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CIBSE Launches New Guide M for 2023

CIBSE Launches New Guide M for 2023
29 September 2023 | Updated 04 October 2023

ThisWeekinFM attended the launch of the new CIBSE Guide M: Maintenance, Engineering and Management. Find out what the lead authors and contributors had to say on the night.


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Initially launched in 2014, CIBSE Guide M has become synonymous with best-practice building maintenance. However post COVID-19, new statutory duties under the Building Safety Act and the switch to hybrid working models, the original guide lacked guidance on several aspects such as infection control and workplace wellbeing. Over the course of two years, a new document has been produced by a group of dedicated volunteers from CIBSE's Facilities Management Group, led by Joanna Harris of Sodexo.

“The volunteers have made this happen,” said Joanna. “You really have to be committed to hang on to this thing for two years.” 

Geoff Prudence, Chair of CIBSE FM Group, Project Sponsor and Lead Author of M1 & M2 Maintenance Strategies said "CIBSE Guide M remains the 'go to' document for all associated with designing, owning, operating and maintaining buildings."

Held at Sodexo’s Holborn office, the event brought together FM professionals, designers, building operators and members of CIBSE Facilities Management Group. 

Let’s take a look at some of the highlights from the launch evening.



Picture: a photograph of Joanna Harris speaking at a lectern, taken at the launch evening at Sodexo. 


Testing and Commissioning Must Go Further


Introducing the new guide, Adrian Catchpole, CIBSE President, spoke about the importance of testing and commissioning, emphasising that Guide M will provide design engineers with a roadmap to upskill their competencies in commissioning and maintenance engineering. 

Adrian also praised the new Part L of building regulations that requires more robust testing, commissioning and handover procedure at the end of construction, something that CIBSE has been calling for since 2006. 


"I think that we’ve learned how to design buildings that are efficient in use, but if we fail to construct them, test them and commission them properly or to monitor their ongoing performance, they’re never likely to realise their full potential."

– Adrian Catchpole

President, CIBSE


But, he said that we need to go further, with the formal inclusion of soft landings, seasonal commissioning, post-contract evaluations and carbon assessments with real consumption data.

He said: “I think that we’ve learned how to design buildings that are efficient in use, but if we fail to construct them, test them and commission them properly or to monitor their ongoing performance, they’re never likely to realise their full potential. I think we can probably all think of examples in our own field of expertise where we perhaps could have done better.”

Adrian also referred to the digital revolution in building services, and said that building managers are now juggling smart buildings that need more integrated testing, as well as BIM legacies of varying quality.


Guide M Isn’t Just for Technical Designers and Operators


David Stevens, Vice Chair of the CIBSE Facilities Management Group and Lead Author of the new chapters on commissioning and handover procedures, promoted the accessibility of the guide for non-technical FM professionals:

“As with the entire document, we’ve written it so it’s applicable and easy to use, by the technical staff and the non-technical staff and soft FM managers. This document enables them to set those strategies and understand the involvement of what’s required.” 


Skills Gap not Just in Managing New Buildings


Stephen Gathergood, Lead Author of the chapter on training and competency, touched on the current skills shortage in the sector and was keen to note that this isn’t just confined to new and emerging technologies. Stephen also noted that, as older professionals leave the sector, there will be a significant gap in knowledge in managing older buildings. 


What’s Next?


When asked about the next priorities for the CIBSE FM Group, David Stevens named KS21 (competency and competency management systems in facilities management) as being on the list for an update, to help manage the definition of competence in terms of the skills needed under new legislation. 

He also mentioned the Building Safety Act in terms of operational management: “Everyone is talking safety and design, but we are not yet talking really holistically about that operational built environment. So as a group and as an industry, we are going to learn what those requirements are, and that transition between statutory and best practice."

Reflecting on the new Guide M’s publication, David concluded: “We’ve delivered it and now we need to get the message out there. Every designer needs to have Guide M on their desk, they need to be designing for maintenance and operations.”

Click here to access the new Guide M.

Picture: a photograph of some of the authors and contributors to the guide, taken at the launch evening at Sodexo. From left to right: Eileen Bell, Greg Davies, Geoff Prudence, Chris Jeffers, Stephen Gathergood, Joanna Harris, Adrian Catchpole, David Stevens, Ellen Salazar, Andy Green and Jon Belfield.

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 29 September 2023


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