Contractor assesses buildings so businesses can ‘comeback with confidence’

Sooner or later, more Mid-Columbia businesses are going to try to bring their workforce back into their buildings.

As a first step toward that goal, MacDonald-Miller Facility Solutions is offering building confidence reports through its Comeback with Confidence program.

Pat Roberts, general manager for MacDonald-Miller’s Eastern Washington office, said many businesses and workers don’t know what to expect when the day comes for people to return to their offices.

“I think people are nervous about coming back to work,” he said. “It’s unknown what Covid-19 will continue to be. People are worried about things like, ‘How safe I can be as an individual, and how I can feel safe at work?’”

Comeback with Confidence checks a building’s readiness for workers to return, said Nicole Martin, MacDonald-Miller’s marketing manager. “It is a new program, and because MacDonald-Miller has a culture of continuous improvement. It was easy to pivot and provide this service.”

Matt Barnes, HVAC service foreman with MacDonald-Miller, performs a site survey with photo and video content. These site surveys allow the company to customize its Comeback with Confidence recommendations on building it is not already familiar with. (Courtesy MacDonald-Miller)

MacDonald-Miller sends its team through a building, checking on several indicators.

“We want to help businesses get the ventilation system clean. Same with the water system,” Roberts said. “We want to make sure the water is safe. Some buildings haven’t used their water systems in months, so there could be buildup in the pipes.”

As scientists continue to learn more about Covid-19, it’s important to keep heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems clean and running at an optimal performance.

“Some buildings are essentially vacated,” Roberts said. “People have put the service business on hold.”

Reports issued after the walk-through include:

  • Onsite assessment and evaluation of building equipment systems and indoor air quality.
  • An outline of cleaning procedures beyond the surface, approved by MacDonald-Miller’s safety team.
  • Customized improvement recommendations, including touchless solutions for faucets, dispensers, light switches, doors and more.

 “We might give them some ideas to look at what we can do. Things might be needed to help keep toxins at a minimum,” Roberts said.

So what factors indicate a building healthy?

“Maintained equipment, the water in the line is healthy and generators are all functional,” Roberts said.

The building reports are being offered free to members of the Tri-City Regional Chamber of Commerce.

The service is also available for those who aren’t chamber members. The cost depends on the size of the building.

MacDonald-Miller, which has 10 locations in Washington and Oregon, has been in business since 1965.

“Companywide, we have 1,250 employees,” Martin said.

Headquartered in the Seattle area, MacDonald-Miller also is a contractor.

“We’re a full-service design-build mechanical contractor,” Roberts said. “We can design and build, do plumbing, schedule maintenance and service it.”

Designing services include engineering for heating, ventilation and air conditioning; plumbing design; and pre-construction work.

The company offers project management, with a Seattle pre-fabrication shop that has 100,000 square feet in which workers can pretty much make anything for a project.

MacDonald-Miller has a long list of impressive building projects, including a 321,000-square-foot addition to Seattle Children’s Hospital.

Other highlights include a 1.3-million-square-foot redevelopment project at Swedish First Hill; the King 5 building across from T-Mobile Park in Seattle; the Pantages Theater in Tacoma; expansion work at the Washington State Convention Center; Suncadia Resort; the Seattle Aquarium; and the Yakama Nations Legends Casino and Hotel in Toppenish.

MacDonald-Miller believes it can add more projects in the eastern part of the state.

“Right now, we have about 20 employees throughout Eastern Washington,” Martin said.

The company moved its Eastern Washington headquarters from Moses Lake to Kennewick in June 2019.

“But we’ve had a strong presence in the market in the last 10 years,” Roberts said.

Roberts said that the company is looking to rebrand the office as Inland Northwest, with a goal of expanding into eastern Oregon and Idaho.

MacDonald-Miller: 800-962-5979; 106010 E, Wiser Parkway, Suite B, Kennewick;;


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