Stories

News and articles available on projects.

The Resurgence of Legionnaires’ Disease

Facility Maintenance Decisions
Dan Dounsell Headshot
Editoral: Dan Hounsell Dan Hounsell, Editor-in-Chief, advises managers to watch out for the resurgence of Legionnaires’ disease. By Dan Hounsell, Editor-in-Chief    Plumbing & Restrooms    Article Use Policy New things get people’s attention. Whether the new thing is a technology advance, a building, or a law, people take notice. But for maintenance and engineering managers, their challenges go far beyond just keeping up with what’s new. A host of age-old problems keep them up at night. One such problem with potentially fatal results seems to be returning — Legionnaires’ disease. Since researchers identified the disease in 1976, it has re-emerged periodically, sickening and even killing building occupants and visitors through contaminated water droplets from HVAC systems. Lately, a string of reports of the illness has hit the news: • A cluster of 22 cases of Legionnaires’ disease were diagnosed in New York City in July, and one person died....
Continue reading
  14 Hits
  0 Comments
14 Hits
0 Comments

Snow and Ice: Taking the Sting Out of Winter’s Worst

Facility Maintenance Decisions
Snow and Ice: Taking the Sting Out of Winter’s Worst
Snow and Ice: Determining The Scope of Work
Snow and Ice: Achieving the Desired Results
A snow plow clears the high school parking lot on town election day.
image
image
image
Grounds Management PART By addressing issues such as outsourcing, facility needs, levels of services now, managers can streamline responses to storms when winter comes By Brian K. Birch    Grounds Management    Article Use Policy Face it: Snow is a pain. It is difficult to predict, and people affected by it do not care about the complexity that comes with managing it. As grounds managers and their departments bask in the glow of summer’s sun, winter is slowly barreling toward them. No matter how positive a manager feels about the department’s snow management and planning process, success will depend on building on last year’s efforts. The key to getting a head start is to perform a thorough assessment of requirements and desired outcomes, as well as to understand the way they affect the budget. Assessing requirements is a major undertaking, so let’s start with a three-part checklist, keep in mind...
Continue reading
  15 Hits
  0 Comments
15 Hits
0 Comments

Painting Projects That Perform

Facility Maintenance Decisions
Painting Projects That Perform
Specifying the Proper Paints and Coatings
How to Properly Apply Paints and Coatings
Paints and Coatings: Matching Equipment with Projects
Group of happy students and teacher with tablet pc computer
Paints & Coatings PART Manufacturers offer insights on the central role of product selection and substrate preparation. By Ryan Berlin, Managing Editor    Paints & Coatings    Article Use Policy Most institutional and commercial facilities have painted surfaces that are in rough shape. From wear and tear inflicted by occupants and visitors to the passage of time, a host of factors affect their appearance and condition. To deliver paint and coating application projects that restore these areas, maintenance managers need to understand several issues before starting the job. Perhaps most importantly, managers specifying paints and coatings must consider an array of factors that affect the selection of the most appropriate paint or coating — specifically, the type and location of the substrate to which technicians will apply the coating. “Floor substrates see more traffic than wall substrates, so going from a wall to a floor, you are increasing the potential...
Continue reading
  16 Hits
  0 Comments
16 Hits
0 Comments

Chillers: Planning Successful Replacements

Facility Maintenance Decisions
Chillers: Planning Successful Replacements
Chillers: Specifying Equipment
Chillers: Executing the Replacement
Chillers: Contractor Considerations
Engineer checking Condenser Water pump and pressure gauge , chiller water pump with pressure gauge
Renovations & Retrofits PART Careful planning can help managers develop and execute projects that deliver long-term benefits. By David DiBiasse    HVAC    Article Use Policy Whether a chiller has reached the end of its useful life, the facility has experienced growth, or the phone is ringing with comfort complaints, it might be time for a replacement. Going through a major equipment replacement can be a stressful proposition for maintenance and engineering managers. From scheduling and product selection through start-up and warranty, managers can take several important steps to improve the effectiveness of chiller replacements. These tactics also can reduce risk and help deliver a successful infrastructure improvement. Taking the long view One of the first steps to a chiller replacement project should be to assess the area currently served and the condition of system components. Space size and utilization change constantly. Chances are, the load requirements are vastly different...
Continue reading
  14 Hits
  0 Comments
14 Hits
0 Comments

