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Operation & Maintenance Benchmarking - outputs for the yearMay 2007

The philosophy of benchmarking is one of continuously and objectively seeking improvement. BSRIA's O&M Benchmarking Network provides a tangible source of information to help building operators evaluate their performance against their peers, aiming to:

  • Reduce costs
  • Improve efficiency
  • Improve service
  • Save energy

Data collection focuses on four main areas:

  • Maintenance performance
  • Maintenance costs
  • Energy
  • Soft services

Respondents are categorised by the type of building they operate, namely data centres, premium offices, general offices, public facilities, education facilities and halls of residence. They are also further broken down into size of building and geographical location. This enables members to make better like-for-like comparisons.

The following illustrates some of the key findings from the Annual Data Collection. The latest figures cover the financial year of 2005/06. Comparisons, where made, are for the previous year of 2004/05.

Maintenance Performance

We asked several questions concerning the delivery of maintenance to understand the influences on the cost of maintenance delivery.

Over 60% of clients have minimal or no in-house management, outsourcing this along with all operatives.

88% use an input specification contract e.g. specifies level of maintenance and tasks as opposed to output e.g. response timings and temperature control.

Over 50% outsourced to a single service provider ensuring the main M&E contractor undertook management and procurement of specialist subcontractors

Price has become less important when choosing M&E contractors, with clients becoming more interested in areas such as the range of services offered (see figure 1)

Maintenance costs

We asked questions about the total cost of maintenance and separated out the cost of M&E maintenance for both in-house teams and outsourced. For outsourced, the cost of the main M&E contract was used. For in-house, costs included salaries, expenses, pensions, holidays, vehicles, car allowance, telephones, consumables, stock, spares, small repair etc.

There was an increase in total maintenance costs/m2 across all categories of buildings.

Average M&E maintenance contracts have decreased between 8.3% and 23.3%, with the largest decrease in premium office costs.

There was significant change in the types of contracts used for main M&E contractors. Most noticeably, in 2004/05 a lump sum contract was most common, whereas in 2005/06, there was a substantial shift towards a semi-comprehensive contracts.

Soft services

Soft services cover major FM areas such as cleaning, catering and security. As with maintenance, there were influences that affected the cost of these services, which were also examined.

Over half the companies who provide catering services provide vending facilities, but less than 40% offer a full restaurant.

Each category of building has seen an increase in cleaning costs, in particular premium offices which pay 44% more per m2 than the average office, which pay the least.

Security is hard to benchmark as it varies with the risk to the core business. However, Public Facilities had the lowest average cost per m2 but these were very low risk properties.


With energy and CO2 emissions an important focus politically and in the media, many businesses are looking to reduce their energy consumption. As well as collecting cost and consumption data, we asked questions about energy saving technologies and initiatives. 

Due to the increase in prices, electricity was measured in consumption/m2. Results were mixed. Premium Offices showed reduced consumption of 28%, whereas General Offices increased by 29%.

The cost of gas has similarly seen an increase. Only two of the building categories showed a decrease in consumption. Both the Office categories increased their gas consumption/m2, Premium Offices by 15% and General Offices by 36%.

As well as examining hard figures, the Network also looked at the energy saving technologies and initiatives being used (see figure 2).

Key FM Seminars

As well as benchmarking data, members of the network also benefit from three seminars per year on important FM topics as well as Specialist Interest Group meetings for operators of similar types of buildings.

This year's seminar programme covers Health & Safety and Legal Update, Integrated Testing for Critical Environments and Performance Measurement.

For further information contact:
FM Engineering at BSRIA
Tel: +44 (0) 1344 465600


Building investigations

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