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Better Together: Mechanical and Electrical Services

Commercial building conelectrician servicing panelstruction is a multifaceted undertaking, requiring skilled work from a variety of trades. Any inability for these trades to effectively work together to provide an owner’s desired end result can cost greatly in terms of project schedule and budget.

Fortunately, a mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) contractor can help foster collaboration, increase quality, and streamline solutions. Partnering with a full-service MEP provider, such as Binsky, can potentially save owners both time and costs.

Two of the most talked about trades are the “M” (mechanical) and the “E” (electrical)—likely, because they both play an important role on any commercial project team.

Levels of collaboration between the mechanical and electrical teams can often make or break a project. With a strong partnership between these trades, everyone wins. However, without tools like proactive communication and clash detection software, it becomes much more difficult to hit milestones along the project schedule and deliver a quality end result.

To learn a little bit more about how these two trades can combine forces and execute their best work, let’s look at the responsibilities of each:

 

Mechanical Scope of Work

As the party responsible for the heating and cooling systems, refrigeration, piping, and plumbing of a building, the mechanical scope of work can include the installation of:

  • Fire and smoke protection features and systems
  • Interior environment (HVAC)
  • Plumbing lines and fixtures
  • Elevators, lifts, etc.
  • Interior and exterior structured design members
  • Accessibility features
  • Rooftop assemblies and structures
  • Energy efficiency components

 

Electrical Scope of Work

Accountable for the design and installation of electrical wiring and conductors used for light, heat or power, the electrical team of a commercial building project also have a complex task at hand. They are typically responsible for the installation of:

  • Conduit
  • Wiring pulled through the conduit
  • Address every electrical requirement over every square inch of the building
  • Power panel distribution and termination according to the SOW (Scope of Work)

 

male technician connecting ceiling cables

How Electrical Services Tie into Mechanical Work

Perhaps the most underrated tool in the electrical team’s tool belt is their ability to collaborate with the mechanical team for spot-on installation of all electrical components of the building.

An electrical team’s job might mean ensuring a quarter mile run of conduit ends precisely where the mechanical contractor will need that power for installing HVAC elements like commercial air handlers. Factor in the potential for extreme working conditions, such as 40-feet high ceilings for an electrical crane bay, and collaboration becomes essential.

Mechanical contractors with a strong desire to do great work understand the importance of this collaborative approach. Binsky knows that successful collaborative efforts between the electrical and mechanical teams pays off. When mechanical and electrical efforts have been fruitful, those efforts will manifest themselves in the form of being on time and under budget!

 

The Key to Contractor Collaboration

The ultimate goal of every client or building owner undergoing a commercial building project is to get the job done as quickly and efficiently as possible. The way to achieve that goal is by open, continual collaboration of the mechanical and electrical teams.

Keeping the collaboration between mechanical and electrical teams flowing during the construction process begins on day one. Both contractors should have a liberal open-door policy with each other throughout the building process and both should include healthy collaboration as an integral component of the scope of work to be done.

One way to achieve these goals is to implement Building Information Modeling (BIM) software as an effective collaboration tool that both mechanical and electrical teams could benefit from. Through the use of clash detection and ensuring both partners’ designs can be implemented seamlessly during the installation, time and money is often saved.

Fostering these collaborative efforts and making the most use of them could be the difference in this job being the last one for that owner or becoming that owner’s mechanical and electrical team of choice.

When commercial building projects begin with comprehensive collaboration and continue that collaboration throughout each party’s scope of work the results are better accountability, shortened project schedules, and lower overall costs from doing things right the first time.

A trusted MEP partner like Binsky delivers more than high quality, seamless MEP solutions. With Binsky, owners also receive the ultimate peace of mind, knowing their commercial building was built collaboratively with the end user in mind.

 

 

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Defining Specialty Plumbing Services

As in most building systems, the plumbing needs or potential problems related to the plumbing systems in commercial buildings can result in quite complicated scenarios requiring complex solutions. These complex solutions can include activities like backflow prevention, video scoping, hot water jetting, and more. Together, these processes and solutions fall under the umbrella of specialty plumbing services.

A reliable MEP provider serving commercial HVAC, electrical and plumbing systems, such as Binsky, knows how to determine which of these solutions your commercial building needs for uninterrupted operations. With a client portfolio made up of leaders in pharmaceutical, healthcare and higher education, Binsky’s experienced team of plumbing experts is well versed in helping building owners and operators identify what’s needed when to prevent downtime and unnecessary expenses.

Let’s take a closer look at the specialty plumbing services certain commercial facilities require to help you plan for success and stay ahead of your building’s needs:

Backflow Prevention

Situations like pressure changes within water pipes or a break in the water line can cause a backflow of water in your plumbing systems, not to mention some very unsanitary conditions. Backflow water can bring many contaminates, including waste, pesticides, and other chemicals with it.

