Building infrastructure management is one of the most important aspects of keeping a facility running smoothly. If items such as breaker panels, electrical documentation, plan rooms, and panel schedules aren’t checked regularly, it can cause safety hazards and lead to costly OSHA fines. Here are seven common problems we see with everyday building infrastructure management, and how SmartCSM can prevent and solve them efficiently.
1. Chaotic plan rooms
Most of the time, plan rooms are located in dingy, disorganized basements that are only checked on every few months. This leads to more limited access to single lines, potentially out-of-date as-builts, which can cause complete chaos when problems or emergencies arise.
SmartCSM’s digital infrastructure management platform does away with all of that. No more digging through crowded plan rooms or trying to find a panel schedule that was outdated years ago. Our technology allows you to instantly pull up a panel schedule, as-built, or any other building diagram from any location; all you need is your tablet or phone. The infrastructure of your entire building is, quite literally, at your fingertips.
2. Lost or missing panel schedules
Breaker panel schedules are incredibly useful tools for any facility manager, electrician, or property manager; but most of the time, they are incomplete, hastily drawn, mislabeled or perhaps even nonexistent. Chances are that so many different electricians have probably wired and rewired your circuits over the years that there is really no telling how the power actually flows. You may know where the breaker panel is - but can you locate each individual circuit breaker or more importantly the affected people or machinery downline?
Enter SmartCSM. Using our cloud-based technology, you can upload your panel schedule and instantly find a circuit that needs to be reset or prevent an accidental shutdown. You’ll be able to print out a new panel schedule within seconds and place it into the breaker, which makes it easier for electricians to come in and diagnose an issue. The data you need is just a click away, rather than being stored in a dusty room or locked in an office.
3. Not knowing which areas are affected by an outage
If an electrical outage is affecting an isolated area (one or two rooms within the building), it can be difficult to figure out where the problem is - especially if the building’s infrastructure documentation is out-of-date. The time it takes to locate the proper panel or individual circuit or building diagram, figure out the source of the problem, and then troubleshoot it, can turn what may have originally been a small issue into a much larger one.
Mapping your building infrastructure data digitally means you’re able to access diagrams, as-builts, and panel schedules within seconds, rather than hours - saving you time, money, and preventing catastrophic shutdowns that would have otherwise put everything on hold.
4. OSHA safety fines
Inefficient building infrastructure management can lead to accidents and safety issues, but it can also lead to a host of hefty OSHA fines. Lack of sufficient arc flash labeling; improper circuite wiring; faulty breaker panel enclosures; proper breaker panel placement - these are all common issues that might slip past a facility manager or electrician during a routine safety check, but can result in costly fines (sometimes up to thousands of dollars) from OSHA violations or worse even an accident causing injury or death.
SmartCMS’s software helps you keep up to date with safety regulations, panel schedule print-outs and preventive maintenance schedules. It can hold the tracing data for the building’s entire electrical infrastructure, thus ensuring that work isn’t being done in an area that can potentially be harmful to the employee or electrician thereby reducing the risk of major injury or even death.
5. Poor asset management
When there is no electrical single-line building documentation and no organization to as-builts, warranty data, panel schedules it’s essentially impossible to really understand the electrical layout of your building. Routine electrical maintenance like checking a warranty on some lights becomes a challenge when you’re working in 3 ring binders and out of files in a cabinet. Maybe EH&S has the hot work permit that OSHA is asking for but no one can find it. Documenting newly completed work or when an upgrade completed becomes a complicated chore.
SmartCSM’s software keeps the infrastructure organized and accessible in all of these situations and all of it will be at your fingertips within minutes. Having immediate access to a digital diagram of your building will save countless hours (that would have been spent searching for documents) and prevent potentially catastrophic events.
6. Old, inefficient systems that are still running but not being utilized
Over the course of a building’s lifetime, new systems are installed and old ones are disconnected. But often when customers begin to utilize they locate outdated systems and wasted energy like old appliances in a maintenance closet. We call this death by a thousand cuts. Each individual issue is not that major put altogether and you could be saving a substantial amount on your energy bill. Using SmartCSM to map and manage your buildings infrastructure will help you realize those savings quickly.
7. Animals getting stuck in electrical areas/cords
This happens all too often, and can go unnoticed for months until an outage occurs or the electricity shuts off or even worse a major arc flash incident occurs. It’s an especially likely occurrence in buildings that are located in more suburban or rural areas, and it isn’t a situation that falls on most routine maintenance checks. We’ve worked with facility managers that have found a dead animal lodged in a high-voltage area; the remains were about to trigger an imminent arc-flash explosion, which could have caused extensive damage and potentially major loss of life. Because these discoveries were made in time, both tragedies were avoided. Electrical panels are another key spot to check regularly, though most of us don’t think about it; because they are left alone and often unchecked, they are great places for small animals to burrow.
Here are some links for animals that caused major problems in electrical: