October 2022
Global nonprofit certification organization Green Seal and the Healthy Schools Campaign recently announced the launch of the Healthy Green Schools & Colleges program to help school facility professionals identify and implement low- and no-cost measures that can make a big difference in indoor air quality (IAQ) without major capital investments.

The organizations also announced the first slate of Healthy Green Schools & Colleges participants, which include Cape Elizabeth School Department, Consumnes River College, Kansas City Public Schools, University of Georgia, and West Allis-West Milwaukee School District.

The Healthy Green Schools & Colleges program was developed in partnership with recognized school facility management (FM) leaders and covers the full range of facilities management practices, including cleaning and disinfecting; integrated pest management; sustainable purchasing; HVAC and electric maintenance; IAQ testing and monitoring; training; and communication.

The 2022 State of Facilities in Higher Ed Report states that 56% of facilities leaders now have greater influence on campus since the pandemic. After years of competing to have their voices heard among senior leadership, facilities managers suddenly find themselves with a seat at the table and all eyes on them.

What will you do with your new-found influence? 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. 

This is your chance to provide strategies that address these challenges. From better capital management tools to a plan for catching up on deferred maintenance, AkitaBox offers 6 ideas to present to campus leadership.

Which of the following is your bigger challenge in capital planning? (Please select one)
Outdated, incomplete, or inaccurate asset condition data
Access to current, industry-standard cost data
The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) hosted the first GSA Acquisition Policy Federal Advisory Committee (GAP FAC) public meeting on September 22, 2022. The GAP FAC will advise GSA on using federal buying tools and authorities to target high-priority challenges.

The Committee’s initial focus will be on driving regulatory, policy and process changes to embed climate and sustainability considerations in federal acquisition. This includes recommending steps GSA can take to support its workforce and industry partners in ensuring climate and sustainability issues are fully considered in the acquisition process.

“As the federal government’s central buyer, it’s GSA’s job to be good stewards of taxpayer dollars and at the same time to use our buying power to help fuel American innovation and lighten the environmental footprint of what we buy,” said GSA Administrator Robin Carnahan.

No matter what sustainability or design challenges you’re facing, the Armstrong® SUSTAIN® portfolio makes your decisions simpler – by offering the largest forward-thinking portfolio of healthy ceiling and wall solutions, with verified material transparency and low embodied carbon.

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Originally appeared on fnPrime The importance of the educational environment cannot be overlooked, whether it is a K-12 facility or higher-education college or university. Facilities managers of schools have a dedication to make sure their buildings allow students to learn and grow, all while managing costs and current trends.

“Smarter Ways to Manage Your School or University: A Roundtable Discussion” is now available to watch on-demand. The panel discussed key topics education facilities are dealing with including how to get improvement projects funded, managing energy and sustainability projects, and keeping occupants safe from natural and man-made threats and more.

Government agencies are under pressure to operate with attention to budget, at times, reacting to sudden reductions in facility management (FM) budgets. In a typical government office, as much as 30% of office space is not used to its full capacity during a normal business week. With major changes in the way people work since the pandemic, governments are taking a closer look at their facilities. 

It’s time to explore trends driving change in federal, state and local government facilities management, consider new tools and approaches for improving facilities, and evaluate how an FM partner’s capabilities to support federal defense, civilian and state and local agencies with a comprehensive set of solutions and services will drive value and enhance the performance of facilities. New FM strategies will lower risk, reduce cost, and elevate their facilities to attract talent, satisfy employees and delight constituents.

Download JLL's eBook to learn about new IFM tools and approaches for improving facilities, driving value and enhancing performance.
Fast reads . . .
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is releasing guidance that will help communities and water utilities identify lead pipes that connect drinking water service to homes and other buildings. This action marks a key milestone in implementing the Biden-Harris Administration's Lead Pipe and Paint Action Plan. Together with "unprecedented" funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, this guidance will help water utilities comply with the requirements of the Lead and Copper Rule Revisions that went into effect in December 2021 and make rapid progress on removing harmful lead from America’s drinking water.

"There is no safe level of lead exposure, and it is essential that we accelerate progress on locating lead pipes that deliver drinking water where people live, work, and play," points out EPA Assistant Administrator for Water Radhika Fox. "Under President Biden’s leadership, EPA is committed to working with states, tribes, and water utilities to get the lead out of our drinking water. We are using every tool available, including providing this important guidance, strengthening the Lead and Copper Rule, and investing $15 billion through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to remove lead pipes."

Will Webster, regional vice president and SME for ABM Facility Services, met with Eileen McMorrow, editor-in-chief, The McMorrow Reports, to discuss how ABM Engineering+ delivers more value through comprehensive, customized solutions and specialized technical services. Corporations, healthcare systems and higher-education institutions are challenged to find trained and qualified engineers to operate and maintain facilities. With more than 10,000 on-site engineers and 1,750 maintenance technicians on the road, ABM is one of the largest providers of on-site engineering solutions in the U.S. ABM’s team answers questions about how it provides its unique-to-the-industry solutions.

What percentage of management worked on job sites before becoming managers at ABM? 

Will Webster: 90%. Our management staff comes from backgrounds where they ran crews and performed the services themselves. Having the experience working with a wrench, building relationships with clients and contractors is very valuable to the management role. We are actively looking to develop the skills of promising engineers so they can grow their careers and experience new aspects of the industry. The labor market is tough and there is a lot of competition. We find that we can retain talent by providing additional training and helping our engineers develop a career path.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) awarded its first-ever Zero Energy Design Designation (ZEDD) seal of recognition to 17 leading educational programs that are preparing tomorrow’s architectural and engineering leaders to design and build the most sustainable buildings possible. This new DOE designation distinguishes post-secondary academic programs that impart the best practices of zero-energy design on students and require them to apply those building science concepts in actual projects.

"Our fight against climate change runs straight through our nation’s buildings, and the forward-looking college and university programs we honored today are paving the way for students to lead our net-zero greenhouse gas emissions future," stated Carolyn Snyder, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency. Graduates of these programs will join the front lines of our fight against the climate crisis by designing sustainable buildings that bring the benefits of our clean energy future to all."

Education sessions and Product Zones are the most important reason to attend NFMT Remix in Las Vegas, November 2-3.

For Pro and Elite attendees, there are 60-minute sessions focused on foundational principals of Facilities Management. The key trends of technology, safety and sustainability tend to be cross-functional and have a major impact on overall facilities strategies. These sessions are geared as more introductory sessions. Think Tanks, for Elite attendees, are 60-minute informal discussions focused around either a specific building type or trend. This will allow you to network with your peers in a small group environment. Attendees can pull up a chair and ask your questions to like-minded facilities managers from around the country. Each roundtable will have an official moderator to help guide the conversation.

Concurrent Sessions run on Wednesday and Thursday, while Product Zone Sessions are featured during the Expo hours between 11:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. The Women in FM panel and a reception conclude Wednesday’s activities.