Working as a Facility Manager, one is often at the convergence of management and technical work. Some knowledge of management is necessary to be able to work with budgets, teams, and the C-suite. The job can be largely administrative. However, there is also a component of the Facility Manager's job that requires technical knowledge of materials, mechanicals, technology, and sometimes even mathematics. Long after the architect is gone, the Facility Manager is left with the continued operation and maintenance of the property. In many cases, design decisions that look great are extremely costly or difficult to maintain. It is this broad scope of work that makes being a FM challenging to blog about. I have been trying to find my blogging voice for this career. The trouble is that I do not only do one thing. I do many things over the course of a day, many of them unrelated except that they are part of the job. So, it makes me think that perhaps I should approach blogging as a work log.
In many engineering applications, log books are kept of the work that has been conducted. For example, I worked at a foundry that would cast anodes for oil rigs. These where massive zinc alloy bars on steel pipes that would be welded onto the legs of oil rigs. The zinc was the sacrificial metal that would protect the steel from getting eaten up by the ocean water. At this foundry, the workers would keep a log of each heat that they smelted and poured. This allowed them to track production and track any bad batches. It was simply a book where they would scrawl some details about the work.
Although my work is far from an Engineering job, it makes sense to have a work log. This should give you a better idea and understanding of what a Facility Manager's job entails. It is certainly easier to blog this way than it is to break down the job into individual topics. As I mentioned, the job has a broad scope. Therefore, the topics would seem disjointed. So, let's kick this off with my notes for 15 December 2020.
- Call another department to request logins for employee who did not receive email with a link for online training. Will require walking employee through training later.
- Meet with fire safety instructor to visit classroom and training site
- Receive fire extinguishers for class. Will require purchase order to issue payment.
- Create meeting agenda to discuss projects status with c-suite.
- Follow up calls with vendors for work done and proposals pending.
- Set up water hose on new hose reel
- Work on system to automate COVID sanitation schedule
- Inquire about repair options for commercial air destratification fans
At home, I was reading an article in HVAC Engineering regarding pinhole leaks in pipes. I was surprised to learn that these are caused by voltage in the pipes induced by DC power lines running parallel to the pipes. The culprit is what is referred to as "even order harmonics" that result from rectifying AC into DC. Now I have to wonder if I have any DC lines running parallel to any of my plumbing. I don't have pinhole leaks. But, my building is at 5 years, which is about when these leaks begin to manifest. The remedy is often to switch to plastic pipes and add grounding. You can also try to separate your pipes from parallel DC power lines. Strange things like this are the sort of information that make being a Facility Manager interesting. It is the nexus where all sorts of knowledge intersects.