SFG20: Supporting planned maintenance in buildings

9th August 2023

SFG20 is the gold standard for building maintenance excellence and efficiency. Launched in 1990 by the Building Engineering Services Association (BESA), SFG20 stands for ‘Service Frequency Guide 20.’ It originated from the need for a unified approach to planned preventative maintenance (PPM), helping organisations save time, reduce costs, and ensure compliance.

According to SFG20, a PPM regime can cut costs by 20%, thanks to:

  • Reduced downtime risk
  • Reduced need for off-plan (expensive) maintenance call outs
  • Improved system efficiency
  • Streamlined tendering & auditing processes.

The industry standard for planned maintenance:

SFG20 is the definitive standard for planned maintenance, used widely across the UK. It provides comprehensive guidance on maintaining and managing buildings and assets, ensuring they remain in peak condition while adhering to cost-effective practices.

SFG20 acts as a valuable resource for facilities managers, building owners, and maintenance professionals across various industries.

What does SFG20 cover?

SFG20 includes a library of over 2,000 maintenance schedules that updates dynamically to reflect changes in legislation and health and safety regulations, including:

  • Air conditioning/handling units
  • Boilers, burners and heat generators
  • Chillers, cold rooms and food storage
  • Ducting, fans and filters
  • Fire alarm systems
  • Heat emitters, exchangers and rejection systems
  • Hot and cold-water services and pipe work
  • Power generators, supplies and pumps
  • Vacuum systems, valves and ventilation

Each maintenance activity is outlined with best practice, schedules, and guidelines to follow, providing a clear roadmap for effective maintenance. The schedules are designed to accommodate various building types, equipment, and industry-specific needs, allowing for flexible and efficient planning.

The SFG20 software helps you to build and customise maintenance schedules to suit business needs. Prioritisations are colour-coded so you can easily identify which tasks are statutory, mandatory, function critical and discretionary. SFG20 also highlights the specific skill sets required to complete certain tasks.

How does Guardian support SFG20?

From the list above, the equipment and services related to closed systems are vitally important: air handling units, boilers, heat generators (PHX), chillers, heat emitters (radiators/FCU’s).

We use real-time monitoring as part of our BG50i Intelligent Monitoring & Water Treatment package, designed for FMs and building maintenance teams tasked with looking after closed-system HVAC plant.

Collecting data on a range of parameters that are indicative of system condition, the information provided by our monitoring technology can complement SFG20 software, supporting effective asset maintenance.

The information provided by our monitoring technology becomes a key investment in the maintenance cycle to ensure continued and reliable operation of closed systems and associated capital plant and equipment. This data can then be integrated into any Computer Assisted Facilities Management (CAFM) system to recognise key closed system operation parameters related to water quality and corrosion protection.

Contact us to find out more.


SFG20 supports a comprehensive and efficient approach to planned maintenance. When it comes to water-based HVAC, such as air conditioning, heat pumps and heating systems, Guardian’s BG50i approach is the perfect compliment to SFG20/CAFM, ensuring buildings run at their optimum, avoiding downtime, unplanned maintenance and expensive repairs.

Find out more about BG50i: BG50i Intelligent Water Monitoring & Treatment