Stuart O'Brien, Author at Facilities Management Forum | Forum Events Ltd
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Stuart O'Brien

Consolidate your water in, waste out services with one trusted partner

By Metro Rod

Covid-19 has placed significant pressure on most industries within the UK, in a variety of different ways. In facilities management specifically, operators are juggling the challenge of managing multiple supply chains with several contact points against a stripped back workforce and budget, and a solution is needed to help them maintain the expected levels of efficiency.

To support facilities management providers feeling this strain, Metro Rod offers a one-stop-shop for all water in and waste out needs. Providing one point of contact, one nationwide price, and consistent invoicing and reporting across a multitude of services. Meaning we can reduce the struggle of managing multiple suppliers and save you both time and money.

Why choose Metro Rod?

Our commercial drainage and pump engineers– who are available 24/7/365 – are trusted by facilities managers across the country for maintenance and repair services, and we have vast experience in providing a first-rate service for FM providers working on properties across the private and public sectors.

With almost 50 depots nationally, we’re able to access 85 per cent of the UK’s commercial properties within just one hour, meaning we’re already on the doorstep of your customers. We can deliver all your existing water in and waste out services in one consolidated package, saving you the hassle of managing multiple contractors.

Meanwhile, our experienced engineers – who receive ongoing, in-depth training every year – truly are experts in their field and can quickly diagnose and resolve issues, therefore minimising the inconvenience to your clients, staff and customers. Our exceptional first-time fix and time to fix rates ensure that costs incurred are minimised.

Plus, we’re a digitally-enabled company, meaning we can provide instant visibility of any work, through our customer portal – Connect. We can also integrate directly with your own internal systems and provide additional reporting to ensure you are not only kept up to date but have a transparent view of all of the work undertaken. This enhanced reporting provides an isight into where costs are incurred and allows us to recommend intelligent solutions to reduce drainage problems and drive savings.

All combined, this means we can give you the best possible value for money with one point of contact for all services. Removing the need to juggle multiple supply chains and saving you valuable time and money.

Metro Rod’s services

We’re about more than just drains. As well as the more traditional systems, we’re also experts in water pumps and asset mapping. Our full range of services includes:

All of these services can be worked into a Pre Planned Maintenance schedule – a service plan for routine maintenance which takes place at regular intervals across the year, to prevent the problems which regularly occur in these systems. For example, ongoing scale or grease build-up in pipework can lead to overflows and blockages, which often result in emergency building closures and costly engineer call outs – something both you and your customers will want to avoid. Maintenance might not be top of your list but in the long term, it cuts down the number of emergency call-outs, reduces the amount you spend and keeps the customer free from unnecessary disruption.

Get in touch

To discuss your water in, waste out solutions and how we can help you save time and money contact us on 0800 66 88 00 or visit

Reduce contact points in the workplace with touch free drinking water solutions from Zip Water

By Zip Water

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in incomprehensible ways. What is clear is as we emerge from lockdown there will be a need to incorporate touch-free technology to meet the vital health and hygiene requirements that the UK government has implemented, to ensure a safe return to the workplace.

With the average person touching their face more than 20 times an hour, it’s possible to transfer viruses from everyday objects, such as handles and taps, to the mouth and eyes, and vice versa. At Zip Water we have a number of new touch-free drinking water solutions for the workplace. Whether you already have a system fitted and are looking for a contactless retrofit solution or want a brand-new product that will enable staff and visitors’ hands-free access to drinking water, at Zip we have it all!

The brand-new Zip HydroTap Touch Free Wave offers a 100 percent contactless solution for filtered boiling, chilled and sparkling drinking water. To dispense water, a user simply hovers their hand 1.5-5cm from the smart infrared sensor and the water flow will stop immediately once their hand has moved away, if the tap is touched or grabbed it will deactivate.