Like the name states, backflow preventers allow water to flow through pipes in the desired direction only by preventing water from flowing the opposite way. Backflow prevention is so important, in fact, that the National Plumbing Code has become more and more focused on the installation and maintenance of backflow preventers in industrial or commercial plumbing in recent years.

At Binsky, our specialty plumbing team is knowledgeable about the current requirements for backflow prevention and how it pertains to your building. From recommending the proper backflow preventer to installation and maintenance, we can help you understand these requirements and prevent backflow from affecting your facilities.

Video Scoping

Sometimes, plumbing problems occur where you cannot see them. A variety of issues can arise from unidentified blockage or even pipe breakage. Unfortunately, it is often the problematic symptoms of these root causes that show up first. The root cause, however, is typically not visible to the untrained eye. This is precisely why it’s important to engage an experienced professional with video scoping capabilities.

Despite not being able to view the root cause of plumbing pipe issues firsthand, a professional is able to make an educated guess about what the problem may be and then confirm with video scoping. By fishing a specialized camera and equipment through the pipe, professionals are able to visually inspect what is going on inside like obstructed piping or pipe in need of repair. This integral specialty plumbing service can help quickly locate—and solve—a problem, ultimately saving building owners both time and money.

Hot Water Jetting

If a portion of a pipe or plumbing system has already been identified as obstructed, hot water jetting may be a viable solution. Using high-pressure hot water to blast through clogged pipes, hot water jetting can also break down certain substances lodged in your facility’s piping.

Well known in the restaurant, automotive, and healthcare industries, hot water jetting is paramount in commercial facilities needing to rid drain lines of harmful contaminants. Hot water jetting has proven useful in liquefying clogged waste, killing bacteria, and preventing a clog from being washed down further in the line. This solution is often faster and more efficient than other methods, too.

Preventative Maintenance

Last but not least, taking a proactive approach to your commercial building’s maintenance is always a good idea. With a comprehensive preventative maintenance program, building owners and operators can stay on top of the health of the facility by adhering to a predefined preventative maintenance schedule.

A good preventative maintenance program helps identify any specialty plumbing needs early on, thereby saving building owners from experiencing a loss in uptime that negatively affects building occupants and operations. Another plus of preventative maintenance is that it has become a key selling point in attracting and maintaining quality tenants for commercial rental spaces because, giving potential tenants peace of mind that any potential issues will be proactively addressed.

From backflow prevention and video scoping to hot water jetting and preventative maintenance, Binsky knows what it takes to take on the specialty plumbing needs of your commercial facilities. Our expertise focuses on your building systems so that you can continue to concentrate on the work you do best. As the world begins to get back to business in a post-pandemic society, Binsky is ready to provide answers to your questions and solutions to your problems. Contact us today to determine how we can assist with your commercial building specialty plumbing needs.

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Using Building Management Systems to Control the Indoor Environment

Call it a building management system, building automation, or simply controls. Known by a few different names, a building management system (BMS) adapts indoor ecosystems to create energy-efficient environments. Used for everything from occupant comfort to reducing operational hours and reducing loads, a BMS solution can go a long way in helping building owners conserve energy and resources. Sometimes combined with other systems such as lighting, the BMS helps many aspects within a given facility in order to optimize overall performance and ensure uptime for building owners and occupants.

Binsky offers this service, knowing a BMS helps to control and regulate the essential building systems and equipment that allow a facility to operate as it needs to on a daily basis.

“Building management systems can be used to control just about anything. From chillers and boilers to AHUs and VAVs,” explains Justin Woodruff, Field Supervisor and Controls Manager at Binsky.

For example, some basic BMS functionalities can include:

  • Boiler management
  • HVAC management
  • Auto control and scheduling of system operations
  • Control and monitoring of core mechanical and electrical equipment
  • Adjustment of ventilation
  • Handling of smoke and alarm systems
  • Checking plumbing and water systems

Controlling indoor conditions such as humidity, temperature, pressure, and more, a BMS involves both a frontend and backend system. Using a blend of software and hardware, building management systems are fully customizable solutions that utilize sensors and make the best use of the Internet of Things (IoT).

Each system is built on control panels wired into the structure’s valves, sensors, and switches. Sensors can monitor temperatures and humidity with the capacity to create zones depending on needs, such as a refrigeration unit or laboratory requiring a unique climate.

Using Tridium’s open-platform software, Binsky has the ability to integrate to various existing systems. The software has the unique ability to pull points in to read the performance as compared to set parameters.

“Each piece of equipment has points that can be pulled out and linked to the JACE,” Woodruff mentions. “The frontend or “brain,” called a JACE, is where all the points come back to report real-time data from the systems and equipment monitored by the BMS.”

Virtual graphics on the frontend offer a visual snapshot of how everything is working. For example, when heating or cooling coils are operating, one will often see blue for cooling and red on the other coil to virtually show heating.

Meanwhile, the backend of the system is programmed using technical logic to ensure all levels are set to function properly and are adjusted as needed, like setting a system to switch over to mechanical cooling at a given temperature.

