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Recap: NNSA Best Practices for Building a Better Cost Engine

The National Nuclear Security Agency (NNSA) works as a semi-autonomous agency within the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) responsible for enhancing national security through the military application of nuclear science. NNSA has embraced BUILDER™ Sustainment Management System (SMS) as a primary tool for the management of the agency’s facilities infrastructure in support of its national security mission.

Recently at the SAME-IFMA Facilities Management Workshop, representatives from NNSA and Gordian presented on this subject, providing case study examples and expertise on how NNSA went about improving the BUILDER system.


Recap: NNSA Best Practices for Building a Better Cost Engine 1
Incheol Pang, BUILDER SMS Program Manager, Office of Infrastructure Planning & Analysis, NNSA
Dave Lewek, Director of Professional Services, Gordian
Na’ilah Bowden, NNSA’s Director, Office of Infrastructure Planning & Analysis was slated  to present as well but had to opt out last minute due to a scheduling conflict.

NNSA’s facilities and equipment are generally old, obsolete and/or in poor condition. The BUILDER SMS is used to help make critical asset management decisions and provide investment guidance to:

  • Objectively asses infrastructure across the enterprise
  • Consistently analyze investment requirements and prioritize scarce resources
  • Track investments to ensure key stakeholder requirements are addressed
  • Forecast the investment requirements for budget defense and course of action analysis
  • Manage risk and employ innovation solutions

After a multi-year inventory effort, it became clear the catalog and costs were not aligned with NNSA infrastructure assets. NNSA required more accurate costs than were available in the BUILDER catalog.

The agency partnered with Gordian to license and configure industry-standard RSMeans data from Gordian to drive its BUILDER system. Teaming up with Gordian engineers to map RSMeans data to the BUILDER Catalog, NNSA sought to quantify component replacement costs. This was all on top of developing a sophisticated Cost Engine to calculate more accurate Replacement Plant Values (RPV).

Parametric models of typical DOE facilities, developed over a decade ago, were updated. They now integrate with inventoried assets in the Cost Engine to provide the most asset-specific RPV possible. Costs are updated annually through an automated process, certifying budgets are current before reporting to Congress.

View the full presentation here.

To read a case study exploration of NNSA’s success click here.