Universities need the latest and greatest buildings both to attract students and to deliver the best educational experience. Higher education facilities management is critical to maintaining a university’s infrastructure and support services. Optimizing building performance, in turn, positively impacts staff and student performance. However, identifying and improving any building system doesn’t come without a unique set of challenges. Here are some challenges within higher education facilities management that many are already trying to overcome.
Slow System and Workflow Updates
Facilities management is more than monitoring and maintaining building management systems. While HVAC systems, access control, and lighting are included within higher education facilities management, so are energy use, space planning, record and data management, mail services, custodial services, telecommunications, and much more.
Several areas of facilities management often work together, so having one outdated system or workflow impacts overall efficiency. Universities are reluctant to spend time and money to update what can be perceived as minor systems when students and donors are attracted to state-of-the-art research facilities and deluxe dorming options. Those in charge need to realize a university’s technology and services need to stay up-to-date to create a productive environment. They need to stop glossing over necessary changes just because it’s not entirely outdated and unusable — yet.
Not Optimizing Existing Space
Higher education institutions prioritize new facilities construction efforts over examining and reorganizing their current space. These are costly projects that drum up attention but can distract from existing facilities optimization issues. These issues negatively affect current staff’ and students’ day-to-day experience. People question the building of another lecture hall when there are unresolved problems with insufficient parking space or old dormitories. It’s frustrating to feel like issues that affect the day-to-day quality of life are overlooked.
Unaware Facilities Managers
Higher education facilities management staff keeps track of several systems, many of which are rapidly advancing. The knowledge senior facilities managers pass down to their successors can be outdated or incorrect. Facilities managers need to stay on top of the latest technology and practices to maintain buildings to the highest of their capabilities. Automated building management software collects facilities data to help managers make informed choices. Also, universities can outsource facilities management services. They could rely on professionals to recognize and implement significant changes for them.
Following Environmental Efforts
Sustainability and reducing environmental-impact have been on many higher education institutions’ agendas for a while. It appeals to their public image and compliance with environmental regulations. Like certain other large institutions, such as government bodies or businesses, universities are subjected to laws and regulations set by the EPA. Further, higher education facilities need to find areas to implement sustainable and environmentally-friendly practices that help save them money and save the planet. Efforts can be as big as constructing LEED-certified buildings, or as small as installing water refill stations.
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At Critical Systems, the people come first, from our employees to our customers. We strive to attract and develop the best talent in the business. Our goal is to deliver innovative solutions for the purpose of making every building secure, efficient, and effectively managed. Serving the Washington D.C., Northern Virginia, and Baltimore regions, SEBCSI provides innovative solutions for your commercial building or facility. Visit our website and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn today! If you’re looking for more information or interested in working with us on your next project, please contact us!