Performance Contracting Gives New Life to Public Facilities in Satellite Beach, Florida

03/16/2020 | By Sarah Kloepple

The coastal city of Satellite Beach, FL—located about 70 miles southeast of Orlando—knew many of its public facilities were in dire need of infrastructure upgrades. The community center roof was nearing its useful life. The gym’s fluorescent lighting inflated utility bills. And the local government was interested in implementing sustainable improvements.

With the help of ABM, a custom facilities solutions provider, Satellite Beach was able to upgrade five city facilities and three parks—to be paid for through energy and operational performance contracting. Upgrades include new roofs, retrofitted LED lighting systems, automation controls and improved ventilation.

“What we do is fund the gaps in people’s budgets that prevent them from being successful,” says Joel Lowery, senior vice president of sales at ABM. “In most cases they know what needs to be done. It’s just a matter of funding.”


Photo: Satelitte Beach Police Department; Credit: Courtesy of the City of Satellite Beach

Read about some of Satellite Beach’s biggest improvements.

Lighting 

ABM began work in Satellite Beach in September 2019. The company determined beforehand that the city was “in a place where they were putting off deferred maintenance projects for a while,” says Rob Duncan, municipal account executive at ABM. “We were able to get them on a path with a budget-neutral solution.”

[Related: 5 Things to Consider Before Starting a Lighting Upgrade]

Not only were there ample energy savings opportunities in Satellite Beach, the city was also spending a significant amount to repair old infrastructure, so maintenance savings became a part of the neutral budget. Duncan says the biggest area for energy savings was found in the lighting systems.

“They had a gym with really outdated lights,” Duncan explains. “Some facilities even had old T12 technology.” Facilities were retrofitted with energy efficient LED lighting systems.


Photo: ABM helped Satellite Beach complete a project that was already in the works. At a retention pond that also serves as a small park, the company supplied solar lighting around the pathways with battery backups; Credit: Courtesy of the City of Satellite Beach

New Roofs 

Three new roofs were installed at Satellite Beach public facilities, including the community center. That roof in particular was nearing its useful life; was code-outdated with a 60 mph wind load; and had signs of bubbling, leaking and cracking.

“They are right on the beach, so a roof with only 60 mph wind loads—that’s the old code—was already at risk,” Duncan says. “That becomes a really scary scenario where if a hurricane did come through there, or even a bad rainstorm, they could have had significant damage to the building because of conditions of the roof and not meeting standards.”

New roofs are now code-compliant with 120 mph wind loads. “We felt that was a major upgrade to get a lot more protection,” Duncan adds. Other exterior upgrades include improved ventilation, which was achieved by stripping New roofs are now code-compliant with 120 mph wind loads. “We felt that was a major upgrade to get a lot more protection,” Duncan adds. Other exterior upgrades include improved ventilation, which was achieved by stripping windows and doors and sealing building envelopes.

Stormwater Management 

ABM also helped Satellite Beach complete a project that was already in the works. Since the city is situated on a barrier island, it can sustain only a certain amount of stormwater runoff. Previously, runoff affected Satellite Beach’s waterways and the wildlife that calls them home.

The solution: They implemented a stormwater pond to capture stormwater runoff and even turned the area into a park, surrounding the pond with pathways and exercise stations. The city had nearly completed this new stormwater management program but didn’t have the funds to light the park, so it became a daytime-only park.

ABM supplied solar lighting around the pathways with battery backups, so the park is now open dusk to dawn with no ongoing costs. “It’s completely self-standing,” Duncan says. “From a visibility standpoint, that was a big driver for them, us helping to finish a project that they ran out of money for. And it was something that the community really wanted.”


Photo: Because of the addition of the solar lights, the park is now able to be open from dusk until dawn. “It was something that the community really wanted,” says Rob Duncan, municipal account executive at ABM; Credit: Courtesy of the City of Satellite Beach 

Should You Consider Performance Contracting? 

With shrinking budgets and limited staff, using a company like ABM to help fund much-needed upgrades can not only lead to significant infrastructure improvements – but also bring in an outside perspective.

“With Satellite Beach, I don’t think they were thinking about some of these solutions when we walked through the door,” Duncan says. “They were interested in sustainability improvements, but the more we worked with them, the more we uncovered challenges. They knew they had to address the roof, and it was on their to-do list. But when we got involved, we did some analysis and discovered some things they weren’t aware of, like some of the cracking. Having an outside set of eyes helped identify what could have been a significant challenge if they lost the use of that facility in the event of a hurricane or rainstorm.”


Photo: The HVAC units on the roof of the police station, before the ABM project, were not properly secured to the roof. They were attached to wood bases that were not secured to the actual roof, so a strong enough wind could have caused a unit to lift off the roof and cause damage; Credit: Courtesy of the City of Satellite Beach

He adds that sometimes facilities managers are pulled in a lot of different directions, and it can be hard to know every single detail of every building. Performance contracting can help bridge those gaps.

“ABM’s customized program is providing us with an efficient way to upgrade and maintain the city’s facilities, while saving us time and money by streamlining the procurement process,” said Satellite Beach city manager Courtney Barker in a press release. “The city will benefit from a reduction in future energy and operational costs that will be provided as a result of implementing the program.”

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