I had the pleasure of attending the 10th annual National Facilities Management & Technology (NFMT) conference in Baltimore, Md. on March 16th and 17th. It was a great experience to reconnect with colleagues and get a sense for what Facilities Management consultants and professionals are offering and focused on these days. A few topics that grabbed my interest and which I plan to write about are centralized management of emergency egress lighting, bird control, water storage tanks, new technologies in the pavement industry, coordinated campus-wide synchronizing of clocks, diagnostic air metering, variable load air-conditioning systems, and sound-masking.
While attending the conference I met many product vendors and technical specialists, some of whom are visiting Buildipedia.com for the first time and have offered their expertise to me and our audience. As always, we appreciate comments on and contributions to our blogs and articles. If anyone is interested in providing their perspective or technical insights on these planned topics, I appreciate all comments and forum posts.
Centralized Management of Emergency Egress Lighting
Burned out bulbs in exit signs and other emergency egress lighting systems are unsafe, but bulb maintenance is a tedious and time consuming task. We will investigate a computer monitoring system that ties emergency lighting system components together. The system can also interface with an existing Building Automation System (BAS) or Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) (to automatically generate trouble tickets).
Birds nesting in and around buildings across campus environments are an ongoing problem for many facilities managers. Join us for a review of the current technology and techniques used to discourage bird nuisances.
Rural Firefighting Water Storage Tanks
In rural and some suburban areas, municipal firefighting water systems and hydrants are often not available. If nearby rural ponds are available and used to fight fires, vegetation and debris can damage pumper truck equipment. Follow along as we photo-document and describe an ongoing fire-fighting water tank project on the East Coast.
New Technologies in the Pavement Industry
New hexagonal geo-grids to stabilize sub-grade and base courses in flexible and rigid pavement, as well as new hybrid paving mats to stabilize surface courses, are among the items we’ll discuss.
Coordinated Campus-wide Synchronizing of Clocks
Particularly in a hospital environment where response times and documentation are crucial, centralized management of important time-pieces is a necessary feature. This is a helpful system for any campus environment where coordinated fire alarm monitoring and consistent time keeping are a priority, such as schools, hotels, and airports.
Diagnostic Air Metering
Evaluate indoor air quality in your building spaces, including the mechanical systems' air velocity and volume and the presence of carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, hydrogen sulfide and/or many other deleterious gases. This also fits in with our CO2 sensors blog, to the extent that diagnostic metering can evaluate a C02 sensor's accuracy and validate the preferred location for a CO2 sensor within a space.
Variable Load Air-Conditioning Systems
Most air conditioning systems are designed for the worst-case scenario cooling loads, which rarely occur. This means most air conditioning equipment is running with excess capacity, and cycling on and off, much more often than is required to provide adequate cooling. We’ll investigate an approach to continuously match air conditioning equipment performance with the actual cooling load requirements at any given time.
Traditional sound mitigation techniques prevent the transmission of sound by employing heavy building materials and/or controlling sound wave vibrations through adjacent building elements. Sound-masking is different, and it doesn't attempt to reduce nuisance sound transmission. It provides a comfortable and consistent background noise throughout the building, masking nuisance sounds from notice.
Andrew Kimos completed the civil engineering programs at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy (B.S. 1987) and the University of Illinois (M.S. 1992) and is a registered Professional Engineer in the state of Wisconsin. He served as a design engineer, construction project manager, facilities engineer, and executive leader in the Coast Guard for over 20 years. He worked as a regional airline pilot in the western U.S. before joining the Buildipedia.com team as Operations Channel Producer.Website: buildipedia.com/channels/operations