Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2

Coronavirus - effects on facility management

The corona pandemic presents us all with major and unprecedented challenges. Building owners and operators have to deal with the short-term closure of properties or meet increased requirements in order to maintain hygienic conditions for the employees and customers working in the building.

By Christian Stuba, M. Sc. (FH), Martin Preuße, M.Sc. Facility Ma­nage­ment, Holger Graf, Dipl.-Ing. (FH) Energie- und Wärmetechnik, CANZLER GmbH

The current situation in building operations

The retail trade, as well as operators and users of production and logistics properties, are experiencing considerable losses in turnover due to the imposed restrictions, which are posing major challenges for many companies. Facility managers have to reduce the running costs of their properties to a minimum in the short term by switching off unneeded consumers, adjusting time programs or facility services for the property. At the same time, they must continue to comply with legal requirements for traffic safety, fire protection, hygiene and workplaces. At the same time, it must be possible to put the building back into operation as intended at any time.


The main tasks:

These include the realisation of ...

  • periodic inspections of technical installations by approved inspection authorities
  • recurrent control tasks on safety-relevant systems, such as functional tests on sprinkler systems and test runs of emergency power supply systems
  • condition checks on electrical systems and equipment, e.g. residual current protection devices
  • cecks of sensitive systems, the failure of which can lead to high consequential damage or supply critical infrastructures such as server/cold rooms, heating systems, lifting systems
  • hygiene controls on air conditioning systems according to VDI 6022
  • flushing of drinking water installations for proper operation in accordance with the TrinkWVO


Using time effectively

Additional patrols and other services, such as a telephone hotline or the presence of caretakers, can be reduced to a minimum or relocated in consultation with the service provider.

The current situation also offers the opportunity to implement measures that are often neglected in the normal operation of the property or cannot be carried out due to the high impact on core processes.

These are for example the implementation of:

  • maintenance on sensitive systems that cannot be switched off during normal operation
  • planned maintenance measures and cosmetic repairs

  •  Tests and simulations for energy optimization and emergency scenarios (e.g. black building test)
  • quantity and mass comparisons and condition assessments of technical installations
  • documentation tasks


"Spring cleaning" in the office building

The approach, "the building is not used or only used to a reduced extent, therefore I save cleaning costs for maintenance cleaning", does not work so easily, as the cleaning service provider owes its employees the contractual wage and must comply with collective bargaining obligations. Nevertheless it makes sense to work out solutions together. In addition to offers of goodwill towards customers, there are also possibilities to assign other areas of activity to the cleaning staff. Cleaning areas and tasks that are not the main focus of normal day-to-day business should be agreed with the cleaning service provider. In retail stores, this concerns storage areas, shelf space and cupboards as well as social areas. Instead of unused workplaces in the office building, the cleaning can be shifted to door handles, light switches, handrails and furnishings in sanitary and social areas. This results in a structured refurbishment. This not only benefits the building, but also serves to maintain the health and well-being of employees and users. Whether a targeted disinfection makes sense should be coordinated with the cleaning service provider. A precautionary all-round disinfection is not advisable. In any case, a cleaning professional should be consulted in order to avoid wasting resources. Planned basic mechanical cleaning can be preferred, whereby it should be noted that in this cleaning segment, more highly qualified or experienced cleaning staff are often used; the regular maintenance staff can therefore only be employed to a limited extent.


In summary, we recommend that both sides reach sensible agreements together with the service provider. Building owners and operators must accept the challenge and work out an ideal solution for the specific building together with all parties involved.

We are happy to support you in identifying, planning and implementing essential operator tasks and existing opportunities.