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Piedmont Shares TOBY Experience

A1 Orange is so excited for all of BOMA Orlando and Tampa’s 2018 TOBY winners. We asked Christie Crosby, Carol Nash and their triple winning teams to share their TOBY preparation experience and what they’ve gained by participating in the TOBY’s. Their winning properties were:

  • CNL Tower II, 250,000 – 499,999 sf
  • Suntrust Center, 500,000 – 1 million sf (and Best of the Best Winner!)
  • Piedmont 500 TownPark, Corporate Facility Category

Q1:  Why did you decide to enter the 2018 TOBY Awards? How long did it take to get your property “TOBY-ready”?

We decided to enter CNL II, SunTrust and TownPark 500 into the TOBY Awards as we had won the previous year with CNL I and SunTrust Center and enjoyed the experience and competition very much. We feel that it is important to showcase the properties in Orlando and is a great opportunity to give credit to all our vendor partners that assist us in keeping our buildings well maintained and functioning operationally at their optimum level.

Fortunately, our buildings are Class A and are maintained as such at all times but collectively, our team and vendor partners went through extra preparation with paint touch-up, detail cleaning, lighting audits, etc. We were able to get the building “show ready” in just a few weeks.

Q2:  What does winning a TOBY Award mean to you and your team?

Winning the TOBY means a great deal to the Piedmont Team. Our engineers work hard and our vendors are delighted to be part of our winning team. We are proud of CNL II, SunTrust Center and TownPark 500 and it is an honor to have them celebrated by our industry colleagues.

Q3:  Preparing for TOBY judging takes extra time – what did you get back for the extra effort?

Taking a close look at all areas of the property and its management with “fresh eyes” as the TOBY judges would, is always beneficial. TOBY preparation is a great learning tool for the entire team and gives us an opportunity to review and update documents, plans and procedures and ensure that the building is show-ready. The preparation gave us the assurance that the building was “show-ready” for any potential prospective Tenant or VIP tours (which can take place at any time). The review of our files/records allowed us an opportunity to make sure that all inspections, etc., were documented and up-to-date for code and audit purposes.

Q4:  Based on your experiences, would you recommend that other property managers and engineers make the time investment to participate in their local TOBY Awards? If so, why?

We would definitely recommend other property management teams consider entering the TOBY Awards, it is a great team building exercise that benefits all participants. It is exciting to win but the process of entering and representing the building at the awards gala has its own reward even when another takes the trophy.

Q5:  How are you preparing for the Savannah BOMA Southern Region TOBY Awards Competition in March?

We are currently gathering all our photographs and documents for our TOBY Regional submission and participating in BOMA Southern Region TOBY conference calls and meetings.  We will also ask for former winners of the award to review our draft submission prior to final entry.

Good luck to the Piedmont teams as they advance to the TOBY regional competitions!

3 Tips to Manage Water Intrusion Proactively

Florida’s harsh combination of sunshine and rain present a real challenge to keeping building envelopes waterproof. Given the amount of rain we get per year – and the prospect of getting several inches over a very short period, it makes sense for property managers and engineers to take a proactive approach to waterproofing prevents significant water issues at their properties.

While expansion joints usually last 5-20 years and window seals have life expectancies of 10-20 years, it may vary depending on the materials, sun exposure, etc. So even in newer buildings or those with recently replaced caulking, you must always be vigilant re: avoiding water intrusion.

The following three steps could save you lots of dollars and headaches:

1. Keep an eye out for signs of water intrusion or building envelope failures.

  • When walking around your property, check for
    • Vinyl shrinkage around windows corners
    • Gaps and cracks in the concrete curtain wall and
    • Damaged/deteriorated seals on parapet caps and walls
  • During regular exterior building maintenance service visits, ask your vendor to check for any of these signs.
  • When it rains, look around the inside and exterior of your building, checking for
    • Pools of water on the inside of the window frames and
    • Leaks and active water intrusion
    • Be sure to mark the area, take a photo and note where it is, especially if you have a large building. 

