The goal of the Maintenance Solutions Achievement Awards is to shine the spotlight of recognition a little farther into facilities than it usually reaches. Too often, maintenance and engineering departments don't get their due, despite their efforts to ensure facilities operate cost-effectively, energy-efficiently, and safely. We're changing that by recognizing the noteworthy achievements of these winning departments for 2011:
County of Fairfax, Va. The replacement of three 900-ton chillers at risk of failure provided an opportunity to improve system efficiency and resulted in a 33 percent reduction in needed equipment capacity.
Broward College, Pembroke Pines, Fla. Landscape renovation projects aimed to conserve water and create natural habitats, and upgraded irrigation systems incorporated electronic controls to curtail water use.
Parsons Corp., Pasadena, Calif. Implementation of daylight harvesting, occupancy sensors, plus parking-lot lighting retrofit helped reduce utility Btus by 42.7 percent, and upgrades of plumbing and irrigation systems cut water use by 36 percent.
Texas Children's Hospital, Houston. An energy audit identified no- and low-cost projects aimed at reducing electricity use by 15 percent, steam use by 38 percent, and chilled-water use by 15 percent, resulting in annual savings of $1.3 million and a payback of less than one year.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg (N.C.) Schools. The Building Services Department restructured sub-departments as part of a plan to help district cut energy costs by 20 percent. The department earned several state grants to fund energy-reduction efforts and has helped district avoid costs totaling more than $5 million.
The University of Texas at Austin. The Facilities Services Department was called on to prioritize facilities projects to maximize efficient use of funds. Based on use of solid data to show the need for more renovation funds, department secured a funding increase � from $12 million in 2002 to $18 million in 2010.
Virginia Beach City (Va.) Public Schools. The School Plant invested in lean implementation to streamline operations and improve service. Among the results: Emergency work orders dropped from 35 per month to 12. Electronic processing of work orders eliminated more than 50,000 pieces of paper. Overtime dropped by nearly one-third.
Tulsa (Okla.) Community College. The Physical Facilities Department reorganized, placing facility managers over each of four campuses to deal with maintenance requests and stem deferred maintenance, resulting in lower electricity, gas, and water use.
Check out the complete entries for each of these departments' at http://my.facilitiesnet.com/p/msaa.aspx.
Dan Hounsell offers observations about trends in maintenance and engineering management and the evolving role of managers in facilities.