Technology marches on, and maintenance and engineering managers must march on with it or risk being left in the dust of progress.
That being said, managers must also strike a fragile balance between keeping pace with high-tech advances throughout all areas of facilities and reminding all parties concerned in facilities management and maintenance that concentrating only on the next technology is a short-sighted strategy, at best.
Increasingly, maintenance managers and their departments are involved in the planning for new construction and major renovation projects. In our Mission Support coverage this month, Associate Editor Renee Gryzkewicz spotlights the central role played by the Portland (Wash.) School District’s maintenance department in setting priorities for installing advanced HVAC technology in district schools to control energy costs.
That kind of involvement among maintenance and engineering managers can only benefit both departments and their organizations. Maintenance, after all, knows best that the promises of advanced-technology applications in facilities are destined to fail if organizations don’t adequately consider the post-installation maintenance issues.
But as necessary as this level of involvement is, it threatens to dominate what might be an even more pressing issue for many managers — namely, the continuous attention demanded by existing facilities, which, after all, tend make up the majority of the maintainable square footage for most managers.
In his article, “IAQ and the Aging Facility,” James Piper outlines the maintenance considerations for key components of HVAC systems in the nation’s aging buildings to ensure the health of the indoor environment.
While managers have access to new technology invented to make all indoor environments healthier, managers face tougher difficulties when the spaces in question are in decades-old buildings that feature old materials and that struggle to give proper indoor air quality for the numbers and types of operations and occupants they now house.
Keeping up with technology no doubt is one strategy managers can implement to all aspects of maintenance and engineering. But reminding all parties involved that facilities will only support the organization’s mission if they through thorough maintenance in all areas might be the most beneficial strategy managers have at their disposal.
Written by Dan Hounsell
Originally posted on facilitiesnet.com