Operation Restart

Written by Carla Davis, University Sustainability

As NC State leaders plan how and when to reopen the university in critical areas, the Facilities Division ensures high-priority campus buildings are ready when limited on-campus activity resumes.

In March when coronavirus prevention efforts dropped daily campus occupancy from thousands of people to just a few hundred, the Facilities Division transitioned many unoccupied buildings to energy-saving mode similar to the settings used during the annual Holiday Energy Savings Initiative.

To support building occupants approved to return to campus in conjunction with phased campus reactivation plans, those heating and cooling systems will be restored to normal operating conditions. Facilities technicians will perform preventive maintenance that was postponed, as well as verify proper function of fire alarms, elevators, generators and lab exhaust systems. Water systems in buildings will also be flushed to ensure water quality.

“Each building will undergo a comprehensive review to support reopening,” said Allen Boyette, the Facilities Division’s senior director for Energy Systems.

man testing lab equipment
Ronny Davis of Building Maintenance and Operations checks airflow at a fume hood in a campus research lab.

Campus buildings are being cleaned and reviewed in order based on priorities established by university leadership, and building leaders will be notified when their facility is ready.

These behind-the-scenes efforts happen amid new safety measures that are front and center for Facilities employees. Before resuming work on campus, all Facilities employees receive training in new safety protocols, such as physical distancing, use of face coverings and increased cleaning and disinfection.

“Our first priority is safety,” Boyette said. “We will create a safe and positive campus environment for the Wolfpack to return.”

This post was originally published in NC State News.

Published in News.