Metering offers an efficient way to track and proactively troubleshoot infrastructure trends and potential deficiencies as the buildings age. In an article for Medical Construction & Design, RMF Project Manager, Gregory Hudson, speaks to the increasing popularity of incorporating metering equipment in facilities such as hospitals to give building operators and facilities personnel a holistic viewpoint of how the systems and equipment are performing and identify problem areas before they cause the building to potentially go offline. What projects are good candidates for metering? Which systems are best to focus on, and how do you interpret the data and put it into action? Greg answers these questions and many more.
Below is an excerpt from Greg’s feature in the March / April issue of Medical Construction & Design. To view the full article, click here (Page 34):
UTILIZING METERING TECHNOLOGIES FOR MORE EFFICIENT AND RELIABLE FACILITIES
By Gregory Hudson, P.E., CHC, HFDP, MBA, Project Manager, RMF Engineering
As part of the larger building renovation process – particularly for older, less efficient healthcare facilities – recent developments in technology are influencing the emergence of new trends and practices. One such trend the industry is seeing increasingly more of is the incorporation of metering equipment in an effort to measure, track and report on building performance and functionality.
The ultimate goal of adding these additional meters into a building’s infrastructure is to provide a better picture of how a facility is performing and a means to identify areas where equipment may be underperforming or potentially in need of repair or replacement.
Identifying ideal candidates for metering
Larger hospitals are ideal candidates for metering technologies, as these facilities tend to evolve with a piece-meal approach - often containing various pieces of equipment installed at different points throughout the building’s life to accommodate expansions and renovations or to simply upgrade to the latest equipment, and therefore vary in age and reliability. Most hospital systems must operate continuously, and any failure or downtime can create a significant disruption to hospital operations.
Metering data can help confirm systems are operating properly, as well as identify any deviations that can be an early indication of failure, allowing staff to take preventative measures before disruptions occur. This is especially important in healthcare settings where critical care is being provided - every second offline poses a risk to patients.
Contrary to what many might think, hospitals do not need to go through a significant upfront investment to begin metering systems. It is more feasible to install meters as part of other improvements and capital projects. As existing equipment is repaired or replaced, it’s often relatively inexpensive to have meters installed on new equipment.