Detailed, Thoughtful Integration of Security Systems Yields More Secure Facilities

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First of a two-part article explaining best practices in integrating an array of disparate security systems. Integration between the access control system and video management system, a common strategy, can bring a variety of benefits under the right circumstances. By Timothy Hicks December 2016 - Security    Article Use Policy Anyone who is tasked with securing a facility, whether it’s a 10,000-square-foot law office or a major university, hospital, or corporate campus, has probably considered integration of security systems. The integration of access control, video management, intrusion detection, and emergency communications (mass notification) is usually the first priority. By integrating these systems, the facility manager or security director can benefit from efficiencies that did not exist when the systems were stand alone and had no reliance on one another for notification. Although recent advances in the security technology marketplace have made integration technically easier to...
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6 Strategies For Developing Facilities Management Talent For The Future

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First part of a four-part article that takes the pulse of the FM industry, including our annual salary survey. By David Lewellen December 2016 - Facilities Management    Article Use Policy When the longtime head of facilities retires, where will the organization look for a successor? In the worst-case scenario, higher-ups will be scrambling to figure out what the vice president or director of facilities did and write an appropriate job posting. But succession planning, which prepares multiple in-house candidates at every level for greater responsibilities, offers a better alternative.Replacing the top person in a facilities organization is one aspect of a broader challenge facing many facility management departments: the need to attract, develop, and ultimately replace experienced employees at all levels, from a hands-on technician or mechanic to a senior vice president. Unfortunately, succession planning and staff development are priorities too often neglected by facility departments. That...
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Technology Changes and Younger Workforce Mean Mobile Options Are a Must

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First of a three-part cover story article exploring how FMs can adapt their workplaces to an increasingly mobile workforce. By Joe Flynn December 2016 - Facilities Management    Article Use Policy Thirty years ago, it was somewhat of a fantasy that businesses would one day migrate toward a “paperless office.” Much has changed since then. Technology has evolved in ways that have completely altered the manner in which people work today. With the introduction of networking, the Internet, mobile phones, SMS text messaging, and Wi-Fi, the ways — and more importantly the places — that people work are seemingly unlimited.Technological changes have advanced how we work so rapidly that it has been nearly impossible to adapt our work environments to keep up with the changes. Today, business leaders are closely examining how to best leverage all this technology to maximize the productivity of their employees.As the Baby Boom...
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Roof Collapse: 4 Steps to Avoid Disaster

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Roofing Part 1: Roof Collapse: 4 Steps to Avoid Disaster November 2016 - Roofing    Article Use Policy A roof collapse can shut a business down for weeks and months, not to mention the potential danger of injury or death for employees and other building occupants. Maintenance and engineering managers must avoid ignoring their roofs until something serious happens, and establish a regular maintenance schedule to keep it top of mind.Art Valentz, founder of PHP Systems/Design, offered four tips for managers to help avoid a roof collapse in a recent facilitliesnet.com article. Click here for the entire article. Avoid creep load. “It’s critical to remember that the engineers and architects who designed your roof designed it with very specific load-bearing capabilities,” he says. “Any changes to the load throw those calculations off and make a collapse more likely.” Manage snow accumulation. “It’s important to get the snow off...
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Performance-Based Approach, Flexibility Highlight Big Changes to LEED v4

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First of a two-part article detailing the updates to the LEED v4 Operations and Maintenance Existing Buildings rating system. Limiting turf area to 25 percent or less of the vegetated area is one option for earning the Site Management credit in LEED v4. By Amanda Sawit December 2016 - Green    Article Use Policy The first version of LEED green building certification for existing buildings was released in 2002 as a pilot. Since then, the rating system has continued to evolve along with the needs of the market, strategies, and technologies. Today, 4,900 projects have earned certification through LEED Operations and Maintenance (O+M) for Existing Buildings. Released in November 2013, LEED v4 is the newest iteration of LEED and includes an update to the LEED for O+M Existing Buildings requirements. LEED v4 includes flexibility with strategies to fit the unique aspects of projects. It offers...
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Motors and Drives: Preparing for Failure