“Alarm portals related to the set parameters chosen for the facility’s room temperature or pressure are selected. For example, the BMS can be set up for continuous monitoring of compressors,” Woodruff states.

If the space’s conditions go outside the given parameters for any reason, the alarm is triggered and delivered to the user set to monitor it. Whether that’s an onsite technician or someone else, Binsky is usually contacted to address the issue immediately and determine what exactly set off the alarm. In some cases, the cause may be that the equipment is not actually running, and someone needs to come to look at it.

Once set up on-site, Binsky ensures remote access to BMS capabilities. End users, such as an onsite technician or facility manager, can log in via phone, tablet, or computer. This allows Binsky to view the whole system remotely to help guide customers through it or determine if an on-site technician visit is required.

With the BMS allowing centralized management of the infrastructure, facility managers and owners can rest assured operations are secure, safe, and efficient.

Capable of gathering and storing historical data for examination and trend analysis, the BMS also helps facilitate smart decisions regarding operations and maintenance. Catching and recording any building system or equipment errors through the BMS means engineers and management can quicken response time.

A BMS can help with preventative maintenance too, ensuring any work is completed prior to potential equipment failure. By preventing downtime and service interruptions, emergency service costs are also spared.

Overall, Binsky’s BMS work has proven essential to a variety of industries, especially facilities that simply cannot afford lost time, productivity, or safety concerns. Binsky’s solutions in mission-critical facilities, in particular, have helped customers to avoid unexpected downtime to essential operations. No matter what industry your facilities are focused on, Binsky is here to help. Contact us to learn more about our indispensable BMS solutions or get started on tailormade options for your facilities.

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Avoid Exposure to Legionnaires’ Disease in Your Commercial Facility

When commercial business owners and facility engineers consider the many building issues that may lead to sick occupants, it’s likely mold and other indoor allergens come to mind. But, what about Legionnaires’ Disease lurking in building systems like plumbing or HVAC?

First identified in 1977, Legionnaires is a form of pneumonia made up of bacteria called Legionella. The disease’s name comes from its origin at an American Legion convention, which resulted in 180 attendees falling ill and 29 deaths.

Formed when bacteria enter the lungs either by breathing in very small droplets of water or when water accidentally gets into the lungs while drinking, Legionnaire’s Disease produces flu-like symptoms. Headaches, muscle pain, chills, fever, and fatigue can occur between two to ten days from exposure to Legionella bacteria—especially in immunocompromised populations. Although most healthy people do not get sick when exposed to Legionella bacteria, the best cure is prevention, as complications of the disease can lead to lung failure.

 

Locating Legionella

Legionella tends to thrive in areas such as hot water tanks, cooling towers, plumbing systems, and even condensation from air conditioning units in addition to the obvious settings of fountains, pools, and hot tubs. Since water is where these bacteria live and thrive, water is where it will appear in commercial buildings.

Certain changes like building construction, water temperature fluctuation, water pressure changes, and antiquated equipment can all make Legionella more of a risk.

Hot water systems that store water and supply a commercial building’s functions can serve as a potential Legionella bacteria breeding ground. If the water in the water heater is maintained at a temperature of below 140° F and the water heater contains scale and sediment, this is a potential problem.

Likewise, cold water systems such as ice machines, grocery store produce misters, and dental water lines can be at risk for disease exposure. Even though these systems store water below 68° F, a temperature in which Legionella does not thrive, the environment around the water system could contribute to bacteria growth. For example, if an ice machine’s water lines are exposed to heat, say, from a condenser coil, this can foster bacteria growth.

Meanwhile, a commercial HVAC system may be a potential contamination source all throughout the building. Pipes leaking into air ducts can be a source of bacteria contamination, whereby the bacteria can spread through the air handling system.

In fact, any systems that use humidifiers and evaporative air coolers also have a potential risk factor if not well-maintained. Namely, coil and heat exchanger leaks and stagnant sump water are something to look at when mitigating Legionnaires’ Disease exposure.

Proper Prevention

Starting in the preconstruction phase, the thought given to the design of the plumbing, water, and air conditioning systems in commercial buildings is crucial. Legionnaires is much less of a risk if your facility’s design-build team efficiently conceptualizes and constructs a hygienic system.

Beyond design and construction, preventative maintenance is one of the best ways to keep Legionnaires at bay, as neglecting your water sourcing and plumbing systems can lead to a facility-wide outbreak. To ensure water source cleanliness and prevent stagnation, start with a water management plan that meets ANSI/ASHRAE Standards.

Binsky’s commercial team and plumbing experts always keep in mind that the design can help prevent the growth of bacteria and ensure easy maintenance and water management.

For hot and cold water systems, recirculating water and getting rid of tanks or capped plumbing pipes that allow water stagnation goes a long way, as does insulating lines to avoid temperature changes from other water lines or equipment.

