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February 2019 NACFM News
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Cultivating a Gratitude Attitude |  Message from NACFM President Patrick Hart

A few weeks ago your NACFM Board of Directors met in Houston for our annual January meeting. This always necessitates some travel logistics on my part, since I always seem to be the one with the greatest distance to travel. In order to keep costs down and coordinate arrival times, I usually book red-eye flights with multiple stops, which might seem like a hassle, but actually I am grateful for these times.

I am grateful because, it causes me to slow down my pace and gives me a chance to catch up on some reading or board related tasks that may have taken a back seat to my day job. I am grateful that I have the opportunity to meet new people and expand my circle of friends. I am grateful that, during these off-hours in airports, I get to see the often unnoticed workers that do the cleaning and maintain the area, and others that process passengers through security lines. This year I made an extra effort to thank these unsung employees, but I especially wanted to express appreciation to the TSA agents that were working without paychecks due to the government shutdown.

I expected to see some grumpy individuals during one late night departure, and I thought I would surely be delayed in long security lines. I halfway expected that some TSA Pre-check lines would not be open. Instead, I found the Pre-check line had no waiting! I thanked each agent I encountered as I cruised through the empty line. I received smiles and kind words in return. The agent at the conveyor belt cordially referred to me as “brother” several times while helping me put my belongings on the table. I headed to my departure gate wondering, "What happened to all those disgruntled employees that the media would have us believe are staffing the security lines? And, where were the long lines that news reports told me to expect?"

“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Research shows that when you express appreciation your own attitude changes, as well as having a positive effect on the other person's attitude. Seems simple enough…perhaps that was why I didn’t encounter grumpy TSA agents. One writer, featured in a podcast I recently heard, decided to begin showing greater appreciation for the people around him. At first he picked one thing to be thankful for: his cup of morning coffee. He went to his local coffee shop, thanked the cashier for taking his order, thanked the barista for making his coffee…and, then, suddenly realized that there were even more people to thank! After all, coffee comes in a cup so someone had made that cardboard sleeve to protect fingers from the hot cup (actually called a Zarf). His mental quest of thankfulness took him to the far corners of the world. He kept discovering more people to thank including the coffee farmers, the builders of the harvesting equipment, the service people that maintain the equipment, and, yes, even the pest control technicians that spray for pests in the coffee bean storage facility!

“I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers.” – Ephesians 1:16

I would like each of you to know how grateful I am to be able to serve you in leadership of the NACFM. It is a privilege I don’t take lightly. Thank you for trusting me with this responsibility. I also want to thank members of the board for their dedication, sacrifice and hard work they put forth on behalf of our membership. I am blessed to work with you in this endeavor. Finally, I would like to extend special thanks to Ken Meines and Sherri Barron for their assistance in taking care of the logistics of managing our organization, certification programs, and conferences. Your labor makes our jobs much more manageable and I greatly appreciate both of you.

Patrick Hart


On Valentine’s Day … A Real Love Connection |  Ann Marie Chilton

The word “love” might bring to mind a familiar phrase:

Love is patient, love is kind …

On one popular TV trivia show, the contestants couldn’t name the book of the Bible where these verses are written, but they recognized the words.

Love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres …

Many have heard these verses recited in wedding ceremonies or seen them written on Valentine’s Day cards. And they are found in 1 Corinthians 13, often called the “love chapter” of the Bible.

Love never fails …

At a certain point, some might say 1 Corinthians 13 has been quoted too much, which can cause words to lose their meaning. People might think, “Yeah, yeah, ok. ‘Faith, hope and love, and the greatest of these is love.’ I know. I’ve heard it all before.”

What!? Church is Canceled?
By Chris Barron, CCFM Facilities Manager & NACFM Director of Education
Faith Baptist Church, Youngsville, NC

The decision to cancel church services or activities due to inclement weather conditions can be more complex than initially perceived. Your church may follow the closure policy of the local public school system. If so, the decision can be easily and quickly communicated with all those using your facility. However, that policy does not provide a weekend solution. Facilities are different in the various regions of the country with unique considerations and different levels of resources for handling extreme weather, natural disasters, and community catastrophes. Human safety, comfort, cost (immediate or long-term), and the impact to future operations should be considered when choosing to host an event on campus versus directing people to another location or even encouraging people to stay home.

Spiritual leaders and decision makers need input that reaches beyond their expertise giving consideration to the many complex concerns mentioned above. Facilities professionals should be the most equipped to know the operational capabilities of their facility and the impact that weather can have on a facilities operation. Let’s take a closer look.

Safety: A typical example of this might be heavier than predicted snowfall or freezing rain. I enjoyed a campus tour by the Facilities Manager at a large church in Texas where the church had decided to install a Glycol heating system under all the sidewalks around the church. This system prevents ice build up on entrances and exits ensuring safe passage for members and a stable walk surface for first responders and emergency personnel. Your church's safety considerations should also include the public roads and highways members make use of traveling to your campus. The discussion is basic: What is the risk? How much risk should you take in order to be open? What will the impact be on those working or attending?

