A facility failure causing a blackout at the Superdome in New Orleans, which resulted in a delay in the middle of the third quarter of the 2013 Super Bowl on Sunday, has highlighted the critical nature of an FMs back up planning responsibilities.
The high profile power outage sparked a response from International Facility Management Association President and CEO Tony Keane, who explained that facility management is a profession that encompasses multiple disciplines to ensure functionality of the built environment by integrating people, place, process and technology – and this includes the maintenance and repair of electrical systems and lighting.
“The power outage at the Super Bowl is a high profile example of the importance of facility back up planning and risk management. Organisations around the world are seeking out and hiring skilled facility managers to build and maintain their facilities. While the stakes are high at the Super Bowl, a well-functioning facility is also important in less visible circumstances.”
A joint statement from the stadium energy supplier, Entergy Corporation and SMG, the management company of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, regarding the partial power loss, read:
“Shortly after the beginning of the second half of the Super Bowl in the Mercedes Benz Superdome, a piece of equipment that is designed to monitor electrical load sensed an abnormality in the system. Once the issue was detected, the sensing equipment operated as designed and opened a breaker, causing power to be partially cut to the Superdome in order to isolate the issue.
“Backup generators kicked in immediately as designed. Entergy and SMG subsequently coordinated start up procedures, ensuring that full power was safely restored to the Superdome.
“The fault-sensing equipment activated where the Superdome equipment intersects with Entergy’s feed into the facility.”
IFMA’s Keane, concluded:
“Whether it’s computer servers supporting online sales, automated animal feeding at a zoo or even just a functioning heater during a cold spell, a well-trained facility manager is a critical part of any organisational team.”