Since the major source for Legionnaires in HVAC systems is water leakage, we check and properly maintain equipment, such as pipes, coils, and heat exchangers to ensure bacteria cannot grow. Checking and properly maintaining humidifiers, as well as cleaning evaporative air coolers before use helps. It is also key to ensure sump water remains at a cool temperature and never becomes stagnant.

As the maintenance plan is carried out, have your water tested for bacteria. If bacteria is in fact found, water can be treated and disinfected with copper-silver ionization or mono-chloramine to kill it off.

By installing advanced hygienic systems, executing timely preventative maintenance activities, you can avoid Legionnaire’s Disease in your commercial facility. Binsky can offer turnkey solutions to avoid Legionella. Stay up to date with your industry’s best standards and guidelines by partnering with Binsky for your facility needs.

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VRF Systems are the Future of HVAC

Engineers and HVAC technicians agree that variable refrigerant flow (VRF) systems are the future of HVAC. These super-efficient systems do not require ductwork, making them a great option for older-style buildings, such as college dormitories, that want to upgrade their mechanical systems. They are often installed in new construction applications such as schools, office buildings, dormitories, and multi-family facilities. VRF systems allow you to heat and cool only the spaces that need it. Overall benefits include high efficiency, low noise, space-saving, and overall comfort control. These systems save on the first cost by minimizing mechanical installation, simplified controls, electrical reductions, and structural savings.

Circulating the minimum amount of refrigerant in each individual zone, this innovative technology eliminates energy waste while increasing indoor comfort. A VRF system consists of one outdoor unit that feeds multiple indoor units, allowing for individual room controls. These systems operate in “cruise control”, never turning off, thus, never wasting energy from a shutdown or start-up. Predominantly used in Japan, China, and Europe, VRF systems are now gaining traction in the United States due to their efficient operation and quick ROI.

It is important to use an experienced contractor when designing and installing VRF systems for your facility. Install technicians can obtain factory training and certification from manufacturers including Mitsubishi, LG, Daiikin, and Fujitsu. When installed by certified technicians, a ten-year warranty is available on the parts and equipment. These technicians work very closely with the manufacturer during the install, commissioning the equipment, and guaranteeing the most efficient design.

Aside from cost and energy savings, another benefit of VRF systems is the ability to use zoom lock fitting technology. This is a pipe fitting method that does not require brazing or torching. Traditional methods of pipefitting require a burn permit while deactivating smoke detectors in the facility. The zoom lock technology in VRF systems eliminates these tedious steps in the early installation process. Depending on the system requirements, the zoom lock technology may offer you additional cost savings.

If you are considering a VRF system for your commercial or industrial space, contact Binsky to discuss your options. One of our certified technicians will perform a walk-through of your building and make recommendations that best suit your needs.

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Four Key Benefits of Modularization

Construction may be known as one of the oldest industries in existence, but trades that once emphasized tradition are now moving forward with a focus on innovation. Today, modular construction is paving the way to the future—and bringing a slew of benefits with it.

Faster, better, safer. Those three words sum up the process of modular construction for design-build mechanical and plumbing contractors like Binsky. Plus, they add up to significant client savings, too.

Modularization, quite simply, refers to something that is designed or produced in separate sections in order to combine as a whole and create the desired end goal. Therefore, modular construction relies heavily on the prefabrication of different parts and pieces, or modules, to be delivered onto a job site to complete the overall building installation.

Binksy’s Project Executive Bob Durr who oversees the company’s manufacturing facilities explains it like this, “Prefab is when the field looks to see how much work can be done in the shop that’s practical. We’ll weld an elbow to a length of pipe or make some Ts and a branch—something that will fit on the back of a truck pretty easily.”

By going a step further to get everything on a skid, we enter into the realm of advanced fabrication or modularization. “If you have a series of hot water boilers and expansion tanks, for example, you make a skid and mount them all in the shop—in a controlled environment, a safe environment,” mentions Durr. “There are no weather conditions to deal with or job site issues you usually run into. The skid is sent out as one piece to the field, so the field is putting in four anchor bolts or so to mount it, as opposed to stick building it in the field,” he continues.

The ultimate type of modularization occurs once coordination with other trades comes into play, garnering results like multi-trade racks. “Control panels with all the equipment pre-wired, racks of piping going out with ductwork and electrical on it, bathroom pods that are already pre-made—that’s the ultimate. And at Binsky, we’ll cooperate with any partner necessary to make that happen,” suggests Durr.

#1: Faster Project Delivery

Through advanced fabrication and modular construction capabilities, Binsky can accelerate speed to market by meeting milestones on, or even ahead, of the overall project schedule. With two fully equipped fabrication shops, state-of-the-art technology, and a dedicated team of mechanical and civil engineers, Binsky is equipped to prefabricate pipe racks, multi-trade racks, equipment skids, sheet metal, plumbing fixtures, and more.

