January 2023
by Mark A. Bodenschatz — As we wrap up the first few weeks of 2023, FM educator and director of the Penn State Facilities Engineering Institute Mark Bodenschatz, P.E., CSSP, ProFM, is back to break down the top four FM priorities for the coming year. Want to read Mark’s 2022 breakdown? Read it here.

Many of the challenges in facilities management (FM) that I shared in my articles from the last few years are unfortunately still relevant today, particularly those of inflation, workforce management, and security and cybersecurity.

I remember a professor in graduate school consistently pushing us to not just make decisions based on the current status, but to look at the trend and to consider both root and contributing causes in finding a path forward. These assessment techniques to solve for dynamic multivariable problems were essential to success then, and they apply directly to many of the dynamic challenges facilities managers (FMs) face today. In other words, the solutions we applied to problems in the past may not be relevant in 2023 because their trends are influenced by different elements than they were in the past. So with that in mind, let’s dive into a few significant challenges for facilities managers to illustrate this point.

According to APPA, the organization for leadership in educational facilities, as many as ¾ of facilities at some institutions are 30 to 40 years old and already past a first cycle of major renewal expenditures.

Higher ed institutions are under intense pressure to maintain facilities with a shrinking budget and staff, identify new revenue streams and improve capital management overall. The planning that goes into replacing major components of your infrastructure isn’t something you can leave to the last minute. It typically takes years of preparation. AkitaBox prescribes 3 steps to help ensure you have budget dollars already in place by the time your next round of major replacements comes due.

Does capital planning keep you up at night?
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Exploring how planning, real estate, design, construction, operations and regulations for healthcare facilities have changed, the Hospital, Outpatient Facilities & Medical Office Building Summit will be held at The Union League of Philadelphia on March 1st. McMorrow Reports/Healthcare is the media partner of the squarefootage.net summits.

Healthcare Hits the Reset Button includes these topics:
  • Market Shifts, Consumer Segments, Digital Adoption & Workforce;
  • Building an Agile Design & Construction Team;
  • Effective Quality Assurance in Healthcare Project Management;
  • Creating a Net Zero Future;
  • Solution Spotlight - Money Saving Ideas You Can Put to Work Now; 
  • Extending Care Past the Four Walls;
  • Building Resilient Healthcare Facilities;
  • Adaptive Reuse for Healthcare & Life Science Facilities; and
  • Taking Prefab/Modular Design & Construction to the Next Level.

a VergeSense podcast, dives deep into workplace transformations. You’ll tune in to in-depth conversations with some of the most innovative workplace leaders as we explore the strategies shaping the workplaces of tomorrow. 

We’ll peel back the layers and get to the core of how workplace leaders approach the real-world problems we’re all facing today.  

Leave every episode with real stories and practical tips on how to create remarkable workplace experiences. Tune in right now to episodes 1 and 2 and hear how workplace leaders at Miro are leveraging adaptive and experimental spaces during a new era of dynamic work. 

Let’s unlock the potential of every space to foster connection, inspiration, and sustainability.
To celebrate 2023, Trepp had four of its CMBS, CRE and economic experts weigh in to share CRE market predictions for the new year. Here, Manus Clancy, Lonnie Hendry, Stephen Buschbom and Rob Jordan shared a mix of commercial real estate (CRE) finance data predictions, broad economic thoughts, and pop culture opinions. Listen to Trepp’s 2023 predictions here. Trepp provides data, insights and technology solutions to the structured finance, commercial real estate, and banking markets. Trepp also rounded up its most-read blogs, research reports, and episodes of The TreppWire Podcast to see what the market was watching this year:

  1. CMBS 101: Trepp’s Essential Guide to Commercial Mortgage-Backed Securities
  2. Perspective: Commercial Real Estate Distress, $52 Billion of Maturing Loans
  3. Cap Rates on Recent Sales Continue to Hover Around 4% of 2021 NOI
  4. Hurricane Ian Makes Landfall: Mapping the Commercial Real Estate Exposure
  5. Interest Rates and Commercial Real Estate Part 3: An Analysis of the Impact Across Major Property Types

