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AFE November/December 2013 : Page 12

////////////////////// COVER STORY addition and extensive renovation from 1984 to 1988. Mission: assorted & elaborate Besides oft en having a complex collage of MEP systems, federal buildings also have a wide range of missions and uses: from federal agencies like the State Depart-ment and Health & Human Services to various military bases and installations, and commercial facilities like the World Bank and FDIC to CIA-operated “black sites”. Each site and building has its own mission-critical needs and demand-ing schedule. Where one building may require historic artifacts and artwork be carefully preserved, another may need proper maintenance of a hyperbaric chamber in a military lab, or unfaltering cooling for a server room that monitors national security or the Mars Rover. EGS proudly operates and maintains this wide array of government facilities and many others. As one would imagine, turning off criti-cal government facilities equipment for preventive or corrective maintenance is not as innocuous as shutting down an air-han-dling unit in a conventional office building. Even with redundancy in place, temporar-ily taking a piece of equipment offline is a meticulously-planned affair requiring ap-proval from multiple parties. For example, if one misses the scheduled maintenance window and it could be necessary to reiniti-ate the government's approvals process. Layered over these physical complexi-ties are multiple stakeholder interests, standards and relationships, such as those of the EGS—which builds, owns and operates many facilities—as well as the disparate interests of individual building occupants. While an admiral at the U.S. Coast Guard may want a new series of offices built-out for officers, GSA may be hamstrung for the fund-ing to actualize such a project. In the meantime, the facilities team may be collaborating with the O&M contractor on how to prevent the proposed renova-tions from compromising the logistics of variable air volume boxes delivering balanced and adequate cooling to the floor. With so many moving parts and interests, a government project is seldom as straightforward as one would hope. Another important consideration when undertaking a government O&M contract is the national significance of these buildings, many of which are National Historic Landmarks. Because these facili-ties represent the public face of the U.S. government to the American people and the international community, being able to maintain their integrity and aesthetic appeal is of equal importance to how well their less visible components function. Making the grade at state Th e scope of the State Department con-tract primarily covers electromechanical service and maintenance for the Truman Entrance to the “Old War Building” at the U.S. Department of State. 12 November/December 2013 ■ Facilities Engineering Journal ■

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