Durr states, “Our project managers are now looking at each job from a much more critical angle as they try to set up prefab or hanger installation packages from the beginning with modules and determine how some of the project’s needs can be met in a modular way.”

Within the indoor environment of a fabrication shop, installation experts can continue to meet project goals regardless of the weather, or work being executed by other trades.

#2: Better Quality Assurance

Another benefit of a controlled working environment is consistent quality assurance. While Binsky always strives to deliver work of the highest caliber, the in-depth planning that goes into prefabrication and modularization efforts ensures the work is done right the first time.

Binsky’s team of design experts uses cutting-edge technology to produce layouts that help determine modularization viability and capitalize on fabrication opportunities. Through software like Autodesk

Revit and virtual reality, our engineers can send fabrication releases to the shops for construction, making for a more collaborative design phase.

In fact, the assistance of virtual models has become so pivotal in the development of Binsky’s offsite prefabrication efforts that it’s led to the creation of Binsky DFX Live, a software program that can obtain the information found in the virtual model. 

#3: Safer Working Environments

Working within a controlled environment, like a Binksy fabrication shop, allows for the safer execution of project work, too. Many of the harms and hazards associated with a traditional job site are eliminated with prefabrication or modularization within a fabrication shop.

From production to installation and site work, traditional safety hazards decrease significantly when fabrication occurs offsite. Modular construction, on average, decreases onsite labor by 30 to 50 percent. Fewer contractors working in parallel with one another, fewer laborers on-site, and fewer deliveries all help to reduce site disruption as well as major risks like falls, which account for nearly 33 percent of job site fatalities.

In addition, offsite modularization also helps Binsky’s hygienics division meet the stringent requirements of certain projects involving FDA-validated systems, such as those in the food and pharmaceutical industries.

#4: Cost Savings for Owners

Ultimately, a faster, better, safer job executed with prefabrication and modularization techniques results in cost savings for owners. When owners can rest assured that they will receive exactly what they want when they want it through these processes, it makes one wonder how construction projects were ever executed any other way.

“Recently, we started offering this as a service to clients because of the huge benefit they stand to receive,” mentions Durr. “The benefit for the client is a lower-priced project in the long-run, better quality, and at a faster pace due to less coordination issues in the field.”

“Right now, there are about three or four hospitals we’re doing and some pharmaceutical facilities. The two big ones are Valley Hospital and Hackensack Hospital—both of which involve prefab racks,” state Durr.

“We’re doing as much prefab as we can on our current jobs. We’re doing a lot of rack piping. We try to do everything on these prefabricated racks, send them out with all the different systems—refrigerant systems, hot water, cold water, domestic water, anything you’d usually find. In hospitals, there’s also medical gas. And we’re doing one design-assist project in Pennsylvania that’s requiring a process system for making dog food.”

From hospitals to bio-life sciences to manufacturing, there does not seem to be an industry that cannot benefit from modular construction techniques. As contractors like Binsky continue to pave this path of innovation, everyone involved stands to benefit.

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Commercial Boilers: When to Replace vs. When to Repair

Commercial building owners know the meaning of complexity. From the building systems to the building envelope, there’s always something that can go wrong in their facilities without proper preventative maintenance. Those skipping the necessary upkeep and inspections quickly realize that, unfortunately for them, the old adage “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” rings true.

Furthermore, without a trusted expert to help guide you through preventative maintenance and parts and equipment evaluation, it’s easy to enter a confusing grey area filled with too many options and not enough direction. For example, commercial boilers of the steam and hot water variety can last 30 years or more with proper water treatment, operation, and maintenance.

Why replace it when it can be repaired? Why repair it if it’s just going to need to be replaced next time?

A preventative maintenance partner like Binsky can help commercial owners answer these questions through assessment of their facilities’ complex building systems, like boilers. Through aspects like preventative maintenance history and tasks, lifetime parts replacement history, water treatment reports, metallurgy reports, and regulatory agency reports, an expert can analyze cost versus benefit and determine the best solution.

A commercial facility’s heating system works hard—and sometimes year-round if the building is located in a colder climate zone. Typically, that means all parts are subject to repair or replacement in due time.

Depending on the age of your facilities and building systems, wear, tear, and eventual failure is inevitable, but lack of proper water treatment, deferred maintenance or repair, and lack of professional operation can speed up that process.

In a commercial setting, you simply can’t afford for critical systems like HVAC and plumbing to break down. The idea of boiler replacement may sound expensive to some, but the effects of downtime and potential facility damage far exceed any parts or equipment costs.

Prioritizing your building’s maintenance is essential for your safety, security, and bottom line. But, even a well-maintained boiler system may encounter problems based on the very nature of its operation. When comparing the system’s lifetime data collection costs related to operation and maintenance against the commercial industry’s average costs, a property manager may opt to proactively replace a boiler due to energy savings considerations.

