January 2019 Newsletter
Save the Date!!!

ISHE's Annual Spring Conference May 15-17th
Join us for an exciting line-up of speakers and events in beautiful West Yellowstone, MT May 15-17th. This year's conference promises new opportunities to learn from top professionals in the field. Our vendors will also be available to provide expertise and practical tools to help you implement what you learn! Registration will soon be open, so mark your calendars now!
Featured Article
Making the most of Building Commissioning

Jesse Barnum, MS, CHFM

               The Building Commissioning process is intended to deliver a finished project that not only meets code, but provides a facility that operates efficiently as well. But, in spite of the best efforts of building owners, design teams, construction groups, and commissioning agents; a building’s performance will ultimately be decided by the operations group that takes control of the facility once the project is over. All too often, new facilities are successfully built and commissioned, only to be handed over to an operations group that is inadequately supported or trained to maintain the facility to the level it was intended. While there are many things necessary to successfully commission a building and transition from the build phase to the operational phase of a project; there are three high-level goals that stand out from almost everything else. The commissioning agent or building owner who uses these to define the processes and outcomes of a project is far more likely to realize long lasting success for their building and commissioning efforts.

               The first of these is to engage your operations leadership early and often. Facility operations leaders are key stakeholders in every building project, and failure to get their buy-in from the beginning will likely doom the project to failure early on. An experienced operational leader will provide valuable feedback for the design and commissioning project that will help not only once the project is complete, but can help explain the intent behind the building owner’s requirements and often prevent unnecessary spending. The operations leaders will also have a good idea of the skillset of the individuals he will be hiring. A good commissioning agent will need this information to develop an effective transition and training plan for the entire operations team.

               This leads to the second critical goal, which is to include operational training as a part of the commissioning process. There are varying degrees of certification and operational licenses required for operators across the country, but in general most building operators will not have the knowledge or experience necessary to fully understand or maintain a new facility without some additional training, particularly if the facility incorporates new technology and designs that are unfamiliar to the operations group. Transition plans typically include some time for the operators to engage with the design and construction teams to ask questions and get a basic understanding of the building systems, but these times are typically woefully inadequate to achieve the kind of outcomes intended by the commissioning effort. Instead, the commissioning and design teams should be equipped to actually teach some of the basic engineering principles that went into the design of their particular facility. Once the operations team has a grasp of these principles, they’ll have a much better understanding of how their facility actually works, and will be much more engaged in maintaining the facility at a level that includes more than just keeping the building occupants happy.

               The third goal is to execute the commissioning process with an eye toward developing a culture of success within the operations group. If the first two goals discussed have been successfully executed by the time a project transitions into the operational phase, this third goal will already be largely accomplished. It’s important to keep in mind that once a building is up and running, operators have exactly one concern, and that is to keep the building occupants happy. Most people who come to work care very little about how efficiently the building operates, and are only interested in their personal comfort. The one exception to this might be the CFO or business manager responsible for keeping the company profitable. But these individuals typically know very little about what constitutes an efficient building from an inefficient building. The result is that the facility operations team is given a list of mandates, none of which clearly articulates that the building must operate efficiently. The only way most buildings will be operated efficiently is if a culture of success and operational precision is ingrained into the thinking of the operations team from the very outset. This can be accomplished by getting their buy-in early in the project and investing in quality training so they are equipped for success, and prepared to hold themselves to a higher standard than anyone around them cares about.

               An efficient and well maintained facility is an asset to every company who owns or occupies a building. But very few organizations understand what it takes to realize the value this can bring to their organization. There are many factors that play into a successful hand-off from the construction phase to the operational phase of a project, but keeping these three goals in mind will go a long ways toward ensuring that the project you are responsible for is not only built and commissioned effectively, but will be operated efficiently for years to come. 
Sponsor Spotlight
EQ2 HEMS: 25+ years dedicated entirely to healthcare! CMMS software solutions for Facilities Maintenance Management and Support Services via SaaS (Cloud) or the hospital’s own server. Maintaining compliance is easier with advanced tracking and reporting features for the Environment of Care, Fire Protection, and Critical Utilities (Life Support and Infection Control) and their respective Elements of Performance as set by the Joint Commission and other regulatory bodies.
Also: Structure, Plant and Equipment, Work Orders, EOC Rounds, Project Management, Compliance for Risk Management, Code, Hazardous Waste Handling and Disposal, Call Escalation, Security, Move Management, Food Service, Environmental Services, and numerous integrations.

Johnson Controls is a global technology leader serving customers in more than 150 countries. Our 135,000 employees create intelligent buildings, efficient energy solutions, and integrated infrastructure. Johnson Controls is a leader in building systems technologies to help optimize the safety, comfort and efficiency of critical environments. 

Johnson Controls is also the premier healthcare Life Safety team for your Healthcare environment in the fire alarm, nurse call, patient wandering, infant abduction, card access, CCTV, and other low voltage disciplines. Johnson Controls is the partner to bring world class products and services to enhance the end user experience in your environment.
2019 Sponsorship Opportunities Now Available!
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Thank you to our 2019 Sponsors!