Exploring the National Facilities Management & Technology Expo

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By Joseph Kelble, Senior Engineer, Mechanical Engineering at Gordian

Last month ended with a facilities celebration in Baltimore, Maryland as I joined my colleague, Brian Adams, to connect, build and grow at Building Operating Management’s National Facilities Management & Technology (NFMT). We were joined by more than 5,000 facility executives to walk the innovation-filled expo floor and explore the educational sessions. We had 94 presentations to choose from on topics like facilities asset and budget management, codes and standards, improving operations, risk management and data fluency.

Here are some of our favorite moments from NFMT 2019:

Insightful Conference Sessions

We were excited to hear from our partners, clients, colleagues and coworkers at NFMT. The sessions we were most excited about included “Federal Real Property Management” and “Construction Costs: What the Data Says.”

“Federal Real Property Management Session” was conducted by Keith Cunningham Assistant Director, U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO). This session was one of the main reasons I attended the expo this year. The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) BUILDER™ Project is one of our larger consulting projects. The project deals with NNSA’s real property assets, condition of those assets and maintenance and deferred maintenance plans as well as building replacement value.

Takeaways from this session included:

  • How GAO collects and reports and uses real property data
  • How the GAO is trying to reduce the Federal footprint, mostly unoccupied and unused buildings
  • Congressional involvement in Federal building management/ maintenance

Tim Duggan presenting for Gordian at NFMT 2019

Our own Tim Duggan was the key speaker for Gordian’s session “Construction Costs: What the Data Says.” We were very good listeners and did not heckle Tim (much).

Gordian regularly collects and analyzes cost data on steel construction materials (among others) from across the United States to ensure the most current data and trends are incorporated into our RSMeans data solutions. RSMeans data is North America’s most comprehensive construction cost database and includes more than 55,000 material costs localized to 970+ locations. We’ve been collecting and studying this data since the 1940s—it’s our specialty.

Tim examined the most volatile and vital materials in the construction industry—steel, concrete and wood. The facilities you all manage wouldn’t be standing without these three common and foundational construction materials. His session went in depth about what we’ve been tracking and an analysis of the trends we’re seeing. To experience this deep dive into the analysis yourself, read our “What the Data Says” blog series on steel, concrete and wood.

Quick-Fire With Fluke

There were also several “Quick-Fire Sessions,” 20-minute condensed presentations that covered various topics. The one we enjoyed the most was titled “Wireless Monitoring for Connected Reliability,” which was presented by Kevin Clark, Vice President of Fluke.

This session from our fellow Fortive Field Solutions operating company was very informative. Kevin spoke of how Fluke’s Accelix System is increasing productivity of maintenance technicians while improving the reliability of the equipment utilizing remote monitoring and wireless sensors.

Innovation on the Exhibit Floor

This year there were approximately 300 vendor booths that ranged from construction products to consulting, architectural and energy services. We managed to stop and speak with most of the vendors, including several that we have been communicating with for new task requests for various Job Order Contracting (JOC) clients and other data needs.

We spent extra time at a few booths:

The Gordian booth, where Jason Jordan and Lauren Fields were busy greeting attendees when we stopped to say Hello!

Gordian and Fluke booths at NFMT 2019

We also stopped by to check out Fluke Corporation and see some of their products in action. Pictured from left to right in the Fluke booth are Scott Stevens, Brian Adams, Chris Connell, Jason Jordan, Rachael Troxell, Kevin Clark, Janine Lapalicci (front), Joe Kelble and Greg Perry.

Extras and After Hours Networking Fun

This year there was also a second Expo that joined NFMT—the Clean Buildings Expo. This show focused primarily on cleaning products and equipment and approximately 62 vendors had booths. In addition to the booths there were 25 breakout sessions on cleaning operations, staffing and management as well as trends and technology. We enjoyed networking during the evening events, as well as spending some time after business hours with our Fortive family.

Gordian and Fluke teams at Aldos after NFMT 2019

We had a wonderful time and got a lot out of NFMT 2019. We’re excited to continue to expand our solutions, increase the capabilities of our data and grow with Fortive.