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Four Reasons Your Building Isn’t Water Efficient

Posted on 7/29/2014 7:04 AM by Scott Kale

While building owners and managers tend to look at the big picture to make their building more efficient and profitable, it’s really the small things that drain their budget. After performing hundreds of water audits, here are the top four culprits I find that make a building water inefficient.

Cooling Towers
Using 30% of your building’s total water consumption, cooling towers are usually located on rooftops and go practically unnoticed unless they completely fail.  They rely on water evaporation to regulate temperature, which increases the concentration of minerals in the remaining water.  If left undiluted, this will cause scaling on the equipment surfaces that can cause small leaks to occur.  These leaks can drain thousands of gallons and go completely undetected – until you get an enormous water bill!

Toilets
Toilets can also account for more than 30% of the water used inside a facility. A valve stuck open in one toilet can waste 200 gallons per hour. Over a weekend, this would cost $157 in Los Angeles, $220 in Tampa, and $360 in Atlanta.

Excess Irrigation
While owners and managers promise to offer tenants a lush landscape to go with the building, often times it means they over irrigate in both the number of days and how long per zone. If faulty rain sensors are in place, you may be watering during a rain storm. Train your grass and flowers to grow with less water.

Underground Leaks
Most equate underground leaks with the major bursts that are easily seen. However, the most expensive leaks are those that can’t be seen. Look for wet spots and alligatored paving, which are clues to underground leaks.

Water is one of most precious assets. Yet we often waste it without giving a second though. Correcting and monitoring the above culprits will go a long way toward increasing your water efficiency and lowering your bill.

You can also take advantage of technology that measures water usage in real-time. Analyzing this data provides metrics to determine when there is usage above industry norms, an unseen leak, or a catastrophic leak. Making sure these problems are identified and remedied can prevent you from wasting gallons of water.

Scott Kale is vice president of WaterSignal. He can be reached at skale@watersignal.com.



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How to Improve Cell Phone Reception

Posted on 7/25/2014 8:04 AM by Stuart Manley

An increasing number of companies are looking for ways to improve their cell phone reception throughout their offices or even the entire building. As mobile devices have become an integral part of every professional’s life and are the preferred method of contact for many people, good cell reception is a must.

Despite what cellular carriers claim in their advertisements, reception inside many buildings is often poor or non-existent. Maybe your occupants have even complained about dropped calls or it’s something you’ve experienced yourself.

If you want to provide reliable reception, a cellular signal booster is the most logical and cost-effective option for bringing outside signals inside a facility.

Boosters are compact systems that “hear” a signal that is outside the building – even a very weak one – and amplify its power. They can then generate the boosted signal inside the building where it’s needed. The boosters also work in reverse, taking your cell phone’s signal and giving it enough power to reach the nearest cell tower.

Boosters can satisfy many communication requirements for facility managers:

 

  • They support all cellular carriers, phone models, and the fastest data speeds (4G).

 

  • Reliability is always vital as facility managers want to be able to set it and forget it. Boosters are FCC certified and designed to operate maintenance free for extended periods.

 

  • Boosters are completely scalable to meet current and future needs. They can be implemented in a small area and then expand as needed.  
     
  • The system can often be up and running in one or two days, depending on the size of the job. Installation won’t interfere with productivity or disrupt office routines.

 

  • There are no monthly recurring costs associated with boosters as they are a one-time expense. The average installed cost can be as little as 20-25 cents per square foot of coverage.
     

Boosters are also ideal for complex communication needs. On one recent installation, reception was needed for more than 500,000 square feet across two buildings and throughout 13 floors. Redundancy was also required so that an equipment malfunction on one floor would not affect the others. The entire project took less than four weeks and was completed without interrupting employees’ schedules.

Technology has created a societal expectation of availability where people want immediate, 24/7 access to colleagues, clients, family, and online resources. By installing a cellular signal booster, building owners or managers can deliver on those expectations.

Stuart Manley is the founder and president of Manley Solutions, a provider of wireless solutions for commercial operations. He can be reached at smanley@manleysolutions.com.



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Three Characteristics to Look for in a White Space-Ready UPS

More and more organizations are considering replacing older, transformer-based centralized power protection schemes with distributed architectures with UPSs residing in the white space.

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Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) 101

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3 Important Factors for Properly Designing a Fire Alarm System

Choosing and properly designing a fire alarm system is crucial for both the safety of your occupants and your bottom line. Let the following factors guide your next new construction or facilities upgrade project.

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Analog to IP: Make the Paradigm Shift

A number of commercial and institutional facility owners and management professionals are still trying to squeeze the last life out of legacy surveillance systems, unwilling to fully participate or unable to invest in the migration to Internet Protocol (IP)-based systems.

With the affordability of IP-based video surveillance systems, however, organizations can use this tool to leverage business intelligence gathering, maintain the safety of facilities, and attract and keep tenants.

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Dealing with Water Concerns Starts with Getting the Terminology Right

It is time to reconsider the terms we to discuss the protection and management of our water supply.

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What You Don't Know About Corrosion, Paint, and Coatings

Identifying these state-of-the-art repair systems is difficult. But the savings that can be obtained by understanding all of the alternatives relating to corrosion and erosion could save significant amounts of time and money.

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Ford Dearborn Truck Plant Green Roof at Ten Years

The Rouge green roof marked its official tenth anniversary in April 2013. In this interview, Roger Gaudette, director of asset management for Ford Land Corporation, discusses the history and performance of the green roof.

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