What to consider when maintaining strata building assets
Before you start to analyze your asset information your first step is to gather it. Our Preventative Maintenance Information Guide explains the need for good asset baseline documentation and good maintenance contract reporting.
Next, it is worth attempting to group your assets to help decide which specialist to approach for advice. Consider grouping your assets into asset types, asset complexity, or simply expected life-cycle end dates.
If you have a building management company, then you should seek their recommendations on how to go about considering any upcoming asset reviews.
There are various building and engineering consulting companies who provide a range of service review options.
It’s worth considering an independent audit of the asset and the related maintenance contract of any complex or expensive assets such as lifts.
Repair, Upgrade or Replace?
This article is a start to helping you think of what questions you need answered about your asset decisions. As strata managing agents we are not experts in this field. Advice should be sought from specialists in the respective areas such as electrical, mechanical, hydraulic, etc.
Specialists will advise as to:
- Asset life cycle implications on the current maintenance program
- The outcome of reviews to current Codes
- Considerations to ongoing hazard and risk management
- Opportunities for energy and efficiency gains
Using specialist expertise will result in developing the correct strategies to allocate the right resources for your asset management.
Incentives for Energy and Efficiency Gains
The Australian government has established discounts and incentives at all levels – federal, state and local – the focus being about achieving sustainability targets set for 2030 or 2040.
In August you were invited to participate in a survey commissioned by the NSW State government aimed at removing red tape encountered when dealing with retro-fitting sustainability infrastructure in multi-ownership buildings. Over 20,000 responses were gathered which helped to provide meaningful insight from a voter segment not usually considered.
Discounts and incentives aim to improve efficiency and thus drive down energy, water and repair costs. When assets are looked after efficiently the benefits include:
- More reasonable running costs
- Better longevity of assets
- Fewer breakdowns
- Usually more environmentally-friendly
Quality specialist providers will ensure that full advantage is taken of government grants, discounts and incentives. Listed here are links to information for just some of these offerings.
- Energy Savings Scheme financial incentives relating to electricity and gas
- Small scale technology certificates for solar panels or solar water heaters
- Sydney Water WaterFix Strata program for immediate water savings managed directly by Sydney Water
- Ausgrid Power2U Program open until December 2020 in certain suburbs providing incentives for lighting and solar projects
- Free NABERS for apartment buildings ratings until 2021 which means a saving of $2,438 though schemes still need to pay for an assessor.
There are case studies for the different programs that demonstrate timely asset replacement results in better value for money, a relatively short ROI (Return on Investment), and importantly significant ongoing operational cost savings to owners.
Any questions, just ask your accredited Strata Plus strata manager.Read more
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- Waverley Council – Building Futures
- Ku-ring-gai Council – Smart Units Rebates
- City of Sydney – Smart Green Apartments
- City of Sydney – Food Scraps Recycling Trial
- Lane Cove Council – Greener Apartments Program
- Canada Bay Council – Our Energy Future
- Randwick City Council – Community Sustainable
- North Sydney Council – Futureproofing Apartments
- City of Ryde – Home Waste and Sustainability Advisory Service