SFG30 – mothballing & recommissioning buildings during the pandemic

26th February 2021

In just over a week (March 8th), many of the UK’s children will be returning to school. This is the first step in our tentative and hopefully successful path back to normality.

While schools have remained open in some capacity throughout the Covid19 pandemic, there are countless other unused public and commercial buildings which will need careful recommissioning once it’s their turn to open the doors.

In response to this unprecedented time in our history, BESA (Building Engineering Services Association) has released SFG30. This gives detailed guidance on how buildings should be managed and maintained during lockdown and what steps need to take place before they go back into use.

Underused buildings

Whether shut down completely, or at significantly reduced capacity, the building services within these properties cannot simply be left. At the start of the first lockdown, many sites were abandoned – usually, mothballing would be planned over many months.

During lockdown, essential maintenance tasks must still take place – particularly for water-based services which can fall foul of Legionella bacteria if left to stagnate. It is never simply a case of locking the door and walking away.

SFG20 & SFG30

Thousands of UK buildings are already maintained in-line with SFG20, which covers planned maintenance strategies during periods of low occupancy or complete ‘mothballing’ and the correct steps for recommissioning a site.

SFG30 is a supporting document that includes information specifically related to the coronavirus pandemic. This includes ensuring things like server rooms are fully operational to support staff working from home.

SFG30 covers step by step processes for maintaining critical services ready for a speedy reactivation once life returns to normal, including:

  • Keeping water systems safe and healthy (in-line with ACoP L8)
  • Active and passive fire protection systems
  • Safe handling of refrigerant gases
  • Electrical and gas service safety checks
  • Ventilation hygiene – this is particularly important as part of creating Covid safe sites
  • Maintaining security systems and lifts

We can support FMs and building managers with the water system part of this list, as well as providing air hygiene services, such as ductwork cleaning.

During lockdown and now as we come out of it, Guardian has helped keep water systems efficient and legionella free in some of London’s most prestigious commercial spaces.

Our free guide ‘Locked down but not forgotten’’, has useful information on Legionella prevention in underused buildings. Download a copy, here.

For more information on SFG 30 and to download a copy, go to: www.sfg20.co.uk