Medical review

T he British Medical Association (BMA) (i) may be the trade union and professional body for doctors in the united kingdom. Its Central London headquarters reaches BMA House in Tavistock Square, a Grade II listed building created by Sir Edwin Lutyens – arguably the best British architect of the twentieth century. In addition to serving BMA visitors and staff, the building also accommodates staff from the British Medical Journal (BMJ). Alongside this, a few of its spaces, such as a variety of attractive meeting rooms, workspaces and library, a generous-sized garden and courtyard, can be found to employ for events (ii) .

Early in 2020, the British Medical Association went to advertise with a tender for a complete hard FM contract at Tavistock Square. BMA specified the contract winners must have a highly professional method of service delivery and should be relied upon to keep and extend the smooth operation of the building’s plant to make sure full compliance with all relevant UK legislation all the time. The tender process was also based on if the contract winner could support the BMA to provide a far more sustainable future. The contractor had a need to prove its capability to work together with the BMA on energy conservation initiatives consistent with a variety of energy management and environmental impact reduction strategies.

Artic Building Services (iii) was one of the companies to participate through the original Invitation to tender stage and after two further shortlisted presentation stages, was finally awarded a five-year deal to provide all of the hard FM services. Within the agreement, Artic proposed the delivery of mechanical and electrical services providing maintenance to SFG20 (iv) guidelines, supplemented with other important components of specialist compliance maintenance, supplied by a combined band of specialist partner companies. Beneath the terms of the contract Artic also provides three residential engineers to cover all PPM and reactive works which are managed and guided by way of a dedicated contract management and administration team.


Over per year on from contract go-live date, Artic’s Marketing Manager Charlotte Pinder and BMA’s Head of UK Estates Ian Wade met to go over the way the contract mobilisation process has progressed given all of the additional challenges of the pandemic.

“The contract was awarded in the same way the united kingdom was taken into lockdown,” explains Pinder, “which needless to say had something of an impact on mobilisation.”

Ian Wade explains: “As lockdown hit, most of us had to adjust to very specific and limiting means of working which could have already been a hinderance or benefit to the successful mobilisation of our new contract. From the 1st start meeting on site, the involvement of not merely the mobilisation team, but our appointed contract manager and administrator also, alongside Artic’s Joint MD instilled great confidence along the way for me personally and my team.

“With unoccupied buildings, in a real way, some areas of asset verification and knowledge were easier for Artic to determine but with my estates team generally working at home during this time period, we also needed to be confident that ‘remote mobilisation’ had been carried out professionally sufficient reason for homework. At all steps across the process Artic’s timely and accurate progress reporting confirmed that milestones and thresholds were met … and I slept easy during the night.”

Working under lockdown conditions, meant that having the ability to track the mobilisation progress was a lot more important than usual remotely. Artic introduced a forward thinking treatment for help the BMA clients chart the mobilisation process.

Explains Wade: “Artic work with a system called ‘Monday’ that is an online mobilisation portal. We thought we would have ‘Viewers’ access in order that I and my team could check and monitor progress anytime and in virtually any place, on our smart phones even.

“In the initial few days following the contract award we mutually agreed with Artic all of the specific mobilisation tasks required of their specific priority and timeframe. We’re able to then see many of these set in to the ‘Monday system’ planner, and assigned to a named individual to use it. The simplicity of the platform was perfect for us to monitor remotely the entire progress of the mobilisation plan itself. This technique undoubtedly contributed too much to the smooth and seamless transfer of the contract from the prior incumbent to Artic.”


“Considering the engineering side”, says Pinder, “the buildings at BMA are intricate and substantial with an excellent variety of assets. For this reason condition and verification were requisites of the tender, so there was an enormous effort to start understanding the BMA’s estates assets.”

In accordance with Wade, the BMA facilities team was encouraged by Artic’s method of the mobilisation process in this regard.

He explains: “They will have a mobilisation engineering team separate from their everyday service engineers, and something which specializes in the rather specific challenges of asset checking and verification. At every new contract award, you want to learn more about our very own assets because they change and develop and I couldn’t recommend their Senior Mobilisation Engineer, John Tyler, more for his work highly.

“His highly proficient and accurate engineering focus on our assets was in conjunction with a need to really get ‘under the skin’ of our estate assets, understand them and take any relevant proactive measures to be able to prepare the assets for contract commencement. Rapidly our confidence within their knowledge of our assets and what steps could possibly be taken up to ensure a robust management arrange for the near future, grew.”