Exploring Trends in Facility Management in 2021
2020 proved to be a challenging year for facility management. Given the ongoing COVID-19 global pandemic, many buildings and parking structures were shut down for extended periods of time, and countless events were postponed—due to inactivity as a result of related quarantine and social distancing efforts.
This year, however, as positive case numbers go down and the number of vaccinated people goes up, the world has begun to slowly resume its usual routine once more. Learn what this means for facility managers, including what trends you can anticipate in facility management during 2021, and how Wahlen Works is here to help.
Facility management trends in 2020
Facility managers are responsible for a building or facility’s maintenance, including operational duties, productivity support, risk management, and more. Their goal is to “make sure the places in which people work, play, learn, and live are safe, comfortable, productive, and sustainable,” according to the International Facility Management Association (IFMA).
In many instances, preventative maintenance, including commercial power washing and pavement marking, was delayed last year. More buildings were shut down; parking and event revenue was lost; less snow and salt damage occurred to structures; and money wasn’t spent to get facilities cleaned.
Upcoming trends in 2021
Major events in Milwaukee, such as the Wisconsin State Fair, Irish Fest, and Summerfest, all of which didn’t occur in 2020, are set to open their gates for people this year in 2021. For events alone, this means preparing the grounds they occur on, the parking structures people will park in to attend said events, and more.
To get everything ready for a resurgence in the use of buildings, facilities, parking structures, and event spaces across the city, however, facility managers will be searching for the right companies to help them prepare accordingly. There’s no company better than Wahlen Works to tackle this backlog of work that must now be attended to.
Wahlen Works is here for all of your full-service pressure washing, pavement marking, and concrete sealing and waterproofing projects—offering quality service at an affordable price. Client satisfaction is our number one priority, which is why we create a detailed plan for you before starting any job. Having worked with large and small businesses throughout the Greater Milwaukee Area for over 50 years, we guarantee both efficiency and expertise for all of your facility management needs.
Let Wahlen Works help you get your facilities summer-ready! Contact us today for a free quote.
- Published in Latest, Marking, Parking Structures, Sealing, Washing
Wahlen Works: We’ve Got Milwaukee History
Founded more than 125 years ago in 1893, the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) was first known as the Wisconsin College of Physicians and Surgeons, only to later become the Marquette University School of Medicine in 1913. It officially became the Medical College of Wisconsin in 1970, and one year later, in 1971, the Wahlen Corp. was formed by Ted Wahlen.
In the years since, Wahlen Works has become the caretaker of some of Milwaukee’s most historic and distinctive properties—earning the trust of facility managers, property managers, and general contractors throughout Milwaukee and southeastern Wisconsin. In addition to MCW, here are some of the Milwaukee landmarks we are proud to service and maintain.
Milwaukee Art Museum
Art got its start in Milwaukee in 1888 with Frederick Layton’s art gallery in Cathedral Square. In that same year, the Milwaukee Art Association was established. Milwaukee’s art collections and display facilities grew over the years, and the Milwaukee Art Museum celebrated its centennial in 1988.
In 2001, the Quadracci Pavilion opened, with its movable, wing-like brise soleil becoming an instant Milwaukee icon. We are honored to be responsible for the care and maintenance of their stunning underground parking facility—one that has inspired a Porsche commercial and is the first impression most visitors have of the museum.
Discovery World started out in a basement, moved to the Milwaukee Public Library, and then shared space with the Milwaukee Public Museum, all before moving to its permanent home on Lake Michigan’s shores in 2006. Situated near the location of Milwaukee’s first cargo pier, it’s our job to keep the decks and parking areas of this beautiful facility in pristine condition.
Columbia St. Mary’s Hospital
Founded in 1894, Saint Mary’s School of Nursing corresponds to Wisconsin historical marker #186, located on the grounds of the historic St. Mary’s Hospital. This hospital opened in 1848, and its sister hospital, the non-sectarian Columbia Hospital, began operations in 1909. Both are located in Milwaukee’s East Side neighborhood.
In 1995, the two hospitals merged, and Columbia St. Mary’s Hospital was formed (now Ascension Columbia St. Mary’s Hospital). Their new $417 million-dollar state-of-the-art facility opened in 2010. Wahlen Works ensures that its exterior and parking areas are pristine and safe for patients and visitors.
