FMLink Weekly News Digest I February 22, 2022
by Amr Raafat

Prior to the pandemic, facility management and maintenance departments were exploring ways to use drone technology at their buildings. Inspections of roofs, ceilings and other hard-to-reach areas were all great uses of drones that alleviated the time needed to set up scaffolding and the cost of renting lifts. And of course, drones could do these inspections without the risk of a fall or other operator injury. In this 3:39-minute video, Amr Raafat, vice president of VDC and technology for Windover Construction, describes a case study during the pandemic in which drones were used for thermal scanning. In a 20-minute flight, the drones can quickly detect sources of water leaks or heat loss.

Armstrong Fluid Technology, a global innovator in the design, engineering and manufacturing of intelligent fluid-flow equipment, has just announced a new tiered suite of service plans to help customers in North America improve building performance and reduce energy costs.

The new Silver, Gold and Platinum service plans provide customers with cost-effective options to implement Active Performance Management practices, as they seek to optimize building performance and business results. All three levels of the program provide analytics, phone support and structured reports on asset performance. The more comprehensive plans include replacement parts and annual site visits.

"Our 360 Services and Support plans are designed to help customers achieve maximum uptime, while minimizing their energy and maintenance costs," stated Todd Rief, Armstrong CEO.

by Jeff Stanek — This article originally appeared in the January/February 2022 issue of FMJ

Since the onset of the pandemic, commercial building owners and facility managers have invested significant time, energy and resources — largely focused on indoor air quality — to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 and to assist in creating a safer and healthier environment for employees, customers and other occupants. This is good progress on the journey to a healthier building experience, but there are other vulnerabilities that must be addressed to complete the vision. Recent innovations in access control and mobile credentialing technology have played an important role in fortifying building health and safety during the pandemic.

Mobile credentialing decreases the demand for keypads, touchscreens, keycards and fobs by transferring access control capabilities to Bluetooth-enabled smartphones. This allows employees to move throughout the building without putting their hands on common touchpoints; thus reducing opportunities for transmission of surface-borne viruses and microorganisms. Facial biometric readers have evolved to now recognize users wearing masks. Occupancy management software can alert FMs when rooms are at capacity and even restrict access to those rooms to avoid overcrowding.

The CC-201T from Goodway® gives you everything you need to clean PTACS, condenser coils, evaporator coils, air handlers, and more. The unit features an onboard tank, so you don’t have to worry about running out of water, and it produces a strong yet safe-on-coils 200 PSI cleaning pressure.

The CC-201T also features the Goodway exclusive CoilShine®-T tablet-based coil cleaner system. Drop in a tablet, switch to the soaping feature, and get a powerful foaming coil cleaner that’s safe on all metals and protects coils from odor and growth. Just flip back to fresh water for a rinse when you are done. 
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The Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC), a Division of worldwide cleaning industry trade association ISSA, just announced that its first official scientific paper has completed peer-review and been accepted for publication. The paper, “Biological Air Quality Considerations for Non-Healthcare, As Built Environments,” was developed with support from the National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA) and addresses several strategies for improving indoor air quality (IAQ) in non-healthcare facilities such as schools, restaurants, convention centers and gyms.

"It was a privilege for our scientific advisory board to work with NADCA on this multi-authored paper which provides actionable steps to make facilities safer during and beyond the pandemic," stated GBAC Executive Director Patricia Olinger. "Achieving peer review and publication means that our paper has met standards for quality and importance to global health."

Employing a knowledgeable, skilled team of facility professionals is becoming increasingly important as the built environment shifts toward sustainability and energy efficiency. And because a team is only as strong as its weakest member, investing in training for your team is paramount in supporting your organization’s physical health and financial success. 

For 40+ years, the International Facility Management Association (IFMA) has supported FMs with unrivaled networking, top-tier training and access to industry trends and data. We have the sustainability training, credentials and resources FMs need to effectively and efficiently manage areas of vital importance to your facility, including emission reduction, energy usage and resource management.

Whether your FM team needs to access best practices, attend webinars, review research, or take a course on FM topics like sustainability or risk management – IFMA has the training, support and community available for every stage of an FM’s career to make sure your staff is ready and able to meet the facilities challenges today and into the future.

Rave Mobile Safety, a critical communication and collaboration platform, just announced the acquisition of AppArmor, provider of custom-branded mobile safety apps. The acquisition will bring together the scalability and robustness of the Rave platform with agile mobile app customization through AppArmor to deliver best-in-class technology for emergency notification, campus safety systems and more.

Amid an ever-changing landscape of safety and critical communication priorities, state and local government agencies, corporations, K-12 schools and higher education institutions alike need innovative technology, customizable mobile apps and customer-focused services for their emergency response and crisis management needs. Together, Rave Mobile Safety and AppArmor plan to meet that industry need — marrying best-in-class product innovation and mobile-first customization with a customer-centric mindset.

“Facilities management isn’t about the facility, it’s about the people in the facility,” says Eileen McMorrow, editor-in-chief, The McMorrow Reports. People, process, place continues, she said during a panel discussion regarding challenges that hybrid work is bringing to FM departments as they search for new talent to hire as an FM staff.

Highlights are captured in this four-minute video with Keith Tate, FM Director for Polk County Board of County Commissioners (Florida), and Ericka Westgard, VP of Operations, SE for C&W Services, who joined McMorrow during NFMT Remix, Orlando, in November. Finding the right people to do the FM and engineering work for Polk County, is the biggest challenge for Tate. "You have to find people that fit. Do they have an innovative mind set?" asks Tate. “Our business is people, and finding them is hard with 10,000 baby boomers retiring a day. In the skilled trades, we have only 2,500 going in a day."

The National Facilities Management & Technology Conference (NFMT) Conference & Expo offers a wealth of facility management education, March 29-31, in Baltimore. Andy Gager, CEO, AMG Consulting, will present Making Outsourcing Work: Strategies and Tactics during NFMT.

by Mackenna Moralez, FacilitiesNet

Outsourcing maintenance services is playing a necessary role in business operations right now as the pandemic continues. However, there are certain factors that facilities managers should take into account before signing on the dotted line. It is essential that managers find the balance between the outsourced services and optimizing operations, and the only way to do this is to have a strategic plan in place. 

FacilitiesNet (FN): Why should facilities managers look to outsource some roles? What should they take into consideration? 

Gager: Finding skilled and competent personnel has become a challenge. I hear it all around the world — the workforce shortage, the shallow pool of competency managers has to choose from, the aging staff, technicians moving onto other organizations or just outright quitting. These are all real challenges for managers. 

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