Facility Condition Assessments: Your Key to Confident Capital Planning

Facilities capital planning is one of the most important and one of the most complex exercises an organization engages in. Don’t take our word for it. A Gordian-sponsored survey of facilities leaders revealed just how daunting those tasked with facilities capital planning find the process. 70% of respondents told us they are challenged to balance day-to-day needs with long-term organizational goals. 48% struggle to achieve budget approval. 35% have difficulty prioritizing projects, 33% say that have difficulty communicating facilities needs to other stakeholders and 31% are challenged to gather the data to make informed decisions.

A Gordian/Facility Executive survey of facilities leaders identified these challenges:

Planning for the Present and the Long-Term

If you zoom out from these survey results, it is plain to see that facilities leaders are not confident in their ability to create a multi-year facility capital plan. One way organizations can build confidence in their planning processes and make smart long-term decisions is to conduct a facility condition assessment, or FCA.

What is a Facility Condition Assessment?

Put simply, an FCA is a technical assessment that measures the condition and functionality of all the assets in an organization’s facilities portfolio. This assessment is largely concerned with major building systems – think HVAC, plumbing and electrical – but includes all physical components from the foundation to the roof and everything in between. This detailed inventory includes an assessment of an organization’s facilities infrastructure and any other physical assets that require funding to maintain.

Visit our solutions page to learn more about how Gordian can help you conduct facility condition assessments and apply assessment data during the capital planning process.

How a Facility Condition Assessment Aids in Capital Planning

A thorough FCA results in a trove of facilities data. In addition to an accounting of the condition of every individual building component and system in the facilities portfolio, an FCA will include details about repairs and replacements to help establish accurate cost estimates for defined capital renewal and replacement projects.

Recall that our survey results show that facilities leaders say they do not have the data they need to make informed capital investment decisions. An FCA supplies that data and gives facilities leaders a starting point from which they can build capital plans.

The truth is, capital planning can be an emotional, often political, exercise. Every facility is someone’s darling, an asset they view as key to the future of the organization. As a result, conversations about investing or divesting in facilities can get intense. An FCA helps lower the temperature during the capital planning process with objective data that shows which facilities are performing well, which facilities could benefit the organization with the proper financial investment and which facilities should be decommissioned or replaced for the greater good. In the end, an FCA should show your team where facilities capital investments will make the greatest impact.

Facility Condition Assessments are best conducted by professional assessors.

How to Conduct a Facility Condition Assessment

Assessing every building system, asset and component is a monumental amount of work. Thorough and accurate facility condition assessments take a lot of time and know-how to complete. While your in-house facilities staff may have the expertise to conduct an FCA, they have a lot of responsibilities already. Adding to their workload is a recipe for burning them out and potentially ending up with an incomplete portfolio assessment that will hinder the planning process.

That’s why the best way to collect FCA data is to work with an industry partner like Gordian, who has a proven track record of documenting facilities needs and defining project priorities. Our assessors have a wealth of experience and specific areas of expertise that they use to evaluate your facilities from the foundation to the roof and everywhere in between. We also offer many varieties of assessment, so you can choose the right one for your organization. No matter which option you choose, by the end of the assessment, you’ll have a comprehensive view of your facilities portfolio and the data you need to build an informed multi-year capital plan.

Facility Condition Assessments: The Foundation for an Informed Capital Plan

Long-term facilities capital planning is conceptually similar to retirement planning in the sense that you can’t reach your goals without a clear understanding of your current assets. Such an understanding requires data in the form of financial accounts and, often, the help of an advisor. It helps to take the same approach to facilities capital planning. Knowing your facility portfolio’s financial risks and safety concerns is the first step to making decisions about your organization’s future so you can achieve your long-term goals. A facility condition assessment conducted by an experienced partner lays the foundation for informed planning discussions and, ultimately, a sustainable capital plan your organization can be confident in.

About Gordian

Gordian is the leader in facility and construction cost data, software and services for all phases of the building lifecycle. A pioneer of Job Order Contracting, Gordian’s solutions also include proprietary RSMeans data construction costs and Facility Intelligence Solutions. From planning to design, to procurement, construction and operations, Gordian’s solutions help clients maximize efficiency, optimize cost savings and increase building quality.