How to use technology to improve aging building stock and infrastructure
Let's talk about how using technology improves aging buildings and infrastructure!
Facility managers face complex decisions about whether they should plan to build, renovate, or demolish aging buildings and infrastructure. Making these decisions is compounded by the need for increased operational efficiency, improved technology, and better financial returns, notably following disruptions from the COVID-19 pandemic.
So, how do facilities professionals confidently make difficult decisions about whether to replace or renovate aging buildings and infrastructure?
Facilities managers are experts in knowing the buildings and assets in their portfolios. As a result, the best FMs will act before equipment malfunctions, or buildings deteriorate and ensure systems remain operational.
Whether because of codes, regulations, or breakdowns, buildings, particularly those approaching the 30-year mark, need to be updated. It is up to facilities managers to assess structures and assets regularly to address and plan for essential health and safety upgrades.
Implementing facilities capital planning software will make caring for and maintaining an aging building stock more manageable. Our FOUNDATION platform takes the Facilities Manager from condition assessment to capital planning. It empowers your institution to get the most out of its valuable physical assets.
As buildings age, they go through a process of deterioration, which breaks down into five life-cycle stages that correlate to asset renewal:
- Prenatal: less than one year
- Childhood: 1–16 years
- Adolescence: 17–29 years
- Adulthood: 30–49 years
- Old Age: 50-plus years
Facility managers need to know when more extensive repair and maintenance issues will begin in each phase. David Albrice and the team at RDH conducted a study that found that it is during the “Adolescence” phase that buildings tend to experience the most extensive and most expensive asset renewal projects.
During this period, significant funds must be reinvested in the building. Therefore, facilities managers should prepare for upgrades as structures approach the 30-year mark.
Less clear is how to compute the cost of renovation against the cost of demolition and reconstruction. Several factors must be considered. Depending on how severe the problems are. For example, awkward structuring, small spaces, low ceilings, or eroded foundations will require partial or complete demolition.
So, how do facilities professionals make complex decisions about replacing or renovating aging buildings and infrastructure? In this blog, we will discuss 5 key areas to consider when assessing planning options regarding building, renovating, or demolishing your aging buildings and infrastructure.
1. Cost Analysis
All costs should be considered, including initial construction, phasing, financing, fees, and, most importantly, maintaining the space's long-term operational costs. Institutions often only consider the initial costs of construction without analyzing the long-term implications of these decisions. Capital Planning software can provide an easy and efficient way to manage aging buildings and infrastructure life-cycle costs.
2. Flow of People
The movement of people, materials, and vehicles in and around facilities should be logical, intuitive, and convenient. There should be a clear sense of entryways, adequate parking, a focal center of the facility, and an easily identifiable way to connect all the pieces together.
3. Market share
What improvements or programs can expand reach and attract the best talent to keep your organization growing?
How can these programs be enhanced either through new or renovated construction? Will new technologies demand new space, or can they be accommodated in existing structures and their respective infrastructures?
4. Environmental Outlook
Ideally, buildings should strive to conserve energy, responsibly reuse materials, and be constructed on sustainable sites. Carefully selecting sites will preserve existing natural sites. Conducting a sophisticated assessment of building envelopes and integrating HVAC systems will require less energy to heat and cool. This cost has exponential importance over the life of the building.
Additionally, a thorough review of materials and reuse will reduce initial capital costs while conserving the world's natural resources.
5. Plan for Expansion
There should be a plan for growth that includes the facility's ability to adapt to changing circumstances. That is, a logical method for expanding buildings and infrastructure should accommodate flexible planning and incremental growth.
Leveraging Technology for Aging Buildings and Infrastructure
Facilities managers are the experts in knowing the buildings and assets in their care. The best FMs will act before equipment malfunctions, or buildings deteriorate and ensure that systems remain operational at all times.
Whether because of codes, regulations, or breakdown, buildings, particularly those approaching the 30-year mark, will need to be updated to some extent. It is up to the facilities manager to assess structures and assets regularly to address and plan for needed upgrades.
Implementing facilities management and capital planning software will make caring for and maintaining an aging building stock much more manageable. Our FOUNDATION platform takes the FM from condition assessment to capital planning, empowering your institution to get the most out of its valuable physical assets.