The winner of 2017’s Facilities Manager of the Year was announced last week: Britomart’s Director of Facilities, Mark Sinclair.

With a working population of 5000 across 20 buildings, it’s vital that Britomart has a great Facilities Management team. Each year, the Facilities Management Association of New Zealand recognizes the best in the business by curating a list of 600+ representatives from across the country and choosing the three standouts.

We talked to Mark about what the role really entails.

Facilities Management is known as the engine room of an organisation, largely unseen but fundamental to success.

What kind of jobs fall under Facilities Management at Britomart and how many staff/ different roles are involved?

We currently have three managers: Ashlee, Rochelle and myself, all responsible for running Britomart’s Facilities Management.

Our duties involve such things as:
Building Health & Safety
Setting the maintenance strategy for both inside and outside each building
Emergency planning and making sure things work when they are required
Environment and energy management
Tenancy liaison/communications.

What do you enjoy most about what you do?
Well I do like working with the fantastic group of diverse people who make up our management team. They all bring their unique set of skills to the table. It’s with some pride when I stop to ponder what’s been achieved over the past 11 years.

For us the transformation of Britomart really got going in 2005. Back then, it was a pretty run down and empty part of the city. The buildings were uncared for and most were uninhabitable with pigeons being the sole non-rent-paying occupants. In facilities we spend a lot of our day just keeping the place maintained, functional and trying hard to minimize building breakdowns and disruptions to our customers.

What do you think makes a good facilities manager?

Good question. In short: someone who can juggle many things at once, while remaining calm and can get the job done in rapid time and within budget, all the while keeping the customers satisfied.

Someone who can make a positive difference to the people who work and play at Britomart. Someone who has a sense of humour and enjoys what they do, otherwise this building management stuff can drive you crazy. Some might say I might have already reached this point!

Can you share an interesting, little-known fact about Britomart as a precinct and how it operates?

We run a 24-hour 7-days-a-week, 365-days-per-year-operation.
We have installed over 40 lifts and escalators across the entire site.
We engage over 80 specialist service providers to help us run and maintain the Britomart Precinct.
We once took a call from Britomart Country Club complaining about blocked drainage. It turned out a whole squid was causing the blockage. We still don’t know, to this day, how he got in there!