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Extension to Ambulatory Surgical Centers

Extension to Ambulatory Surgical Centers

With the ever-changing coverages and regulations in the healthcare market, more Physicians are recognizing the benefits of transitioning their Extensions of Practices to Ambulatory Surgical Centers. SOSI has been busy working with over 30 Doctors and their facilities to help them with this transition. If this is a topic of interest for your Practice, give our Project Management Team a call and we can let you know if this transition would be right for your practice!

What’s Floatin’ 2016

What’s Floatin’ 2016

Looking for something fun to do this summer? Go to our Projects Page and click on the SOSI Client, enter sosiuser for the username and squirrel for the password to access the 2016 Schedule for Castle Rock Lake!

SOSI Enters Tampa FL Market!

SOSI Enters Tampa FL Market!

SOSI has opened another branch of business in Tampa FL.  SOSI, Solutions for Outpatient Surgery International.  It seems around every corner of the Tampa area Surgical Centers are sprouting!  Let SOSI work with your Practice to offer our Project Management Services to allow you to have your own Surgical Center, creating your own residual income for YOUR retirement!

Welcome Lisa Pelafas to the SOSI Team!

Welcome Lisa Pelafas to the SOSI Team!

Source One Solutions, Inc. (SOSI) has been in business for 15 years and specializes in assisting Medical organizations with consultative assistance to design-build surgical and office facilities world wide as well as assist with ongoing Facility Management responsibilities for existing client base facilities.  We recently found a new team member, Lisa Pelafas, to join our team based out of our Lisle IL office.  Please help us in welcoming Lisa!

SOSI Goes Worldwide!

SOSI Goes Worldwide!

The Team at SOSI has been invited by our clients DaVita and RMS Lifeline to assist their corporation grow in the Saudi Arabia Market.  We will have a little bit of a learning curve as the culture there is much different than it is here in the good ole’ U.S. of A., but the challenge and opportunity is exciting!

Top 3 Sources of Touchless Trouble

Top 3 Sources of Touchless Trouble

How to spot and fix common washroom fixture problems


Touchless washroom fixtures are engineered to need little maintenance, but it’s important to check on them regularly lest they suffer damage.

Are you receiving complaints about the touchless fixtures in your washroom?

They could be signs that damage has occurred or your installation is incorrect. If you’ve noticed occupants complaining about poorly functioning fixtures, check to see if they have fallen victim to one of these three common pitfalls.

Harsh cleaners and abrasive scrubbing media can damage the surface of the fixture’s “eye,” the infrared sensor that detects each user’s presence and operates the fixture accordingly.

This can cause the unit either to not turn on when someone is present or to activate inappropriately by mistaking the scratch for a user, says Jason Renner, senior product manager at Bradley Corp, which manufactures commercial plumbing fixtures and washroom accessories.

“If someone has marred the surface of the IR sensor, it will have to be replaced in most cases,” Renner explains.

Such was the case for Phil Wildemann, a project manager at Crockett Facility Services, an East Coast maintenance and FM provider. A cleaning crew used scouring powder and abrasive pads to clean washroom fixtures, damaging the plastic windows over the fixtures’ sensors. Replacements would cost roughly $300 each.

However, the scratched plastic sparked an idea. Wildemann had recently used a $40 restoration kit to polish scratches out of the headlights on his car. He wasn’t sure if the idea would work, but decided it was worth a try.

“I had no way of knowing what type of plastic was used in the window on the fixtures. It worked on my headlights, so we had nothing to lose and $300 to gain,” Wildemann explains. “It worked, and now we have the option if lens damage is the problem. Of course, re-educating the cleaning crew came afterward. The instructions for cleaning clearly stated soft cloth and non-abrasive cleaner – it was a failure to communicate.”

Setting the wrong range can also cause false triggering or non-triggering in touchless fixtures, explains Jeff Baldwin, senior engineering manager for T&S Brass and Bronze Works. If this is a problem in your facility, investigate to see where the range is set and adjust accordingly.

“If there’s a long power loss to the fixture – for example, the building suffered a power failure, but batteries weren’t used as a backup – you may have to reset your sensor range,” Baldwin notes.

Occasionally, devices with ranges set too far can trigger each other, Renner adds. This will require some troubleshooting to determine which fixtures are triggering each other, then shortening their sensor ranges. You may even end up having to take the opposite action proposed for a scratched lens.

“You’ll see this in men’s restrooms where there are infrared sensors on the flush valves and on the faucets across the room,” Renner explains. “One sensor will pick up another and start to false trigger, especially when you’re dealing with multiple manufacturers or different installations. You can try to redirect the sensor ranges, or in some cases you can slightly mar the surface of the infrared window to dull the surface so the sensor range isn’t as intense. Other times, it may require a changeout of components or hardware.”

No matter which power source you use for the touchless components, it’s important to stay on top of maintenance to keep units functional.

Wired units generally promise the fewest issues, but aren’t a viable option for every installation.

One alternative, fixtures that use PV cells, are generally trustworthy as long as they have access to light every five days or so, Renner notes. You may have to make time to recharge them if they’ve been sitting dormant – for example, if they’re installed at a school that was unoccupied during the summer – but this maintenance requirement only requires that you leave the lights on for a short time.