For areas that require larger volumes of filtered chilled and ambient water, the innovative new floor-standing HydroChill HC03 touch-free dispenser is the perfect solution. Easy to install in areas away from the kitchen – such as staff rooms and corridors – this dispenser also features a nano silver surface coating that works to kill up to 99.9 percent of bacteria across a 24-hour period.

If you already have a Zip HydroBoil or EconoBoil system fitted in your workplace, our simple to install touch-free adaptor allows for the dispensing of boiling water without needing to touch the handle. The adaptor can be quickly and easily fitted over the existing HydroBoil or EconoBoil handle to enable users to dispense boiling water by pushing back on it with a cup.

To find out more about any of our products, please click here.

PMC have 100% client retention rate, choose the best company for your portfolio!

PMC Ltd are a large 15-year-old family run Hard FM company providing planned/reactive maintenance, projects and ground works for the commercial, retail and care sectors.

We are based the North West but provide services all over the North of England, Wales and the Midlands. We manage hundreds of sites providing multiple services such as M&E, drainage, decoration, roofing and landscaping within a service charge contract, as well as working on a reactive basis and larger project work for our clients.

We currently boast a strong client base working with JLL, HSBC, Next Retail and Iceland amongst others for many years and have a quality in house team of over 25 operatives who are all fully accredited and insured.

Our team are extremely experienced and provide a high-quality service with all enquiries being responded to within 24 hours and undertaking quality control checks on completed work to maintain our high standards. This service is testament to the fact we have a 100% client retention rate in the last 5 years and pride ourselves on delivering an efficient, personal and quality service.


I have worked with PMC for over 10 years and the whole team provides a high standard of service that I just don’t get with other companies’

Facilities Manager – Colliers International

I am very pleased with the professionalism and workmanship that PMC consistently deliver on all fourteen of my sites and I would not hesitate to recommend them.                      

Regional Facilities Manager – JLL

Enquire today on 01515266288

Verdantix report – Planon opens up its IWMS platform

By Planon Software

Large organisations are having to adopt new technologies at an increasing pace to stay up-to-date and competitive in the market. As a result, the IT landscape for your building operations will become more complex.

To support this digital transformation, we have added several components to our IWMS – including a new suite of mobile apps, extended partnership ecosystem and new functionality for COVID-19 management – turning it into a truly open application platform which allows you to leverage the growing number of innovative property technology solutions available in the market in an efficient, manageable and scalable way.

For a limited time, we are offering free access to a report by Verdantix – an independent research and consulting firm – which was published in November 2020 and thoroughly evaluates the Planon Platform.

Click here to download the white paper.


Looking for Security solutions? The FM Forum Recommended Supplier Directory can help!

Looking for new Security solutions for your building, venue, school or company? The FM Forum Recommended Supplier Directory is home to dozens of trusted partners ready to help make your project a reality!

Put simply, there’s something to suit every requirement.

Start Your Search Now

Are you an FM supplier? Get listed!

The FM Forum Recommended Supplier Directory is the perfect platform to raise your organisation’s profile and extend your reach.

Promoted via the FM Briefing newsletter, website and our renowned meet-the-buyer facilities events – this digital FM directory offers a comprehensive list of industry solution leaders.

For a short period of time, your business can now be included in the FM Directory for FREE!

In these times of uncertainty for everyone, we are offering support to the industry by providing a free listing for a 3-month period, to support businesses through these difficult circumstances.

Click Here To Get Listed!

Or, for more information, please contact Paige Aitken on 01992 374079 or

Don’t miss the Total Security Summit in March

The Total Security Summit allows you to learn, engage, and connect with your industry, via a series of online 1-2-1 meetings with solution providers.

This unique event will take place across two mornings, on the 29th & 30th March – 09:00-13:05.

Your attendance is entirely free and flexible Click here to confirm your place.

Alongside your 1-2-1 meetings with innovative suppliers, you will gain access to a selection of topical and insightful webinar presentations.

Flexible attendance options: Join us virtually for just one or both days. We can create your itinerary to suit your diary commitments – please confirm via our booking form

Or, you can contact us today for more information about your guest pass.

