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The one thing you want from a shiny new facility is for it to operate as intended. But how do you make sure? Do you do a full-scale commissioning process on all building systems? Do you cross your fingers and hope? Something in between?
Restroom facilities are particularly important - poorly working restrooms in a new facility can deep-six any other positive impressions of the rest of the building. At the Texas Rangers new Globe Life Field, scheduled to open this spring, the team took an interesting tack to making sure toilets and urinals are working properly. The team held what it called a “Super Flush,” according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, hiring 300 students from an area technical school to flush the stadium’s 2,600 toilets and urinals, as close to simultaneously as they could, to simulate a “seventh-inning stretch scenario.” The idea is both to make sure they were working properly, but also to ensure the facility could handle “peak flush.” The test went off without a glitch - a successful “commissioning” process.
The Rangers aren’t the first professional sports team to employ a Super Flush. New England Patriots are the originators, having conducted a similar test in 1971. This one, however, happened under less-than-ideal conditions. After Schaefer Stadium (aka Foxboro Stadium) opened, there were some problems. During the first game, several sinks and toilets backed up because the stadium’s plumbing couldn’t handle the flush volume. The Board of Health threatened to shut down the stadium, so after some repairs were made, the Super Flush was conducted to make sure the toilets worked. And this time they passed.
This post was submitted by Greg Zimmerman, executive editor, Building Operating Management and FacilitiesNet.com. Read his cover story about Chris Walinski and his mission to make open offices flexible and productive.