Plant Maintenance and Upgrade

Plant Replacement: when and why?

Plant Replacement Strategies are an imperative part of the overall building management, maintenance and operational regime. Mechanical & Electrical (M&E) and Heating, Ventilation & Air Conditioning (HVAC) plants have a finite life expectancy depending on their application and type. Replacing plants at the right time and for the right reasons is the key to energy efficiency. FACTORS – There are several factors that combine to determine whether plant and equipment should be replaced or upgraded and when as follows:
  • Age
  • Maintainability / Serviceability.
  • Efficiency & performance.
  • Condition – Wear & Tear.
  • Obsolescence and operational costs.
  • Change in equipment or building use.
  • Breakdown and frequency.
  • Criticality and risk of failure.

Condition-based Report | Understand your building better.

Effective planning and budgeting is a critical aspect of property and facility management. To ensure efficient operations, we should plan, forecast, and establish conditions. Whether you are onboarding a new property or acquisition, creating an asset list and condition-based report is the first step that must not be overlooked. This report should provide detailed information on plant life expectancy and any other limitations that could affect the building performance. Extracting this information from a new building is relatively easy if you have a comprehensive Operations & Maintenance Manual (O&M). However, it can be more challenging to achieve in older buildings where historical data may not be readily available. Therefore, it becomes necessary to undertake an acquisition and condition-based survey.

Creating this report helps to identify every risk associated with the property’s condition, age, and serviceability from the outset. It ensures that any plans for improvement, replacement, or upgrades are factored into future budgets, allowing for smoother operations and better management of resources. By taking proactive measures to establish the property’s condition, you can mitigate any potential risks and avoid costly repairs in the long run.


Poorly maintained plants will also provide further complications that will limit or reduce plant life and serviceability, making upkeep more problematic. Poor maintenance will lead to the plant being replaced earlier than it should be and in the case of newly installed systems, if the maintenance is not administered per manufacturers’ recommendations, warranty cover may be void. The ongoing monitoring of the effectiveness of maintenance is key. Poorly maintained plants will undoubtedly suffer from a higher frequency of breakdowns. This is why maintenance effectiveness and delivery monitoring should also be monitored to ensure that all aspects of the maintenance objectives are being fulfilled.


We would recommend, depending on the strategic plans for a building, that a Capital Expenditure (CAPEX) forecast and Plant Replacement Plans (PRP’s) are produced that span a minimum of five years and typically ten. The PRP and budget are dynamic and should be updated periodically to reflect building circumstances, breakdowns, technological development, changes in legislation, obligations associated with decarbonisation and all factors listed previously.


Underpinning any plant replacement strategy is the effective use of sub-metering. Developing sub-metering strategies for all utilities and equipment at end use provides further insight, intelligence and monitoring capability to not only identify waste but also as a tool to monitor performance and effectiveness.

Energy & Technical Services Ltd has many years of experience in preparing:

  • Plant replacement programmes.
  • Capital expenditure forecasts.
  • Maintenance monitoring and effectiveness.
  • Lifecycle analysis and feasibility.
  • Energy saving initiatives & evaluation.
  • Energy auditing and surveying.
  • Performance specifications for plant replacement.

Project management and delivery of plant replacement strategies and initiatives.


The operating characteristics of any plant, system or equipment throughout its lifecycle tend to have higher failure rates in the ‘bedding’ in the process when it becomes operational and higher failure rates towards the end of its life expectancy. Between those two points, there is a stable operating base. This is often illustrated in the form of the ‘bathtub’ diagram depicted below:

‘Bedding in’ failures when the system is newly commissioned is standard. The failure rate will increase towards the end of plant life expectancy, and eventually, it will become uneconomical to run the plant. For example, we can obtain plant life projections from manufacturers’ literature or the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) Guide.
Age is also a factor in obsolescence; as the plant nears or exceeds its life expectancy, you are likely to find that spares for repair become increasingly complex to source, more expensive and ultimately, uneconomical to operate.


An appreciation of the strategic plans of a building must be understood. This extends to refurbishment, alteration and changes in use. Original base build HVAC systems and the plant can be significantly limited if a site use and application is changed but with little consideration of plant layout, capability and design. Poor environmental performance and internal comfort conditions are most likely to ensue, and the plant might become uneconomical to operate if there has not been any modification to the original base build systems. 


Technological development might lead to plants and systems being replaced earlier. Contemporary equivalents to replace an existing aged or mid-life system might be such that benefits in energy use, carbon emissions, operating costs and maintenance might be significantly less than the current system, and this could be replaced with a swift return on investment. If undertaking feasibility into replacing a plant earlier than its planned life expectancy, we recommend that a total lifecycle cost model be prepared rather than factoring return on investment merely in simple payback models.

Our Plant Replacement Strategy drives a sustainable and long-lasting building.

Our plant replacement strategy involves comprehensive condition-based reports that give you a better understanding of equipment and continuing maintenance that acknowledge you with complete control.   We aim to promote a healthy and thriving ecosystem within and around the building, which supports business growth, improves air quality, reduces energy costs, and enhances the overall aesthetics and functionality of the space.

with 25 years of experience, energy & Technical Services has the magical touch!
Our game-changing solutions will whisk you towards long-term triumph.

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THe benefits of Plant Maintenance and Upgrade

reduce energy costs

Give your gear a little TLC with regular maintenance and survey – it’ll live longer, and save you from costly repair bills down the road.

guaranteed air quality

With the improved plant performance,
carbon emissions can be controlled and
reduced following by energy waste reduction.

Centralised management

Keep your equipment in tip-top shape with regular maintenance to ensure efficient performance, ditch downtime, and rule productivity like a pro.