Linking energy and maintenance management for sustainability through three American case studies

Tags: Suste Tech | energy management | case studies | maintenance | Action Research | Automation | Mechanical systems | United States of America


Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to present the findings and lessons learned from three case studies conducted for facilities located in California, North America. The findings aim to focus on energy and maintenance management practices and the interdependent link between energy and maintenance.

Design/methodology/approach – The research is based on a positivist epistemological philosophical approach informed by action research. The research cycle was completed for each case study. A case study report was provided to each facility management team to foster collaboration with the researcher and to document case study process and results.

Findings – Composite findings of the case studies include: there is an interdependent link between energy and maintenance management; reactive maintenance and energy management methods are commonly used; and more proactively operated and managed buildings require the interdependent link between energy maintenance management to be better understood.

Research limitations/implications – The three case studies were located in California. Although the case study results can be generalized, determination of how to generalize and apply the results to commercial buildings outside of the USA is beyond the scope of this paper.

Practical implications – Detailed discussion of the needs of the three facility management teams are discussed by identifying a current challenge, developing a solution and documenting lessons learned using the research cycle.

Originality/value – The paper seeks to demonstrate the interdependencies of energy and maintenance management, two topics which are often researched interdependently. Additionally, the paper provides insight about maintenance management, a topic often cited as being under researched.

Keywords Action research, Automation, Case studies, Energy management, Maintenance, Mechanical systems, United States of America

Paper type Case study