I was at AIA’s conference last week and one theme that kept coming up was glass. Architects LOVE glass. And the manufacturing sector has responded by producing larger and larger units to provide the coveted unbroken views.
Which brings us to the challenge for facility managers. Should anything happen to that window, repairing and if necessary replacing that unit will be very difficult and costly. In a session discussing how design choices affect facility operations, an example was given of a two-story window that broke, requiring major equipment, disruption, and cost to replace. As the audience at that show is primarily architects, the message was a plea to them to consider the long-term implications of their artistic vision.
Besides unwieldy glazing, this included placing light fixtures in difficult to reach places, banishing mechanical equipment to the roof where its service life is shortened through exposure, and choosing finishes that are not hard-wearing.
The July Building Operating Management cover story discusses the important role facility managers play in selecting the products that will actually make sense at their facility for the long run. Check it out for tips from peers on how to make sure you're getting the right stuff.
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