What is a Facility Condition Assessment?
A Facility Condition Assessment (FCA) provides companies with comprehensive building deficiency information and forecasts possible future maintenance or repair requirements for a single or multiple properties.
Facility Condition Assessments are carried out in two steps, the first being the site inspection, which is a systematic recording of the building systems with the use of photographs, note taking, drawings and information provided by the property owner. The second step is analyzing the data collected and turning it into a report that includes a summary of the building, its systems condition, tables that reflect the immediate and projected long-term costs of maintaining the building.
A detailed Facility Condition Assessment will provide estimated costs connected with renewal, repair, and code compliance issues. Facility Condition Assessments can also be used to determine the need for the following:
- Facilities operational costs including lifecycle and building systems renewals
- Maintenance programs including current and deferred, such as structural, window replacement, HVAC systems, etc.
- Functional deficiencies need to be identified, photographed, and recorded, using industry standards (Building Codes, Accessibility, BOMA, IFMA, & LEEDS), and applying replacement costs using traditional cost databases like BCIS, RS Means, and historical benchmark data.
This information allows key facility team members to address current operational requirements, while also improving the portfolio renewal forecasting and addressing capital funding for capital projects.
From the data gathered, the facility management team can develop long-term maintenance programs that can address specific needs and conditions of the buildings, which in turn helps the facility management personnel to maintain the building portfolio in an operational condition while reducing maintenance costs.
FCAs should be conducted on a regular basis; the standard is a three to five- year basis. The FCA frequency also depends on the buildings usage, structural integrity, age, and size.
The Facility Condition Assessment scope should include most of the following items:
- Types of buildings – commercial, institutional, high and low-rise residences, offices, Government – local and national
- Site components – parking lots, walkways, curbs, lighting, and site drainage
- Structural & Foundation systems - exposed systems only
- Roofing systems – types, age, and condition
- Exterior enclosure – masonry, curtain wall, EFIS, etc.
- Interior systems – walls, partitions, doors, finishes, etc.
- Parking garages – multi-level, above and below ground
- Plumbing systems – existing
- Electrical systems – existing
- Mechanical systems – boilers, HVAC, etc.
- Vertical transportation systems – elevators, moving walkways
- Building and fire code issues, accessibility compliance updates
- Non-evasive technologies - Infrared Thermal Imaging (if required)
- Special type programs
The FCA report should include:
- Photograph documentation – each system and requirement
- Assessment of the property's interior and exterior conditions, systems, components and deficiencies
- Recommendations to rectify physical deficiencies – based on Consultant’s experience
- Budget cost to remedy physical deficiencies – based on the costing tools used by the software if system is unique the suggested cost should be applied
Why Do Facility Managers Need Facility Condition Assessments?
In today’s world where facilities operational budgets are always shrinking, the facilities management team must find new ways to do more with less. There is a strong need to develop a strategy to be cost efficient when managing building maintenance and future replacement costs: today and for tomorrow. Facility Condition Assessments are the most intelligent way to increase the building portfolio’s life and yet at the same time reduce repair and maintenance costs.
The main purpose of the Facility Condition Assessments is so that the facility management team can evaluate the physical condition of the building portfolio, list any deficiencies existing in the building systems, assess the useful life of major components of the facility, and for long-term renewal and maintenance planning.
A SPECS written report will include the following: observed and noted deficiencies, projected lifespan of current building systems, and a list of requirements by priority for repair/replacement with estimated costs.
Facility Condition Assessments will help property owners develop a long-term capital planning of expenditures for major repairs/replacements of building systems and equipment. Additionally, FCAs can be used to address building code issues, fire code requirements, and accessibility legislation requirements.