Heating and Cooling, Maintenance and Operations, Safety

Facilities Management Advisor’s Top 10 Stories of 2021

‘Tis the season for publications to share Top 10 lists and annual wrap-ups! We at Facilities Management Advisor figured we’d join the party and create a list of our own highlighting the most popular articles that you, our valued readers, read over the past year. The Top 10 list covers some of the major FM topics of 2021 and offers insights into where the industry might be headed in 2022.

1. Facility Management Solutions for COVID-Era Washrooms

Unsurprisingly, the lingering COVID-19 pandemic remained a prime concern for FM pros throughout 2021. As this article points out, “Now more than ever, facility managers need to consider hygiene practices for worker health and safety—especially in the restrooms.” 

2. The Way to the Egress: A Guide to Workplace Evacuations, Part 1

2021 saw a rise in destructive natural disasters and workplace violence, including active shooting incidents. In Part 1 of this two-part series, we share the importance of building an effective Emergency Action Plan and establishing a safety strategy for various emergency scenarios. Make sure to check out Part 2 at the link supplied within the article.

3. Vax Mandate, Not Lax Mandate: Security Considerations for Vaccine Mandate Compliance

Major companies across the U.S. have issued vaccine mandates for their workers, and despite myriad legal challenges, the federal government seems determined to implement its own nationwide mandate for large employers. Ensuring compliance with such rules comes with a bunch of security issues to consider.

4. Get Your Facility Ready for the EV Boom

All things “green energy” have become a hot topic among consumers, corporations, and other organizations, and many are cruising toward sustainability with electric vehicles (EVs). However, widespread adoption of EVs will require the installation of charging stations and other infrastructure at facilities. Check out this article to learn more and prepare.

5. Houston Concert Tragedy Casts Crowd Management into the Spotlight

Unfortunately, it sometimes takes a horrible incident to make clear the flaws in a system. As the National Fire Protection Association notes in this article, the tragic death of concert-goers at the Astroworld festival in November highlights the need to address security and crowd management at large venues.

6. Safely Reopening Idle Buildings

Many facilities were forced to shut down during the pandemic, and reopening an idle building requires much more than just unlocking the door and turning on the lights. With a focus on HVAC systems, this article provides guidelines to help bring a building back to full operating capacity. Notably, the broader topic of improving indoor air quality (IAQ) to help combat the spread of COVID was highly popular throughout 2021, especially as businesses and schools planned to reopen.

7. Serious Considerations About Instant Access to O&M Manuals

Baby Boomers are set to retire, or have already retired, from the facilities management space. What do we do with all that veteran expertise? What are some ways to pass on knowledge to new workers entering the field? This article poses these important questions and suggests possible solutions.

8. What Facility Managers Need to Know About Hybrid Workspaces

COVID flipped the working world upside down. First, most employees were stuck being fully remote for months. Then, as vaccines rolled out and the stir-craziness kicked in, some businesses and organizations started opening their doors again. However, the office environment has yet to return to normal, and as this article suggests, the hybrid workplace is likely “here to stay.” This new half-in/half-out dynamic greatly impacts operations and the professionals tasked with managing facilities.

9. Parking Structures—Be Smart about Maintenance

Not every popular story of 2021 was about the never-ending pandemic or some startling event. After all, FM pros still had a job to do no matter what was going on in the world. Several back-to-basics articles over the past year covered practical issues like sewage backups, floor mats, and, in this particular case, parking structure maintenance. Don’t be fooled by the seemingly dull topic, though: There are lots of great insights in store for you!

10. Managing Facilities That Manage Our Health

Even before COVID hit, hospitals and other healthcare providers required special considerations to operate safely and properly. But what, specifically, makes healthcare facilities management unique from other facilities? In this article, the American Society for Health Care Engineering (ASHE) explains.

2021 was a wild and difficult year. You FM pros did an amazing job keeping facilities operational and occupants safe. Although 2022 is bound to have many of the same issues (read “COVID”) to tackle, as well as some new ones, you’ve proven time and again that you’re up for the challenge.

May you have a happy new year, and keep up the good work.