The Gridd® adaptive cabling distribution system enables a building to adapt to inevitable technology changes, remain highly functional and operational, and save money at every stage of its life cycle. An original contributor to the circular economy, Gridd’s fluid, modular design enables moves, adds and changes without the mess of traditional cabling methods. If a facility manager can avoid contributing to the waste stream, that’s also an added benefit to the company’s ESG commitment.
The Gridd Mobile App makes it even easier for FMs, IT teams, electricians and maintenance personnel to make power and data cabling. Gridd Mobile provides augmented reality (AR), technical support, as-built drawings, how-to videos, original site pictures, and product information conveniently accessible on a smartphone or tablet.
Gridd Mobile allows facility technicians to see exact power, voice, and data cabling locations through the floor in an instant, making systems’ changes quick and easy. Gridd Mobile improves the life of your facility, allowing future facility teams, even years from now, to make moves, adds and changes to the same space with ease. When using Gridd Mobile, there is no knowledge lost between teams.
The Power to Change just got easier with Gridd Mobile.
Furnishing outdoor spaces can sometimes be a complicated task, involving a different set of considerations than those that apply to their indoor counterparts. For facility managers, this job entails achieving a balance between aesthetics and functionality while also reconciling the harsh realities the outdoors bring — weather, UV light, fluctuating heat and cold, and the harder everyday wear and tear to which the furnishings are subjected. Compound these considerations with the increasing expectations surrounding sustainability in production and manufacturing, and you have quite a laundry list of boxes to check.

Solving these challenges is an innovative new category of site furnishings that utilizes recycled high-density polyethylene (HDPE) to create pieces that are changing minds about the role of plastic in high-profile, high-design outdoor spaces. Because of its durability and lack of required maintenance, HDPE is one of the most common plastics in the world used for countless practical applications like playground equipment, culinary supplies, and industrial and marine products — and now, thoughtfully crafted and often eye-catching modern outdoor furniture by innovative manufacturers such as Landscape Forms.

Fast reads . . .
The first facilities industry event this year returns to Baltimore with NFMT 2023, the National Facility Management and Technology Conference & Expo. The McMorrow Reports & FMLink have been attending for at least 20 years, and we know our readers should, too. Facilities managers, executives, engineers and allied professionals will gather March 21-23 at the Baltimore Convention Center in Maryland. Both the educational conference sessions, starting on Tuesday at 8:30 a.m. and ending on Thursday at 4:45 p.m., and the expo floor are bountiful with exhibitors from all segments of FM. 

Use NFMT’s event explorer while registering to pre-register for sessions. Build your agenda to include conference sessions roundtables, networking functions, product zone sessions, and time in the exhibit hall. Research the education sessions and the exhibitors to successfully choose the ones that apply to your position and company needs. The conference tracks include: Asset Management, Energy & Sustainability, Future Trends, Health & Safety, Maintenance & Operations, Security, Technology and Think Tank.

The U.S. General Services Administration recently announced more than $300 million in construction and renovation projects funded through the Inflation Reduction Act, which President Biden signed in August. This first set of projects aims to catalyze clean energy innovation and spur domestic clean manufacturing by incorporating emerging technologies and low-carbon materials into construction and renovation projects at federal facilities across America. The funds, the first of $3.4 billion in GSA investments, will also accelerate efforts to achieve President Biden’s goal of a net-zero emissions federal building portfolio by 2045.

Administrator Robin Carnahan announced the projects during a visit to the San Luis I Land Port of Entry (shown above) in Arizona, which will undergo a modernization and expansion with funding from both the Inflation Reduction Act and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The former will provide approximately $100 million, allowing the project to plan for LEED Platinum certification and incorporate low-embodied carbon asphalt, concrete and steel, as well as emerging technologies and other measures to improve efficiency and reduce operational emissions.

Titled “The event for everything new in HVACR,” and first held in 1930, the AHR Expo offers three full days of networking, education, socializing and experiencing everything new in heating, ventilation, air-conditioning and refrigeration (HVACR). This year's show will be held in Atlanta, GA, February 6-8, 2023. Attendees range from product designers, engineers and architects to installers, end-users and facility operators. Explore best practices, trends, and key issues facing the HVACR industry with the expansive education program featuring accredited sessions including AHR Panel Discussions, Seminar Sessions, New Product Presentations, and free ASHRAE Winter Conference sessions as well as paid ASHRAE Learning Institute courses. The co-located ASHRAE Winter Conference will take place February 4-8.