This is not just a CxP complaining. I have this conversation on pretty much EVERY existing site I'm on with rooftop equipment. Ladders on a comfy, sunny day are no picnic. Most of our days aren't warm and sunny, though. Think about it more: rooftops require more attention when the weather's extreme. The equipment works harder, breaks more, and is needed even more then.
PLus, the conversations I have mostly include maintenance folks who never were asked about their ladder climbing abilities. When the equipment performance, life, and comfort all depend on ladder skills and weather conditions (and ladder skills in extreme conditions)...well...
Yikes. It's a problem affecting our building systems, and no one talks about it. The answer isn't to find more acrobatic maintenance people.
So, this is a silly bit written as plea for building planners and architects to seek out slightly better access solutions. A little can go a long way (Plus, eh hem... there are solutions that make climbing with tools and equipment easier without taking up rent-able SF)
I’m starting a new business selling step-style ladders to architects. Call me!! 📱 !!
I haven’t thought this through all the way ...yet, but I think the first part of the sale might have to involve kidnapping the architect and hoodwinking them and air lifting them to an icy roof tied to a compressor and a box of filters. Then they have to figure out how to get down.
After that I show them the bag of money 💰 they will save their clients, we take a photo and they can use that... in their marketing materials.
Then they purchase step-style ladders (footprint of a ladder, functionality of stairs) from me. -TxJ
P.S. Large roof hatches aren't safer. A BxLOG for next time.
This is why you don't test chiller plant systems at 3pm on a Friday.
We're not (this is an old pic #FBF ha!) ...BUT it still illustrates why it's important to consider risks and timing/staffing when coordinating schedules for functional testing.
Here, the story was that pumps were scoped as minor equipment, and therefore only 50% of start-ups were required to be witnessed by the CxP (to ensure at the very least that the start-up procedures were being followed correctly).
During a pump start-up, motor shaft rotation is checked in 1) hand/manual, 2) auto, and 3) vfd bypass modes (to make sure we're pushing water in the correct direction--real important, easy to check). When you bypass a VFD, that motor shaft gets 100% power immediately (no ramp up...and, well, actually maybe a little spurt more energy than 100% if ya wanna get into electrical details. But full on, right away, either way) So that's one that's important thing to check, but often it gets missed because the need for a bypass isn't always understood (or actually used), and...well, really, it's third on the checklist (less sarcastic, more realistic tone here).
Anyway... one of the pump bypass checks was missed in startup. Water blasted the wrong way and out of the pipes and equipment through system path of least resistance (maybe even our through the fittings, I don't remember). I learned how to help out with squeegee clean up that day. Also, anymore, while it might mean trading off with something non-critical, I include all plant equipment 100% in that "witnessing start-ups" scope item, too!
Nate is a real life Iron Man. Got to meet him and hang out when we was hosting and I was judging the Nat'l Future Cities finals in DC during Engineer's Week several years ago. Maybe I should contact him again now that ladder work has become the bane of my existence. I've also used his Alien-In-My-Pocket series videos for bottle rocket building and other Sci activities with the K-12 kiddos.
Check it all out.
These same signs probably should be displayed in all of our professional offices. 😊
Some common issues and challenges for any EBCx project.
#1. Flex not flexin' ...
#2. Out of pocket (literally). Extraneous photos need to be deleted to avoid issues with data processing.
Best Practice: Stay organized, snap photos with a hand-over-hand methodology. Snap photos from location (photo of whole system, room, roof) and work in to each component. Snap tags before each piece of equipment if possible to avoid confusion when you're back at the computer.
#3. Just started, and already ...uh, exhausted? ♨️ 🤔😂 (Yes, checking on an Exhaust Fan, yukyuk)
Site work can be physically exhausting, especially roof work on hot days. Stay hydrated, eat meals properly, even when on off-shifts (we brought almonds to snack on). Stay mindful of sites where food/water may be restricted to certain areas. And, plan the work around what can physically and practically be completed in the time you've alotted for your site shift. That means thinking through the time it'll take to get on site, checked in, get keys or an escort, climb up and down to access equipment, and any time needed to stop/start/open/equalize any equipment or systems. Timing and durations need to be well thought out to be most efficient on site, especially where health, physical strain, and safety are concerned.
#4. "We meet again, ladder,...hatch."
Be aware of safety requirements at all times. Ladder work, even on existing buildings, requires a minimum of OSHA 10-hr safety training, whether you're required by the site team to have the credential or not.
#5. Pocket IR. Not too shabby when you don't haul your ~$10k Fluke/Flir.
#6. Sasquatch? Nope...just Shredder.
Remember to have fun, as long as it doesn't hinder your productivity. It was neat to see a person (my testing partner) on the IR cam in the auditorium. We also were using 2-way radios to communicate between person on controls (overriding the system settings for testing) and person at the equipment verifying and measuring field conditions/response. I nicknamed him Shredder, from Ninja Turtles, of course.
Tracey Jumper, CCP