© 2019 by MaGrann Associates

Lifecycle Services

March 1, 2019

By: James Ball, Vice President of Sales, MaGrann Associates

How would you describe the relationship you have with the buildings that you work on? As a new parent the relationship I have with my now 16 month old son is the best comparison I have. I would do anything to help my boy succeed but is causes me sleepless nights and often pushes me to the edge of my patience. Let’s be honest - designing, building, operating and maintaining buildings is exceptionally difficult and often stressful. But perhaps like a loving parent, we at MaGrann are always here to support buildings in becoming the best version of themselves – and that is why we are happy to provide services throughout the full lifecycle of a building.

What are Lifecycle Services?

The idea of a building having a lifecycle comes from the field of Industrial Ecology. I was lucky to have studied with one of the founders of this field, Tom Gradel. The field of Industrial Ecology grew from a simple question – what can our industrial system learn from the natural system? It turns out the answer is: a lot! Here are some of the lessons learned that start to paint the picture of what a lifecycle approach to buildings is all about.

  • Long Term Approach: The lifecycle of a building starts with raw materials in the natural system that get extracted and manufactured into the separate components and products that eventually make their way into a building. The design and construction process selects and assembles these elements into a completed building. These first stages of a building’s lifecycle are relatively short but highly important when viewed in comparison to the occupancy stage. For the rest of the building’s lifecycle it is operated, maintained, and eventually repaired, renovated and ultimately demolished. Planning for the long term success of a building across its full lifecycle is the first lesson in taking a lifecycle approach.

 

  • Systems Thinking: A building’s performance is greater than the sum of its parts when all of its systems are integrated together. Over time the systems within a building have become ever more complex. Take for example walls that used to be made from monolithic materials and now can have six or more layers of different materials performing different functions. A systems understanding of a building means that we take into consideration the impact these systems have on each other, such as windows on the HVAC system or plumbing design on hot water demand. Nature is a great instructor on how integrating systems provides better performance, consider the ecosystem provided by how rivers move water as opposed to an industrial system of sewers. Capitalizing on these interdependencies instead of treating them in silos is another great benefit of lifecycle thinking.

 

MaGrann’s Lifecycle Services

For 35 years MaGrann has grown our company and services in order to make buildings better during all of the stage of their lifecycle. We are working to reverse the trend of buildings that degrade in performance over time in order to create buildings that improve in their performance over time. The cartoon above illustrates how we are uniquely qualified to answer and service all of your key building questions from financing a new project, improving the quality of the design and construction process, to operating and renovating your existing buildings. Here is a quick list of some of those services organized chronologically over a building’s lifecycle. Just give us a call or send us an email to learn more about how we can make your buildings better.

 

Financing:

  • Low Income Housing Tax Credits

  • Utility Allowance Studies

  • Fannie and Freddie Green Loans

  • HUD 221d4 Loans

 

Design:

  • MEP Engineering Design

  • Sustainability Consulting

  • Green Certifications

  • Code Compliance

 

Construction:

  • Commissioning

  • Testing and Verification

 

Operations and Maintenance:

  • Resident and Maintenance Manuals

  • Benchmarking

  • Diagnostics

 

Repairs, Replacements, and Renovations:

  • MEP Engineering Design

  • Energy Modelling

  • Construction Administration

  • Energy and Water Audits