Assessing the physical condition of facilities has become an essential aspect of facilities management and maintenance. There are several reasons why we access the condition of an assets/ facility. Amongst many others is ensuring that the occupants of facilities are safe. Facilities that do not go through the process of building condition assessment can have an overlying distress condition such as a weak or dent wall or a weak soak away. The result can be a collapse and the death of occupants of the facility. However, when a property condition assessment is carried out on buildings and other assets, such conditions can be detected and fixed by a professional facilities manager. Thus, the importance of facility condition assessment.
Research shows that the average time spent by people in a facility is 87%. This means that people spend most of their time in a facility. For this reason, it is important to know how to assess the condition of a facility. The article explains in detail and gives answers to the frequently asked questions on facility condition assessment such as what is means, why it is important, and how do you conduct one. We have also included a sample of a functional template to guide you through the step-by-step process on how to carry out a successful one.
What is Facility Condition Assessment (FCA)?
Facility Condition Assessment is the process of analyzing the physical condition of a building or facility using factors such as the age of the building, materials used in the building facility, construction method employed, assets, and so on. Facilities condition assessments can also be described as diagnosing the condition of a facility to detect problems and ways of solving or maintaining the problem.
A facility includes any building ranging from commercial, industrial to residential, including cooperating campuses, school districts, government facilities, integrated facilities, hospitality, manufacturing, unions, etc. Facilities condition assessment is vital in facilities management because it helps determine the root of deterioration a facility is experiencing consequently ensuring that occupants of the building or facility are safe.
Building condition assessments can be carried out by facilities managers, architects, engineers, or skilled-trade technicians. Other facilities managers who specialize in HVAC, electricity and plumbing should also be available for the FCA. The opinions of these facilities management professionals will determine the solution to the problems detected during building assessment. All information will then be provided on facility condition assessment excel template to be worked upon. The final form can also include a photographic record of all assets and a capital plan projected for future years, say next ten years.
FCAs can be carried out in 2 ways, including a walk-through inspection and mathematical modelling or a combination of both.
What is the Difference Between a Facility Condition Assessment and a Building Condition Assessment?
Facility Condition Assessment (FCA), and Building Condition Assessment both implies carrying out an inspection, but they are done for different purposes.
While an FCA is done for facility owners or managers of real estate managers to help them know the value and understand the condition of the assets, they are about to take over from another facility manager. A building condition assessment, otherwise known as property condition assessment, is conducted on a property to be sold. A loan lender or an investor who wants to buy the property can request a property condition assessment
For a building condition assessment, a building condition assessment form is used to present the report of the assessment, while a report form is used for an FCA.
However, in this article, facility condition assessment (FCA) and building condition assessment will be used interchangeably to mean the same thing.
Facility Condition Index: – What does FCI Mean?
Facility Condition Index (FCI) is a standard gauge or benchmark used in facilities management for measuring or evaluating, and comparing the current condition of a building asset to the projected building assets.
FCI is the statistical or numerical representation of the result of the facilities assessments. FCI is the KPI (Key Performance Index) used to measure quantitatively and compare the building condition of a facility with:
- The same building or facility in the coming years
- Other buildings and facilities with the same portfolio
FCI (facility condition index) is important because it provides the means of comparison of a building or facility condition allowing facilities managers to understand a facility renewal funding needs and the next line of action to be taken.
Mathematically, Facility Condition Index (FCI) is expressed as:
FCI = Maintenance, Repair, and Replacement Deficiencies of the facility
Current Replacement value of the Facility.
The FCI Condition Grade System is organized into 4 building condition scale:
- “Good” FCA = 0-5% FCI
- “Fair” FCA = 5-10% FCI
- “Poor’ FCA = 10-30%
- “Critical” FCA = -30%+
Why is Facility Condition Assessment Important?
Why do we assess the condition of a facility? Condition assessments of buildings is important to the management of a building for a good building maintenance.
Why do a facility condition assessment? Carrying out an FCA helps to detect the defects of a facility. The data collected during the property condition assessment will be inputted in an excel template or condition assessment form.
