We have all received an early morning call from a tenant when their space is too hot or cold because the HVAC system fails to turn on. How many calls have you received from tenants to let you know that their space is a comfortable 72°F on a building holiday? Water lines rarely break at 9:30 am when your engineering team is ready to respond, but rather in the middle of the night above the executive boardroom. Anything that can go wrong, will eventually go wrong, and often after midnight.

Ranging from the commonplace to the bizarre, the following nighttime stories were shared with us over the years, all of which were preventable.

Icy Pip - Midnight

An icy night on the loading dock
Contractors left the building late in the evening and failed to close the loading dock door on a cold winter night. The wet sprinkler pipes froze and burst.

Ensure that your janitorial and security team post orders include identifying and closing doors that are propped open, including the loading dock. This will improve building security, the likelihood of unforeseen events, and reduce energy costs.

Flooring - Midnight

Surprise! New Carpet
A carpet contractor entered the wrong office tower (with a similar name) and replaced the newly installed, special order woven carpet in the elevators with inexpensive contractor-grade carpet. Not an upgrade!

Ensure that security post orders are updated daily to include all planned after hours activities, including contractor work.

Computer Boy - Midnight

Out of sight, out of mind
Equipment schedules are overridden in the BAS for three weeks due to a one-time tenant request for overtime HVAC.

Assign an engineer to review and sign off on the BAS schedules each night. Ensure that all expired overtime HVAC requests are removed from the BAS. Consider including a list of tenants receiving overtime HVAC in daily security post orders so that system control issues can be identified.

Copper Rush - Midnight

Copper rush!
Vandals propped open the back door in an unoccupied office building and removed all of the copper from the elevator hoistway cables and electrical distribution and plumbing systems over the course of several weeks.

Ensure that appropriate security cameras and alarms are in place at all building entryways and continuously monitor the security system after hours.

Your eyes and ears
It takes a village to operate a building. As most buildings do not staff a nighttime engineer, your janitorial and security teams can be your eyes and ears. Empower and reward them for maintaining open lines of communication and reporting issues. Quickly addressing failed flush valves, wet spots on the floor, broken door latches, equipment operating when not intended, open doors, etc. will help you manage risk and reduce your operating costs.

Nighttime walks
It takes a village to operate a building. As most buildings do not staff a nighttime engineer, your janitorial and security teams can be your eyes and ears. Empower and re

Assign an engineer to perform monthly nighttime walks of your building to confirm whether your janitorial and security teams are turning lights off and to help identify overridden controls and failed sensors, resulting in unintended equipment operations. Document and address any issues identified and educate your team to foster continuous improvement.

Check out the Better Bricks Night Walk Video Series to learn more about common issues identified and the steps needed to conduct your own nighttime walks.

See more opportunities to improve building operations at breea PULSE.