By Ric Cochrane, account executive, and Mike Kowalick, senior program manager
The University of Washington School of Medicine’s world-class biomedical research complex includes three buildings with lab space plus an administrative and mixed-use building, totaling nearly 530,000 square feet. As with many sophisticated new facilities, ensuring that the building meets its functional design goals required building operators to understand its unique features and have a well-defined procedural framework for monitoring and maintaining its systems.
In the past, facilities managers could easily pick up where construction left off; however, this is not happening smoothly in today’s world of increasingly complex building systems. The Transition to Sustainable Operations (TSO) team at McKinstry delivers a re-engineered project close-out focused on preparing the owner for successful building operations. By embedding transitional services into both pre-construction and the final phases of the construction process, McKinstry assumes the building owner’s responsibility of preparing the facility for occupancy.
Transition to Sustainable Operations
TSO reduces downtime and operating expenses in the first year of occupancy and helps facilities teams minimize risk and operating cost for the life of the building. By approaching project close-out from the operator’s perspective and aligning with the commissioning (Cx) scope, TSO fills gaps in the turnover process and aligns construction output with operation team needs. The following scope was developed for this project:
- O&M Manuals, Cx/Test & Balance Reports and Submittals
– Relevant construction documentation incorporated within work order management system.
- Expected Life, Replacement Costs and Warranty Information
– All asset data incorporated into the work order management system.
- Annual Maintenance Plan with Budget
– Frequency and hours-required compiled for each asset and organized in a planning tool (below) to prioritize preventive maintenance and align with available resources and FTEs.
- Equipment Lifecycle Planning
– Thirty-year capital plan created for replacing aging equipment with inflation-adjusted annual capital budget forecasts. Plan delivered in a dynamic capital planning tool.
- System and Energy Performance Optimization
– Monitoring-based Cx (aligned with design intent) delivered with monthly recommendations to maintain comfort, extend equipment life and reduce energy consumption.
First year benefits of TSO
While TSO’s greatest impacts are realized over the life of the building, measurable benefits occur in the first year of operations. With UW School of Medicine, McKinstry:
- Identified more than $90,000 of operational energy savings
- Identified more than $25,000 in warranty services
- Maintained all occupied zones between 68-74°F during more than 95 percent of occupied hours
- Ensured there were no critical equipment failures or interruptions to regular operations in the first year
- Migrated all relevant documentation into work order management system
- Developed preventive maintenance plan aligned with existing practices
- Developed a 30-year capital plan with expected equipment life and replacement costs
With more than 50 percent of the total cost of building ownership spent on operations, these benefits also grow over the life of your building.
All buildings, no matter how efficient or high-tech, require a period of time for operators and systems to adjust for actual building operations. Getting the first year of your building’s operations right is key to saving energy for the life of your building. The industry needs to ensure smooth transitions from design and construction to the first year of operations to meet human and energy factors.
TSO is the key to getting that first year right, and this transition period presents an enormous untapped opportunity for buildings and energy efficiency.