Resourcefulness Leads to Big Savings!



In April 2020, Facilities Management (FM) was notified by Design Construction Management (DCM) of several buildings on the Davis campus that were slated to be decommissioned. The notification allows our teams the option to identify any equipment or materials that might be useful to use for future projects. When John Zertuche, Director of Building Maintenance Services gets these notifications, he shares them with his superintendents who decide which buildings might have materials that can be reused or repurposed.

During this particular notification, Joe Lestanguet, Mechanical Inspector, Planner, Estimator coincidently had a customer, Danette Howard, Finance Manager for the Department of Cell Biology and Human Anatomy, who reached out to him to inquire about a fume hood replacement. She shared that a Principal Investigator (PI) in her department was actively looking to replace an outdated fume hood that was not functioning correctly. Knowing there might be fume hoods in this and other buildings that could be repurposed, Joe took the time to walk through the buildings on the decommission list to identify fume hoods that were still in good shape. Joe shared, “our team, consisting of various BMS shops, understands how valuable lab equipment is and the potential it has to be repurposed for other projects.” Together they found 23 fume hoods from Haring Hall and another 7 from other labs on campus that would have been sent to the landfill.

With many fume hoods on campus 30+ years old, Joe began reaching out to other customers with aging fume hoods to inquire about potential replacement using these newer models. There was certainly interest. Not only would the equipment get a second life and decrease materials from going to the landfill, the customer could avoid purchasing new equipment, saving quite a lot of money. Two of these aging fume hoods that were replaced were more than 50 years old! Joe shared, “replacing these aging models with newer ones requires exceptional craftsmanship by the team, connecting and building these into existing casework, with the result looking as if these were always a part of the lab, is not easy.”

Customers that have participated in this project have been grateful for the savings and very pleased with the work that was done. Danette says she was shocked when she saw the cost to install a new fume hood, saying “I can’t tell you how excited we were that we were able to save so much by agreeing to this!” A total of two fume hoods will be replaced for the Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine department. She says, once Joe was assigned to the task, “He kept me involved and updated on every step, even taking me to look at the fume hoods in Haring Hall to select them. I would definitely recommend this project and Joe and his team to other departments.”

Thanks to the fume hood project, FM was able to divert approximately 30,000 pounds of material from the landfill not to mention that the BMS team was able to create 15 projects equating to 2,834 labor hours or $372,065 of recharge work. With the halt of the Deferred Maintenance (DM) program along with other existing projects on hold during the COVID-19 pandemic, it has been particularly important for BMS to find opportunities for recharge work. To date, they have transferred fume hoods, lab casework, and a lab compressor worth approximately $350,000 to our campus customers all while reducing the amount of waste that would normally go to the landfill.

Great work to the BMS Shops that participated in this project including Structural, Electrical, HVAC and Plumbing/Steam along with assistance from Asset Management GIS!

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