You wouldn’t believe it nowadays, but the ASQ Center was once a Gimbels department store, later to become a Marshall Field’s. Built in the 1880s, the building was designed after Selfridges in London, England, but over time, it had deteriorated significantly before its eventual renovation in 2001. Today, the beautiful structure is part of the National Registry of Historic Buildings and stands proudly in the heart of downtown Milwaukee—a successful, 195,000-square-foot office building.
Northwestern Mutual has called Milwaukee home for 160 years. The company was born on March 2, 1857, known as the Mutual Life Insurance Company of the State of Wisconsin. By 1865, it had expanded into other parts of what is now the Midwest and changed its name to the Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company.
In 2019, it was ranked #111 in the Fortune 500 list for revenue. Northwestern Mutual now occupies the Northwestern Mutual Tower and Commons in Milwaukee, as well as an 84-acre campus in Franklin. They also own the 7Seventy7 apartment high-rise on 777 North Van Buren Street. The Franklin location includes two parking ramps: one with four levels and one with six levels, a 1,625-stall structure. Wahlen Works handles the maintenance of both of those parking facilities and the external garage at 7Seventy7.
Garages of the Third Ward
The Historic Third Ward District is called that because 70 of the buildings within its 10 square blocks are on the National Register of Historic Places. They were built in a 36-year span after a fire destroyed 440 buildings in 1892. Today, the Third Ward is a must-see for visitors to Milwaukee.
“Its district of well preserved, large historic buildings, festival grounds, art galleries, theatre groups, eating and drinking establishments, and special events make it a unique attraction in the Milwaukee metro area,” according to the City of Milwaukee’s Department of City Development. We are as proud of the Third Ward as we are to maintain the vast majority of the garages in the district.
The work Wahlen Works does each day takes us to some of the most recognized and iconic locations in Milwaukee. We do our part to maintain Milwaukee’s historic properties, and we feel honored to do so. It’s what it means to be Milwaukee trusted.
Know of another historic building that needs some TLC? Send them our way for a free quote!
Parking Lot Striping for Compliance And Safety
You know your parking lot striping needs to be repainted when drivers aren’t able to see the stripes, lettering, and pavement symbols clearly enough to maneuver safely.
A good rule of thumb is that a parking lot needs to be re-striped every one to two years. If your pavement marking is just starting to fade, you might be tempted to wait another year to re-stripe, but there are good reasons not to put it off. In fact, the two most important reasons for freshly painted parking lot striping are accident prevention and ADA compliance.
“On average, more than 50,000 crashes occur in parking lots and parking garages annually, resulting in 500 or more deaths and more than 60,000 injuries.” In addition to distractions and lack of attention, “inadequate pavement striping, potholes or cracks, lack of signage, debris, poor lighting, puddles, and snow and ice also can lead to pedestrian injuries.”
In addition to the importance of providing safe parking areas, it’s a requirement that they be accessible by persons with disabilities. In 1990 the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was passed and additional requirements for parking areas were added in 2010. They regulate features such as minimum number of accessible parking spaces, their location, and required signage and pavement markings.
Parking Lot Striping Q & A
Why would I need to re-stripe as often as every year? How often you need to re-stripe depends on the volume and type of traffic you get. If your parking facility is exposed to the elements and busy year-round, your parking lot striping will fade quickly. The markings on a less trafficked site, such as a school or community center, will stay bright and readable longer. The problem we often see is when facility managers decide to make their pavement markings wait another year. If a heavy rainfall prevents drivers from seeing your parking lines, you’ve waited too long to re-stripe.
How do I know if my parking facility complies with the ADA? The U.S. Department of Justice has an excellent ADA compliance brief on their website. We recommend reading it so that you’re familiar with the guidelines. Other than that you don’t need to be concerned when you hire Wahlen Works. We’re thoroughly conversant with the ADA requirements for striping, marking, and signage.
How do I maximize the safety of my parking lot? Road surface markings convey information to both pedestrians and motorists. They show pedestrians where they can walk safely and direct vehicles to where they may drive and park. Properly placed arrows, crosswalks, symbols, and signage clearly define who belongs where and who must yield to whom. It’s important to provide enough spatial margin so that 21st century distractions don’t turn into tragedy. If a driver is looking at his phone, misses a stop sign, and hits the brakes late, a little extra room can make all the difference.
