What Are Building Operations?


Building operations consists of the activities necessary to operate, maintain, and manage buildings. This includes maintaining the HVAC systems, plumbing, electrical, and building system configuration.

Why it’s Important

Because building operations cover so many areas, many real estate companies have separate departments for operations, utilities, sustainability, and engineering. Here are the most important areas to address in building operations:

  • Maintenance Techniques - Maintenance strategy and control, transitioning from reactive to proactive maintenance, maintenance contracts, establishing a minimum standard for inspection and maintenance of equipment, operating and maintenance documentation, and maintenance technician training.
  • Owning and Operating Costs - First costs of building ownership, new building construction project delivery methods, estimating costs, service life, depreciation, recurring cost, maintenance costs, utility costs, regulatory costs, utility billing analysis, and economic analysis
  • Heating, Ventilating, and Air-Conditioning Controls - Control components, specifying control systems and writing control sequences, effective use of control technology, using the control system for energy management, impact of controls of operating costs, emerging control technologies and strategies.
  • Contractor Start-Up and Handover Procedures - Pre-start-up procedures, equipment and system start-up and testing, operator training, substantial completion and occupancy permit, handover procedures, record drawings, operating and maintenance documents, warranty, and post warranty operation.
  • Commissioning and Testing - Commissioning process and benefits; functional acceptance testing; testing, adjusting, and balancing (TAB); and existing building commissioning
  • Risk Assessment Procedures - Defining risk, emergency response plans, activating an emergency response plan, types of risk and what to do during an emergency, and what to do after an emergency.
  • Greening Your Facility - Utilizing a building monitoring system to understand the energy costs related to each piece of equipment in real time. In addition, tenant submetering helps ensure that tenants are incentivized to reduce costs.
  • Health and Safety - Health and safety regulations and policies, organizational health and safety programs, safe work practices, and building operating regulations.