The forgotten element of Smart Buildings

By Avire

Smart buildings are sometimes referred to as ‘automated buildings‘, ‘intelligent buildings‘ or buildings that incorporate smart technology. A smart building is any structure that uses automated processes to automatically control the building’s operations including heating, ventilation, air conditioning, lighting, and other systems. These buildings typically use sensors, actuators, and microprocessors, to collect and manage data according to a building’s functions and services.

The infrastructure in a smart building allows building owners, operators and facility managers to improve asset reliability and performance. All buildings, no matter the age, can have smart features installed but there is one area that many buildings don’t consider.

Smart Buildings and Lifts

A smart lift does not mean a new lift. With ever-improving technology it is possible to retrofit certain systems and have the data that you need at your fingertips without a disruptive and expensive project to install new lifts.

The Avire Ecosystem uses sensors located within the lift shaft and on the lift car which collect data and provide real time monitoring of the performance. This can provide significant value to the lift maintenance company and Facilities Management, providing more insight into how the lifts are running. This ultimately helps to maintain up-time, to optimise people movement through the building and ensure that this important accessibility route is available for building users.

Lifts that go down for unscheduled maintenance are hugely inconvenient to building users and can catch maintenance personnel off guard. This results in frustration and can make some areas inaccessible to building users. With an effective monitoring solution, facilities managers can keep a close eye on the operational efficiency of the lifts. This means one less concern, knowing that problems with their lifts will be detected early and dealt with swiftly. The Avire Ecosystem can be used for things such as to remotely test lifts before busy periods, to check that emergency telephones are functioning correctly and if light curtains on the doors are fully operational. Other uses include inputs for pit flood sensors and updating of lift displays easily and remotely.

Do you specialise in Building Maintenance & Refurbishment? We want to hear from you!

Each month on FM Briefing we’re shining the spotlight on a different part of the facilities management market – and in February we’ll be focussing on Building Maintenance & Refurbishment solutions.

It’s all part of our ‘Recommended’ editorial feature, designed to help FM industry buyers find the best products and services available today.

So, if you specialise in Building Maintenance & Refurbishment solutions and would like to be included as part of this exciting new shop window, we’d love to hear from you – for more info, contact Paige Aitken on

Here’s our full features list:

Feb – Building Maintenance & Refurbishment
Mar – Cleaning
Apr – Total FM
May – Energy Management
June – Security
Jul – Air Conditioning
Aug – Waste Management
Sep – Asset Management
Oct – FM Software
Nov – Intruder & Alarm Systems
Dec – Fire & Safety Equipment

Government pledges £213m towards achieving Net Zero, tackling COVID

The UK Government has announced a £213 million investment to upgrade the UK’s scientific infrastructure, with Scottish facilities to benefit also.

It says the investment will equip the UK’s leading scientists, universities and research institutes with new state of the art equipment to drive forward research that will help the country respond to major challenges, including the Covid-19 pandemic and achieving net zero carbon emissions.

The £213 million pot includes £27 million for upgrading and purchasing core equipment for the use of researchers across the UK.

The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) will receive a £20 million investment to upgrade campus infrastructure at its sites in Edinburgh, Oxford, Liverpool City Region and North Yorkshire. This will enable the Council to continue developing flagship projects covering a range of topics, from pre-launch satellite testing to the search for dark matter.

The STFC will receive a further £10 million for laboratory upgrades to support the scientific programmes across laboratories in Edinburgh, Oxfordshire, Liverpool, and North Yorkshire. Investments will enable projects including quantum physics with ultra-cold atoms, artificial intelligence and pre-launch satellite testing.

Medical Research Centre units in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Dundee will share £2.8 million to buy high spec equipment such as microscopes and key computational resources to support Covid-19 research, and long-term programmes in cell biology, human genomics, and wider virology.

This will enable researchers to detect and model disease in more detail than before, helping the UK respond to Covid-19 and boosting resilience for future pandemics, as well as other global diseases, such as cancer and dementia.

