How managers can move their organization from reactive emergencies to planned activities
Angela Testa, senior vice president of operations at American Campus Communities, strengthens operations without compromising a healthy work environment
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: A large group of facilities faces a looming crisis unless it receives an influx of new funding to perform a growing backlog of critical repairs and maintenance.
K-12 schools, higher education facilities and state and local government buildings have regularly faced such circumstances in the last few decades. In the latest case, federal facilities are sounding the alarm.
The commissioner of the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) Public Buildings Service (PBS) recently underscored the importance of properly maintaining federal facilities for: the safety of the public and federal employees; the financial risks to the government by not addressing mounting deferred maintenance; and the savings to taxpayers by proactively addressing these issues.
Nina Albert, the PBS commissioner, made the statements in testimony to the House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings, and Emergency Management.
"The opportunity is here to work together to achieve better outcomes while saving taxpayers money," Albert says. "By providing full access to the Federal Buildings Fund, GSA can consolidate agencies into federally-owned facilities where possible to avoid lease costs, reduce facility vulnerabilities due to extreme weather events, and modernize our spaces to meet the evolving needs of agencies and visitors alike."
Albert says without full access to the Federal Buildings Fund, public buildings will continue to suffer from the consequences of deferred maintenance. Liabilities are growing by $2.6 billion per year, and this is likely to compound further the longer GSA is not able to address critical repairs.
As these outages increase, energy storage will play a key role in ensuring a reliable power supply to critical infrastructure, such as healthcare facilities, data centers and telecommunications.
Already popular among contractors, electric machines are likely to eventually emerge in facilities markets.
The six installations are the latest in an estimated 600 solar systems to have been introduced at New Jersey’s schools as part of a program to decarbonize the state’s educational facilities.