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Part one of a three-part article on motors and drives ABB By James Piper, P.E. November 2016 - Power & Communication    Article Use Policy The electric motor is one of the most important components in institutional and commercial facilities. It is also one of the most overlooked — until something goes wrong and a pump system goes offline, or the air conditioning system shuts down, or the facility’s fire-safety system fails to operate during an emergency.  Contributing to the problem is the experience that most maintenance and engineering managers have with motors. They are reliable. Most motors have a long, trouble-free service life while requiring a minimum of maintenance.But while the risk of failure might be low, the consequences of a failure often are high. At best, a motor failure is an inconvenience to building occupants. At worst, it results in significant damage to...
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Roof Coatings: 7 Myths to Consider About Performance

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November 2016 - Roofing    Article Use Policy Many maintenance and engineering managers might only have to make a roof replacement-or-restoration decision once during their careers, and it can be the most complex project they will take on.The cost of tearing off and replacing a roof system can be staggering. Even restoring a roof at one-half the cost of a replacement can be more than enough to give managers major headaches.For managers not interested in absorbing that kind of financial commitment, roof coatings are a viable option to extend the roof’s life and also save money in the process.The Roof Coatings Manufacturers Association highlights seven myths about coatings that managers must consider to better understand important issues related to coating specification, installation and maintenance. For an expanded version of this article, click here. Myth 1: Coatings don’t work — When installed properly, some fluid-applied systems are as good...
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California Hospital Paves Way for Systemwide LED Exterior Lighting Upgrade

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Part one of a four-part article on healthcare lighting retrofits Security at St. Mary Medical Center in Long Beach, Calif., emerged as an issue when employees and visitors started requesting escorts to the bus stop or their vehicles because of poorly lit walkways after dark. Photo: Acuity Brands By Dave Lubach, Associate Editor November 2016 - Lighting    Article Use Policy The core mission of a health care facility related to patient health, safety and comfort is always a higher priority than improving the building’s exterior lighting system.But when employees and visitors started fearing for their safety when approaching and leaving St. Mary Medical Center in Long Beach, Calif., because the lighting around the hospital was insufficient, the owners of the facility, Dignity Health, recognized the problem.“Many employees and visitors who arrived in the evening complained about burned-out lights and dark areas,” says Joe Garibay,...
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HVAC Maintenance Challenge: Chiller Repair vs. Replace

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Part one of a four-part article on chiller repair or replacement issues No standards exist to determine the length of time a manager should expect a chiller to operate, but workload over the years plays a major role in the decision. Photo: Daikin Applied By Dave Lubach, Associate Editor November 2016 - HVAC    Article Use Policy Purchasing a new chiller can mean thousands of dollars in expenses that many institutional and commercial facilities do not have. So it is no surprise when many maintenance and engineering managers are faced with the decision on whether to repair or replace a chiller, they make every effort to keep the old one operating.But eventually, the time comes when most managers realize purchasing a new unit makes the most financial sense. Chiller manufacturers understand the financial ramifications of that decision, and they realize what the impact of purchasing...
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Fleet Management: The GPS-Productivity Link

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Part one of a three-part article on fleet management By Dan Hounsell, Editor-in-Chief November 2016 - Grounds Management    Article Use Policy Mark Cavinee faced more than a few fleet management challenges when he became director of maintenance services for the School District of Osceola County, Fla., two years ago.State budget woes cut funding for new vehicles, meaning the department was hard-pressed to expand its aging fleet. The department’s approach to providing service from its two maintenance facilities created travel and efficiency issues. Beyond that, fuel costs were rising, enrollment was growing, and worker productivity presented deferred maintenance problems.What a difference two years can make.“When I started here two years ago, we had a backlog of about 8,000 work orders,” Cavinee says. “Now we have about 2,000 work orders open at any one time. There are just so many savings and processes that we’ve changed to improve things.”By...
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BIM, Flow of Information, and the Maintenance Manager's Role

