As district director of college-wide maintenance at Broward College in Broward County, South Florida, Sean Devaney has responsibilities that include: EMS/HVAC services, electrical services, campus facilities services, fleet maintenance, locksmith services, landscape services, custodial contract services, and various maintenance contract services. He has worked in facilities management for 28 years, with time spent in hospitality, healthcare, pharmaceutical, and K-12, with the last 16 years spent at Broward College.
A mission familiar to most readers of this website, the goal of the Facilities Management Department at Broward College is to improve the level of services offered continually and to increase student and employee satisfaction while providing a clean, safe environment for teaching and learning throughout the college.
In 2015, Devaney wrote an article for Facility Executive magazine about a transition embarked upon at the college several years earlier. He wrote: “In fiscal year 2013, Broward College in South Florida accepted the challenge of standardizing college-wide facilities and services. Doing so required that all trades including HVAC, electrical, fleet, locksmith, landscape/grounds, and custodial services would be reviewed from a college-wide perspective. Two underlying questions guided the plan to restructure and standardize operations. The first was: how do we provide quality customer service, best practices, financial and labor-use efficiencies, with current staffing levels and annual budget allocations that are distributed throughout the system?
The second question was: What can we do in-house with skilled trade staff versus contracted services?”
Now, in 2018, Devaney provides an update on campus facilities and the recent and ongoing projects campus-wide at Broward College.
Sustainability At Broward College: A Project Perspective
By Sean Devaney
Broward College is a large institution consisting of three full-service campus locations and seven satellite centers (see map). Its District Facilities division consist of three departments: Design and Construction, Planning and Budget, and Maintenance Operations.
There are 66 buildings comprising 2.4 million square feet, serving 65,000 students and 5,000 employees. The three divisions report to the Associate Vice President of Facilities Management, and each division is structured per below.
Design and Construction
• District Director
• Three (3) Senior Project Managers
• Construction Management Contract Service Vendors
• Executive Assistant
Planning and Budget
• District Director
• Director – Facilities Planning
• Senior Analyst, Construction and Capital Accounts
• CAD / Software Operator
• Operations Work Order System Coordinator
• Executive Assistant
• District Director
• Four (4) Facilities Managers
• EMS Manager
• Electrical Services Manager
• Fleet Services Manager
• Locksmith Manager
• Landscape Manager
• Two (2) Administrative Assistants
Reporting to the various managers are a team of more than 100 facilities services professionals and college-wide contract services.
The District Facilities divisions work very well together in planning and prioritizing projects, looking at the entire system and focusing attention based on need. The team is always factoring in the best sustainable practices for each project scope. Following is overview of the college’s recent and current initiatives.
One of the most valuable tools used by the Broward College District Facilities Management Team is Condition Assessments. With any large institution, there is always a long list of deferred maintenance projects. The use of Condition Assessments allows for efficient prioritization of building needs and project allocation of annual dollars.
Over the past five years the facilities division has been able to address some of the deferred maintenance concerns and the priority list is set through the next five years. This is due to the Condition Assessments providing the team with a very clear outline of where project dollars need to be focused college-wide.
Some of the areas covered under the use of Condition Assessments are:
• Irrigation systems
• Roadway and parking lot
• Storm drainage systems
• Fleet vehicles
• Small equipment (landscape and grounds)
• Building envelope
• Buildings (using Castaldi studies, a system of assessing a facility to determine the cost of a renovation versus new construction)
• Renovations and remodels
• Site lighting
• Electrical systems
Without Condition Assessments, as well as a solid understanding of project prioritization needs, facilities divisions are missing out on providing the most efficient use of allocated budgets. Also, by doing so, they can find that emergency and crisis management projects pop up unexpectedly due to misguided project investments.
Chiller Plant Cooling Towers/Well Water
The initial project goal was to reduce the use of potable water through well water system installations. Well water is a viable source of make-up water for the Broward College campus chiller tower systems. Conserving natural and financial resources by reducing the need for local municipal water.
This project has provided several environmental benefits:
• Reducing the need for potable water from the local municipality
• Conserving the water supply, benefitting the local community
• Fiscal savings for Broward College
• Demonstrating the college’s commitment to sustainable initiatives
• Providing Energy Management staff with new/latest technologies and learning opportunities
The South Campus location consists of 103 acres and 12 buildings consisting of 500,000 square feet of academic and administrative space.
The campus chiller system consists of three chillers — two 380 ton and one 500-ton units. The cooling towers consist of three, 300-ton towers.
The well water system is comprised of a 4”, 77’ well, 290-gallon bladder tank, 5 HP pump, salt softener system, filter cartridge system, and electronic controls to monitor the system. The depth of the well allows for the cleanest ground water available.
Annual water usage is approximately 7,300,000 gallons. By introducing the well water system, it represents a savings of $80,000.00 annually. That savings can then be passed along to fund other college facilities initiatives.
The college has additionally entered into contract with a service vendor to monitor the water quality and treat accordingly. This represents a cost of approximately $4,000 annually. The water quality consistently samples clean, beyond initial expectations.