What else do I need to know? It’s important to pay attention to raised embankments and changes in elevation. Painting them a contrasting color alerts pedestrians that they need to take a step up or a step down, reducing a common cause of falls.
Re-striping is a necessary part of parking lot maintenance. Vivid color contrasts and uninterrupted traffic flows direct visitor movement correctly and safely. Wahlen Works offers professional parking lot striping, pavement marking, and signage services for newly paved lots and lots that need to be re-striped. Call us today for a quote.
- Published in Marking
Parking Lot Maintenance Checklist For Winter
Winter Preparation Checklist
- Clean your parking lot. Leaves are not as innocent as they seem. Their chemical composition can damage the surface of your concrete or asphalt. In addition, fall leaves that have been compacted and frozen by an early snowfall are a pain to remove. A professional sweeping will clear leaves and debris from places where water needs to flow freely. Then, pressure wash the entire facility for clean, odorless property.
- Inspect thoroughly for damage. Perform repairs on potholes or cracks. If you defer these repairs until the spring thaw, the damage will be greater and more expensive to fix.
- Check your drainage so water doesn’t pool in the lot or run back to the foundation.
- Seal your concrete. Concrete sealing creates a barrier between winter chemicals and salt and your parking surface. By the end of October, seal coating season is just about over, so don’t delay.
- Walk around all your snow plowing routes to ensure that they are unobstructed.
- Evaluate whether or not your pavement markings and signs are clear and easy to see. If not, consider new parking lot striping. A freshly painted lot increases the odds that people will drive and park safely. When large sections of your parking lot are used to store unmelted snow, you need to make sure that the rest of your parking lot can be used properly and efficiently.
- Review all customer and employee access points into your building. wash to make sure that people don’t slip and fall. check for irregularities in the walkway that can cause people to trip.
- Published in Marking, Parking Structures, Sealing, Washing
What Is Your Pavement Marking Saying?
Do you realize that your pavement marking can talk? Well maybe not talk exactly, but it certainly can communicate. In fact, that is its primary function. It’s like the project manager on your team or the traffic officer at Miller Park. Fresh, high quality pavement marking keeps vehicle and pedestrian traffic organized and moving smoothly which keeps everyone safer and happier.
What Is The Purpose of Marking?
Pavement marking is so ubiquitous and so expected that most people rarely give it a thought — until it isn’t visible when they need it. If you have ever been caught in a blinding thunderstorm or found yourself with seconds to decide if you need to merge or stay put, you know that proper road surface marking is the difference between fear and confidence.
The Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) published by the U.S. Department of Transportation says, “Pavement markings are used to convey messages to roadway users. They indicate which part of the road to use, provide information about conditions ahead, and indicate where passing is allowed.” Symbols, such as for bicycles, tell you how you are permitted to use the lanes. They can also warn you of areas where you might want to exercise caution, such as at railroad crossings.
In parking structures and on other private property, clear easy-to-understand striping tells drivers where to go and what to do. A prominent crosswalk tells pedestrians that it is safe to walk there. Signs and symbols tell both foot and vehicle traffic where they are permitted to move, wait, and park. This is good for customers and business, but it also complies with the law, specifically in regard to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). When creating handicapped parking areas, a combination of clearly marked stalls and proper signage sends a warm welcome message to all visitors.
What Do Parking Lot Pavement Markings Mean?
When you enter a ramp or other parking structure, you are confronted with markings that are more complex than the standard yellow and white of the highways. Pavement marking works in conjunction with signs and (sometimes) traffic signals to direct traffic through a parking area and a yellow line (either solid or broken) is still used to indicate two-way traffic. However, you will also see stop lines, crosswalks, painted curbs, and symbol markings.
- A stop bar marking is a single white line that tells you where to stop.
- Word and symbol markings, such as yield or directional arrows, communicate to you without diverting your attention from the road.
- Crosswalk markings are parallel double white lines that tell pedestrians where they can cross the roadway. Sometimes they are accompanied by the symbol “ped xing” on the road just before the crosswalk that tells the driver to prepare to stop.