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Part one of a three-part article on BIM By Laurie A. Gilmer, P.E. November 2016 - Maintenance & Operations    Article Use Policy Have you ever had one of those days? You reach the end of it and realize that even though you were busy all day, you feel like you do not have much to show for it. For many of us in institutional and commercial facilities, that is our everyday experience. Our world is filled with all sorts of information coming from an increasing number of sources, and all of them are begging for our attention, predominantly through our smartphones and computers. Clearly, maintenance and engineering managers need better ways to deal with the influx of information.We need to focus. They need to understand the information that is essential for the operation and maintenance of facilities today and into the future. They also need access to...
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BIM, Data and Smarter Maintenance Approach

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Editorial: Dan Hounsell Part 1: BIM, Data and Smarter Maintenance Approach By Dan Hounsell, Editor-in-Chief November 2016 - Maintenance & Operations    Article Use Policy Architects are looking for you. Well, sort of.More accurately, they are looking for ways to more effectively give maintenance and engineering managers better information on key components, materials and systems in new and upgraded institutional and commercial facilities.A growing number of managers trying to improve the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of their departments have tapped into various pools of data to achieve these goals. Two recent conversations with architects at the Greenbuild International Conference and Expo in Los Angeles reinforce that building information modeling (BIM) offers managers the mother lode of facility data — if they can access it.Both architects wondered about the levels of software and expertise available to managers that  would enable managers to receive and use BIM data for new and...
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Reaching New Heights for Worker Safety

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Part one of a four-part article on aerial work platform safety Managers looking to ensure the safety of technicians using aerial work platforms need to stay in constant communication with their safety directors and be attentive to accident and incident reporting. Photo: Sunbelt Rentals By Thomas A. Westerkamp November 2016 - Equipment Rental & Tools    Article Use Policy Aerial work platforms enable front-line technicians to perform essential tasks in hard-to-reach areas of institutional and commercial facilities. New-generation lifts are expanding this reach, in addition to offering greater lift capacity, ease of operation and safety.Beyond ensuring that lifts give technicians the access they require, maintenance and engineering managers also must ensure technicians use the equipment safely. By identifying the most common errors technicians commit related to the use, movement and storage of lifts, managers can tailor training and resources in order to prevent lift-related accidents...
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California University Goes Green with Ambitious Sustainability Plan

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5 Minutes With Podcast Part 1: California University Goes Green with Ambitious Sustainability Plan By Dave Lubach, Associate Editor November 2016 - Educational Facilities    Article Use Policy When the University of La Verne embarked on a sustainability plan in 2015, it originally committed to spending $400,000 over five years to reach its goals. Instead, the university located east of Los Angeles spent much more than that — $630,000 — in about three years.In this case though, excessive spending was a good thing, as the university participates in the Billion Dollar Green Challenge, which allows it to closely track funding for sustainable projects. The La Verne sustainability projects included: converting turf areas into sustainable landscapes; upgrading the irrigation system; converting lighting to LEDs; upgrading HVAC automation systems; and retrocommissioning of campus buildings.La Verne's efforts earned the university a 2016 Facility Maintenance Decisions Achievement Award for sustainability.We spoke with...
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Paints and Coatings: Going Beyond VOCs

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Part 1 of a three-part article on supplier perspectives on paints and coatings Among the paints and coatings on the market today are products focused on eliminating the spread of bacteria. Sherwin-Williams By Dave Lubach, Associate Editor October 2016 - Paints & Coatings    Article Use Policy Ten years ago, paints and coatings manufacturers focused on making products with few or no volatile organic compounds (VOC). VOCs remain a component of paints and coatings, and the emphasis on improving products from an environmental standpoint continues to expand.“Low-VOC is no longer a specialty product offering,” says Jenny Burroughs with PPG Architectural Coatings . “It is a must-have option for all brands in the space.”As maintenance and engineering managers strive to improve the sustainability of institutional and commercial facilities, their paints and coatings needs have evolved.A one-paint-fits-all mentality no longer applies as discussions of odor, durability, wearability...
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Drain Cleaning: Preventing Piping Problems

