset Data Capture.

A typical validation exercise may include:

  • Visual inspections
  • Intrusive tests and examinations (air and water flowrates, pipework intrusive surveys, boiler condition and operation, chiller condition and operation, ambient temperature monitoring, relative humidity monitoring, water quality testing, lighting level checks and electrical load monitoring etc)
  • Plant internal examinations
  • Analysis of supportive data such as plant log books
  • Interviewing maintenance staff.

Condition surveys may be carried out for many reasons:

Broad brush condition surveys

These provide an overall assessment of the condition of the buildings services.

Maintenance management condition surveys

Maintenance management condition surveys collect data and appraise the condition of the building services plant and systems. It is vitally important for contractors to establish the maintenance condition of plant and installations before committing to comprehensive maintenance contracts.

Building Asset Register

One of the main objectives of any condition survey is to develop a reliable asset register along with a database on the overall condition of plant and associated systems. Both the building asset register and the condition appraisal will help the maintenance and facility management staff plan for their future maintenance, replacement and refurbishment needs.

The benefits of condition surveys are:

  • Identifying any significant defects that would adversely affect the performance of the building services
  • Identifying when ‘fault’ plant conditions could be reached, report on their cause and provide an indication of what maintenance actions need to be carried out
  • Identifying budgets required for maintenance work
  • Prioritising and recommending maintenance actions and identification of critical spares
  • Recommending intrusive inspections outside the scope of the condition survey.

“A formal and systematic appraisal of the condition of an item in respect of its ability to perform its required function.”

BS3811 definition of a condition appraisal





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