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Using Asset Mapping Software to Mitigate Risk In Facilities

June 20, 2016

As much as we try to be proactive facility managers, we know that problems will come up that force us to be reactive. Though these facility management emergencies are inevitable, we need to do our best to mitigate their frequency and potential damage.

All buildings should have an emergency facility management plan for dealing with common problems and unexpected issues. The first step in resolving facility management issues is to understand the underlying system impacts and the location of critical assets.

System Zone Maps

Facilities large and small can be broken into zones or areas controlled by HVAC, plumbing or electrical systems.

In the case of HVAC zones, an air handling unit is responsible for supplying air to a section of a building. When one section of the building’s heat goes out, you’ll have a large number of occupants uncomfortable, unhappy and dissatisfied with facility management. In healthcare, this can be a life threatening situation as HVAC zones are incorporated into infection-control and can be required to support a negative airflow

The same logic can be applied to plumbing, with valves controlling the flow of water to a building section, along with electrical assets, with panels controlling the flow of electricity.

Ways to Identify Building Zones

To properly troubleshoot facility management problems, we need to understand how the mechanical, electrical and plumbing assets serve the different zones and sections of our building.

  1. Look at building plans
  2. Track zones in a spreadsheet
  3. Use an asset mapping tool

Stop Relying on FM Wisdom

In a state of emergency, our first reaction is to turn to experienced facility team members to solve problems. Often times these individuals know everything about the buildings we operate and are the fastest way to find knowledge on building systems.

Relying on memory and experience can be incredibly risky in facility management as team members may be on vacation or out of cell reception. To reduce the risk of facility management system failure, a centralized repository of knowledge and information must be established.

Utilize Asset Mapping Software

Asset mapping software is a tool facility managers use to put context behind building data and reduce response time to facility management emergencies. Computer aided design (CAD) or building information modeling (BIM) are two tools that are occasionally used to help with asset mapping.

The core of asset mapping is the ability to overlay data on top of a building plan, allowing facility managers to quickly access the location of building assets and understand the interoperability of different building management systems.

It is crucial that as facility managers, we have an emergency response plan for facility management problems.

Having accurate floor plans is the first step in building an zoned maps or egress plans. Download the Guide for Creating the Essential Egress Plan to help jump start you planning process.

Download - Guide to Creating an Egress Plan

Luke Perkerwicz

Former cofounder of AkitaBox, Luke Perkerwicz consulted on technology solutions for facility managers to reduce costs for maintenance and capital planning.

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