Every business owner wants to have the confidence that their building’s environmental system is in good working order. The last thing they want to deal with is a system breakdown that disrupts operations. So imagine what it would be like to know well in advance which components of your system are going to need maintenance and what your lead time is to get it done. This type of information would allow you to prioritize and schedule the work, budget the work, and prevent a system breakdown. Management nirvana!
Sara Bullard of Flagship Healthcare Properties knows first-hand the value of this type of information. Ms. Bullard manages more than 300,000 square feet of professional space throughout the Greensboro–Winston-Salem–High Point region of North Carolina. On her to-do list is maintaining one of the largest medical office buildings in the Triad area, the Greensboro Professional Medical Center. The Pro Med Center is a 4-story, Class A building with over 91,000 square feet of space. This important building has a central environmental system as well as numerous tenant-specific add-ons that have been installed throughout its 19-year history.
Brady Services has been taking care of the Pro Med system for 20 years, and Ms. Bullard has come to rely on Brady to maintain the system and respond quickly to unexpected problems. Thus, she was immediately intrigued when Brady introduced their proactive Predictive Services to her as a new tool she could use to manage the Pro Med system. “I really appreciate the cutting edge technology and approach that Brady provides,” says Ms. Bullard, “so I was very interested in this new service.”
Brady’s array of predictive technologies—vibration analysis, acoustical analysis, and ultrasonic testing—provides data on internal system components that cannot otherwise be checked without system shutdown and dismantling. Knowledge of the Pro Med system led Brady to complete vibration analyses of the key pieces of equipment in the system, including five air handling units, a cooling tower, and two pumps. The vibration measurements were compared to industry-based vibration severity criteria to determine final severity levels for each component tested. The results revealed two air handlers with problems of immediate concern, one air handler and one cooling tower with problems just beginning to develop, and two air handlers and two pumps exhibiting no problems.
Within 48 hours of the analysis, Brady provided Ms. Bullard with the diagnostics report for the Pro Med system. The report’s Equipment Summary provided her with a quick-reference guide to the health of each piece of equipment and the type of problem discovered, if any. The Detailed Analysis and Data section provided specifics for each component including the vibration test data, problems detected and their probable cause, their severity level, and required actions or recommended monitoring and proactive servicing. “This new service is great,” reports Ms. Bullard, “it provides me with the specific information I need to proactively manage the system and avoid breakdowns.” Brady also discussed the findings with Ms. Bullard and explained the criticality of each urgent and recommended action and the timeframe for completion of each one—important information for a busy property manager.
Ms. Bullard used the test results and Brady recommendations to have two motors rebuilt before they failed, thus avoiding a breakdown that would have impacted the Pro Med tenants. She also found the data and report helpful in her communications with the management at Flagship, enabling them to clearly understand the priorities and budgeting for system maintenance at the Pro Med Center.
With the comprehensive and detailed data provided by Brady’s Predictive Services, Ms. Bullard has a versatile new tool that helps her plan ahead, budget, and maximize the efficiency of the environmental system at the Pro Med Center. “Brady provides seamless support, from their knowledgeable management to their very professional technicians,” says Ms. Bullard, “which means I don’t have to worry about things getting done correctly and efficiently.”
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