If you’re using battery-powered units, be on the lookout for low battery indicator lights. It’s not uncommon for facilities managers to change out all of the batteries in a washroom at once, similar to relamping when lighting is nearing the end of its expected life, Renner says.

As long as you stay on top of routine maintenance, you may be able to stay ahead of damage that can result from misbehaving touchless fixtures.

“A lack of regular maintenance isn’t going to reduce the life expectancy of the electronics, but if you’re not routinely cleaning, you’re going to have problems with activation,” Renner adds. “That may lead to the perception that they’re not functioning properly. People are used to putting their hands under the fixture and washing quickly, but when they become frustrated, they may start to abuse the fixture. In a retail environment, if customers no longer have a satisfying restroom experience, they may stop frequenting that retailer. In the grand scheme of things, it could start to result in lost business.”

Janelle Penny janelle.penny@buildings.com is associate editor of BUILDINGS.

Lighting Challenge?

Lighting Challenge?
Address maintenance, durability, and sustainability goals

Facing a lighting challenge? You’re not alone.

Learn how these companies tackled three common lighting issues – they may spark an idea for your own retrofit.

1) Time and Labor Costs
The problem:
The Westlake Village, CA headquarters of Dole Foods features a lobby with a 35-foot ceiling, which caused maintenance nightmares when lamp replacement was needed. Other spaces utilized inefficient incandescent lighting, and some – namely laboratories and test kitchens – were occupied 24/7, so lamp failures made it difficult to work.

The solution: Dole first installed LEDs in the lobby because their long lifetime cut down on the frequency of lamp changes, which required scissor lifts or scaffolding and special scheduling, according to Richard Myers, vice president of PIXI Lighting, which provided the flat LED ceiling light replacements.

After the results met their expectations, they began a phased installation in the spaces operating around the clock, as well as conference rooms, executive offices, hallways, and an underground parking garage.

2) Breakage and Abuse
The problem:
Light fixtures at two Trillium Family Services campuses in Portland and Corvallis, OR, were constantly breaking. The behavioral health provider, which offers inpatient psychiatric treatment for youth ages 5-17 at both places, required constant lighting replacements when clients intentionally damaged the incandescent and old-style fluorescent lighting to hurt themselves or others.

“Our end goal is safety,” explains Mark Elledge, director of facilities for Trillium. “We want to protect our clients and our staff, and when things are breakable, it creates a major safety hazard.”

The solution: During major renovations at both sites, the Trillium team searched for fixtures that were both highly durable and aesthetically pleasing.

“You always want to create a homey atmosphere to try to make the kids feel comfortable, yet provide safety measures too,” Elledge explains.

The fluorescent fixtures that were ultimately installed feature tamper-proof screws and housing that held up while a Trillium FM tested them with a baseball bat.

“It’s always good to have a higher standard when it comes to safety,” Elledge advises. “It really comes down to durability and the length of time the fixtures will be installed.”

Trillium also achieved notable labor savings by eliminating the broken fixture problem. “The primary driver on this project wasn’t ROI, but one staffer had been on-call to fix the old lights on an emergency basis prior to the installation of the new light fixtures,” explains Mark Bolton, West Coast regional sales manager for Kenall Lighting, which provided Trillium’s new fixtures. “Now this on-call retainer is no longer a necessity.”

3) Ambitious Sustainability Goals
The problem:
Glumac, a full-service consulting engineering firm, bills itself as the “Engineers for a Sustainable Future,” but it was stuck in a highly inefficient space. When the company was preparing to move to its new Portland office on the 16th floor of the Standard Insurance Center, it needed a sustainable building retrofit and open-office layout to reflect its principles. Its new space brings in a high amount of sunlight, but the access to natural light required lighting controls that could balance natural and artificial lighting.

The solution: The team quickly realized that wired controls would be cost-prohibitive, so they opted for wireless lighting controls that integrated with the building management system and allowed Glumac to track lighting usage and make adjustments as needed. The new space was fitted with daylight sensors to automatically adjust the electric lighting and vacancy sensors in both open and private offices.

The result? Glumac’s space initially used just 0.32W per square foot, less than half the designed load of 0.68W and roughly a third of the maximum allowed by Oregon’s energy code. After a couple of months of fine-tuning, the organization reduced their load to 0.24W per square foot.

A later retrofit project added individual controls so engineers could adjust their own lighting levels.

“If you’re weighing a retrofit, one of the first things to get into is the definition of ‘retrofit.’ How much of the space is in a position to be rewired? Is it simply that access is limited?” says Eric Lind, vice president of specification sales at Lutron, which worked with Glumac on the control system.

“If you have access to the wiring and it’s not hard to rewire, that may lead to other opportunities,” Lind notes. “Another consideration that comes into play is what type of space you have – in this case, it was primarily open-office with a few private offices. If you have mostly private offices, however, that may lead to a different solution.”

Janelle Penny janelle.penny@buildings.com is associate editor of BUILDINGS.