Facility Management Topics

FM Frequency Columnist Jeff Crane asks, "When will systems really start speaking the same language?"


FM Frequency Columnist Jeff Crane asks, "When will systems really start speaking the same language?"

FM Frequency: The Myth Of Interoperability

Topics Articles


Friday Funny (courtesy of Mark Price, Hot Sauce Blog): Common cubicle dwellers (a zoology) – Which one are you?

Friday Funny (courtesy of Mark Price, Hot Sauce Blog): Common cubicle dwellers (a zoology) – Which one are you?

Sixty percent of white-collar workers are now stuck in cubicles, and trend experts say the lack of space has spawned a myriad of eccentric office types. Chances are, you work with a “Linux” (cranky tech-support guy), or a “Drool Tool” (someone who smacks his lips and crinkles bags while eating). Here are other common office breeds as described in Robert Lanham’s book “Food Court Druids, Cherohonkees and Other Creatures Unique to the Republic” (Plume Paperback, $12): Straight ShootersAn earnest-talking, micromanaging, office-jargon aficionado who has no hands-on knowledge of company procedures or logistics. Common habitat is McMansions in treeless housing developments. Hobbies include collecting metal band wristwatches and reading USA Today. To announce their presence in the morning, straight shooters often enter the building talking jovially on cell phones. Their core lingo includes sports metaphors and such phrases as “I’ll front-burner that,” “what’s on your plate” and “we’re transitioning you.” Alpha WeaselsBack-stabbing employees whose inflated ambitions cause people not to like them. Favorite hangout is the conference room and leadership classes at the local community college. They typically bring their voice up a notch at meetings, make their pagers visible at all times, bring better cookies and take charge of rounding people up for office meetings. Happy MondaysExcessively cheerful co-workers with overly earnest or maternal natures. Often have an assortment of conversation props on their desks, including candy dish, photos and collection of California Singing Raisins. Obsessed with kids and pets. Enjoy wearing holiday buttons and sweaters. Can be counted on to forward all fun e-mails to co-workers. CROW(Cornered Rapid Office Workers) The office equivalent of the disgruntled coffee shop employee. Intelligent, sarcastic underachievers who lash out unexpectedly. A CROW’s discontent lies in his lack of vocational fulfillment. However, they are able to juggle work, a dysfunctional relationship, and an active drug habit all at once. Dry LumpsThe quietest person in the office. She’s shy, conventional, professional, and 100% business. But give her a couple of drinks at the company picnic, and she’s ready to disrobe and lean over a balcony Mardi Gras-style. She’ll call in sick the next day, but when she finally returns to work, she’ll act as if nothing happened. Hot Sauce GuyHe likes things spicy and always has hot sauce at his desk to prove it. If you’re fortunate enough to have a good Hot Sauce Guy at your office, he’ll stock his desk with exotic mixtures from foreign lands. He’s very easy to shop for at Secret Santa time. Ring WormsPeople addicted to cell phones. They… …Read More…


Final Days to Register for Dubai Best Practices Tour

Final Days to Register for Dubai Best Practices Tour

Realcomm invites facility professionals to join the Second Annual “Best Practices” Dubai Tour, taking place November 3rd-9th, 2006. Dubai is the fastest growing city in the world, creating a world-class destination for business; it has become the home for the most innovative and forward thinking real estate development projects ever seen on earth. To view a brief video about the tour, click this link. Participants will join an elite group of 15-20 commercial real estate leaders and visionaries from the U.S. and Canada on a business tour that will permanently change the way they think about commercial real estate. Realcomm has arranged private tours of world-class facilities and developments never before seen by the public. Attendees will gain first-hand knowledge of some of the best design practices in the world as well as incorporating technology into building design, operation, maintenance, and management. Space is limited – please contact Audrey Quinn, Executive Tours Business Director at (760) 632-1855 for more information.


Late breaking news: Gun found in carry on closes BWI airport outside of Washington, DC

Late breaking news: Gun found in carry on closes BWI airport outside of Washington, DC

Reported from Reuters at 9:00 am: A gun found in a carry-on bag at a security checkpoint at Baltimore-Washington International Airport prompted authorities to shut two terminals on Friday, a security official said. The firearm was discovered shortly before 7 a.m. and did not make it through the screening, said Carrie Harmon, a spokeswoman for the Transportation Security Administration. The rest of the story can be found here.


