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As we celebrate the opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics and the eyes of the world turn to Pyeongchang, we’d like to commemorate the occasion by sharing details from our very own “Olympiad” at Arden Engineering Constructors. The first annual “Arden Olympics” were held earlier this year, and Team Blue took the gold.

The purpose of the “Arden Olympics” was to put junior members of our engineering and construction teams to the test in a “real life” on-site job situation.

Two teams, comprised of six members each, were chosen at random and given zero details regarding the competition until the day of the event. After an initial meeting where the ground rules were discussed, Team Blue and Team Yellow were shown to separate, but identical, work stations that represented the “job site.”

The objective for each team was to successfully pipe off a VAV box in the most efficient and spec-compliant manner. The manufacturer of pipe, valves, and fittings could differ from the spec, provided all characteristics were the same. The team to successfully complete the task with the most points in the least amount of time would be deemed the winner.

In the end, while both teams experienced certain difficulties, Team Blue was able to come out on top.  And while fun was had by all, the exercise proved to be a major learning experience.  Al Moreau, who acted as mentor for Team Blue, noted that this exercise was a “home run in regards to making learning fun.  Educating all the cogs together makes a great wheel, and that has been the cornerstone of Arden Engineering from its first generation, and now the second.”

As for the participants, the major takeaway was a new appreciation of the work that takes place in the field.

Congratulations to all “Arden Olympians.”  We’re definitely looking forward to next year’s event!

As building and facility managers, there are a few precautions we can take to remain diligent during this flooding/freezing event:

  • Test any water monitoring or water-level alarms for operation
  • Test and check sump pumps for reliable operation
  • Verify sump pumps, sensors, and controls are on emergency power
  • Verify emergency generator start up and transfer switch operation
  • Verify building dewatering discharge pipes and generator exhaust are clear of snow and other obstacles and debris
  • Clear out all roof drains and verify their operation
  • Remove and/or treat walkways and parking lots to reduce tripping hazards
  • Clear parking lot drains of snow and ice before temperature drops below freezing
  • Remind building occupants of flooding and freezing safety hazards and how to avoid them