A Brief History of the Facility Condition Assessment

Love ‘em or hate ‘em, facility condition assessments (FCAs) certainly are a key element of good facility management. The FCA once we know it today may be the consequence of multiple transformations as technology and industry guidelines have advanced. Let’s have a look at how FCAs attended and where they could be headed far.

1970 – F acilities Audit

Prior to the FCA, a facilities audit was the original approach to assessing infrastructure and buildings. It only centered on two aspects: determining physical deficiencies and compliance with the ADA along with other applicable codes.

1980 – The FCA exists

The facility condition assessment combined a health assessment with a functionality assessment. Which means it looked not merely at the physical status of a building and its own infrastructure but additionally aimed to comprehend how well the area functions and serves its intended purpose. 

Integrating both of these approaches right into a facility condition assessment delivered a far more comprehensive evaluation of facilities and much more information for capital planning. 

1980s-1990s – The Rise of CMMS

As computer storage and speed got bigger and computers themselves got smaller, the FCA began to become digitized. This development helped create CMMS (computerized maintenance management system). As the origins of CMMS stretch in to the 1960s back, advancements in computer technology brought it in to the mainstream since it became less expensive and open to smaller businesses.

Increasingly more companies began switching from manual solutions to CMMS and FCAs for managing their facility information and tracking maintenance.

1991 – Managing the Facilities Portfolio is Published

This was the initial publication to help make the full case for using FCA data, financial modeling, and CMMS together. It had been published by the National Association of University and College Business Officers, a respected organization in advanced schooling highly. 

Managing the Facilities Portfolio introduced a strategy for identifying and documenting repair, maintenance, today and renewal needs that’s still widely used. It discussed the benefits of managing facilities as a portfolio vs also. individually.

2007 – Present and Future Conditions

After conducting research for the U.S. government, the ongoing company Graphic Systems, Inc. published their findings in a whitepaper titled “Condition Strategic and Indices Planning.” The paper discussed how strategic condition assessment modeling and the theoretical condition index may bring tremendous value to traditional visual condition assessment programs.

Strategic condition assessment modeling uses visual observation, measuring, photographing, engineering analyses, record keeping, documentation, and much more to investigate trends in facility deterioration as time passes. The theoretical facility condition index (FCI) is really a measurement that compares the known lifecycle information of a building system with age that system.

Traditional FCAs began incorporating both of these tools to provide a far more comprehensive picture of facility conditions not merely during the assessment, but in to the future also.

2015 – Better Data Utilization

Despite technology advancements, a lot of FCA data had been collected manually and stored in 3-ring binders still. New software introduced by AkitaBox took the most recent data collection and modeling technology and applied it to facility management – including assessments, inspections, compliance, safety, and capital planning.

By presenting locational data within an easy-to-use format, this software enabled the telling of a building’s history better, current condition, and projected future. Subsequently, this allowed more data-driven decision making for each facet of infrastructure and facilities.

2022 – Facility Optimization

Up to now, FCAs have focused mainly on accurately identifying the existing state of facilities in addition to potential future issues to arrange for. Moving forward, FCAs are poised to see another major shift – this right time towards facility optimization.

Utilizing the accurate data collection and streamlined data management permitted by software tools, another generation of FCA software is leveraging these details to spotlight precisely where and how facilities could be optimized.