Top 10 tips for critical environment management to get the most out of your assets

by Brianna Crandall — May 17, 2017 — Joanna Harris, head of the Sustainable Construction Group at the U.K.-based building services and engineering consultancy BSRIA advises that in a critical environment such as a data center, it is key to ensure that all assets deliver their optimal level of performance. This requires a management strategy that reflects the importance of key assets.

By having good quality, reliable asset information, implementing standard and emergency operation procedures, and assessing asset maintenance needs for condition, functional resilience and criticality, BSRIA members can ensure their asset management effort can reduce operating costs and increase their resilience to engineering risk.

BSRIA’s Top 10 tips for running an efficient critical environment are:

  1. Develop effective operational management strategies.
  2. Ensure there is a continuous improvement culture.
  3. Ensure you capture performance data.
  4. Benchmark and use the data to drive improvements.
  5. Embrace new technologies that provide performance improvements.
  6. Ensure engineers are suitably trained and competent.
  7. Test critical assets and operating procedures regularly.
  8. Non-useful electrical power ends up as heat: match power input to load.
  9. Measure your static floor pressure to ensure ventilation is getting to the heat load: think of warm air as a pollutant.
  10. Review your maintenance tasks to ensure the activities address the likely causes of failure.

Jo Harris, BSRIA’s Sustainable Construction group manager, stated:

For efficient critical environment management — there’s the trusted mantra: Plan, Do, Check, Act. You must have a management strategy in place that enables you to undertake the management and maintenance of the assets. Then the key is to check that what you had planned is actually giving you the results you wanted.

Measures that reduce risk in a business with a critical environment are key for operators and should be of interest to BSRIA members. These salient tips will hopefully get organizations on to the path of success.

It cannot be underestimated the impact that management can have on engineering risks in a critical environment. And of course — good management will also help reduce operating costs.

BSRIA can independently audit critical environment management, advise on maintenance strategies explaining the principles of business focused maintenance, test critical environmental designs and environmental conditions, and deliver the most accurate and authoritative results that can help:

  • Architects to validate their critical environment design;
  • Developers to prove efficient design of the effective critical environment;
  • Contractors’ confidence in the construction and commissioning of the system; and
  • Building owners’ delivery of a reduced risk critical environment.

For more information, see the BSRIA Web site.