is a discipline that comes under the umbrella of facility management
Facility management is an interdisciplinary field primarily devoted to the maintenance and care of commercial or institutional buildings, such as hospitals, hotels, office complexes, arenas, schools or convention centers...
. A building manager supervises the hard and soft services of a built structure, ensuring that the security, health and safety, and maintenance of this built structure are in place to a satisfactory level. There are essentially two types of building manager positions: residential and commercial. Hard services usually relate to physical, structural services such as fire alarm systems, lifts and so on whereas soft services allude to cleaning, landscaping, security and suchlike human-sourced services.
Residential Building Management
In a residential environment, a building manager will typically supervise a team of porters or security officers, cleaners, electrical and mechanical contractors and depending of the size of the development, a team of administrative staff. If the development comprises several blocks, it is common that the Building manager will report to an estate manager although both titles have become interchangeable. To a lesser extent, the term "development manager" is also used. Traditionally, this role's title was "house manager". The disparity in the job titles can reflect some differences in the job description but in essence the title that perhaps best defines the role is that of building services manager as the main aspect of the job relates to the day to day running of the development with particular focus on the maintenance, site staff management, health and safety and presentation of the building or residential complex with the best interests of the residents in mind.
The building manager will liaise between all the parties involved in the day-to-day management of the development.
An external property management company that will issue and chase up the service charges, supervise the annual budget and approve any additional works and requirements so that the development complies with current health and safety legislation and to ensure that the residents' needs are satisfied. They also manage the on site staff (i.e. the building manager and his team). They do this on behalf of the residents and the freeholder and they are only responsible for maintaining the communal areas and not the apartments themselves which are referred to in property management jargon as the "demised premises".
The owners of the apartments can be at the same time occupiers but in some cases they will be investors. They are responsible for the maintenance of their apartments (known as demised premises) and they pay an annual service charge, inclusive of a fee, to the managing agent for managing the communal parts.
The freeholder has possession over the freehold
In English law, a fee simple is an estate in land, a form of freehold ownership. It is the most common way that real estate is owned in common law countries, and is ordinarily the most complete ownership interest that can be had in real property short of allodial title, which is often reserved...
of the development (i.e. the communal areas and the land the site was built on). Normally, the freeholder is the developer but in some developments, the leaseholders, when formed into a residents association, purchase the freehold this is known as a RMC and the residents need to form a company with rules and regulations, a secretary a chairman and must make a copy of their annual accounts available to Companies House
Companies House is the United Kingdom Registrar of Companies and is an Executive Agency of the United Kingdom Government Department for Business, Innovation and Skills . All forms of companies are incorporated and registered with Companies House and file specific details as required by the...
Contracted Maintenance Companies
The contracted maintenance companies
that have been appointed to maintain the plants and systems of the building (fire alarms, electrical and mechanical systems, CCTV, intercom
An intercom , talkback or doorphone is a stand-alone voice communications system for use within a building or small collection of buildings, functioning independently of the public telephone network. Intercoms are generally mounted permanently in buildings and vehicles...
systems, car park, landscaping etc.)This contracted companies must comply with all the relevant health and safety legislation and code of practices applicable to their sector and must as well offer a good service at competitive prices since the building services manager or the property manager will need to justify these costs to the leaseholders and freeholder.
External Regulatory Bodies
External regulatory bodies
include local councils
The pattern of local government in England is complex, with the distribution of functions varying according to the local arrangements. Legislation concerning local government in England is decided by the Parliament and Government of the United Kingdom, because England does not have a devolved...
HEO can refer to:* High Earth orbit* Highly elliptical orbit* Higher Executive Officer - UK Civil Service* HEO, IATA airport code of Haelogo Airport in Papua New Guinea...
, fire officer
In the United Kingdom Fire and Rescue Service a Fire Safety Officer is a firefighter who has attained the rank of Sub-Officer or above, and transferred from front line operational service into the Fire Safety Department.The term "Fire Officer" may also refer to a Fire Safety Inspector who is of...
s and so forth.
It is because of this delicate balance of powers that the job of the building manager could be described as a "balancing" act, since it will be down to him or her to ensure that all parties are satisfied.
The building manager also ensures that the aesthetic standards of the site he/she manages don't deteriorate and will, as a consequence, liaise with the managing agent and organize renovation projects as and when required.
Commercial Building Management
This subdivision of building management is quite similar to the previous one, the main difference being that the building will normally be made up of commercial units and or offices. The tenants will, in this case, be companies and the building manager will probably have some involvement in the sales aspect and will be responsible for ensuring that the office space is let at all times.