Building engineers, also known as building service engineers, or building managers are responsible for ensuring the building is safe and meets all legal requirements for a commercial building. In most cases, trained building engineers are required to perform a wide array of repair and maintenance functions. They may also be required to oversee contractors that carry out the work.
Keep reading to learn more about the roles and responsibilities of a commercial building engineer.
Who is a Building Service Engineer?
Building engineers are responsible for the repair and maintenance of all types of buildings. This includes apartment complexes, office buildings, churches, hospitals, hotels, and manufacturing facilities. The responsibilities typically encompass maintaining the physical aspects of a building. This includes everything from the electrical infrastructure to the heating and cooling equipment.
Building engineers are required to have an expert knowledge of the different aspects of repair and maintenance. They should have the ability to make minor repairs to ventilation, heating, and cooling equipment along with electrical features, such as light fixtures and wall outlets. For instance, if the air conditioner in a building malfunction, the building service manager is responsible for ordering the part and making the repair.
The authority of the building manager covers other features, such as alarm systems, heating boilers, CCTVs, and others as well. Building service engineers are required to closely work with building managers for determining the physical needs of the building they operate. Stemming from this, a building services manager may be tasked with soliciting bids, researching, and overseeing the installation of a security system by the building manager.
Responsibilities of a Building Service Engineer
The type of commercial building being maintained determines the duties and responsibilities of a building services engineer. This involves local repair and maintenance laws as well. With that said, a building engineer in a food manufacturing facility would need to administer repair and maintenance of refrigeration equipment.
Building engineers, in certain locations, are required to outsource certain tasks because of local and state licensing laws. In relation to this, building managers at hospitals may need to contract licensed plumbers for repairing broken pipes. These are a few other responsibilities of building service engineers:
1. Ensuring Visitor and Occupant Safety
A building manager is directly responsible for ensuring the safety of building visitors and occupants. This includes the employees as well as vendors, visitors, and any other occupant on the premises. The building service manager is required to know about disability access requirements for ensuring exit signs stay lit and emergency exits are visible at all times.
It’s the building engineer’s job to ensure the building is prepared for safe evacuation in case of an emergency. They are required to verify that posted signs and maps display adequate and correct evacuation procedures and emergency information. Finally, the building engineer needs to make sure the custodians keep the interiors disinfected and cleaned during all months for keeping occupants safe.
2. Fire Prevention and Security
Building service engineers are required to oversee the fire prevention systems, security staff, and security system in the building as per the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. They may be made responsible for managing the security staff directly or supervising the security staff chief. It’s the building service manager’s job to keep the fire system equipment and security systems operational at all times. They may also need to interview and hire companies for evaluating the fire sprinkler systems and fire extinguishers on an annual basis.
3. Perform Repair and Maintenance
Commercial building engineers in large buildings usually have a maintenance staff in addition to a team for operating and maintaining escalators and elevators. The maintenance staff comprises of technicians to take care of plumbing, electrical, and HVAC systems. The building service engineer would be responsible for this team to make sure they do a good job. In small buildings, the building service engineer may need to take care of small repairs on their own. For larger repairs, they would have to contract someone.
4. Supervise Landscape and Janitorial Services
The building engineer is often responsible for supervising the janitorial staff which takes care of the daily cleaning services. This includes overseeing groundskeepers for the landscaping and grounds upkeep. It also includes the staff that is responsible for washing and waxing the floors and cleaning and maintaining the public bathrooms. The building engineer would be responsible for overseeing contractual arrangements with groundskeeping and janitorial services if there is not any staff.
Need to Hire a Top-Rated Commercial Building Maintenance, Cleaning, and Engineering Services Provider
All types of large and mid-sized commercial buildings, offices and businesses should hire the services of a dedicated building service engineer. A professional level of facility maintenance and cleaning may not be possible in absence of a dedicated commercial building engineer. The key is to choose the right facility maintenance, janitorial, and engineering services company that has a trained team, tools, and resources to help building owners and managers achieve their targeted building performance and productivity.