Over 5,000 planned and over 20,000 unplanned reactive maintenance tasks per year are looked after by a dedicated team in Estates and Facilities. The team keeps the estate – infrastructure, buildings and their systems – running and fix it when it breaks. The maintenance team has a broad remit and no one day is the same.
Tony O’Rourke and John Browne, area executive craftsmen, work as part of the premises team for premises area 2 which covers a range of buildings from the Arts Building and Libraries across to the GMB and Botany Bay. According to Tony and John the nature of their work is unpredictable. It ranges from planned preventative maintenance to reactive maintenance. A typical day starts with early morning checks in lecture theatres and toilet facilities to ensure that they are fully operational and continues on with anything from fixing lights and drains to health and safety work to prevent slips, trips and falls, for example fixing a carpet corner or pavement slab that has become dislodged. Tony and John also form part of the on-call emergency maintenance team who respond to emergency call in’s 24 hours a day 365 days per year
As Tony explains he could be down a man hole one hour and then in a meeting with contractors the next hour. One of the most unusual jobs he had to do was enticing a pigeon caught in the 1937 Reading Room outside again! Whilst the maintenance work has remained the same, technology has developed to ensure more efficient service such as environmental friendly light bulbs.
When reports are received of breakdowns, failures, faults and floods these jobs are prioritised. An emergency call-in service is provided outside of core working hours. This service is provided by both Trinity staff and external contractors.
Much of the work is preventative where the team try and fix things before they break. This work is prioritised firstly by legislative, health and safety and/or insurance requirements, then operational needs, for example re-lamping lecture theatres before they fail to prevent teaching being disruptive, and then the protection of asset value, such as cleaning damaging deposits from stonework to extend its life.
Both Tony and John, who between them have a combined 53 years’ service in the role, note how the campus has become much busier over the years with an increase in the number of students and visitors. The maintenance team includes area executive craftsmen, general operatives, painters, plumbers, electricians and carpenters.
All requests for call outs are now centralised through the Estates and Facilities help desk.
The campus is divided into five geographical areas, each with its own premises manager. In additional to maintenance management, the wider premises teams are responsible for the management and delivery of front line services, safety systems and procedures, including all building internal security and attendant services, cleaning services, utilities, facilities and troubleshooting, to support the core business of the University.