Doug Thornton, Louisiana Superdome Facility Manager, Profiled by CBS Sports

Doug Thornton, Louisiana Superdome Facility Manager, Profiled by CBS Sports

Last year around this time, the Louisiana Superdome was the site of extreme operational challenges. Doug Thornton bunkered down during Hurricane Katrina, and stuck it out like a captain going down with his ship. On the eve of the facility’s grand reopening, heralded by a concert featuring rock greats U2 and Green Day, CBS Sportsline has graciously offered an in depth interview with Thornton. There are many heroes from when the storm hit. The survivors, the rescue workers, the military men and women and many others you already know. There is one hero who is not a household name, a regular guy, a man who kept the dome running under extraordinary circumstances, doing so when others, even some police officers, scurried away in fear, a man who on Aug. 27, 2005, a Saturday, glared at a dire weather report. Thornton: ‘You had no idea it was going to be such hell.’ (Getty Images) “I had been through hurricanes before so there was no great fear or anything, just caution,” Doug Thornton says. “You had no idea it was going to be such hell.” It was seven days of hell, to be exact. He saw almost everything. The violence, the suffering, the desperation but he also witnessed — and was a key part of — moments of great ingenuity and the saving of human lives. Anyone who wants to know what it was like behind the scenes should read this piece in its entirety.


Steelcase Receives Pollution Prevention Award

Steelcase Receives Pollution Prevention Award

Steelcase Inc., a global office environments manufacturer, recently received the Most Valuable Pollution Prevention Award from the National Pollution Prevention Roundtable (NPPR), the largest membership organization in the United States devoted solely to pollution prevention. NPPR granted Steelcase this award at a ceremony held in Washington, D.C. in recognition of the company’s 2006 Environmental Report, which was identified as an outstanding, innovative pollution prevention project. Steelcase’s 2006 Environmental Report goes beyond traditional metrics to examine the reasoning and inspiration behind the company’s diverse environmental initiatives. Each initiative supports Steelcase’s ongoing goal of protecting, replenishing and restoring communities through both community service and sustainable design. The report raises awareness of pollution prevention within the context of the contract furniture industry by describing materials chemistry, life cycle assessment and the Steelcase Environmental Partnership program. “We are proud that our 2006 Environmental Report has received this prestigious recognition. It truly is a reflection of Steelcase’s commitment to environmental stewardship and to ensuring that our people, products and processes have a meaningful impact on our planet, today and in the future,” said Allan Smith, vice president, global environmental strategy and programs, Steelcase. NPPR judges based each nomination on five criteria including innovation, measurable results, transferability, commitment and optimization of project resources. For reports and publications like the Steelcase 2006 Environmental Report, the judges also considered how entries focused attention on pollution prevention and highlighted health, economic and environmental benefits. Originality, impact and quality were also taken into consideration. Steelcase’s 2006 Environment Report earned high marks in innovation and measurable results in pollution prevention, transferability to other projects, optimization of resources and the company’s level of commitment and leadership. “Steelcase is one of the industry leaders in pollution prevention design,” according to NPPR. “We are pleased to present Steelcase’s 2006 Environmental Report with a Most Valuable Pollution Prevention Award as it is a well-written documentation of Steelcase’s commitment to pollution prevention. The report addresses such issues as green house reduction and sustainability. It gives a clear sense of Steelcase’s current environmental results and the company’s environmental goals for the future.” The Most Valuable Pollution Prevention Awards are part of National Pollution Prevention Week, which runs from September 18-24.


Firestone Donates to the Davis Memorial Foundation

Firestone Donates to the Davis Memorial Foundation

Firestone Building Products Company donated $5,000 to the Davis Memorial Foundation, the scholarship program administered by the Western States Roofing Contractors Association (WSRCA). Firestone presented the check during the 32nd Annual WSRCA Convention and Trade Show held in Las Vegas, Nev. Firestone has contributed more than $40,000 to the program since its inception in 1996, including this year’s contribution. “Firestone recognizes that a quality education is beneficial to becoming a skilled roofing professional,” said Mike Gorey, president of Firestone Building Products and CEO of BFS Diversified Products. “The Davis Memorial Foundation shares in our vision of education, and we are privileged to be a part of the foundation’s scholarship program.” “Firestone’s annual support to the foundation enables us to continue providing education to prospective roofing professionals so they will have the skills necessary to achieve success in the roofing industry,” added Arlene Lawson, the foundation’s administrator. The Davis Memorial Foundation supports the advancement of the roofing industry through education and the recognition of individuals who desire to continue improving their lives. The foundation was established in memory of Larry and Mary Davis. Larry Davis was an integral part of the roofing industry for many years, serving on several industry association boards, including WSRCA. Candidates for the scholarship program must be one of the following: an employee, an immediate family member of an employee in the roofing industry, or a student in high school or technical trade school, provisionally accepted as a student into an undergraduate or graduate degree program for the coming academic year by an accredited college or university.


