The new year is coming up fast, and HVAC technicians will need to be prepared for another year of change in the facilities management field. Many manufacturers have experienced supply chain difficulties that have affected the availability and cost of raw materials, equipment, parts, and supplies. Regulations continue to evolve as well, with an increased focus on the HFC phase-down and total energy efficiency.
Every piece of university facilities equipment will become obsolete eventually. And if it doesn’t make it to a point of natural obsolescence, it’s probably because you’ve needed to replace it or upgrade it due to reduced efficiency or breakdowns. This cycle is, on some level, unavoidable.
Longstanding neglect of HVAC in schools has created an urgent need for an update. Recent research has shown that more than half (54%) of public schools need “to update or replace multiple systems like heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) or plumbing.” More than a quarter (26%) will need to update or replace at least six of the critical facility systems.
Many healthcare organizations maintain expansive buildings with multiple wards, separate outbuildings, multi-building campuses, or even additional locations in other towns and cities. This can make medical building management into notoriously complex work.
There’s no time to lose in a healthcare environment. Nonetheless, patients and staff often need to wait until the hospital maintenance team can travel on-site when there is a failure or malfunction in the hospital HVAC system. Your system won’t need urgent maintenance every day, but when it does, a safe and regulation-compliant environment in the OR of a critical surgery could hang in the balance.
Hospital facilities management is both complex and high stakes. When you’re regulating heat and airflow to a dozen or more ORs, patients and doctors are counting on your facilities staff for safety, compliance, comfort, and consistently ideal conditions for sensitive procedures. It’s essential that each room in your facility maintains a stable set point with excellent ACH (air changes per hour) performance and the ability to rapidly adjust as needs change.
Figures from the IFMA show that the average facilities management professional is now 49 years old, with 28 years of experience (including 16 in facilities management). This is older than the median age of the general workforce by 8 years.
Systems for HVAC in healthcare facilities must balance complexity with urgency. A large hospital or other healthcare facilities may include a dozen or more ORs with sensitive temperature and ventilation needs, which may need to change rapidly — perhaps to drop temperatures for a procedure or to cycle in clean air after an aerosolizing event.
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Health facilities management systems are often complex and difficult to set up, navigate, or operate without the expertise of a highly trained technician. Our cloud-based ODIN software is designed to make it easy for anyone to adjust, trend, schedule, and set alarms within even the largest health facilities management systems.
Data has had an elevated role in building management since the era of the Internet of Things began. University building managers have always been tasked with keeping campus facilities running in a cost-efficient and safe manner that is conducive to the learning environments of higher education. What was once a largely manual process of ‘tending to the farm’ is now handled with robust arrays of sensors that feed data into complex building automation and building analytics software.