Time to Prepare Your Building for Winter

As we say goodbye to the summer heat, fall is an excellent time of year to review your building systems. Winter can create plenty of unexpected repair costs and emergencies, but a little bit of preventive maintenance and planning for potential system upgrades can go a long way in saving you future headaches.

Here are three routine checks to add to your building’s winter prep list:

Conduct a thorough inspection of all mechanical and plumbing systems.

Check that freeze stats are set at correct temperatures, freeze protection devices are receiving power and heating systems are properly operating. Verify the operation sequence of your chilled water cooling and hot water heating control valves is working correctly.

Look for ways to improve building energy efficiency.

Three common energy drains for buildings are poor insulation, malfunctioning units in semi-heated spaces, and poor or nonexistent system monitoring.

Replacing damaged and missing insulation or providing the proper insulation for your building and systems are critical to controlling your building’s environment and saving money on operating costs. Monitoring your facility’s temperature data to optimize system settings is crucial to maximizing your building’s efficiency.

Check roof and other drainage systems.

Time to clean out those gutters and drains. Snow and ice – even as they melt – can obstruct normal drainage paths. Obstructions
can cause damage and additional issues that can incur repair and service costs.

An autumn audit like this, with a focus on proactive and preventive actions, will help you identify and resolve problems before they are escalated to an emergency. They are critical to keeping your facility operating at peak efficiency.

To learn more about how our service team can assist you in your Fall Audit and how our preventive maintenance plans can serve you, visit www.tpmechanical.com/tp-service-group.

Question and Answer with TP Mechanical’s Plumbing Estimator

Jerry KellerJerry Keller is a plumbing estimator in our Cincinnati office. He has been with TP Mechanical for 30 years. We recently sat down with Jerry to find out more about what his typical day is like.

Q: What is one of the first things you do when you obtain new specs for a project we are bidding?

A: First, I read through the specs and write down the front-end information that I will need to successfully bid the project. I find out what type of pipes, valves and fittings are required for the project. Then, I break down the drawings by counting and coloring all of the fixtures, drains, carriers, cleanouts and equipment. I repeat this procedure for each plumbing system, sanitary waste and vent, storm, acid waste, natural gas, domestic water, compressed air, medical gases, or whatever type of plumbing system is associated with the particular project.

Q: How do you record all of this information once obtained?

A: Once all of that is complete, I take all of the information and enter it into our computer system. Our system will figure the cost for the labor and material to properly bid the project. After the numbers are properly configured, they are entered in separate spreadsheets to send to our vendors for their pricing. Once the spreadsheets are complete, one of the leadership team will review the materials and send our final number to the General Contractor.

Q: Why is this important to the customer?

A: Accuracy in estimating is critical for our customers because it provides them with the most accurate information to make their bid award decision. We strive to deliver the best value to our customers, including innovative construction techniques like value engineering or prefabrication. Quality estimating ensures we can be competitive and efficient in the bid process.