£34 million will go to upgrading the UK’s digital research capabilities, enabling some of the country’s brightest minds to conduct pioneering analytical research that will help inform long term policy decisions. Urban data centres in Glasgow, Liverpool and Oxford will share more than £1 million for new hardware to pursue research that will show how Covid-19 has affected social and economic activity in different parts of the UK.

Meanwhile, the University of Essex will be backed to conduct a large-scale household survey to understand how the pandemic has affected issues such as home schooling and family relationships.

The funding package also allocates £15 million for the Capability for Collections Fund (CapCo) to renew and upgrade the most vulnerable research facilities across the UK within galleries, libraries, archives and museums. It will focus on conservation and heritage, modernising these spaces which will help serve local communities for generations.

The government says the investment will ensure the UK is the best place in the world for scientists, researchers and entrepreneurs to live and work, while continuing to attract scientific talent from across the globe.

Science Minister Amanda Solloway said: “The response from UK scientists and researchers to coronavirus has been nothing short of phenomenal. We need to match this excellence by ensuring scientific facilities are truly world class, so scientists can continue carrying out life-changing research for years to come.

“From the world’s most detailed microscopes tracking disease to super computers supporting COVID-19 research, our investment will enhance the tools available to our most ambitious innovators across Glasgow, Edinburgh and Dundee. By doing so, scientists and researchers will be able to drive forward extraordinary research that will enable the UK to respond to global challenges as we build back better from the pandemic.

The £213 million investment, delivered through the government’s World Class Labs funding scheme and made through seven of UK Research and Innovation’s (UKRI) research councils, covers investments in all disciplines from physical sciences to arts and humanities.

The funding forms part of a £300 million commitment to upgrade scientific infrastructure across the UK,  as part of the government’s ambitious R&D Roadmap published in July 2020.

Reconomy acquires Germany’s Reverse Logistics Group

Environmental services specialist Reconomy has agreed to purchase Munich-based Reverse Logistics Group (RLG) as part of its international expansion plans.

RLG is a provider of end-to-end solutions for returns management and environmental compliance to businesses in over 80 countries worldwide, helping customers deal with the increasing environmental, regulatory, and logistical demands facing businesses today.

Turnover for RLG in 2020 is forecast to be greater than 170m Euros, which when combined with the existing Reconomy Group, takes pro-forma 2020 revenues above £465m. This is the second overseas acquisition for the Reconomy Group, building upon that of Noventiz, based in Cologne and announced in October.

The acquisition creates a global presence in core disciplines and also adds an entirely new capability to the Reconomy Group and its clients, namely reverse logistics.  Reconomy says this proposition development is a key part of its long-term strategic plan to become a global leader in tech-enabled services to drive the circular economy.

Reconomy CEO Paul Cox, said: “This is a hugely exciting move for the Reconomy Group. Having taken our first step into the international market a few weeks ago, the acquisition of RLG gives us a truly global presence. It’s a major event in our journey, of which we are very proud. Looking at the consumer trends that will affect businesses going forward within the circular economy, we believe that broadening our capability – adding reverse logistics alongside our core resource management and environmental compliance offering – will ultimately bring significant benefit to Reconomy customers in the years to come. We’re delighted to welcome RLG’s experienced management team and all of their colleagues into the Reconomy family”.

RLG CEO Patrick Wiedemann added: “After an outstanding development of RLG in the past years, positioning the group as a leading global market player in the reverse logistics space with highly innovative solutions, we are now looking very much forward to continuing this success story as part of Reconomy Group. This enables us to now move to the next phase of our strategic development and further expand our service offering. The capabilities of Reconomy and RLG in combination build the basis to be a global leader in circular economy solutions, acting as an enabler for the transformation towards true environmental sustainability for our customers, while at the same time ensuring an outstanding customer experience in the returns process. We are very much looking forward to the exciting journey ahead”.