LeSSonS in LeadeRSHiP
How a facilities maintenance manager can help Out of Your Campus
Getting the Most
Like the weather and the economy, managing organiza- tional budgets is a tumultuous and unpredictable affair, especially when money and resources are tight. Facilities maintenance administrators play a critical role in identify- ing potential cost savings for community colleges. But added scrutiny surrounding how money is spent on cam-
pus makes their jobs increasingly difficult.
Such pressure often results in premature purchasing decisions based on upfront
costs rather than long-term spending strategies that consider the costs expended
over the life of a purchase.
One underlying challenge is that the sheer volume of purchases for maintenance,
repairs, and operations (MRO) often makes it difficult to identify, track, and analyze costs. Facilities maintenance managers help customers identify solutions such
as sustainable building strategies, lighting retrofits, and skills training to help
community colleges better leverage money spent on MRO and related costs.
The U.S. Green Building Council (GBC) says colleges and universities have made
significant strides toward greening their buildings and infrastructure. Whether
through a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)-certified
building or simply by determining the right green product to buy, community colleges can make sustainable choices with a common-sense approach to design and
TerraChoice, a North American environmental marketing firm and part of
the Underwriters Laboratory Global Network, recently worked with industrial
distributor and American Association of Community College corporate supporter
Grainger and its customers to evaluate sustainable solutions. Two prevailing
product;is;not;a;green;product. Today, there is no need to settle for lower performance when pursuing lower environmental impact. The technology is there.
When put to the test, these products work.
product;is;not;a;green;product.;Unless the product generates significant long-term savings, it does not have to cost more to make choices that make sense for
the environment. Pursuing sustainability does not have to be a business tradeoff;
it is simply a choice your community college can make.
Choosing sustainable lighting solutions is an excellent way to reduce energy
usage and overall operations costs. What’s more, experts say, sustainable lighting
can provide better, task-appropriate lighting proven to increase productivity and
improve student, faculty, and staff well-being.
Skills Training: Managing
Marketing research firm Business
Intelligence Group reported there
were some 5 million commercial and
institutional buildings in the United
States in 2010. Programs such as the
U.S. GBC’s LEED certification and the
U.S. EPA’s ENERGY STAR are driving
the way institutions choose to support both new and existing buildings.
High-performance buildings offer
cost savings through complex systems
such as mechanical, electrical, building
automation controls systems, and wireless technologies, as well as integrated
systems and dashboards.
Building operations have a major
impact on whether high-performance
structures can deliver cost efficiency
and meet broader sustainability goals.
Facilities managers, technicians, building operators, and maintenance teams
lead a daily effort to keep buildings
operational, comfortable, productive,
and efficient. Increasingly, facilities
managers and similar skilled tradesmen must have the skill sets to manage
A recent survey from researchers
at Laney College, “Current Situations
and Trends in Buildings and Facility
Operations,” revealed several important qualities of successful facilities
managers. According to the report,
these managers must be: