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A facility condition assessment (FCA) is part of a complete and multi-disciplinary audit of an organization’s buildings. Facility managers should use an FCA as part of a technical investigation, to review assets or systems looking into the root causes of deterioration, and as a source for determining a building’s replacement value.
Analysis is often expressed in a facility condition index (FCI) that summarizes the assessment in a single number as an objective benchmark. These indices have industry norms and can be compared against the condition of other comparable businesses. Different business groups have different average rates.
THE IMPORTANCE OF A FACILITY CONDITION ASSESSMENT
Without a facility condition assessment and accurate building data, budgeting and capital planning will be based on experience and a general guess. An FCA allow facility operators to arrive at an estimate of reinvestment costs that are defensible with evidence, so the owner can make decisions to restore, replace or maintain defective assets. It also allows for the use data and reports for prioritizing projects for maintenance, repair or renewal.
FCA can include or exclude such assets as:
- The current condition of assets such as roofing, boilers and motors
- Estimation of costs to correct the backlog or part of the backlog of deferred maintenance
- A forecast of the effective age of assets and an estimate of future lifespan
- Identification of code deficiencies that need to be corrected
The FCA usually does not include the identification of new opportunities, like opportunities to improve facilities for energy conservation, efficiency and the like.The audit should involve experts in HVAC, plumbing and electricity who can observe, assess, and measure the facilities in the business inventory. Information collected should be standardized. Often time, an FCA is structured according to the ASTM Uniformat II classification system. Emphasis in the FCA is always on physical analysis rather than financial analysis. The work is generally carried out by experts in the engineering and technical fields. The final report is likely to include a photographic record of systems and elements of the assets. It generally includes a projected (usually 10 year) capital plan for each facility.
5 STEPS TO A SUCCESSFUL FACILITY CONDITION ASSESSMENT
A facility condition assessment is formed from a combination of information and data sources. This allows facility operators 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.
After sources are collected there are 5 steps to a successful facility condition assessment to follow:
- Preliminary preparation includes mobilization of the consulting team and arranging site access
- Collection of data includes reviewing documents, field visits, interviews, testing and monitoring
- Analysis of the data includes estimations of quantities and costs based on collected data and statistical summarization
- Preparation of the report includes peer review of the data to assure accuracy and standards conformance
- Presentation of the report is usually in steps depending on the priority of the report receivers
The FCA is time sensitive and can quickly become stale, especially if corrective action is not promptly taken. FCAs should be regularly updated and confirmed by follow-up to revisit old findings.The process should be subject to regular iterations and adjustments to reflect changing conditions, technologies, and circumstances.
Ultimately, FCAs can be accomplished with the right planning and course of action. To learn more about how you can take your facility from reactive to proactive using audits and inspections, check out our preventative maintenance toolkit.