Factor in annual operations cost of electric ($1000), Maintenance ($2000), Softener ($4000), and it represents an overall projected annual operating cost of $11,000.
With this, the overall projected savings is $60,000 annually. The system installation pays for itself in 1.7 years.
North Campus/Well Water System
Due to the success of the South Campus installation, the college has expanded this program, recently completing the North Campus, Coconut Creek location.
North Campus location consists of 115 acres, 450,000 square feet of academic and administrative space.
The campus Chiller Plant comprises three 500-ton chillers, two 500-ton towers, and three 500-ton towers that have been modified to a lower capacity.
The annual projected savings at the North Campus is in the $50,000 – $60,000 range.
As the college prepares for a new fiscal year, budget preparation includes funding to complete a similar installation at the Central Campus, Davie location — Broward College’s largest campus location. This installation has a projected savings of $80,000 per year.
Thermal Storage, College-wide
Broward College has Thermal Storage Tanks at each campus location ranging in size from 652,000 to 720,000 gallons. Secondary tanks are in the planning stages to provide additional electric utility savings.
Thermal storage tanks allow for a considerable savings on electrical cost. Projected savings annually could be as high as 25%, approximately $75,000 monthly. Chillers are in operation during off-peak times and charge the tanks overnight for daily cooling of buildings.
There are many benefits to providing thermal storage.
• Reduction in chiller plant required tonnage capacity
• Reduction in HVAC systems mechanical equipment needs
• Reduction in capital outlay
• Reduction in electrical utility demand during peak hours
• Reduction in electric utility cost
• Benefits to the community
• Reduction in emissions
Preventive Maintenance & HVAC Technician Assignments
The facilities maintenance operations department contracts out the annual maintenance requirements for the college-wide chiller plants. The benefit of a contract service includes:
• Provides for accurate budgeting
• Guaranteed emergency service response
• A cap on time and material costs
• Certified technicians/industry professionals
• A service contractor that takes on the liability of system operation
In-house HVAC Technicians provide the day-to-day preventive maintenance need to HVAC mechanical equipment and respond to customer work order needs.
• Two technicians, journeymen at each campus location
• College-wide HVAC systems manager
• College-wide HVAC systems supervisor, with scheduling oversight
• Second shift technician — journeyman to monitor operations
• Third shift technician — journeyman to monitor operations
• All on call, as essential, employees
There is a direct correlation between providing consistent preventive maintenance and operating an efficient (mechanically and financially) college-wide system. A preventive maintenance program for campus facilities ensures efficient operation and has a direct impact on minimizing down time due to mechanical failures. The program leads to providing consistent customer service and in reducing cost on overall system repairs and maintenance.
South Campus Secondary Chiller Plant:
The Facilities Design and Construction Department has recently completed a secondary 12,000 square foot chiller plant at the Broward College South Campus. This was a planned expansion under the college facilities master plan. Necessary, due to the newly constructed 51,000 square foot science building; it will provide for future growth as laid out in the facilities master plan.
System details include:
• Loop system operation – two (2) plants
• Provides redundancy within the system
• One plant can be shut down for maintenance while the other serves the campus
• Allows for future expansion as the college facilities master plan proceeds forward
• Two (2) 750-ton chillers
• Cooling tower capacity – 3,750-ton towers
• Cooling tower well water system – 110’ well
Again, this provides substantial savings on potable/municipal water costs and allows for business continuity during mechanical failures or maintenance down time
A recent example: A tractor trailer near the college’s south campus took down two FP&L utility poles; knocking out power to the new chiller plant. EMS staff could engage the secondary plant and provide services to the campus buildings.
Central Campus Planned Expansion
A Central Campus secondary chiller plant to support future growth and provide redundancy and ensure business continuity.
The new plant will consist of three chillers
• Two 1,200-ton chiller
• One 600-ton chiller
• Additional cooling tower capacity
• Cooling tower well water system
• Additional thermal storage tank
Existing plant capacity
• Two 800-ton chillers
• Two 400-ton chillers
The two chiller plants, though on opposite ends of the campus, will serve as a common loop. This will be a primary factor in providing service continuity when performing preventive maintenance or during mechanical failures.
In addition to the Florida Power and Light metering of campus buildings, the District Electrical Services Department has enhanced metering with the installation of smart meters in buildings college-wide. This installation allows for monitoring of all buildings independently. Whereas, FP&L meters in most cases service several buildings on one meter, making it difficult to independently look at building efficiency.
The college-wide smart meter system is tied into the existing controls master network. The controllers function as part of the BMS college-wide system. Some of the benefits of smart metering are:
• Real time data on building electric use
• Indications to facilities where building systems need mechanical or electrical updates
• Data indicating where to focus efforts to tighten up building occupancy schedules
• Monitoring buildings independently
• Alarm notifications if disruption to building electrical services
• Deferred maintenance decisions by utilization of real time data
• A learning tool via a touch screen kiosk of building energy use (something the college is considering)
• Building-to-building and campus-to-campus comparisons of energy use.
