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NFMT: Editor's Picks for Sessions


By Edward Sullivan Facilities Management
NFMT attendees

The National Facilities Management and Technology (NFMT) conference and exposition offers facility professionals a unique chance to get fresh ideas on critical areas of FM responsibility. This year’s NFMT starts in less than two weeks in Baltimore. The lineup features more than 100 sessions on a variety of facility-related topics. To prepare, I have been curating my picks for some of the top sessions from the event. My list will give you a sense of the topics being discussed. For each session, I’ll tell you who is speaking and why I think it’s worth attending. We will also be sharing insights from the show every day on Twitter.

• Session: Creating Value Through the Capital and Operating Budget Process
Who: B. Alan Whitson, president, The Corporate Realty, Design & Management Institute
Why: Here’s your chance to learn how to get the money you need. This session will review ways to determine if your capital budget is too small, too big, or just right; define the financial assumption so all capital funding requests are evaluated equally; and see how to identify how to rank capital projects within a limited pool of money.

• Session: The 17 Gaps That Sabotage Your Emergency Plans and How To Fill Them
Who: Bo Mitchell, president and CEO, 911 Consulting
Why: Do you know what laws, regulations and standards apply to your emergency planning, training and exercises? If you don’t, you might wind up facing a lawsuit. Learn the 17 gaps that can sabotage your emergency plans today and how to fill them.

• Session: All That Talking, Emailing and Texting Doesn’t Mean You Are a Great Communicator!
Who: Alana Dunoff, president, AFD Facility Planning, and Lesley Groff, senior supervisor, buildings and grounds, UGI Utilities Inc.
Why: Communication is a critical skill for facility professionals, whether you are senior level manager or looking to move into a supervisor position. This dynamic roundtable workshop will provide you with tools, tips, and a few war stories to help you strengthen your communication skills.

• Session: How Understanding Health in Buildings Can Influence Action
Who: Bill Brodt, experimental facilities engineer, NASA
Why: A small community of engineering and medical researchers are conducting research on health in buildings. You’ll learn how to convert that research into a practical facility management action.

• Session: Building Technology Has Advanced – It’s Time We Catch Up
Who: John Rimer, president, FM360
Why: Advances in technology can help FMs add value to their organizations. This session will highlight key advances, define best practices for selecting and implementing technology, and discuss steps for avoiding typical pitfalls with new technology.

• Session: How Workplace Design Can Enhance Company Culture and Values
Who: Susan Foong, design principal, HGA, Matt Hart, project manager, HGA, and Paula Storsteen, design principal, HGA
Why workplace design might require integrating an acquisition or assisting in translating the main corporate culture into a new office space. How can workplace standards be implemented while still allowing for regional influences, ranging from the Midwest to Silicon Valley? On the agenda for the session: creating a shared project vision statement and guiding principles; enhancing collaboration and improving speed of decision making process; and making workplace standards successful.

• Session: Building Retrofits for Efficiency and Cost Savings
Who: Jesse Fisher, senior engineer, WB Engineers+Consultants
Why: FMs can improve building energy efficiency, reduce maintenance costs, and enhance comfort by retrofitting new technologies, controls, and design approaches. You’ll learn how to identify opportunities and prioritize possible projects based on savings impact, increased building performance, or lowest cost of implementation.

• Session: BACnet 101
Who: Steven Jones, managing partner, The S4 Group Inc.
Why: If you've heard the name BACnet but still aren’t sure about what it is, this session is for you. Learn the basics of BACnet and, more importantly, what it can do for you and some caveats of working with it.

• Session: Data or Valuable Metrics: FMs ... Harness the Power
Who: Dhaval Gajjar, assistant professor, Clemson University
Why: Value-based metrics can help FMs manage vendors and staff to get the performance they want. You’ll learn how to use of metric documentation for vendor management and to develop simple measurement strategies that drive performance.

The editors of Building Operating Management, along with a contributing editor, and an editorial advisory board member, are also on the NFMT program. Click here to learn more about those sessions.

Ed Sullivan is editor-in-chief of Building Operating Management.

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