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Brian Beetson looks at how building services will be a key differentiator in the office of the future

The office is no longer a place that workers must visit every day. Working from home for at least some of the week is quickly becoming a realistic option for many previously office-bound employees – and they’re taking it.

Some commercial office tenants have already reduced their office space requirements to reflect this change.

But few are giving up office space altogether. Instead, they are re-thinking the office and making it a place that their staff want to come to.

A report in the Financial Times (March 2021) noted that in London there is a ‘glut’ of smaller, second-hand offices because market demand is shifting to high-specification offices that provide attractive working environments.

With a less predictable future, we believe that being flexible is key to success

BrainBeetson Brian Beetson National Sales Manager – Service & Maintenance

Total support for total reliability

Of course, building services such as air conditioning aren’t visible to occupants.

However, they are certainly vital for delivery of ‘high specification’ workplaces.

And in a market where short leases and more competition mean that commercial tenants have more choice, ensuring continuous operation of key equipment such as chillers is a top priority.

With this requirement in mind, many commercial clients are looking for a service and maintenance solution that offers robust and reliable support to ensure effective and efficient operation of equipment.

Mitsubishi Electric recognises the importance of this level of service and works with its clients to deliver what we call, “Total support for total reliability”.

An end-to-end service

Our end-to-end service and maintenance approach puts a commitment to adding value at its heart.

Our goal is to provide maintenance that helps to eliminate unnecessary expenditure and achieve the highest levels of energy efficiency. This means that our focus is on optimising system performance of equipment such as chillers.

We can achieve that by harnessing technology such as remote monitoring, which is far more cost effective than remedying problems when they arise. It also supports smarter energy consumption.

Planned preventative maintenance (PPM) moves away from fixing problems, which is a short-term approach. It costs more to fix an issue than it does to anticipate and prevent it.

A bespoke service

Mitsubishi Electric’s approach is to develop bespoke contracts with customers, so that they can select the type of service and maintenance they require.

In a world where the future seems less predictable, we believe that being flexible is key to success.

We offer a range of options for our partners that can be included in a contract to provide the best outcomes: From commissioning to fault-finding through regular health checks and PPM.

Today’s HVAC equipment is built to last, but it needs regular service and maintenance to do so.

Left to its own devices, the equipment won’t necessarily develop faults, but performance will degrade.

As that happens, the equipment struggles. And a system performing at less than its best will not only cost more to run, it will also reach its end-of-life sooner.

A seismic shift

We are facing seismic shifts in working patters and behaviours.

An office must go beyond its old purpose of simply being a place to work, and shift into a new gear: The office must offer a pleasant, healthy environment that encourages productivity and even helps corporate tenants attract and retain talent.

And while building services are a hidden element of achieving those lofty ambitions, they are vital (and are certainly missed if they’re not operating).

So, service and maintenance also need to change gear to meet the needs of clients.

At Mitsubishi Electric, our aim is to help building owners and managers navigate into the future with flexibility and confidence.

Brian Beetson, National Sales Manager – Service & Maintenance