Although a commercial boiler system has a projected lifespan of a few decades, it’s safe to assume most will start experiencing service issues around the ten-year mark. The occasional repair is to be expected and is relatively cost-efficient, but what happens when the need for repairs starts to accelerate? The question is a complicated one, but the following three factors can help you determine when the time is right to replace versus repair:

  1. Age of the boiler system: If the boiler is approaching the end of its useful life, it may be time to replace it to ensure you don’t wind up with unexpected interruptions to your facility’s operations.
  2. Time intervals between repairs: Analyzing how often repairs are occurring can help you assess their efficacy. If you experience a steady uptick in the frequency of repairs needed, it may be time to replace the unit altogether.
  3. Facilities energy costs: Have the energy costs of your commercial facilities increased over time? Is your bill starting to look unreasonable? If your expenditures related to natural gas, oil or electric seem off, there’s a good chance it’s time to replace your commercial boiler.

While boiler system repairs often average a few hundred dollars, the cost of replacement can add up to several thousand. It’s easy to see why some owners are hesitant to replace the entire system, preferring a string of frequent repairs instead. But what happens if the telltale signs to install a new commercial boiler at the appropriate time are ignored?

Whether your building houses businesses and industries or functions as a large-scale apartment complex, a boiler failure means no heat and unhappy tenants. In colder climates, boiler downtime can even cause damage to pipes and other building infrastructure—especially if the components of the boiler room were installed a long time ago under requirements of decades past. Anything from lack of clearance around the actual unit to load changes to insulation alterations since it was designed many decades ago, can result in a dangerous, if not faulty, boiler operation. Given the nature of a commercial boiler, a worst-case scenario may involve extreme damage to the property from the heat and pressure utilized by the boiler.

Knowing when to call in an expert will not only spare you such headaches but will ultimately help protect your budget and building, too. If your facilities begin to experience loss in efficiency, frequent repairs, or loud and unexpected noises from the system, your commercial boiler has likely reached the limits of its useful age. It may be time to consider replacement rather than additional repairs. Plus, replacement also serves as a prime opportunity to make sure any pipes, ductwork, or additional infrastructure is in proper working order.

Partnering with a preventative maintenance contractor like Binsky can help you prevent downtime and disasters caused by boiler deterioration from ever occurring. Having seamlessly provided boiler repair and replacement services to New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania for more than 25 years, we specialize in commercial settings and have a team of field engineers ready to help choose the solution that’s best for you.

Repair or replace? Only a trusted professional can determine that for sure. For the reliable expertise of the trusted partner you deserve, contact us today.

 

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Five Things To Consider Before Hiring a Mechanical Subcontractor

1. Experience

When choosing a mechanical subcontractor for your project, their experience is a substantial determining factor. Aside from the obvious tasks including temperature control and maintenance of equipment, an experienced mechanical contractor will focus on functional installation, cost, and energy efficiency. Their goal should not only be to provide a smooth and excellent installation, rather assess your individual needs and assist you in the design of your mechanical systems. Additionally, a company with many years of experience can work on all HVAC systems regardless of manufacturer or brand. An established contractor will possess long-lasting client relationships, allowing for references to solidify their ability to complete your project.

2. Safety

The construction industry is associated with some of the most dangerous working environments. A subcontractor’s safety program should be of the highest priority for all stakeholders. It is a vital component to completing your project on time and budget, as accidents on the job site will drive up the overall cost of your project, and investigations could potentially delay work. A solid safety program protects workers, as well as the public, from injury. Ask your prospective subcontractor about their program. What actions are taken to ensure a safe job site? Is safety part of their culture? This information will be a key factor in your decision-making.

3. Can the contractor deliver within your budget and schedule?

There is no denying that budget and schedule are two of the most important factors when planning a construction project. Request a detailed estimate and schedule to ensure it aligns with your project needs. A reliable contractor should have the capabilities to overcome a setback and still deliver your project within your financial and scheduling constraints. Always remember, it is important not to compromise the quality of work while planning the scope of the project. The lowest-priced contractor may not always have the highest standards.

4. Staying up to date with industry standards

Mechanical contractors that stay current in construction technology trends are at a much greater advantage when working on large projects. Newer, more efficient tools and software will reduce project time, material waste, and safety hazards. Many of the recent construction trends focus on environmental impact. Staying up to date with industry standards guarantees the highest quality of work with the most efficient results. Be sure to ask questions about how the company stays current in their industry.

5. Setting expectations with strong communication

Take note of how responsive a contractor is when addressing your initial requests. Construction projects often require meetings to address issues, change orders, and timelines. Poor communication will result in project delays. A great contractor will establish a strong line of communication with their clients, setting high expectations for project success. Does the team take the time to explain the construction process? Do they answer your questions thoroughly and offer follow-up information? These are important things to consider when looking for an innovative mechanical subcontractor.

When planning your next construction project, keep in mind: mechanical systems require some of the most creative and complex preparation. Choosing the right mechanical subcontractor can make or break your bottom line. Partner with Binsky to experience the highest level of quality, service, and expertise. Contact our experts for a free consultation at 877-4-BINSKY.