Access Control Comes of Age

Facility Maintenance Decisions
Andrew Baxter
Manager Spotlight: Andrew Baxter One manager’s experiences managing and upgrading facility security reflects technology’s evolution By Ryan Berlin, Managing Editor    Doors & Hardware    Article Use Policy The role of access control systems have evolved a great deal in recent years. Once simply technology that let people in and out of institutional and commercial buildings, they have become facilitywide security systems that control the movement of people and assets and integrate video surveillance. Andrew Baxter is familiar with this evolution. Working in the facilities department with Pasco County, Fla., since 2007, Baxter has worked his way up to become the director of facilities management. In this role, he oversees a staff of 73 that is responsible for nearly 60 facilities and $40 million annually. Among his most recent undertakings is an access controls project that took place over 12 months, cost $234,000 and merged seven separate databases controlling access...
Continue reading
  14 Hits
  0 Comments
14 Hits
0 Comments

Shining a Light on LEDs

Facility Maintenance Decisions
Shining a Light on LEDs
Understanding LED Advances and Applications
Indoor Track with LED Lights on the Ceiling
image
image
Lighting PART The most effective applications depend on matching advances in the technology to facility needs. By Dan Webb    Lighting    Article Use Policy LEDs are one of the most energy-efficient and quickly evolving lighting technologies and offer the potential to fundamentally change the future of lighting in institutional and commercial facilities. Widespread use of LEDs could save the equivalent annual electrical output of 44 large electric power plants by 2027, a total savings of more than $30 billion at today’s electricity prices, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Eye on opportunities What does this all mean to a facility, and what should maintenance and engineering managers look for in planning an upgrade to use the latest technology? The main advantage of upgrading from an incandescent or fluorescent lighting system to an LED system relates to energy cost savings over the life of a facility. Ultimately, managers need...
Continue reading
  15 Hits
  0 Comments
15 Hits
0 Comments

How Managers Can Streamline CMMS

Facility Maintenance Decisions
How Managers Can Streamline CMMS
3 Steps to Implementing a CMMS
How to Properly Maintain and Operate a CMMS
Barcode dropping on businessman hand, financial concept
image
image
image
Software PART Maximizing the performance of a CMMS can improve technician productivity and hold down inventory costs. By James Piper, P.E.    Software    Article Use Policy Computerized maintenance management systems (CMMS) for years have been demonstrating their value to maintenance and engineering managers, from tracking the organization’s assets to scheduling and tracking maintenance tasks. But managers can use a CMMS to benefit other areas, including inventory management. For maintenance technicians to be able to perform maintenance tasks in a timely manner, they must have ready access to the replacement parts when they are needed. Knowing the needed parts and the number of each to stock can be a major headache for managers. Too much inventory ties up too much capital and too much warehouse space. Too little inventory or the wrong inventory slows the completion of maintenance work orders. The challenge for managers is ensuring that technicians have the...
Continue reading
  16 Hits
  0 Comments
16 Hits
0 Comments

Technician Training For a New Era

Facility Maintenance Decisions
Technician Training For a New Era
Addressing the Maintenance and Engineering Knowledge Gap
Laurie Gilmer
image
image
Management Insight: Laurie Gilmer PART Aging workforce leads managers to create new methods for training younger technicians By Laurie A. Gilmer, P.E.    Facilities Management    Article Use Policy Several years ago, facility management circles began talking about the issue of the aging workforce. The subject was of great concern and came with recommendations for training programs and succession plans, as well as putting management processes in place. After all, the workforce was aging. Our concern was — and still is — that institutional knowledge of facilities is retiring at an increasing rate. As we worried about the future of facility management, another related sector also became a concern: skilled craftsmen and technicians. Mechanical techs, electricians and plumbers are increasingly sought after, and they are increasingly rare. While retirement of the aging workforce affects this group, something else is going on. Revisiting vocational training According to Building America’s Technical Workforce,...
Continue reading
  16 Hits
  0 Comments
16 Hits
0 Comments

Plumbing Renovations at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport Target Savings

