Recommissioning Buildings After Lockdown

The government has published a ‘roadmap’ designed to lift limits imposed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The first part of the four-stage process is set to begin on March 8 with the reopening of educational establishments followed by further easing of restrictions progressively over the following weeks if certain conditions are met. The aim is for all COVID-19 controls to be lifted by 21 June at the earliest.

This is great news. After all, the virus has created unprecedented challenges, not least because it means that hundreds of thousands of people now work from home or are prevented from travelling. As a result, many commercial buildings have effectively shut down.

However, it also creates an issue for building owners and maintainers – how can they safely open up buildings as more people return to their workplaces?

Thankfully, help is available. The Building Engineering Services Association (BESA) has released a detailed guidance on this very topic via a guide which covers mothballing and recommissioning of HVAC systems

Thousands of UK buildings are already maintained in line with the industry’s planned maintenance standard SFG20 – originally introduced in 1990 – which is continually updated by BESA to reflect changing technical and regulatory requirements.

This has been joined by a recently updated and relaunched sister standard – SFG30 ‘Mothballing and Reactivation. SFG30 takes users through a process for maintaining critical services during a low (or no) occupancy period ready for rapid and full reactivation when business returns to normal.

This includes key elements such as keeping water systems safe and healthy (in line with the Health & Safety Executive’s L8 rules for legionella control); active and passive fire protection systems; safe handling of refrigerant gases; electrical and gas service safety checks and ventilation hygiene. It also explains how to maintain security systems and lifts if they are still in service among many other factors.

SFG20 and SFG30 were made possible by BESA members sharing years of specialised building engineering expertise and experience and contain essential information to get buildings safely through this critical period.

But they are not enough on their own. Enlightened FMs know that the only way to guarantee peace of mind is to employ competent experts that can offer comprehensive air handling unit maintenance and repair.

Employing skilled engineers, ECEX has a long track record of undertaking a complete range of mechanical services to the building services industry from replacing pipework and valves to upgrading or downsizing water storage tanks.

Among the services supplied by the company are AHU refurbishment and repair and the installation of UV-C disinfection for ventilation systems, as well as coil repair and replacement. ECEX is also an expert in pipework and valve repair, replacement and alteration, and water storage and L8 remedial works.

Click here for more details of the comprehensive list of services we offer.