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Taking control of a brand new health care facility is a challenge maintenance and engineering managers might face only once or twice throughout their careers — if ever. Those who have managed a facility since the day it opened understand the host of challenges a new building can pose. Some of them managers can prepare for, while others surface unexpectedly.
Many of those challenges stem from the advanced technologies inside new facilities, as well as the need for training technicians on the proper maintenance of buildings systems and components. But when the health care facility is considered one of the most environmentally responsible in North America, that challenge becomes even greater.
The Modesto Medical Center in Modesto, Calif., is a 670,000-square-foot complex comprised of medical offices and a full-service hospital. The facility opened in October 2008 and has served as a green laboratory for Kaiser Permanente’s future green building projects.
Kaiser, headquartered in Oakland, Calif., features more than 450 medical facilities. The Modesto Medical Center is its most environmentally responsible to date. The center boasts a range of energy- and water-saving materials, low-emitting interior products, and design elements aimed at improving the health and well-being of patients and staff.
While the building’s green attributes grab headlines, managers are working behind the scenes to ensure those modern, environmentally responsible systems perform as intended.
“Everybody brings something to the table,” says Jack Claycomb, the medical center’s plant engineer. “It’s not just one or two guys. It’s everybody. That’s made the transition into this new technology a lot easier.”
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