Things change. It is a fact of life and of facilities maintenance planning. The luster of new buildings and equipment are sure to fade over time. And as facilities age, their condition changes as well. But change isn’t always a bad thing. For example, a two-year-old air-handling system might perform better than a new system because its operators have had 24 months to learn how to use it and “get out the kinks.” Of course, this assumes that the operators have maintained the equipment responsibly along the way-changing filters and belts as needed. If, however, the same air handler is operating well after 10 years of service, it is safe to assume that more extensive maintenance efforts have been undertaken-valves and gaskets will have been replaced and the compressor pump serviced (probably more than once).
Because the definition of what constitutes “proper maintenance” changes over the life of the equipment or building, knowing the age and condition of a facility or piece of equipment is a prerequisite for maintaining it properly. Otherwise, maintenance efforts are a hit-or-miss situation-some things only get fixed when they break while others get “maintained” on a routine basis whether they need it or not. When an education organization knows the status of its facilities and equipment, the need for maintenance, repairs, and upgrades becomes much clearer-after all, it is tough to argue against good data!