- Curb striping is used to communicate curb use rules such as no parking, fire lanes, handicapped zones, loading and unloading, parking for a short period of time, and parking allowed.
$136M Pavement Marking Project
In California, they tested a new 6-inch wide, highly reflective road striping in 2017. The $136 million project was implemented on I-80 in the capital city of Sacramento. The test was so successful that Caltrans decided to re-stripe 50,000-plus lane miles of state highway system in the next decade.
Their reasoning is that markings “must be capable of conveying information during inclement weather and evening hours when there may be little to no illumination from overhead lighting. The 6-in.-wide striping provides a valuable continuous stream of information about the roadway that signs or signals cannot supply. They alert drivers to changes in the roadway and help them maintain their position inside of the lane without requiring the driver to take their eyes off the road.”
While pavement marking obviously can’t talk, it does tell us things and communicates valuable information that we literally cannot live without. If your striping is faded or inefficient, give us a call. We’ll have it “talking” to you again in no time.
- Published in Marking
With Fresh Pavement Striping, The “New” Look is Easier Than You Thought
If you’re a Milwaukee commercial property owner, a parking lot with freshly painted, clearly marked lines is almost as good as the smell of a brand new automobile. But that freshly painted look is hard to remember after a long winter of snow and snowplows, when your pavement striping is as faded as a ten-year old car. In addition to the pleasure of a new-looking lot, your customers’ convenience and safety depend on the clarity and visibility that a professionally striped parking lot provides.
So how do you get that “new car feel” for your old parking lot?
First, you want to ask yourself a few questions. “Does the traffic flow make sense to my visitors?” “Is the space used as efficiently as it could be? Am I compliant with all applicable regulations?” “Do I have enough upright signage for stopping, yielding, and pedestrian crossing?” “Can pedestrian walkways be clearly seen?” If the answer to any of the above questions is no, it’s time to restore your parking lot pavement to it’s original showroom look.
Fresh pavement striping will provide you with clearly marked parking stalls and bright, durable marking. This means professional quality, crisp lines measured precisely and painted to the required thickness. It includes pedestrian walking spaces, directional driving arrows, entrance and exit signs, handicapped parking spaces, loading and unloading areas, and unmistakable fire lane areas. In some instances, such as handicapped spaces and fire lanes, there must also be both marking on the pavement and on upright signs.
Whether it is brand new asphalt, freshly seal coated concrete, or existing lines that need to be re-painted, we do it all. We have the equipment and personnel to complete the work in your off hours so we do not interrupt your operations. Restoring your Milwaukee parking lot to it’s original shine has never been easier.
For a complete parking lot remodel, ask about including our power washing and concrete sealing services along with your pavement striping job. You’ll be proud of your property once again.
- Published in Latest, Marking, Uncategorized
How Businesses Can Make a Great First Impression
When a customer approaches your business, their first stop is often your parking lot or garage and the outside structure of your building. Like it or not, appearances matter. When public and private spaces aren’t clean, visitors can get the impression that a place is neglected. Seeing that the outside of a business is neglected may give visitors the impression that the owner neglects other aspects of their business as well. A neglected space can even be interpreted as an unsafe space, and this isn’t a completely baseless assumption by visitors. A recent study done in England found that poor levels of cleanliness are often associated with increases in other low-level crime and social disorder. As a business owner, you don’t want these subconscious thoughts to run through the minds of your customers. At Wahlen Works, we specialize in helping businesses give the best first impression to their customers.
From the moment that a customer drives into your parking lot or structure, they should be able to easily determine where to park. Keeping up on your pavement marking and parking lot striping can help reduce the tiny amount of stress drivers may feel when looking for a parking spot.
When customers step out of their car, you want to ensure that they’re not stepping on dirty or stained pavement. Again uncleanliness can be associated with neglect in the consumer’s mind. So you want to show that you take care of your business, like you’ll take care of whatever need they may have. Regularly pressure washing your parking facility is one small way to show that you care.
Lastly, maintenance is everything. If you have a concrete structure or concrete pavement, concrete sealing is one way to help ensure the pavement lasts and your pressure washing jobs last longer, as a quality sealant can help prevent staining. When you own a business, it’s important to think about think about the customer’s experience from the moment they pull up to the moment they leave. If you need help making sure that first impression is a great one, contact us today!