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Healthy Environments: Indoor Air Quality in Healthcare Facilities

Indoor air quality is essential to the successful operation of all facilities, but in the healthcare industry, it is absolutely vital. Healthcare building owners are not only focused on common goals like energy efficiency and occupant comfort but are also—and in most cases, more so—concerned about operating safely and without interruption to critical building systems. Building systems are the lifeblood of the building. Simply put, lives depend on them.

Sufficient Hazards = Stringent Requirements

While the failure of building systems in another industry may result in hours of inconvenience and costly repairs, a similar experience for healthcare facilities can quickly become detrimental to the patients and staff, as well as medical devices or equipment within them. With the ability to prevent exposure to airborne contaminants and stop the spread of any infectious disease in its tracks, efficient HVAC and plumbing systems keep patients healthy and safe.

From surgical suites to pharmaceutical compounding areas, healthcare facilities belong to one of the most highly regulated industries out there. The pressure to meet many industry standards begins in the design phase, carries through installation, and is followed by service and maintenance to ensure factors like pressurization, exhaust, and filtration are measured and maintained. Indoor air quality conditions require routine monitoring, so necessary adjustments can be made. Frequent inspections of air handlers and filtration levels are also recommended to ensure optimal efficiency is sustained.

Healthcare owners that stay well informed regarding these stringent industry standards know that they simply cannot afford to risk hiring anyone other than highly experienced professionals with specific healthcare expertise. Healthcare facilities need mechanical and plumbing systems—and experienced mechanical and plumbing contractors—that they can rely on.

A Reliable Partnership

Selecting a dependable and effective building systems partner means choosing a contractor that stays up to date on industry standards, trends, and news. As an active member of the Healthcare Facilities Management Society of New Jersey, Binsky’s Healthcare Account Manager Darren Siker states, “It’s important to me to stay up to date on the industry—that’s how we can best serve clients’ needs. Our monthly meetings are focused on continuous education.”

Binksy is a design-build mechanical and plumbing contractor that is not only up to date on the healthcare industry, but also familiar with healthcare standards like ANSI/ASHRAE/ASHE Standard 170, Ventilation of Health Care Facilities, and ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 62.1-2010, Section 2.3, covering additional requirements for healthcare in regard to ventilation for acceptable indoor air quality.

We know that following standards from engineering through project turnover directly impact the indoor environment by ensuring proper indoor air quality levels through aspects like appropriate ventilation, humidity, and pressurization. For example, minimum air change rates per hour need to be calculated based on the type and size of the hospital room to achieve acceptable room contamination levels. Relative humidity in operation rooms should not exceed 60 percent if owners intend to mitigate the chance of microbial growth. Likewise, patient isolation rooms that are not properly pressurized with respect to adjacent rooms and areas risk spreading airborne contaminants.

“Our work throughout the pandemic to help healthcare clients manage COVID has focused a lot on ensuring isolation rooms are negatively pressured. We’ve also been adding air scrubbers and servicing HEPA filters,” mentions Siker.

Vital Project Experience

Our team of healthcare facilities experts has planned, installed, and maintained mechanical

systems all throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Binsky’s mechanical services have been applied to everything from preventative maintenance and emergency service to projects designed to upgrade, expand, and construct world-class medical institutions from the ground up. We know what it takes to keep hospitals functional, comfortable, and safe. Healthcare networks trust us to deliver critical projects by executing with the greatest level of care.

Some of Binksy’s recent, large-scale healthcare experience revolved around the “New” Valley Hospital built to serve residents of Northern New Jersey. Providing virtual design and construction expertise for the development of modular components and prefabrication techniques, Binsky not only enhanced the flexibility and operability of the 362-bed healthcare facility, but the overall quality and safety level, as well. By getting involved early on, Binsky was able to collaborate and address many of the facility’s future operations needs at the same time as efficiency goals.

At Hackensack University Medical Center’s new Second Street Pavilion Project, Binsky’s work included the installation of all hydronic and steam HVAC and process utilities and equipment for the podium and tower. Served by a new central utility plant, the pavilion consists of 24 new operating rooms, increasing patient operating area by 50 percent—none of which would be possible without proper indoor air quality.

“Binsky has worked on everything from billion-dollar healthcare expansion projects like Hackensack University Medical Center to small pump replacements or piping repair projects like the maintenance work performed for facilities like Sloane Kettering Memorial Cancer Center,” explains Siker. “Our goal is to be your easy button. Whether you need something large or small, Binksy can do it. And even if you need something that doesn’t align with our services, call us anyway—we have so many industry connections, we can always recommend someone.”

 

Thinking about the vitality of your healthcare facilities? Eliminate any chance of headaches up front, and contact the reliable, knowledgeable partner you deserve here.

