QUESTION OF THE WEEK: What To Do When Moving In
Where can I find resources, tools, and tips for opening a new commercial office building?
QUESTION OF THE WEEK: What To Do When Moving In was published on at and updated at .

This Question of the Week comes from the International Facility Management Association Group on Linkedin.

Does anyone have any resources that they could share that provide a list of things to consider when opening a newly constructed commercial office building? I’m not necessarily looking for details on move management, rather things such as service contracts, staffing, and other considerations of a facility manager. Thanks for your help!

Trevor Gamblin
Manager, Facility Management Division
City of Saint John
New Brunswick, Canada

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  1. There is a difference between owner-occupied and tenant- occupied buildings.
    For owner-occupied space some of the key considerations are:
    • Do you have emergency egress plans?
    • Don’t forget to conduct fire drills (OSHA requirement).
    • Store all your construction warranty information in a readily available format.
    • Read your warranties (for example you may void the roof warranty if you walk on the roof).
    • Have your insurance information available at all times (even when you are at home).
    • Set up a cost-tracking system that will allow you to benchmark with IFMA or BOMA benchmarks.
    • Set up a “call center” – phone number or e-mail address to accept complaints/ work requests.
    • Set up a data base of vendors to call for a specific problem.
    • Set up a Preventive Maintenance program to maintain your equipment.
    • Set up maintenance contracts for HVAC, emergency generators, elevators and other specialty equipment.
    • Don’t forget to get snow removal in your budget if you are up north
    • Will you have a space charge-back system for departmental lease space or specific charges to departments or will you absorb all costs?
    • Occupancy plans showing departmental boundaries on a furniture plan and even “who sits where” are helpful.
    • Create a sq. ft. database of the gross, rentable and usable space in your building
    • Have a parking database. Often you need a plan with labeled parking spaces
    • Have more than one person on the call list for security issues.
    • You absolutely need to have a contract with a remediation contractor (they need to be set up in your system so you you can call them to fix your overflowing toilet and associated damage at 3 AM so your building is up and running by 8 AM).
    • You need to track work orders and requests – there are a number of systems (Work Order Management Systems) that are quite good available in a wide price range. A spread sheet will work at first.
    • You will be getting many invoices each month – you need to set aside time to review, code and pay them.

    Strategic Facility Planner
    Labarre Associates, Inc.
    Denham Springs, Louisiana

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