Assessing Campus Facilities for the New Reality

Christy Ullo
As budgets for capital renewal of higher education facilities tighten, facility professionals must better understand the condition, energy efficiency and capital spend requirements of their facilities. With Faithful+Gould’s facility condition assessment and energy audit services, we provide our expertise to assist you in understanding the extent of your facilities, their condition, and the cost, timing and priority of required repairs and replacements.

We are embarking on a strategic approach to assist our clients adjust to the ever-changing economic situation. This dynamic approach helps our clients make high- and low-level capital investment decisions for their facility portfolios. 

Centered on maximizing return on investment, our strategic facility consulting (SFC) service provides a comprehensive understanding of the condition and energy usage of your facilities. It helps to quickly analyze data and prioritize investment decisions based on your business goals and processes, funding cycles and corporate social responsibility goals.

We recently presented at the Society for College of University Planning (SCUP) in conjunction with our client, the Georgia Institute of Technology. We addressed four major learning objectives and the solution our SFC service is providing to Georgia Tech. The learning objectives included:

  • How Georgia Tech establishes strategies for prioritizing capital improvement projects across a portfolio
  • How the Institute created and maintains one central data location for physical attributes
  • How a metric was established and updated in real time for decisions whether to repair, renovate or replace an asset
  • How the current asset management system is now easily accessible to stakeholders responsible for the efficiency, economy, usage and planning of campus physical assets

With 14 million square feet of facilities of various ages, types and conditions, Georgia Tech was in need of a plan to assess the condition of it properties to ensure it stays on track with its comprehensive vision goals of being among the world's most highly respected technology-based institutions, among other institutional goals.

Understanding Your Needs and Developing a Solution

As part of our process, our first step with any client is to truly understand their goals, concerns and major program drivers. To achieve this, we ask a series of questions to assist us as we formulate an action plan. Some of these questions include:

  • What assets do we have?
  • What are the quantities of those assets?
  • Where are they?
  • What condition are they in?
  • Are those assets being used to their full potential?
  • Are they compliant with applicable legislation and/or standards?
  • How do we better manage those assets?
  • What needs to be done to bring these assets into acceptable condition/compliance?
  • How much funding do we need in order to maintain or improve the current conditions?
  • When do we need to complete recommended capital projects?
  • How do we prioritize recommended capital projects?
  • What will the condition be as a result of a given funding level?
  • Where can we achieve cost savings?
  • How does the condition of our facilities and their capital requirements feed into our planned or present master plan
  • How should condition assessment software link to GIS, BIM, CMMS

The Solution

After selecting the right team to define and structure the business goals related to program requirements and prioritized capital investment, we design a program/solution that fits your organization's goals. To do this, we collect and organize data, align resources with needs, prepare budgets, gain approval and sustain and maintain the program. We include everyone from vested stakeholders to facilities management, planners, space owners, space users, etc.

By understanding both dependent, independent and sometimes conflicting business objectives, we can better develop an objective formula to identify the relative value of competing projects. The end result is a structured and defensible strategy for efficient and effective capital management. 

 Return on Investment

  • Avoid emergency repairs and catastrophic incidents - 20 to 60% savings
  • Promote competitive bid contracting - 15% savings
  • Bulk purchasing - 10% savings
  • Avoid construction cost increases - 10% savings
  • Reduce labor costs - time saved in budget preparation and reduction in lost productivity
  • Ensure business continuity
  • Brand consistency
  • Unnecessary project cost avoidance
  • Replace when most effective
  • Reduce liability

If you would like more information about our SFC service, please contact Ben Dutton in our Washington, D.C. office.