Facility Maintenance Decisions
Plumbing Renovations at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport Target Savings
Airport Concourse Increases Square Footage, Decreases Water Usage
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport Face Plumbing Upgrade Challenges and Learn from Lessons
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport
image
image
image
Institutional Facilities Projects PART Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, the world's busiest, takes off with savings from upgrades to plumbing systems By Dan Hounsell, Editor-in-Chief    Plumbing & Restrooms    Article Use Policy The last decade has brought a host of changes to institutional and commercial facilities, from technology advances designed to improve occupant comfort and technician productivity to changes in codes and standards that make facilities safer and more energy efficient. Among the many changes, it is hard to overstate the impact that water conservation has had throughout facilities. Water shortages across the country — including hard-hit areas such as California and the Southeast — have prompted maintenance and engineering managers to look far and wide for ways to curtail water use in their facilities To achieve this goal, some managers have undertaken upgrades to landscape irrigation systems, which had been notorious for undetected underground leaks that drove up facilities’...
Continue reading
  13 Hits
  0 Comments
13 Hits
0 Comments

The Disconnect Between Maintenance and Design

Facility Maintenance Decisions

Editoral: Dan Hounsell Dan Hounsell, Editor-in-Chief, says the disconnect between maintenance and building design can be costly. By Dan Hounsell, Editor-in-Chief    Maintenance & Operations    Article Use Policy Here’s a concept that works: Listen to the people responsible for maintenance of a new institutional or commercial facility during the planning and design process for that facility. For years, maintenance and engineering managers have preached this message to anyone involved in building design who would listen. Unfortunately, too many architects, engineering firms, and CEOs haven’t listened. The results have been predictable — and costly. Building envelopes crumble, roofs leak, and HVAC systems fail to keep occupants comfortable and waste energy and money while doing so. Managers don’t need a government report to prove a disconnect exists. But they have one. A new U.S. General Accounting Office (GAO) report documents the impact on 78 federal facilities of failing to account for...
Continue reading
  14 Hits
  0 Comments
14 Hits
0 Comments

Power at Hand: Specifying Handheld Ground Tools

Facility Maintenance Decisions
Power at Hand: Specifying Handheld Ground Tools
Handheld Tools That Meet the Needs of Grounds Staff
Proper Grounds Tools Can Lead to Greater Productivity
grounds management
image
image
image
Grounds Management PART Managers who are aware of the latest updates in handheld grounds equipment and staff needs will be able to specify the proper equipment. By Thomas A. Westerkamp    Grounds Management    Article Use Policy Trimmers, edgers and blowers have all gone through recent technology changes that include cordless and battery powered options. Mowers and utility vehicles get much of the attention in grounds departments, which is understandable, given the central role these pieces of equipment play in daily activities. Savvy managers also pay attention to a range equipment, including trimmers, edgers, and blowers, which round out the equipment arsenal and ensure workers have access to the needed tools for any job that arises. By staying abreast of recent changes in handheld equipment and understanding staff equipment needs based on current workloads and landscape features, managers will be able to specify handheld grounds equipment that meets staff needs....
Continue reading
  15 Hits
  0 Comments
15 Hits
0 Comments

Portable Cooling When it Counts

Facility Maintenance Decisions
Portable Cooling When it Counts
How to Specify Portable Cooling for Facility Needs
Overcoming Portable Cooling Obstacles
portable cooling
image
image
image
Portable Cooling PART Providing cooling for a facility — whether in an emergency or for a special event — means managers must do their homework By Dan Hounsell, Editor-in-Chief    HVAC    Article Use Policy New-generation portable cooling units offer lower noise levels, given the range of applications of the equipment throughout facilities. No one wants to think about worst-case scenarios, but some people have no choice. Maintenance and engineering managers in institutional and commercial facilities have no choice when it comes to preparing for power or equipment issues that threaten the comfort of building occupants. In the case of hospitals, the problem can threaten occupant health. To plan effectively for emergency cooling or even temporary, event-related cooling, managers need to understand the cooling needs and resources of their facilities, as well as available portable cooling products and technology. Armed with this information, they can work with manufacturers and equipment...
Continue reading
  16 Hits
  0 Comments
16 Hits
0 Comments

