By Ken Stack, Vice President of Facilities Solutions & Transitions
The Value of a Facility Condition Assessment.
Many facility managers, for a myriad of reasons, have FCAs sitting on their bookshelves collecting dust. What these professionals might not know is that, when leveraged properly, an FCA is extremely valuable in building benchmarks, capital planning, justifying budgets, identifying risk, and developing maintenance strategies. Here are some things to consider when thinking about how to use your completed FCA.
Remember that Your Organization Invested in the FCA for a Reason – Your organization didn’t just commission an FCA for no reason. When reviewing the completed document, it’s important to take time to understand what the goals of the assessment were. Additionally, use the assessment as a vehicle to take an objective look at your facility, as the professionals who conducted it are experts in their fields. If you are new to the organization and unsure of the legacy goals, they are probably stated in the introduction or executive summary of the FCA.
Consider Developing a Capital Plan – FCAs are massive reports that give you an objective look at your facility. Instead of being overwhelmed by the information, view it as an opportunity to develop a prioritized long-term capital plan. Most facilities departments never get full funding for everything on their wish list. So, prioritize the most pressing projects for the current year to align with the available funding and use the projected asset service lives in the FCA to build your 5, 10, & 30-year capital plans. The company’s executive leadership and CFO will be more receptive to a major increase in your average capital budget for a chiller replacement when they have five years to plan for it instead of letting it become a current year emergency.
FCAs Cost a Lot of Money – FCAs can cost upwards of 10-24 cents a square foot, meaning that—for larger facilities—they’re a $100,000 – $200,000 investment. Given this price, it’s a waste to just have a completed assessment sitting on a shelf. If developing a full capital plan is out of the question, try to find at least a few small recommended improvements that can be implemented.
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