Linking Maintenance and Design
December 23, 2008 - Contact FacilitiesNet Editorial Staff »
I'm Dan Hounsell, editor of Maintenance Solutions.
Today's topic: Linking design and maintenance
Organizations constantly search for ways to hold down costs and ensure long-term dividends related to major construction projects. The Milwaukee Public Schools' division of facilities and maintenance services has helped the district achieve these goals by involving maintenance personnel into the planning and design of new-construction and renovation projects.
The division's maintenance inspectors with expertise in various fields, such as HVAC systems, electrical systems and roofing, review plans for new construction and major renovation to identify any potential problems, ask questions, and indicate must-have elements.
For example, mechanical rooms traditionally cause problems for maintenance and engineering technicians. Designers generally give little thought to their size or location or the placement of equipment within them. But when the district's maintenance inspectors began reviewing plans, they pointed out that a few relatively minor changes would give technicians better access to equipment and make their jobs easier, at little or no additional cost.
Giving technicians even just a little more room to change filters, for example, or specifying a requested type of valve that's easier to maintain can make technicians more productive and help minimize time and money spent on the task.