Welcome to PMADV.net
PM Advantage exists to provide educational opportunities, networking, social activities and entertainment to property managers and their administrative staff. We will provide this by combining new technology, new media, and utilizing the skills and experience of veteran property managers and industry-leading vendor experts in a sales-free, open and friendly environment.
By Jeff McBrayer | Atmac Mechanical Services
Building property managers and engineers are well aware of the state of the economy and have worked hard to do their part to manage property costs. However, there is a balance between investing in preventive maintenance or new equipment and responding to the failures as they occur. This is especially tricky as it relates to building mechanical systems in which failure could result in tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars in losses. Fortunately, advances in technology have given building engineers non-invasive means to test equipment in order to identify problems before they result in equipment failure. Vibration analysis is one of the tools to help with this.
By Bill McCauley | Atmac Mechanical Services
Air pollution in the metropolitan area is unfortunately a fact and on some days we are informed by the media of high or dangerous pollutant levels. Outdoors and over time, nature will generally take care of pollutants and other particulates via wind, rain or just dilution. However, the air inside our buildings and homes is contained for the most part and recirculated as it is cooled or heated to increase utility energy efficiency.
By Sonya York | Summitt Energy
Buying electricity can be a tricky business. If you have been in the market lately, you have probably noticed that forward electricity prices are extremely low right now. Natural gas, the fuel for much of the electricity generation in Texas, is in record supply due to the expansion of shale production in North America and prices continue to fall.
Heat rates are another component of your electricity price are a factor of the efficiency and availability of generation. While natural gas prices are at historic lows, the prices and volatility of heat rates have been increasing. This is due to projected decreases in reserve margins, the excess generation capacity over forecasted demand, the result of growing demand and potential supply shortages.
Among the factors contributing to these shortages include weather extremes and severe drought, as well as pending EPA regulations such as a CSAPR (Cross-State Air Pollution Rule). CSAPR will require installation of expensive pollutions controls on aging power plants to reduce emissions and could result in plant closings.
By John Wingfield Jr. | Eagle Landscape
Some say water is the next oil. Do you think that statement is too aggressive? Let’s look at some facts:
- North Texas has seen very little rainfall over the past few summers.
- Developers and home builders are continuing to build, build, build…
- Governmental regulations are increasing, and properties can get fined big bucks for violating restrictions imposed by municipalities.
We all love the look of nice luscious green turf in front of a beautiful building, but due to the above factors, it is getting harder and more expensive to maintain that desired look in the landscape. By following a few simple steps, you can protect the appearance and integrity of your landscape, while decreasing the cost associated with proper landscape management.
By Charles Hart | SELECT Commercial Services
In today’s commercial real estate world everyone is trying to find new ways to cut costs and save money. It seems, however, that we are running short on ideas that effectively reduce the bottom line cost. Consider something so new, so cutting edge that it may just get you excited about cleaning: Cleaning that can save you money.
Commercial cleaning has traditionally been done at night, for reasons we all know and which, in the context of their day, may have made sense. But, in the context of today, what if your building were to embark upon the revolutionary course of day cleaning? You might be asking, “What is day cleaning?” Simply stated it is the process of having your building cleaned during regular business hours rather than at night. The initial benefit of day cleaning is reduced energy costs.
By Sonya York | Summit Energy
Wow, what a difference two years can make in electricity prices in competitive markets in Texas. As most are aware, electricity prices are highly correlated to natural gas futures contracts. In the fall of 2005 and again in the summer of 2008, monthly natural gas prices hit highs of over $13/MMBTU (million BTU, or British Thermal Units, ed.), compared to the low’s we have seen in 2009 and 2010 below $4/MMBTU. These dynamics demand a strategic and disciplined approach to managing your energy spend! At the core of this strategy are four components:
(1) Competitive Pricing Strategy,
(2) Benchmarking Tools – EnergyStar / LEED
(3) Energy Management System Audit, and
(4) Building Systems Assessment/Energy Audit.
By Mark Condry, LEED GA | FSG Lighting
While there may be some of you out there who like things in constant flux, many of us like the status quo. We like a routine. We like to know what or who we can depend on for certain things. For those of you who like the status quo and consistency, the lighting world has been a place where you could feel at home. We have used the same basic technologies for many years.
The only real choices you had to make were what company made the incandescent, fluorescent, or HID lighting you chose and what “flavor” of that lighting you liked the best. Well, that is all changing very quickly. With the emergence of LED (light emitting diode) technology and a renewed nation-wide emphasis on energy efficiency, many of the standard lighting technologies that have been the workhorses in your buildings for years are being rendered obsolete by new government regulations.
By Linda Jackson | Texas Roof Management
When I think of “comfort”, I think of chocolate. But that’s just me. What does NOT give me “comfort” is the clerk who has just spent 45 minutes selling me on the attributes of my intended purchase, now asking me if I want an “extended warranty”. What? I thought this thing I’m buying was THE best! Why would I need any ‘extended warranty?’
So, when it comes to the major expense of putting on a new roof, are you faced with the same dilemma? Do you buy a 10, 15 or 20 year warranty? We’re not going to come to any definitive decision here, BUT you’ll have some interesting issues to think about, review and discuss when the time comes to decide on the length of the manufacturer’s warranty you are going to purchase.
IF you use a roofing system from an established, reputable manufacturer, rarely will you experience an actual material failure. The roof will certainly experience wear through those first 8 to 10 years. But IF you properly maintain it, will it fail? Likely not! The cost of a roof warranty will vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, and will depend on the quality of the roof system you purchased. But on average, a roof warranty will costs from 5 to 15 cents per square foot, with a minimum cost of about $1,000. Once again, this is dependent upon the length of the warranty and the roofing system you’ve chosen.
By Sandra Heffernan | Sustainable Partners
LEED for Existing Buildings has risen to the top as the most pursued certification offered by the United States Green Building Council’s LEED Programs. As corporations continue to pursue sustainable programs to incorporate into the new green culture of America, LEED is still the most recognizable program in the market. As a result, corporations look to buildings owners and managers to assist in developing their sustainability programs by pursuing the LEED EB certification.
LEED EB is truly the nuts and bolts of operating a green building on a day to day basis. Every aspect of the daily oversight and management of a building are reviewed and new policies and programs are written and implemented for green operations. LEED EB focuses on operations and as a result, the cost to pursue LEED EB is affordable for the majority of office buildings. The most important factors in any sustainability program are electricity and potable water usage, materials purchasing and diversion, and indoor air quality.
By Steve Broom | Fujitec
(1) Invest in a preventative maintenance approach by specifying hours. Don’t compromise long-term performance and safety for short-term, low price contracts. As is the case in any investment, a long-term view often pays dividends. Oftentimes, lowest prices create short-term satisfaction, but long-term frustration. Elevators have not changed. The hours of maintenance needed per month for each unit has remained unchanged, if not increased as the elevators have aged. To ensure your building receives the needed maintenance hours per unit to keep entrapments and shutdowns to a minimum, specify the minimum number of preventative maintenance hours per unit in your elevator contract.
(2) Make certain that your technician’s route is not overloaded. Industry standards state that 80-100 units per route are acceptable depending on equipment type, condition, and usage. Overloaded routes can lead to low service levels and poor long-term performance. (Source: Elevator World)
(3) Ensure that your elevators/escalators are being thoroughly examined at least once a month. It’s not right to get a “drive by” elevator/escalator inspection. Since elevators/escalators are complicated mechanical devices, make sure your service team does a thorough job inspecting and servicing every unit at least once a month.