Building Operator For Article

A Week In the Life of a Building Operator

As a renter, there is a sense of comfort in knowing that there’s someone you can call in the event of an emergency. Because let’s face it, accidents happen and buildings are unpredictable. Light bulbs burn out, pipes burst, and in more extreme cases, your entire buildings power can go out.

Fortunately, more property owners are seeing the value in having on-site or mobile Building Operators to take care of their properties. Instead of putting the onus on the building owner or the individual tenants, Building Operators provide routine preventative maintenance and take care of any unexpected issues that arise. 

This was certainly the case recently when one of our Building Operators received a call late on a Sunday night from security: “we have complete power failure at our property.” As far as phone calls go, that’s one you don’t want to be receiving on a Sunday night.

The power failure was due to a hydro issue, which caused the main breaker switch to fail. As a result, the Building Operator for this property took control to coordinate the various activities that needed to happen:

  • Bringing in the electricians and BC Hydro,
  • Getting generators on-site to supply some power to the tenants
  • Coordinate 24/7 security and fire watch
  • Bringing in a contractor to monitor the generators

Even before the power could go back on, the Operations team had to check all HVAC units, the elevators, and basically all motors to make sure they weren’t running in reverse polarity. The HVAC company had to come in to make sure all the equipment was functioning and that the motors were turning the right way. Additionally, our team had to get verification before the elevators could be powered on again because the wiring had to be flipped.

Once all that was sorted out, the buildings power was completely restored within the week. Cue happy cheering from the tenants!

Over the years, the role of the Building Operator has evolved to an extent. A role that was initially limited to general building maintenance and tending to tenant complaints now includes responsibilities related to project management & coordination, HVAC systems, Building Automation Systems, and even mechanical maintenance and plumbing. Their role is to ensure that the buildings under their portfolio are operating in a safe, efficient manner and that preventative maintenance programs are being carried out regularly.

The responsibilities of a Building Operator are to be ready for any situation involving the client’s property 24/7, 365 days a year, even if that means getting out of bed in the middle of the night to tend to power outages.