Safety List to Consider 

  • Snow / Ice: on upper surfaces falling/sliding off, the weight of snow and ice breaking through awnings or roofs that further block exits or fall on people.
  • Winds: that lead to doors swinging violently, flying debris.   
  • Rain:  water/storm surge, lightning strikes, flooding, slips.
  • Excessive Heat: heat stroke, hot surfaces; facilities personnel may have to come earlier and take additional risks to make the facility safe. 
  • Safety Exits: entrances may be clear, however, are all emergency exits also safe?
  • Air Quality: blocked vents on gas pipes, blocked fresh air inlets, dampers shut to reduce heating cost, high levels of breathing contaminate.
  • Attendees: Is it safe to travel or will attendees be safer if they stay home?  

What's the Complete Cost?: The consideration of missing a gathering may include the loss of possible tithes and offerings, however, the complete cost of a gathering could be much more expensive than any proposed loss. A weather-related event can impact budgets in many ways, often hidden in facilities budgets, both short- and long-term. At my own facility, for instance, we have had members fall resulting in an emergency room visit, employees with lost time related to snow removal operations, speed bumps ripped out of the parking lot by a well-meaning volunteer snow removal team, and front entrance canvas awnings weld joints cracking under the weight of snow. Facilities Managers should consider more than one event revenue or benefit in the equation when recommending closure or opening. In the example above, a lot of money was spent on the construction of improved walking surfaces before the bad weather occurred. This helped to reduce all future cost of custodial labor, snow and ice maintenance and a reduction in slips, trips, and falls. Considering the cost to employees, equipment, and future operations may lead to better capital improvements before a weather-related event occurs and put into perspective the immediate decision to close. 

Possible Costs to Consider

  • De-icing solutions such as salt and sand only work within a small temperature range and carry a cost to clean up.
  • De-icing solutions increase the custodial maintenance cost and shorten the overall life of flooring surfaces.
  • Maintenance cost to remove snow and ice may include workers compensation, slips, falls, back injuries, etc. 
  • Maintenance costs increase as life and quality of flooring goes down.
  • Facilities insurance cost may vary and be based on the type of building, location, and conditions related to use and past claims.
  • Clearing parking lots can lead to parking surface and landscaping damage.
  • Extreme weather places all equipment such as HVAC or plumbing under extreme conditions and may increase utility cost significantly.
  • The long-term cost of equipment replacement due to shortened life may outweigh an immediate, assumed benefit of using equipment in an extreme condition.
  • Equipment damage due to fluctuating or loss of power can lead to more damage when attempting to run equipment otherwise not operational when closed – e.g. single phasing on three phase equipment, motorized door pushing against the weight of snow or fans pushing air against blocked vents. 

Impact to Future Operations: Facilities professionals must consider the twenty-year plan while operating in the 1-year plan. Every short-term decision has an impact on long-term operations. When congregants are watching the news for closings during inclement weather, they also assume the facility will be fully operational for years to come at the initial/built quality level. The hazards and cost of the immediate weather-related mediation should be balanced with the possible return on the long-term investment. When construction funds are spent for a south entrance versus a north entrance in cold weather climates, the payback may be more operational days. Conversely true, in warm weather climates the shading of the south entrance can save on future HVAC cost. The budget for salt and sand each year may be better used to create proper parking lot slope, a drive through underpass or building construction design that will expose entrance sidewalks to the sun during the winter. The glycol system mentioned previously demonstrates how the choice of overcoming an extreme condition or event is part of a bigger, preplanned installation and improvement. 

Future Impacts to Consider

  • Facilities first impressions are negatively impacted by the wear and tear of temporary solutions. 
  • Weather conditions can change during an event and lead to more extreme situations. A snow event might include: snow removal piled up in parking spaces, parking lanes getting tighter, car accidents increase, areas for walking are reduced, melting and refreezing of plowed areas. 
  • Liability insurance increases due to things like slips and falls.
  • Well-designed facilities can have much lower repair and maintenance cost.
  • Less wear and tear extend the life of building components and equipment.
  • Timely communication of cancellation for congregants and staff to plan, travel and work.

When determining if your facility should be opened for members, guests, and staff, there are many important considerations that contribute to the best decision. If the weather conditions around the facility are not normal, then a facilities manager and other leaders can make a better call by including safety, cost and the impact in the decision on long-term use. As Ben Franklin said, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!”

Related Links for additional research: 

Red Cross Ready Rating 

Occupational Health and Safety 



Seven Things Facility Managers Must Know About Ice Melters!!!

The noise surrounding the sale of ice melters seems to have reached an all-time high with more brands on the market than ever before. Complicating matters, some claims may be confusing. Many newer ice melters are actually only blends of one or more common deicers, sometimes with a few additives.