The college has undertaken a project of replacing all roadway, parking lot, and sidewalk lights with LED fixtures. In some locations installations include new poles and fixtures, and in many locations existing poles are retrofitted with new LED fixtures and remote controllers. This project is approximately 50% complete, with the Central Campus near completion, and projects moving forward at the North and South campus locations. District Facilities anticipates 100% completion college-wide by fiscal year 2021.
The benefits of LED lighting are:
• Reduced energy cost
• Fewer pole lights
• Reduced maintenance costs as compared to the old high-pressure sodium lamps
• Cleaner, brighter night lighting
• The ability to control remotely using wireless smart technology
• Scheduling of lights (some on, some off after-hours)
• Better wind load survivability
• An anticipated 80% reduction in electrical cost
Additionally, all new building construction and renovation projects include interior LED lighting
The Fleet Services Department has transitioned into a lease program over the past several years. Prior to this program, the college fleet was looking tired, with some vehicles over 20 years old. What kind of impression was presented with these old, run down vehicles throughout Broward County?
There are 60 vehicles in the college fleet. They are used by Campus Facilities, District Facilities, Campus and District Safety, Landscape, EMS, Electrical Services, Student Life, College Athletics, and the Institute of Public Safety. They now represent the college with a clean, professional look, and enhanced college brand throughout the county seven days a week.
Benefits of a lease program:
• Negotiated State of Florida rates
• The annual budget is fixed
• Clean college brand on the streets
• Increased employee morale, attendance, and work performance
• Fuel efficient vehicles
• Improved Student pride
• Reliable transportation
• Reduced maintenance costs
• Enhanced first impressions to the community
Facilities Planning/Interior Design
The Space Planning Team does an outstanding job collaborating with college department end users, college design and construction, and interior design service vendors.
Their job is to provide environmentally-friendly, pleasing, functional space for teaching and learning, gathering and congregation space, and for college administrative functions.
The selection of interior finishes, furniture, and fixtures are all done with sustainability in mind. Following are some of the planning design teams standard project initiatives.
• Carpet tile selections that are long life, easy care, low VOC, recyclable at end of useful life
• No wax vinyl flooring
• Hard finish, epoxy flooring in restrooms and service areas
• Floor to ceiling tile finishes in restrooms
• Flexible floor plans with modular furnishings
• Low VOC interior finishes
• FF&E manufactured utilizing sustainable, low VOC materials
• Wall protection systems in classrooms and hallways
• Outdoor spaces that are conducive to socializing, event use, and single or cohort study areas.
• Modular wall systems in administrative areas that allow for flexibility
• Exterior building finish and paint selections providing a clean, uniform, college brand from campus to campus
Broward College has some of the most appealing educational facilities in Florida due to the dedicated teamwork of so many facilities professionals. Pride in what we do is inherent in showcasing the many newly constructed, renovated facilities over the past 10 years, and in the institution’s commitment to upgrading or replacing existing facilities.
The Landscape Division is very much involved in project planning, sustainable design of both landscape project initiatives, as well as irrigation system upgrades and new installations.
Their mission is guided by the college landscape policy which specifies the use of Florida native, and drought-tolerant, non-invasive exotics only.
All Broward College campuses are Florida NatureScape Certified through Broward County. The college landscape policy follows the Broward County NatureScape landscape principles.
For best South Florida landscape practices review the following links:
Additionally, the college employs a District Landscape Services Manager, two Landscape Supervisors, one Irrigation Supervisor, and 18 full-time landscape professionals.
There are also landscape service contracts that provide support services such as; general landscaping, tree pruning, tree removal, stump grinding, landscape design, mulch delivery, yard debris removal, and brick paver work.
First impressions of the campuses are always a positive experience due to the quality of the manicured, green, crisp look of the grounds as well as the dedicated work of the landscape team.
Campus Maintenance, Continuous Improvement
Broward College is committed to fiscal responsibility, sustainable projects, technologies and initiatives. Some other elements of note include:
• Reflective roofing systems (replacements and restorations)
• Removal of old building inventory through “Castaldi studies”
• Design and Construction Department (providing new, and renovated, state of the art, quality facilities)
• Broward College design and construction standards
• Centralized facilities management
• District Planning and Budget Department (oversight of college master plan and capital outlay)
• Capital Budget (focused on building modernizations)
• LEED certification requirements
• Partnerships with private and public institutions
• Focus all we do on teaching and student success
As Broward College is a publicly funded institution, the College Administration and the Facilities Administration, take seriously the responsibility of being good stewards of how tax dollars are invested into the system.
Facilities infrastructure projects, construction and design initiatives, renovation and remodels, all take into consideration what we are working towards — providing quality educational environments that are conducive to productive teaching and learning experiences. As a result, this leads to increased student success!
One last note…
With so many college-wide facilities projects and initiatives, it’s important to get the word out to the college community and surrounding communities it serves. The Broward College Facilities Management Facebook page is one way to accomplish that. We take pride in what we do. Please check out the Broward College Facilities Management Facebook page, and don’t forget to click, “Like”!
Devaney, District Director of Maintenance, Facilities Management for Broward College can be reached by email at [email protected].