Specifying Utility Vehicles to Meet Unique Needs

Facility Maintenance Decisions
Specifying Utility Vehicles to Meet Unique Needs
Sustainability Factors for Utility Vehicle Specification
PGMS: Digging Into Core Competencies
Utility Vehicles
image
image
image
Landscape Specification PART The evolving University of Puget Sound campus creates fleet management challenges and opportunities By Dan Hounsell, Editor-in-Chief    Grounds Management    Article Use Policy Unable to rely on strictly large trucks or cars, the University of Puget Sound utilizes utility vehicles as a mode of primary transportation. Nothing is permanent except change, and managers in institutional and commercial facilities can attest to the truth in that adage. Some facilities can change fairly quickly as owners and occupants try to shape their surroundings to their needs. The University of Puget Sound has evolved over years as university planners have reshaped the look and feel of the campus. “We’re tucked between two main streets, and I think they felt that some of these smaller lateral streets going through the center of campus were disruptive,” says Joe Kovolyan, the university’s manager of grounds and automotive. “So over time, they’ve been...
Continue reading
  13 Hits
  0 Comments
13 Hits
0 Comments

Roof Coatings: Cost Considerations and Facility Needs

Facility Maintenance Decisions
Roof Coatings: Cost Considerations and Facility Needs
Roof Coatings: Benefits and Energy Savings
Roof Coatings: Emissivity vs. Reflectivity

image
image
image
Roofing PART Properly specified and applied, roof coatings can help managers extend roof performance life and curtail energy costs. By Thomas A. Westerkamp    Roofing    Article Use Policy Aluminum and white roof coatings are gaining acceptance as viable options to seal and add flexibility to aging roofs while also reflecting ultraviolet light and reducing facility cooling costs substantially. Maintenance and engineering managers have a host of questions to answer in specifying the most appropriate roof coatings for institutional and commercial facilities. Coatings have changed a great deal in recent years in response to demands from customers for longer performance life, easier application, and greater durability. By understanding the various types of roof coatings, keeping up with codes and standards considerations, and quantifying energy-efficiency benefits of coating applications, managers can ensure coatings applications deliver both long-term performance and bottom-line benefits. Coatings considerations Determining the most appropriate roof coating to specify...
Continue reading
  14 Hits
  0 Comments
14 Hits
0 Comments

HVAC: Diagnosing Energy Waste

Facility Maintenance Decisions
HVAC: Diagnosing Energy Waste
HVAC: Monitoring and Reducing Energy Waste
HVAC: Bottom-Line Benefits of Reducing Energy Waste
HVAC
image
image
image
Energy Strategies PART Smart building controls enable managers and technicians to uncover and address energy waste in HVAC systems. By Ben Shepard, P.E.    Energy Efficiency    Article Use Policy Performing routine diagnostics on building equipment can help managers determine how energy is being used within a building. Today’s institutional and commercial facilities produce a treasure trove of data each day. With the help of state-of-the-art building automation systems (BAS), maintenance and operations technicians can quickly assess the health of a building with a few clicks of a mouse. Having the current status of nearly every piece of equipment serving the HVAC system at one’s fingertips can be empowering but also overwhelming. The challenge for managers and technicians is to understand the technology and options and, most importantly, to put the data to work to produce tangible benefits for the organization. Diagnosing trouble Part of an effective operator’s daily routine...
Continue reading
  16 Hits
  0 Comments
16 Hits
0 Comments

Boilers and the End-of-Life Decision

Facility Maintenance Decisions
Boilers and the End-of-Life Decision
Boiler Replacement: Understanding Key Metrics
Boiler Replacement: The Tipping Point
Boilers
image
image
image
Renovations & Retrofits PART Managers deciding whether to repair or replace a boiler need to gather, analyze and present solid data to make a smart decision By Mark A. Pontz, P.E.    HVAC    Article Use Policy Deciding whether to repair or replace a boiler begins with understanding the unit’s condition, so technicians should carefully inspect the equipment. Maintenance and engineering managers play an important role in the energy-efficient operation of HVAC systems and components, as well as their eventual replacement. They are responsible for the ongoing testing and monitoring of the systems’ performance, and they ensure front-line technicians have access to a reliable supply of replacement parts and tools to perform needed repairs. Boilers are essential components of these systems, and eventually, their performance lives near the end. As this time arrives, managers need to monitor boiler condition and operation to determine the most appropriate time for replacement. Before...
Continue reading
  14 Hits
  0 Comments
14 Hits
0 Comments

