This pandemic has brought about changes and disruptions in the built environment like never before. Mardi Utomo, the Chairman of the Building Engineering Association (BEA), Indonesia, pointed out that these disruptions should be a wakeup call for us to future-proof the designs. One way to do this is by strengthening the building maintenance systems. With the experience of almost 25 years, Mardi shares his insights and the lessons he has learned from the pandemic.
What motivated the establishment of the BEA?
As we know, a project lifecycle consists of five stages, namely planning by consultants; construction by builders and contractors; testing and commissioning by either contractors, consultants or independent institutions; operations and maintenance by public or private companies; and renovation and demolition, also by public or private. BEA positions itself in the fourth stage. It is a non-profit organisation that accommodates the engineering professions, especially in the building maintenance sector.
In Indonesia, building maintenance is regulated by Regulation of the Minister of Public Works and Housing No. 24 PRT in 2008 and No. 16 PRT in 2010 stating that it is mandatory requirement in a project delivery. We support building maintenance professions by advocating the policy-making. This is because the formulation of the government regulation rarely involves the professionals so the implementation is often not optimal.
Building maintenance is crucial because it involves health, comfort and safety. Without it, building operations will be problematic. This is why we established BEA. Initially we only had 11 members with the relevant professional background in the establishment on 22 January 2009. BEA focuses on education or development and certification of professionals in the field of building maintenance.
What are the current pandemic impacts on building maintenance?
The pandemic presents new challenges for engineers and building managers. Therefore, engineers in this sector must be able to make breakthrough innovations to provide new technologies, so that all building users can be protected from the risk of contracting the COVID-19 virus.