No matter the age of your building, it’s a good idea to have an accurate picture of where your assets are in their useful operating life. This way, you’ll be better prepared to develop appropriate asset management plans and capital budgets.
Keep reading to learn more about facility condition assessments and how the data you’ll collect can help you make smarter, cost-effective decisions to support your building’s physical longevity.
What is a facility condition assessment?
A facility condition assessment (FCA) is a process that analyzes the physical condition of a facility and its equipment. The assessment takes several factors into account including building age, design, assets, materials used, and more. Operations teams should use an FCA as part of a technical investigation to review assets or systems, look into the root causes of deterioration, and as a source for determining a building's replacement value.
Facility Condition Assessment Contents:
Work is generally done via a walk-through inspection, mathematical modeling, or a combination of both. A final report will typically include photographic records of systems and assets, as well as a projected (usually 10 year) capital plan for each facility.
What is a facility condition index?
A facility condition index (FCI) is an industry-standard metric that serves as an objective benchmark following a facility condition assessment. FCI is calculated by taking the total cost of existing renewal/repair costs, and dividing this number by total estimated replacement value.
For example, an FCI of 0.1 signifies a 10% deficiency, which is generally considered low. On the other hand, an FCI of 0.7 means that the building needs extensive repairs and replacements. FCIs can be used to compare your facility’s condition to those of similar businesses (though different business groups may have different average rates).
Facility Condition vs. Property Condition Assessment: What’s the difference?
If you’ve heard of the term “property condition assessment,” you may be wondering if this term has the same meaning as “facility condition assessment”. While both reports are similar, they do serve different purposes. A property condition assessment (PCA) is typically done before a property changes hands. It characterizes a building and its contents at one point in time — revealing general costs associated with correcting existing deficiencies and maintaining the property over time.
How is a facility condition assessment different? A facility condition assessment is used to determine long-term capital planning needs for the buildings they occupy. An FCA looks at each piece of equipment and provides specific data regarding future repairs, maintenance and replacements. An FCA allows for a more accurate projection of capital expenditures and maintenance costs over time.
The Importance of a Facility Condition Assessment
Although conducting an FCA can seem like a daunting task, it’s crucial in monitoring your building’s health and performance in the long run. Without a facility condition assessment and accurate building data, budgeting and capital planning will be based on experience and a general guess.
An FCA allows operations teams to arrive at an estimate of reinvestment costs that are defensible with evidence, so a decision can be made to restore, replace or maintain defective assets. It also allows for the use of data and reports to prioritize projects for maintenance, repair or renewal.
The end result of a facility condition assessment is an accurate, objective view of your building and assets’ physical health. Armed with this information, you’ll be prepared to target capital investments and meet the goals of your stakeholders (including dependable facility operation, reduced risk, increased service capacity or more growth).
5 Steps to a Successful Facility Condition Assessment
A facility condition assessment is formed from a combination of information and data sources. This allows building owners to get a holistic understanding of their facilities and how manipulating maintenance variables can impact long-term asset value.
Data sources often include visual reviews of a representative sample, documents, interviews, surveys of interested parties and users, satisfaction surveys, operator evaluations and condition monitoring.
Here are the five steps involved in a successful FCA:
This step includes the mobilization of the consulting team and arranging site access.
Collection of Data
This step includes reviewing documents, field visits, interviews, testing and monitoring
Analysis of the Data
This includes estimations of quantities and costs based on the collected data and statistical summarization.
Preparation of the Report
This includes peer review of the data to assure accuracy and standards conformance.
Presentation of the Report
The presentation of the report is usually part of the process, depending on the priority of the report receivers.
Here’s a Facility Condition Assessment Checklist
Ultimately, FCAs can be accomplished with the right planning and course of action. If you’re unsure of where to start, get on the right track with this facility condition assessment checklist:
☐ Create a comprehensive list of all systems and assets in your facility.
☐ Take note of each asset’s location in your facility management software.
☐ Write down how many of each asset your organization owns.
☐ Record the current age of each piece of equipment.
☐ Note the expected useful life for each piece of equipment.
☐ List any assets that are approaching (or exceeding) their expected operational life.
☐ Take note of any condition-related or operational-related issues with assets.
☐ Record any code-related or compliance-related issues that need to be corrected.
☐ Prioritize problems identified according to severity level.
☐ Estimate how much it will cost to fix issues or upgrade equipment.
☐ Recommend projects going forward to fix issues and upgrade equipment.
Pro Tip: After an FCA is completed, some operations teams make the mistake of ignoring results and waiting for the next FCA to occur several years down the line. Don’t make this mistake! Make it a point to take corrective action and follow up on findings within a set time period after the assessment is complete. The process should be subject to regular iterations and adjustments to reflect changing conditions, technologies, and circumstances.
Take the Guesswork out of Monitoring Building Portfolio Health
One of the smartest decisions you can make as a building owner, facilities director or portfolio manager is to understand the true cost of your buildings — not just today, but decades into the future. AkitaBox’s Capital Management software is designed to help you accomplish this goal with ease.
As a long-term condition assessment and capital planning solution, AkitaBox empowers building management professionals to make data-driven decisions about their properties and ensure budgeting needs stay in line with projections. Take the guesswork out of capital planning and harness your building’s data for an accurate picture of property sustainment costs. To learn more, click the image below to view a quick video overview.