Why You Need Facility Condition Assessments

4 minutes
Facility Assesment


Current state of affairs

Buildings (from schools to gyms to dorms to hospitals) are at the core of your organization, allowing you to serve individuals and fulfill your mission. The other side of this is that these buildings are getting older every day, creating a unique challenge for those who manage facilities. After all, the average age of buildings in the United States is over 40 years old.

Adding to this, it's all too common for maintenance staff to do far less preventive than reactive work. Michael Cowley writes on that reactive work should only be 10-15% of the total workload.

For facilities that operate in a run to failure mode where the majority of work is reactive, it becomes detrimental to establishing planned maintenance work and completing major capital projects.

What is a facility condition assessment?

A facility condition assessment (FCA) is simply a process of analyzing the condition of a facility or a group of facilities. This is accomplished by looking at factors like age, materials, design, assets and more. Conducting an FCA is crucial in monitoring your building’s health and performance in the long run. Whether you run a YMCA, church, manufacturing plant or school district, an FCA may be the only thing between you and a maintenance emergency that could negatively impact your operations and those you serve.

What’s the power of a facility condition assessment (FCA)?

  • No more guesswork. Get a narrative report on your facility condition, as well as data on work history and cost, condition index, age and depreciation, and energy usage.
  • Save resources. Lower cost per work order and cost of ownership of your assets.
  • Extend asset lifecycles. Less reactive work, more proactive maintenance so you stop problems before they occur.
  • Reliable data. Your FCA can stay current for 10-15 years, allowing you to plan well into the future.

Attacking an FCA alone can be daunting for any organization. That is why Brightly partners with expert-level engineering firms who have performed thousands of FCAs over the years. Not only do they have the know-how but you benefit from keeping your team focused on their day-to-day tasks. Win-win.

Ensuring your FCAs are successful and don’t just remain in a binder on your desktop doesn’t have to be complex – in fact, you can simplify the process by using strategic asset management software. This software relies on an APPEM approach to facility maintenance. This method of keeping track of your equipment, inventory and facility needs will help you move from reactive to proactive maintenance.

Simplifying with the APPEM cycle

If the goal is strategically maintaining your facilities, you need to start with a process. One that works for today and into the future. And let’s be honest, arguably the most important part of being prepared for anything is having a plan.

Enter Brightly’s APPEM (pronounced app-em) model. Why do we love this continuous improvement model? Aside from the fact that it can be used for virtually any process, it is also scalable.

The APPEM process is designed to create a cycle of success that is always up to date, avoiding the need to complete FCAs every 5 to 10 years. Here’s what the APPEM method looks like:

  • Assess – This is an important first step that can’t be missed. Take the time to assess every part of your building to get a comprehensive understanding of components, assets and systems.
  • Prioritize – Place whatever is most urgent or important at the top of your list, whether that’s replacing carpet or repairing an HVAC. This is a good way to organize updates like replacements and capital projects.
  • Plan – Make a plan for the best way to address the items at the top (and bottom) of your list. Take note of what needs to be fixed when, how much it will cost and who needs to be involved to get the job done.
  • Execute – Put your plan into motion by updating the most critical items on your list, ensuring everyone has the tools (an easy-to-use work order management program) and direction they need to complete the task.
  • Maintain – This is key in making FCAs successful for the future of your facility. By having a capital planning process, you can keep a close eye on each part of your facility and plan ahead to prevent any unexpected maintenance or compliance issues.

Strategic asset management software makes the transition back to “Assess” possible by providing data and reporting that lead to better decision making. To sustain long-term success, you must balance and prioritize proactive, reactive and capital work all in one maintenance management system.

All in all, ensuring your organization has periodic facility condition assessments completed and that the data is tracked within software is the key. The APPEM process has been known to help countless organizations strategically manage their assets from cradle to grave.