The following are the importance of facility condition assessment:
- Conducting a FCA on facilities, buildings and properties helps to determine the extent to which a facility can meet the original intended purpose. In other words, a property condition assessment is a risk analysis for properties and assets.
- It gives an accurate narrative report including data on work history and cost, facility condition index, building age and depreciation, energy usage ruling out all guess works.
- FCAs are important because it saves resources that would have been spent on wrong maintenance because of guess work.
- Another importance of facility condition assessments is the extension of assets life span. Facility condition assessment ensures routine maintenance of facilities and other assets consequently increasing the lifespan of facilities.
- Carrying out a building condition assessment is also essential in planning for future budgets for a specified amount of time.
- FCA is important in evaluating the status or condition of a facility as the FCA data gotten using various facilities condition assessment software are a valuable tool for long-time planning of the facilities.
- It helps professional facilities managers determine the likely future problem that may arise in a facility.
- One importance of facility condition assessments is the secure of additional funding for renovation.
- Data gotten from facility condition assessment software are a vital tool in planning and prioritizing long-term and short-term investments for real estate managers, property managers and property owners.
- An FCA report is useful in creating a repair and maintenance plan
Facility Condition Assessment Checklist
What is Evaluated on Facility Condition Assessment? To avoid missing out on any important data while carrying out facilities assessments, it is vital to have an FCA template. This template contains some checklists depending on the facility to be assessed.
What is facility condition assessment checklist? FCA checklist is a reliable method in the form of a formal list that the process can follow to ensure that nothing is missing. This is particularly important if you’re unsure of how to start your facilities assessment.
Our next post on Best Practices for FCA: Facility Condition Assessments Checklists and Facility Condition Assessment Software broadly covers this subject.
What is evaluated on a Facility Condition Assessment?
Current Repair Costs
- FCA is used to establish the cause of a deficiency
- FCA helps to establish the current repair cost of correcting the deficiency
- Conducting an FCA also helps to create a prioritized list of repairs.
Forecast Future Costs
- Conducting a building condition assessment helps facility managers to understand future deficiencies.
- Facilities condition assessment also helps in forecasting costs as it involves breaking down a building into its individual components.
- Condition assessment of buildings establishes both short-term and long-term budgets
Maintain building data
- FCA helps in forecasting current and historical data from previous assessments.
- FCA uses cost models life-cycle analyses to assign the life expectancy for all building system
Step-by-Step Guide on How to Assess the Condition of a Facility Successfully
How do you assess the condition of a facility/ assets? What are the steps for an FCA? The below information is the steps for condition assessment of a distressed structure:
There are 5 steps used in carrying out a successful facility condition assessment:
- Preliminary Preparation: This stage of conditional assessment of buildings includes mobilizing the assessment team for a facility condition survey which may consist of facility managers of various specialties (HVAC, plumbing) to the assessment site. It also includes preparing access to the site.
- Data Collection:This step on how to conduct a facility assessment condition includes reevaluating documents, going on field or site trips, carrying out interviews and surveys with occupants of building and operator evaluators.
- Data Analysis: This FCA step involves the estimation of quantities and cost based on the data collected from step 2 and the FCI statistical result.
- Preparation of the FCA report: This step involves reviewing data to ensure accuracy and conformation with FCA standards.
- Presentation of FCA Report: Depending on the priority of those receiving the FCA report, this report can be presented using a facilities condition assessment excel template. However, the facility manager may decide to go digital using various facilities condition assessment software available.
It important to know that FCA is time-sensitive. This implies that the present report can go stale and may no longer apply to the status of the facility currently. It is, therefore important that a repetitive and regular FCA be carried out from time to time to ensure that facility managers are constantly aware of the facilities they manage. A successful facility condition assessment should also indicate changes in condition, circumstances, and technologies from time to time.
If you’re a facility manager who is about to take over the management of a building or facility from another manager, assessing the condition of the facility you’re about managing is very important. This helps you know the current state of the facility, so you don’t incur unnecessary cost and struggle with maintaining the facility. Conducting a building condition assessment prepares you ahead.
Moreover, if you need a facility manager to assess the integrity of your facility, you can always reach out to experienced facility managers in the field. Need help? You can seek professional advice from us.