Approaches to Managing the Built Environment

Reza Amirkhalili
In the current period of economic uncertainty, companies are scrutinizing their buildings for proof of efficiency and signs of slack. One approach to such issues is strategic facility consulting, a way to position management of the built environment as a sustainable core of operational proficiency.

In the current period of economic uncertainty, property portfolios are having to work harder and smarter as companies scrutinize their buildings for proof of efficiency and signs of slack. Larger portfolios can suffer from a fragmented planning approach and a lack of information on individual properties. Decisions made in less than ideal conditions can lead to a mismatch of property.

To address such issues, Faithful+Gould has developed a new service for the property and management market: strategic facility consulting. Our approach positions management of the built environment as a sustainable core of operational proficiency. Business results are pursued by aligning clients' mission and objectives in a defined facilities strategy.

The type of approach depends on the client's distinct needs:

  • Condition assessments

  • Energy and environmental analysis

  • Security and compliance audits

  • Life cycle capital planning

  • Sustainability consulting

To deliver our service we partner with 4tell Solutions, LLC. Their iPlanTM software organizes the data and helps deliver the solution.

 Putting it into practice: New York Presbyterian Hospital

Faithful+Gould completed a detailed infrastructure condition assessment of the facility in association with RMF Engineers. The data captured will be used to prepare an 8 year capital reinvestment program. The program sets out infrastructure repair and renewal projects for the hospital's four campuses and 84 buildings. We are now preparing the logistics scenarios, schedules and realistic cost estimates and budgets. This will prioritize capital expenditure and maintenance projects over the life of the program.

Putting it into practice: 230 Park Avenue, New York

Faithful+Gould partnered with a major U.S. real estate investment trust to undertake condition assessment of 700 buildings (approximately 20 million ft2). The portfolio comprised office, hotel and related buildings under acquisition in four interconnected buildings of different ages, types, sizes and conditions, making for a complex project. Limited maintenance and repair documents were available, creating a further challenge. We began by evaluating the condition and code compliance of the Helmsley Building, and advising on the extent and cost of repair and replacement projects required over the next 12 years. We also reported on the condition of the property, the scope of under-utilized areas and the investment required upon purchase.

Strategic Facility Consulting - in brief:

  • The integration and connectivity of this approach gives a ‘big picture' view of facilities.

  • This can be used to steamline performance processes and mitigate risk.

  • Extensive monitoring and reporting ramps up your governance, and creates an environment of checks and balances. 

  • The approach is set up to support sustainability. 

  • Finally, and crucially, it's based on the assumption that in-house property expertise varies from client to client.