What Does A Hotel Maintenance Department Do?

They are often responsible for the management of services and processes that support the core business. They ensure the safety of all the staff and guests within the boundaries of the establishment, and they are also responsible for improving energy efficiencies and reducing operating costs. They protect the integrity of the building through maintenance of: Building structures (including walls, ceilings and floors); aircons, heating and cooling plants; water and sewage facilities; furniture, fixtures and equipment; electricity; alarms; space management; procurement and so much more. It’s a huge responsibility for any hotel, and having the right team in place ensures that things run smoothly.

In some cases, maintenance departments will outsource certain functions to third-party specialists or experts, however, it is still the role of the Maintenance Manager to oversee the operations of third-party suppliers.

Hotels are becoming more eco-friendly and this is being driven by maintenance departments who are seeking more energy efficient procedures and equipment, as well as best practises. Because many of the energy saving resources need to be altered or installed by maintenance teams, they are coming up with new and innovative ways to reduce costs and improve efficiencies every year.

How are hotels saving energy and resources the green way?

In Housekeeping

  • Turning off lights, aircons or heaters when rooms are being cleaned or are unoccupied.
  • Washing linens and towels at a lower temperature
  • Reporting water leaks as soon as they are discovered. (toilets or taps)

In Rooms

  • Installing low-flow showerheads and aerators in bathrooms.
  • Switching to low-flow or dual flush toilets and making sure that toilet flappers are not leaking
  • Using LED lighting

General building and public areas:

  • HVAC systems provide heating and cooling, as well as filtration, fresh air, and humidity control. Using an energy management system (EMS) to prevent conditioning space when it is not necessary is important.
  • Modifying the HVAC heating and aircon units to include more energy efficient technologies like heat pumps.
  • Using solar water heating systems for hot tubs.
  • Using daylight sensors for your lights so that they only come on when it’s dark
  • Replacing standard light bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs which last longer and use about 75 % less energy than standard one.
  • Servicing heating and cooling equipment regularly.

In the Kitchen

  • Internal recycling programmes such as making your own beer, growing your own fruit and veg are all ways to save money and be more eco-conscious.
  • Energy efficient water sprayers on taps and efficient lighting in a restaurant will see your energy and water bills reduced.
  • Composting – Once food waste is turned into compost it can be used to fertilize your own veggies and fruits, herbs and plants within your restaurant.

 

Qualifications and skills for working in a hotel maintenance department

Any maintenance team member from an apprentice to the manager in charge needs to have a suitable qualification in an appropriate engineering field. They also need a hospitality qualification to truly understand the hotel business and the needs of guests and staff onsite. This, coupled with plenty of work experience will make them employable both locally and internationally, opening up many doors for travel or work in all types of hospitality establishments (casino’s, game lodges, cruise liners, resorts etc.)

Successful maintenance staff have the following skills:

  • Project management skills
  • Research skills coupled with excellent IT skills
  • Procurement and negotiating skills
  • Time management and multi-tasking skills
  • A flexible and innovative approach to work
  • Problem-solving skills

The role of the maintenance department is a 24 hour, vitally important function of any hotel establishment. Having the right people with the technical know-how as well as the grace and hospitality to assist any guest makes for a maintenance super-star.

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