So, you’re looking to become a building maintenance engineer. But what do they actually do? Becoming a building maintenance engineer takes many skills, and you’ll have to earn qualifications.
A building maintenance engineer ensures the proper installation of equipment and building systems and performs routine monitoring and maintenance to ensure they run optimally and efficiently. Another name, which is fitting for a building maintenance engineer, is a reliability engineer.
Overview of Disciplines and Responsibilities
The building maintenance engineer should also be proficient in electrical engineering and project management. The maintenance engineer’s responsibilities include:
- Creating schedules for preventative maintenance
- Troubleshooting hardware as needed
- Performing equipment and machinery maintenance tasks
- Performing tasks as assigned by the lead or chief engineer
We expect building maintenance engineers to work in multiple capacities, such as Electrical, HVAC, Plumbing, Carpentry, Handyman skills. Diversifying skills and streamlining operations are essential to the engineers’ daily tasks.
Building Maintenance Engineer Soft Skills
There are soft skills that maintenance engineers are also expected to have to be a successful team player:
- Paying attention to detail to prevent missteps in tasks or potential asset failure
- Ability to use various types of software, including work order and enterprise asset management systems
- Problem-solving skills with an ability to be innovative if a problem arises outside the scope
- Keeping up to date on all technical knowledge, including the latest trends in maintenance and system performance
- Ability to collaborate and communicate effectively with various team members and technical staff to prevent bottlenecks and unnecessary downtime and streamline the maintenance cycle
Preventative vs. Predictive vs. Reactive Maintenance
Building maintenance engineers should expect to understand and implement three main types of maintenance: preventative, predictive, and reactive maintenance.
Preventive, or preventative maintenance entails monitoring equipment and systems on a routine schedule to prevent failures or malfunctions and extend the equipment’s life. Having a realistic maintenance schedule in place is essential for preventive maintenance.
Building maintenance engineers will work with technicians to create equipment repair schedules for each commercial building. Depending on the equipment or system, the engineer should perform maintenance at regular intervals or after an appropriate amount of operation cycles.
The building maintenance engineer’s goal is to collaborate with the team and relevant management to ensure equipment is always fully operational. They achieve this by using an effective and proven preventative maintenance schedule.
Suppose the equipment or a system fails or is expected to fail. In that case, predictive maintenance can help minimize repair costs and limit downtime. Building maintenance engineers can use software and other tools to track performance to home in on potential equipment failure causes.
Using real-time monitoring, engineers can determine the proper function capacity and system health for optimal efficiency and expose potential failures. This can include using imaging and analysis to pinpoint weaknesses.
When equipment is left running until failure, having a reactive maintenance plan in place is an essential duty of the building maintenance engineer. To ensure speed and efficiency when reacting to a system or equipment failure, the building maintenance engineer should:
- Have an inventory of parts available
- Create a contingency plan for equipment downtime
- Perform repairs to get equipment back up and running
Reactive maintenance is best for housekeeping-type tasks, like lighting, fixtures, carpentry, and signage.
Becoming a Building Maintenance Engineer
If you’re planning to become a building maintenance engineer, get on the fast track with BMSI in Washington, D.C. We can train you on the job and help you work through the ranks to meet your goal. Contact BMSI today to learn about our building maintenance opportunities.