How well do you know your assets? The benefits of a professional audit

By: Will Dorahy, National Manager – Auditing at SyntricConsult

The knowledge, efficiency, safety and financial benefits unlocked by today’s
professional audits are too great for facility managers to pass up.

Why do you need to know your buildings’ assets?

In a 2020 survey conducted in partnership with FM Magazine, readers listed energy
management as their number one challenge. Budgetary pressure and extending
asset life came in a close second and third, respectively. Tech adoption, new
legislation and data and system security were also top of mind.

In today’s commercial environment, many building owners and facility managers are
accountable for the safety of tenants and the compliance of the property, while also
ensuring operational efficiency.

It is the obligation of a building’s facility manager to understand the inner workings of
their property. An FM’s knowledge of their operational assets will usually depend on
two key factors. First, the length of time they have spent working with the asset or
portfolio and its broader organisational framework. Second, their exposure to the
hard technical services within that environment or portfolio.

There is only so much an FM can truly understand from experience, expertise and
walkthroughs. Critically analysing the building’s services, going through its entire
core and coming out with specific data and reporting is the only way to guarantee a
clear insight into the current condition of any assets and their operating environment.

Safety is no accident

Protecting people and their lives should always be a priority. Buildings, especially
older ones, could potentially have many hazards invisible to the naked eye and be a
lawsuit waiting to happen. Unbeknown to the property owner or manager, they may
no longer comply with Australian Standards. Existing building safety issues can be
identified in any audit process. FMs must fulfil their duty of care and WHS (work
health and safety) obligations. Clear identifications of current hazards and risks will
reduce their impacts from the health, safety and welfare point of view of building
occupants and maintenance staff.

Un-coding the national construction code

Keeping well-informed about changes and updates to the National Construction
Code (NCC)
provides the minimum necessary requirements for safety and health,
amenity and accessibility, as well as sustainability in the design, construction,
performance and liveability of buildings in Australia.

Auditing of operational assets will provide FMs with insights such as compliance
awareness; a comprehensive audit for a building/s should allow for a full review of
regulatory compliance across building services, to ensure compliance with the NCC
and relevant Australian standards.

Mitigate risk

Avoid costly breakdowns to your building. The disruption of services such as power
outages and breakdown of old and faulty equipment can mean lost profits, reputation
damage and inconvenience for occupants. Following a detailed audit of building
services, asset risk protocol can be applied to all assets comprehensively.
Interpreting the data can highlight possible failure points, identify opportunities,
improve productivity and decrease such costs as maintenance, energy and
insurance. Therefore, risk profiling and understanding asset criticality are essential
for risk mitigation and avoiding the costly failure of building services.

Optimise operations

The condition of a building’s operational assets can have an impact upon operational
expenditure. Ensuring reduction in wasted utilities like energy and water not only
leads to lower energy costs, but also lower operational running expenses. A
comprehensive audit of technical assets can identify how an asset is controlled or if
further optimisation should be considered (such as implementing a BMS – building
management system) or upgrading of equipment, with the intention of maximising

Know your assets – professional auditing services

A professional audit of building services will deliver the above, with an extensive
level of detail for the identification of the current state of all building assets and
services. It is also an essential starting point in both the short- and long-term
budgeting for maintenance and capital expenditure. This provides facility managers
with the ability to project both short-term and long-term viable and economical

Specialist auditors can deliver specific audits or a combination of audits, with
dedicated technical advisers in each area of auditing – fire, safety, mechanical,
electrical, plumbing, BMS etc.

So how does it work?

At Syntric, our specialist auditors engage with the organisation to tailor a specific
scope that will achieve the organisation’s goals and objective by providing them with
optimal working data and solutions.

A full-scale on-site assessment and review on each asset and associated services is
performed. To support the process, we go through ‘as-built’ documentation and
previous maintenance records where available, as this further enhances the data
yield. We then capture data on each asset, using our unique audit tablet software
and infrastructure. Data, knowledge and advice is presented to the FM and then
made available through our client web portal. Contact Us if you would like to find our

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