Dan Hounsell: Deferred Maintenance and the Strategies Within the Struggle
Deep down, in places we don’t talk about at parties, we know deferred maintenance eventually will catch up to institutional and commercial facilities. The signs of the crisis are almost anywhere you care to look. In March alone, these high-profile organizations made the news for the staggering costs they face:
New York City’s libraries. The libraries face a $1.1 billion maintenance crisis, including capital upgrades that range from fixing cooling and heating problems to repairing broken elevators and malfunctioning windows.
U.S. Department of Defense. The department’s proposed 2016 budget aims to help the military dig out from billions of dollars in deferred maintenance caused by two prior years of sudden spending cuts. Pentagon officials admit the proposal is not a complete solution to neglected infrastructure.
State of Texas. “Officials from Texas’ largest state agencies painted a dire picture Thursday of delayed maintenance needs at their offices and other facilities. Many also admitted they had tempered past repair requests because the Legislature consistently does not fully fund them,” according to a news report.
Funding requests from maintenance and engineering managers seeking to address deferred maintenance in K-12 schools, pubic colleges and universities, and government buildings rarely succeed, but managers do have strategic and tactical moves at their disposal.
In our Roundtable coverage on page 15, facilities engineering consultants offer insights and suggestions managers can use in the hopes of finally making some much-needed progress on deferred maintenance.
Dan Hounsell offers observations about trends in maintenance and engineering management and the evolving role of managers in facilities. Agree? Disagree? Have something to say? We want to hear from you. Visit myfacilitiesnet.com/danhounsell, and start a conversation.