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City of Atlanta Optimizes Public Facilities with Gordian Solutions

Challenge: City of Atlanta on a Mission To Provide Exceptional Public Facilities

Atlanta’s Department of Enterprise Asset Management has a lofty and noble goal: “To achieve the true value of assets using a systematic approach in delivering efficient and sustainable world-class facilities that provide an optimized experience for our constituents, employees and guests.” That’s a tall order for any municipality, regardless of size. It’s an extraordinary challenge for a booming city like Atlanta.

The department manages an impressive portfolio of 51 facilities including 34 fire stations, eight police precincts, several neighborhood centers and city hall, to name a few. Each facility under Enterprise Asset Management’s expansive portfolio requires routine maintenance, repairs, cleaning and upgrades to meet the citizenry’s varied and evolving needs. Additionally, Enterprise Asset Management assists city departments with the acquisition, maintenance and disposal of owned and leased real estate interests.

To help them optimize their existing facilities portfolio and make savvy facilities investments, leaders at Atlanta’s Department of Enterprise Asset Management turn to Gordian.

Solutions: Job Order Contracting for Project Execution. Facility Assessments for Sound Investments.

Remy Saintil, the former Commissioner of the Department of Enterprise Asset Management, has been a proponent of Gordian’s Job Order Contracting (JOC) for years, beginning with his tenure at the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA).

“We were trying to find a way while I was at MARTA to address facility projects which were smaller than the larger train infrastructure projects,” he says. “I needed a vehicle to get facilities projects done.” JOC’s long and well-earned reputation for accelerating routine, operational work made it the exact solution Commissioner Saintil was looking for.

Job Order Contracting is an indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity construction procurement method that empowers organizations to complete many projects using a single, competitively-awarded contract. This unique, single-solicitation approach saves procurement leaders significant time, as much as three weeks, according to a report by NIGP and Gordian.

“It’s been a partnership from the beginning. They’re here every day and they facilitate our products for us. They represent us. They are part of the city. They are the city.”

Around the same time Commissioner Saintil was implementing a Gordian JOC program at MARTA, one was also being stood up at Enterprise Asset Management. By the time he arrived at the department, the program was already established, and he was a seasoned JOC user.

“We were able to accelerate the JOC program because I already knew the players and I knew how it worked,” he says.

The Department of Enterprise Asset Management takes a unique approach to JOC in that they have two contracts: One that covers projects valued up to $5 million and another covering projects valued from $5 million to upwards of $25 million. While this two-tiered approach may not be right in all situations, it has given the City of Atlanta a flexible way to build, optimize and maintain public facilities. City leaders can also be confident in their project budgets because all Gordian JOC work is priced out of the Construction Task Catalog® (CTC), a Unit Price Book containing local costs for material and labor, technical specifications and general conditions identical to the specific language concerning contract execution. Every item in the CTC is backed by meticulous research conducted by Gordian cost engineers and construction experts.

Learn more about Gordian’s Job Order Contracting, including how to access it and how projects are priced in this comprehensive video series.

His success with Job Order Contracting inspired Commissioner Saintil to expand the department’s partnership with Gordian across the building lifecycle. He trusted Gordian to conduct a facility assessment in advance of a major real estate purchase.

“The city was in a negotiation with the state to acquire a 42-story building for affordable housing,” the former Commissioner explains. “I needed to know what the building is, what’s in it and what’s wrong with it before we actually signed on the dotted line. We were able to do that.”

Gordian offers a range of facility condition assessments organizations use to fuel intelligent investment strategies. From intensive, component-level assessments conducted by experienced assessors and engineers, to estimating renewal and replacement costs of building systems using statistical modeling, Gordian helps customers identify and gather the right level of detail for every physical asset.

“It was a comprehensive, successful assessment that involved not only the conditions but also what it would [cost] on the market side to convert it,” Saintil explains. “We ended up buying the building.”

The city was so pleased that officials asked Gordian to conduct a citywide assessment of 145 buildings, totaling around three million gross square feet.

See all the solutions Gordian offers to help state and local government leaders build and sustain stronger, more resilient communities.

Result: Atlanta’s Leaders Deliver World-Class Public Facilities

The Department of Enterprise Asset Management has made its JOC contracts available to all city entities, setting the stage for a flurry of activity and remarkable success. In fact, local Gordian representatives have worked with all departments but one. Gordian has helped the city revitalize areas with public arts projects and paved the streets around city hall. The industry leader in JOC has also helped the community honor the young victims of the Atlanta Child Murders with a memorial. They even saved the day one Christmas morning when a water main broke in, of all places, the Office of Emergency Preparedness. Over four years, the City of Atlanta has completed more than 50 Gordian JOC projects totaling $90 million.

If you ask Commissioner Saintil how the city’s program has been so successful, he’ll tell you that Gordian’s commitment and expertise have made all the difference.

“It’s been a partnership from the beginning,” he says. “They’re here every day and they facilitate our products for us. They represent us. They are part of the city. They are the city.”

The City of Atlanta has succeeded with Gordian beyond Job Order Contracting. The citywide assessment of public facilities gave the Commissioner the data he needed to apply for and secure $6.6 million in federal grant funding. This money will be invested in community centers open to locals as office space.

“We had the information straight. It was fresh off the presses from the condition assessment. We’re using [the assessment data], and it’s adding value for the city,” Commissioner Saintil says.

From construction procurement to facilities planning and asset optimization, Gordian and the City of Atlanta work hand-in-hand to effectively manage the entire building lifecycle.

“It’s like a family,” Commissioner Saintil says. “We want to be able to create a family atmosphere so that we can get things done.”

Get an in-depth look at all Gordian solutions in this free eBook.

About Gordian

Gordian is the leading provider of Building Intelligence™ Solutions, delivering unrivaled insights, robust technology and expert services to fuel customers’ success through all phases of the building lifecycle. Gordian created Job Order Contracting (JOC) and the industry-standard RSMeans Data. We empower organizations to optimize capital investments, improve project performance and minimize long-term operating expenses.