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Long Term Planning, Recommissioning, Auditing


Facility managers probably hate this expression, but it is often easy to lose the forest for the trees. The day-to-day demands of the job mean time is scarce for long-term planning, budgeting, and optimizing a building. Sometimes it's even tough to maintain the status quo, as buildings age and performances declines.

A story by Building Operating Management's managing editor, Ronald Kovach, in the May issue — our first High-Performance issue, with all articles dedicated to high-performance strategies and best practices — points out eight reasons facilities begin to lose efficiency, or as Ron puts it, "why bad things happen to good buildings." But more importantly, the story suggests five strategies for putting buildings back in line. The goal, as consultant Jim Newman says in the story, is to make sure that green doesn’t go to gray.

The first, and arguably most important tip is to establish a good preventive maintenance program. Fairly obvious, right? But often it’s the obvious strategies that fall by the wayside when FMs get harried. In the story, Newman describes three levels of maintenance: reactive (things break, you replace them), preventive (regular cleaning of equipment, etc.) and by far the most difficult one, proactive (replacing equipment before it fails or becomes too inefficient). Most FMs probably employ some combination of all three, but the goal in maintaining high-performance buildings should be to move as much as possible to the proactive side, with plenty of preventive mixed in.

It's tough, we know. Mildred is cold again. A toilet's overflowing on the second floor. Is that another roof leak? And there's that day-long corporate retreat complete with team-building exercises scheduled for next week. Who's got the time?

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