Efficiency and Effectiveness: Know the Difference

Facility Maintenance Decisions

Management Insight: Andrew Gager It is important for managers to understand what to manage, why it's important and how to do it. This is where efficiency and effectiveness come in. By Andrew Gager    Maintenance & Operations    Article Use Policy Professional and personal tasks for managers often are similar. In both settings, managers organize, direct, coach, supervise, and at times, discipline. One of the other common tasks for managers is budgeting and metrics. It is important that managers understand what to manage, why it’s important, and how to do it. This is where efficiency and effectiveness come in. By understanding the difference between these two concepts, managers can achieve success. Efficiency and effectiveness are not the same thing. Efficiency is defined as the ability to accomplish something with the least amount of wasted time, money, and effort or competency in performance. Effectiveness is defined as the degree to which...
Continue reading
  14 Hits
  0 Comments
14 Hits
0 Comments

Plumbing Renovations at Notre Dame Stadium Target Aesthetics and Hygiene

Facility Maintenance Decisions
Plumbing Renovations at Notre Dame Stadium Target Aesthetics and Hygiene
Spotlight on Water Conservation and Hygiene
Challenges and Benefits of a Plumbing Renovation
Plumbing Upgrades Improve Notre Dame's Bottom-Line

Institutional Facilities Projects PART Tackling plumbing upgrades at Notre Dame Stadium benefits water conservation, sustainability and the user experience By Ryan Berlin, Managing Editor    Plumbing & Restrooms    Article Use Policy Plumbing and restroom upgrades at Notre Dame Stadium have saved more than $200,000 and enabled the maintenance department to perform needed work elsewhere on campus. Built and opened in 1930, Notre Dame Stadium is one of the oldest and most storied football venues in college football, and it has seen its share of renovations and upgrades. In 2014, the university gave the stadium and surrounding facilities an upgrade appropriate for its high profile on campus and beyond. The university tackled a $400 million enhancement that included the addition of three adjacent buildings and a host of plumbing upgrades. “The Campus Crossroads Project constructed three buildings that connected to our stadium,” says Mark Hummel, assistant director of utilities and...
Continue reading
  14 Hits
  0 Comments
14 Hits
0 Comments

Think Big, Start Small

Facility Maintenance Decisions

Editoral: Dan Hounsell By Dan Hounsell, Editor-in-Chief    Maintenance & Operations    Article Use Policy “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” — Arthur Ashe  A strategy for success doesn’t get much simpler than that. Ashe’s message is an acknowledgement that few undertakings have everything they need at the outset. The timing might be off, and the desired resources might not all be in place. Unfortunately, waiting and hoping that everything eventually comes together generally results in procrastination. In institutional and commercial facilities, budget considerations often limit a maintenance and engineering manager’s ability to plan a project or implement a program. Tight staffing and busy facility schedules only add to the challenge. So what’s a manager to do? Go small. “Start simple and easy,” writes Michael Cowley in his Management Insight column on page 6. “Begin with life-safety items, and when that succeeds, begin to...
Continue reading
  18 Hits
  0 Comments
18 Hits
0 Comments

LED Upgrades That Succeed

Facility Maintenance Decisions
LED Upgrades That Succeed
LED Upgrades: Considerations and Challenges
LED Upgrades: Technology Advances

image
image
image
Lighting PART Careful consideration of savings, compatibility and output can help managers plan and complete effective projects. By Andrea Mulvany, P.E.    Lighting    Article Use Policy Managers must make the decision to upgrade existing lighting only after careful evaluation. While LED technology is rapidly changing the lighting industry, fluorescent lighting is still the most common lighting source in institutional and commercial buildings. Many facilities have upgraded to LED lighting as part of retrofit projects. Some have even carried out these updates as part of a facility upgrade. Managers must make the decision to upgrade existing lighting only after careful evaluation. Whether operating a health care facility, commercial office building, or education institution, managers have many factors to consider. Why upgrade? Updating lighting is essential to maintaining a modern facility in both appearance and performance. When determining if the change from fluorescent to LED lighting is right for a facility,...
Continue reading
  17 Hits
  0 Comments
17 Hits
0 Comments
© 2018 CivilEarth. All Rights Reserved.