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The Perks of Preventative Maintenance for Commercial Building Owners

Commercial facility owners know the amount of engineering expertise, coordination, and expenditures that go into the design and construction of their building systems and equipment—and continue to protect those investments with ongoing operational support. One of the best choices for ensuring timely service and maintenance with a proactive approach is a preventative maintenance agreement, which typically includes regularly scheduled maintenance, emergency service, and discounted rates for parts and labor.

“Many new construction projects, after turnover and start up, will opt for a preventative maintenance plan, which is good. Internally, we communicate with our other services and divisions. We want to be the easy button to get customers what they need,” states Frank LaCapra, Vice President of Commercial Service at Binsky.

The perks of preventative maintenance help spare owners time, money, and headaches in a variety of ways. Not only does a preventative maintenance contract ensure a proactive approach, it also means owners may easily save thousands (if not more) by avoiding the high costs that come with inoperable equipment. A preventative maintenance plan ensures your systems and equipment operate as intended, extending the overall lifespan, as well as increasing efficiency. For most owners, this leads to lower operating costs, too.

Extended Equipment and Asset Lifespan

Ask any commercial facility operator or building systems professional the best time to budget for equipment repairs or replacement, and you’ll universally hear “right now.” The reason for that is that poor planning often leads to bigger, costlier projects. In many cases, those projects can be avoided entirely through a proactive approach to maintaining building systems, equipment, and the many parts that make up both.

Change Filter

Every system has an average estimated service life, but regular service and maintenance help your systems and equipment last even longer. Activities like changing filters, tightening belts, or cleaning condenser coils can go a long way for the lifespan of your building systems and equipment. Plus, in order for systems to remain under warranty, many HVAC manufacturers require the system to receive regular preventative maintenance.

“Improper maintenance or neglect—for instance, if things are not cleaned—can cause some pretty big issues. The purpose of our work is reassuring every piece of equipment—every asset—has a history associated that we can log in to see and evaluate,” explains LaCapra.

The benefit of Binsky’s commercial service professionals having an ability to review past service for all the parts and pieces that make up important building systems is both familiarity with a facility’s operations and an added level of accountability in the case of certain prescribed maintenance activities. Through regularly scheduled inspections, service and maintenance professionals also ensure HVAC and plumbing systems are operating as designed—and any potential issue is corrected immediately.

Improved Efficiency and Energy Savings

When building systems operate incorrectly, the result is inefficiency. Routine check-ups from maintenance professionals, however, help increase efficiency. By quickly correcting any errors in the ways systems and equipment operate, these scheduled inspections and maintenance activities can lead to substantial energy savings. In fact, clients that implement preventative maintenance plans to ensure their facilities consistently operate at optimal performance have seen decreases of up to 25 percent of total energy usage.

Through a preventive maintenance program, commercial facilities can improve operational efficiency while also achieving an excellent return on investment. The initial investment of a preventative maintenance agreement can come back tenfold through increased energy savings and the preservation of parts and equipment. The larger the size of the facilities and the higher the complexity of the operational requirements, the more a commercial owner stands to gain from such preventive and predictive maintenance tasks that can lower annual energy costs.

“There are situations where you may have a facility engineer—and they can do many things throughout the building—but some things may just be too technical or time-consuming. That’s why they benefit from a preventative maintenance agreement,” states LaCapra. “We have different options, but larger clients mostly select our Facility Management Operating Agreement, employing a stationary local 68 operating engineer to manage the facilities full-time.”

Avoid Emergency Repairs and Interruptions to Critical Operations

With better performance, comes fewer repairs and interruptions to facilities operations. The work performed by commercial service technicians through a preventative maintenance agreement allows parts and equipment to operate better, thereby keeping them in operation longer.

Emergency service calls not only disrupt critical facilities operations and can decrease equipment longevity, but also cost owners extra in lost productivity. Every owner wants well-functioning systems that come without unpleasant surprises and a preventative maintenance plan makes that objective a reality.

Binsky’s standard preventative maintenance agreements include routine maintenance, 24/7 emergency service, priority service calls, preferred labor rates, and necessary materials like filters, belts, or grease. Binsky’s full coverage agreements include everything in the standard agreement, as well as emergency inspection or diagnostics, and the cost of labor, parts, and materials, too, with some exceptions.

“Through a Preventative Maintenance Inspection Manual, we list all equipment covered in the agreement and the schedule of inspections. Then, each time a technician comes on site, the manual is where Binsky’s recommendations and repairs are documented for easy reference,” explains LaCapra.

Don’t risk downtime during peak performance hours! With various plan options and solutions, Binsky will work with you to meet your facility’s unique needs and goals year-round in all seasons.

If you’re ready to increase the lifespan of your building systems & equipment, achieve optimal cost & energy savings, and decrease downtime for your commercial facility, contact our team of expert, reliable technicians at 732-369-0100, or submit a request to get started. For an overview of our Preventative Maintenance Agreement (PMA), click here.

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