1 About this Guide
This Guide provides an overview of facilities management in multi-unit residential buildings, focusing on common areas and shared services. The purpose of the Guide is to provide a common understanding of issues and good practice requirements involved in running an efficient building, helping to bridge knowledge gaps between the various stakeholders involved in the development, construction, operations, maintenance, management and administration of multi-unit residential buildings. Structured to support the requirements of a wide range of users, the Guide can be read as a whole or for its stand-alone elements. It also acts as an initial reference for anyone involved with multi-unit residential facilities, including but not limited to: Apartment/unit owners Owners Corporation (OC) Owners Corporation or Strata Committee members Owners Corporation or Strata managers Facilities (building) managers Developers Specialist service providers Residents Local Government
Facilities Management (FM) involves guiding and managing the operations and maintenance of buildings, precincts and community infrastructure on behalf of property owners. Employing over 200,000 people in the commercial and residential markets, the industry contributes over $20 billion annually to the Australian economy, and plays a vital role in the realisation of strategic and operational objectives of business, government and the wider community. Facilities management is an age-old practice which has existed out of necessity since buildings were first constructed to support human activities. The FM industry is generally acknowledged as having stemmed from services provided by janitors and caretakers during the 1970s. As an increasing number of multi-unit residential buildings have been developed over recent decades, the demand for facilities management has also grown accordingly. Today’s Facilities Managers require a broad and diverse skill set, much more in line with management and business services than the building trade oriented services of those who once dominated the industry.
2.1 The role of the modern Facilities Manager
The Facilities Manager organises, controls and coordinates the strategic and operational management of buildings and facilities in order to ensure the proper and efficient operation of all its physical aspects, creating and sustaining safe and productive environments for residents. In residential buildings this is typically conducted at all times of the day, every day of the year. The Facilities Manager can consist of a single individual or a team, with services able to be delivered by dedicated ‘in-house’ professionals or ‘out-sourced’ in whole or part to external providers. An important role of the Facilities Manager is to provide services, meet varying expectations, support, information, be a good listener, and deal with conflict to create a community environment residents are willing to call home. Their role includes dealing with various contractors and suppliers in carrying out maintenance and upgrades, and providing services such as security, cleaning, and property maintenance. In larger buildings the Facilities Manager may be required to manage staff and be part of the recruitment and induction process. Therefore, they are again required to have excellence people management skills. Their relationship with support staff and contractors is critical in ensuring the building is a great place to live and work. In many areas the actual title of Facilities Manager is not commonly used, however as the wider industry moves toward greater consistency and standardisation more providers and professionals are