2. Use your professional waterproofing contractor as part of your proactive defense.

  • Get them to investigate specific problem areas you have identified. Often water travels, and the source of the water may or may not be obvious.
  • Follow-up on signs of joint wear/system failure on your building’s envelope, even if you are unsure of whether you have problems yet or not.
  • Get a professional waterproofing inspection, if there seem to be numerous problems or leaks that are difficult to resolve. An A1 Orange Waterproofing Inspection is a close-up look at all expansion joints, window seals and porous wall barriers, documented with photographs.  If you schedule your waterproofing work with us soon after this detailed inspection, the cost is applied towards your job.
  • Get a ground level inspection of your building every three to five years to identify and investigate any leaks and determine what is needed to keep your building dry.

3. Fix the problems right away!

  • While a leak repair or waterproofing one or more joints may cost more than a typical maintenance project, water damage is even more costly and disruptive to tenants — more so if they have to be relocated.
  • Repairing a small or new leak upon discovery can prevent:
    • Water seepage which can lead to a buildup of mold, which can turn into hazardous black mold.
    • Unseen moisture that can damage drywall, carpeting, office furniture and technology.
    • Musty or mildew-y smells throughout the space, which may cause tenants to leave at the end of their lease.

Overall, watching for signs of water intrusion, calling for expert support, and making necessary repairs/waterproofing when they first occur are smart, proactive measures that will save you money and headaches.

Warranties:  Sealant/Caulking Materials and Labor

  • Nearly all manufacturers of sealants and caulking require a field inspection to be done in order to honor their warranty. The waterproofing agents must be applied according to manufacturer guidelines in order to pass the manufacturer’s field inspection. Be sure to ask for the proof of product warranty from your contractor when the job is complete.
  • Product warranties also may require that an entire plane or joint system be sealed in order to warranty the work.
  • Your labor warranty is provided by the contractor performing the work. It must be specified separately from the product warranty on your final invoice. How long has your contractor been in business?

With A1 Orange, professional waterproofing technicians apply the best sealing/caulking products for your application and back it up with 94 years of experience in exterior building maintenance. Learn more about our caulking, coatings and epoxy injections for all areas of your property – buildings, decks, balconies and parking structures.

Whatever your property waterproofing needs, A1 Orange can help! For more information or to receive a detailed quote, contact ftorres@a1orange.com

It’s a Wrap: 111 Angels Sponsored!

Special Thanks to Yvelise Pestourie who created the beautiful angel artwork above in support of our 2018 Angel sponsorship drive. A1 Orange created thank-you coasters for all angel sponsors using this artwork. 

Every year the need seems to be greater, and every year our friends and business partners jump in to support The Salvation Army Angel Tree program with us. This year, our goal was to sponsor 100 Angels from the Orlando, Jacksonville, and Tampa areas. When all was said and done, 111 Angels were sponsored as part of our drive. Thank you so much for your amazing support of this program which provides Christmas smiles to so many children.

This year’s drive started in early October, when A1 Orange began publicizing the event on Facebook and via emails — with nearly 70 people stepping up to sponsor one or more angels. According to Brenda Dost, “This is a tradition continues to grow, with several long time donors who sponsor 1 or 2, and up to 4 angels each year, and adding sponsors mostly from the companies of business partners who spread the word in their offices.” Several property management companies had 8 -10 individuals sponsoring Angels!

Some highlights of this year’s drive:

  • We expanded our program’s geographic reach, adding angels The Tampa Bay Area Salvation Army to the mix, in addition to Orlando and Jacksonville.
  • One company adopted an angel, and the entire office contributed clothing and gifts! The items arrived in a large decorated box filled to overflowing for a young boy Angel.
  • The Monday before Thanksgiving, we received an email asking if there were 8 more Angels available — and most of the sponsors were new to The Salvation Army Angel program!

Many A1 Orange team members get in on the action, from organizing and promoting the drive, to accepting donations at our office, to adopting angels and taking the donations to The Salvation Army for distribution. One A1 Orange team member who was unaware of our work with The Salvation Army Angel Tree program was asked to deliver one of the last loads to the Orlando toy center. When he arrived at The Salvation Army Toy Center, a volunteer said, “A1 Orange — you’re back again? Wow, how many angels did you have?!” When he returned, he said that he was very proud that we were part of this program!”

It takes a village to meet the needs of families in our area and we are honored that so many generous friends and business partners join us in this effort every year. As we share the holidays with our families and friends this Christmas season, we can enjoy the warmth of giving to others and knowing that children will be smiling on Christmas as a result of our efforts.

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