This report gives an overview of the application of condition monitoring to the maintenance of building services. It is the first of four based on the results of a research project. The other publications in the series which consider in detail specific techniques identified as having the most widespread potential are: "Infrared Condition Based Maintenance (IR CBM) of Electrical Panels and Associated Equipment" TR 2/95; "Vibration Monitoring in Building Services" TR 3/95; "Building Energy Management Systems as Condition Based Maintenance Tools" TR 4/95. Modern buildings support valuable business activities with a range of complex mechanical and electrical services. Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems are necessary to provide an environment in which people and equipment can function effectively. Power supplies are essential to the operation of computers and communications. Building services are therefore critical to the business activity. Condition-based monitoring (CBM) is performed by selecting and monitoring a parameter which is indicative of plant condition. Any necessary remedial maintenance is then determined from diagnosis of the information collected.
CBM has the potential both to reduce the costs and increase the effectiveness of maintenance in a number of building services applications. This "Technical Note" gives an appraisal of the potential offered by CBM to building services, focusing on non-specialist plant (plant which is not normally maintained by specialist contractors).