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Building Operation & Maintenance

Building operation and maintenance is an integral part of the research area in facility management. Whilst facility management embraces the practice of coordinating the workplace with the people and the work and integrates the principles of administration, behavior and engineering science, O&M focus on the application of new technology and development of good practice to achieve efficient operation of engineering systems in buildings. There is also some overlap with building energy and indoor environment.

Research study on O& M serves to:

  • identify practice of operating systems in buildings, operational problems and opportunities for improvement;
  • develop operational strategies and good practice for achieving effective operation of building systems;
  • support teaching in the areas of building energy management and demand side management.

Projects and Development:

1) O&M strategy for improving system performance

Projects in this area will evaluate the performance of the existing services systems, identify necessary retrofitting and develop control methods, operating strategy and maintenance program to improve system efficiency in a cost effective framework.

An example of on-going project involves the evaluation of air-cooled chillers performance under diverse weather and building load conditions and development of variable condensing temperature control at off-design operation for energy efficiency.

2) Demand side management (DSM) in buildings

There are many different DSM strategies that have been successfully applied in elsewhere for reducing both demand and energy consumption in buildings. Projects in this area will investigate the possibility of applying some of proven DSM strategies in buildings in Hong Kong for both cost and energy saving, focusing on air conditioning and lighting technology.

As part of DSM to be applied, typical electricity load profiles are essential to proper design of DSM programs to be implemented in Hong Kong. Project work is necessary to establish typical electricity load profiles in different types of buildings.