Engineering Services

The Challenge

The NWS mission is critical as the climate becomes more unpredictable. Their challenge is to balance funds that focus on expanding their scientific mission with the underlying facilities and infrastructure needs that are important to delivering that mission. As a result, NWS sought out The Building People’s experts to help them adopt a proactive facility management and operations strategy that would deliver a level of operational consistency that will benefit this critical mission. Like many Federal agencies, they face over $100 million in maintenance backlogs and face challenges to manage the logistics requirements to maintain a dispersed portfolio of assets across the country in a manner that is efficient and delivers the most value to the American taxpayer.

The Solution

The Building People lead improvement to the NWS preventive maintenance plan (PM) to ensure that the Weather Field Offices (WFO) maintained their ability to operate 24/7/365 and support global information flows. This effort delivered immediate savings on reactive maintenance activities by $30,000 annually with the implementation of the emergency generator analysis and sampling program. Our team also supported the installation, commissioning, and user training on a new Building Automation System (BAS) and Server Room Air Conditioning System at the Anchorage Weather Forecasting Office (WFO) and additional improvements to the Building Automation Systems throughout the NWS Central region. We identified and resolved more than 40 locked control points, missing failover programming, and solved several inconsistencies found within dozens of the region’s facilities. We supported several projects installing 354 Megawatt solar photovoltaic (PV) systems across five locations with more slated to come. Our sustainability strategy included the installation of geothermal ground source heat pump systems across fourteen facilities nationally which utilize these heat pumps as the primary support for their HVAC systems. Both of these renewable energy projects generate a significant supplementary energy source so that NWS can offset their utility costs while reducing their overall greenhouse gas emissions to contribute to the 2030 Federal GHG reduction targets.

Key Takeaways

Operations & Maintenance Management Solution: Delivered $30,000 in annual operations saving
Renewable Energy Solution: Significant carbon emissions reduction through photovoltaic systems
Building Automation Technology Solutions: Resolved dozens of building system failures to improve mechanical efficiencies and automated processes

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