Theft of copper: the latest headache

Theft of copper: the latest headache

NPR recently featured a story about a nearly completed construction project in Roxbury, Massachusetts hit by the latest vandalism craze—theft of copper. But instead of taking the copper telephone wiring so popular with most thieves, this team removed several hundred dollars worth of copper pipes, and left the facility manager with a flooded building. The Ventura County Star reports: Some builders in the country have reported losing thousands of dollars in water damage from people ripping copper pipes — worth only a few hundred dollars in salvage — from their fittings. Because the price of metals is up worldwide, there is a great demand, fueling the rise in thefts. A recent National Public Radio report explained that many of the thieves are sophisticated, bypassing local scrap dealers who could very well recognize the items and turn them in, and dealing instead with overseas buyers. Bronze is also being targeted for its high copper content, pushing vandals to steal everything from commemorative plaques to sentimental statues. A less significant threat to operations than theft of copper pipes or wire, this petty act still has the ability to disrupt business and disturb employees and visitors to schools, houses of worship, auditoriums, and other public (and openly accessible) areas. So watch out for your copper; you never know when you may be targeted!


BASF Receives New Jersey Clean Energy Award

BASF Receives New Jersey Clean Energy Award

Jack Armstrong, director of Building and Construction for BASF, recently accepted a New Jersey Clean Energy Leadership Awards for the BASF Better Home, Better Planet Initiative: Near-Zero Energy Home in Paterson NJ. The structure is an energy efficient demonstration home designed to highlight a broad portfolio of BASF products pivotal to creating high performance, near-zero energy homes. The ceremony recognized BASF along with a select group of New Jersey businesses and community leaders who have made significant contributions in the field of energy efficient and renewable energy technologies. According to Armstrong, BASF and more than 150 strategic partners built the prototype home to inspire homeowners, builders, and architects locally, as well nationally, to learn more about sustainable, energy efficient and disaster resistant homes that are accessible to consumers at affordable prices. Regarding the award Armstrong said, “This is a great honor that must be shared with a host of dedicated community and civic leaders in Paterson and beyond who contributed countless hours to make this living classroom a reality.” When asked why BASF chose to build their national high performance prototype home in New Jersey, Armstrong explained, “BASF’s national headquarters are located in New Jersey, and we wanted to give back to the community that has offered a receptive business climate for so many years. Building the BASF Better Home, Better Planet: Near-Zero Energy Home in New Jersey–a state that is way ahead of the pack when it comes to supporting energy-efficient, sustainable development–just made sense.” The project has achieved a 94.5 HERS ENERGY STAR® score and is a prototype for the U.S. Green Building Council’s newly launched LEED© (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rating system for homes and is expected to receive the highest rating (Platinum) in early Fall of 2006. Additionally the near-zero home has been the site for a number of seminars and tours to architects, builders, government officials, homeowners, realtors, financial institutions, and other interested parties throughout the summer of 2006, offering a workshop environment where an interactive self guided tour makes traditional building science a tangible experience. Once the demonstration phases are completed, the home will be donated to St. Michael’s Housing Corporation. This organization will then turn over the home to teenager living with quadriplegic paralysis and his family. As such, the project, designed to accommodate Richard’s special needs, also showcases elements of accessible design. Strategic partners of the BASF Better Home, Better Planet Initiative: Near-Zero Energy Home, Paterson, NJ include: Chrisner Group; City of Paterson; Environmental Design + Construction; GRAD Associates; Green… …Read More…


SPRI Offers Wind Design Seminar

SPRI Offers Wind Design Seminar

SPRI, the association representing sheet membrane and component suppliers to the commercial roofing industry presents the Wind Design Seminar on Monday, October 16, 2006. The Seminar is a comprehensive, day-long program on factors to consider regarding the wind resistance of low-slope roofing systems. The Seminar will be held from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm at the University Place Conference Center and Hotel in Indianapolis, Indiana. SPRI Technical Director David Roodvoets and SPRI Member Mike Blanchette of Amtech Roofing Consultants will present this informative five hour session. The program covers basic wind design issues, including an introduction to ASCE 7- 2002 and 2005, Factory Mutual tests and requirements, problem solving using the SPRI Wind Load Design Guide for Low Sloped Flexible Membrane Systems and Underwriters Laboratories tests and requirements. The process of selecting a wind resistant design based on Factory Mutual or Underwriters Laboratories test reports will also be discussed. An interactive portion of the program leads seminar participants through real-world examples, step by step. In this way, SPRI’s program conveys both the science and the practice of calculating wind loads. SPRI Technical Director Dave Roodvoets explains, “Our goal is to educate people who are involved in roof design, whether they are architects, consultants, specification writers or contractors, so that they fully understand wind loads and their designs comply with local building codes. Instead of arbitrarily specifying FM 1-90 roofs, whether they’re needed or not,” Roodvoets continues, “this program aims to help people avoid over-engineering their roofs, which makes them cost more than they should, as well as to prevent roofs from being under-engineered.” The program is approved for 5 AIA Learning Units and 5 RCI CEH credits. The fee to attend this seminar is $125 for RCI members and $175 for non-members. SPRI represents sheet membrane and related component suppliers in the commercial roofing industry. Since 1981, SPRI has been a resource for building owners, architects, engineers, specifiers, contractors and maintenance personnel, providing objective information about commercial roofing components and systems. Email SPRI or call (781) 647-7026.