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Deck: Part 1 of a three-part article on drain cleaning Managers should consider keeping chargs on a facility dashboard showing trends in water costs and number of clogs by area or department and type to show occupants the impact of clogs. RIDGID By Thomas A. Westerkamp October 2016 - Plumbing & Restrooms    Article Use Policy Drain cleaning equipment is essential for ensuring that piping and plumbing systems in institutional and commercial facilities remain free of clogs. But savvy maintenance and engineering managers know that keeping drains clear involves more than just removing clogs. Often, prevention is the key to efficient, effective piping maintenance.In this article, we’ll discuss the key elements managers can use — including occupant education and chemicals — in preventing the types of issues in facilities that can lead to clogged drains and piping. Smarter occupants The list of materials that building...
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Editorial: Managers are Talking — and Listening — to Technicians, Supervisors

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By Dan Hounsell, Editor-in-Chief October 2016 - Maintenance & Operations    Article Use Policy You listened.Not to me, necessarily. Sure, my editorial in our July/August 2016 issue advised maintenance and engineering managers to devote more time to seeking input from their departments’ front-line technicians, supervisors, and administrators.Well, it turns out many of you already had been listening.For a question on our recent survey on personnel management issues, 41.6 percent of respondents said they address the issue of employee motivation — the second largest personnel challenge that respondents identified — by seeking input. The tactic of asking for staff input was far more popular than other tactics, including public recognition and even money. (We’ll report in an upcoming issue on the results of the personnel management survey.) Roundtable: Managers Discuss Personnel Management Challenges, Successes   This survey finding is heartening, in part because talking and listening are not skills...
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Maintenance and Engineering Stars: 2016 FMDAA Recipients

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FMD Achievement Awards Part 1: Maintenance and Engineering Stars: 2016 FMDAA Recipients Part 2: Sustainability: Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience, Jupiter, Fla. Part 3: Sustainability: Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tenn. Part 4: Renovations and Retrofits: University of La Verne, La Verne, Calif. Part 5: Renovations and Retrofits: Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle Part 6: Financial Management: Westerville (Ohio) School District Part 7: Financial Management: Kettering (Ohio) School District Part 8: Personnel Management: Orange County, Orlando, Fla. Part 9: Personnel Management: Johnson and Wales University, Providence, R.I. By Dave Lubach, Associate Editor October 2016 - Maintenance & Operations    Article Use Policy From sustainability demands and renovation deadlines to staffing issues and financial challenges, there seems to be no end to the roadblocks and hurdles facing maintenance and engineering departments. Overcoming these challenges — and ensuring institutional and commercial facilities remain safe, operational, and energy...
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Snow and Ice Management Practices Evolve

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Part 1 of a four-part article on snow and ice management at the University of Michigan By Dan Hounsell, Editor-in-Chief October 2016 - Grounds Management    Article Use Policy Nature always bats last. To put this old saying another way, organizations can do their best to prepare for bad weather, but ultimately, nature determines if those measures were enough.Some preparations for weather involve quick response to rapidly changing conditions, but effective planning for winter requires a more methodical strategy for grounds managers with institutional and commercial facilities. More: Snow and Ice Management Strategies “It really doesn’t ever stop,” says Robert Doletzky, supervisor of turf, irrigation and grounds maintenance with the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. “Every spring, we recap the previous winter to see what went well, what didn’t go so well, where we need to make changes while it’s fresh in our minds. In spring and...
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Water Saving Strategies for Plumbing and Restrooms

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Part 1 of a three-part article on plumbing and restroom upgrades Reducing operating costs is perhaps the biggest benefit that can be achieved through a well-planned restroom upgrade. Bradley Corp. By James Piper, P.E. October 2016 - Plumbing & Restrooms    Article Use Policy One of the most complex renovations maintenance and engineering managers can undertake is upgrading restrooms. Motivated by the need to improve the operations of institutional and commercial facilities while reducing operating costs, managers also must contend with demands for aesthetics, accessibility guidelines, sustainability, and developing a design that reduces vandalism — all while minimizing the disruption to facility occupants.Given these challenges, it is not surprising that many facilities have failed to upgrade their restrooms in 20 years or more. Completing a successful upgrade project that accomplishes this array of goals without killing the budget or causing building occupants to revolt is...
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