A unique set of obstacles regularly challenges technicians and facility maintenance contractors servicing assisted living facilities. You may have a campus of buildings to look after, a series of individual living units with unique resident needs, or even multiple communities that you serve. This can present certain technical problems that, in the past, were considered the cost of doing business.
It takes more than a skilled team of techs and a BMS to maintain an optimal, compliant environment in your residential care facility. The residents in your care are counting on you for fast responses to any HVAC issues and minimal disruption in their environments for maintenance or system checkups.
Assisted living facility managers know the importance of putting residents first. A consistent and carefully controlled environment is critical to the health, comfort, and safety of everyone in the facility’s care. Nonetheless, sudden HVAC equipment outages can lead to maintenance downtime that’s inconvenient at best and potentially a serious risk at worst.
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.
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.