Retrofits Test Managerial Skills

By Chris Matt, Managing Editor - Print & E-Media  
OTHER PARTS OF THIS ARTICLEPt. 1: Technician Training: Funding Makes a DifferencePt. 2: This Page

Five years ago — maybe even more recently — retrofit management likely was not a phrase that resonated with maintenance and engineering managers.

Sure, commercial and institutional facilities for years have used retrofits to improve the efficiency of existing buildings and lessen their maintenance demands. But the recession, along with a dormant market for new construction, have significantly increased the volume of those projects and ushered in the retrofit era.

"The only thing we can do is retrofit and try to get more efficient," one manager told me as part of this month's Roundtable feature.

Managers are at the forefront of this era. Many of the challenges retrofits pose — obtaining funding, working with architects and contractors, and mobilizing in-house staff — are similar to the issues associated with new construction projects.

But one challenge not on that list speaks to an issue that separates maintenance and engineering directors from facility managers more heavily involved in new construction — completing retrofits while limiting disruption to occupants and visitors and minimizing downtime.

Managers and front-line technicians have mastered the ability to coexist with building occupants while completing daily maintenance tasks, and that experience is essential for successfully tackling retrofits in occupied space.

Many managers have established strong lines of communication to educate occupants on a project and the way it might impact building operations. That open communication is a key tenet of retrofit management, a phrase resonating with maintenance and engineering managers, and their organizations, more than ever before.

Chris Matt offers insights gleaned from conversations with managers who make key maintenance and engineering decisions in commercial and institutional facilities.

Continue Reading: Talking Points

Technician Training: Funding Makes a Difference

Retrofits Test Managerial Skills

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  posted on 11/3/2010   Article Use Policy

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