Keeping Inventory: Assessing Your Facilities

NHA Housing

Spring is just around the corner, which means it’s time for spring cleaning. For many of our clients, the beginning of the year is also an ideal time to kick off a comprehensive facilities conditions assessment. Whether it’s an inventory of conditions of buildings on campus or a vast contingent of housing properties across numerous locations, a facilities condition assessment is a great way to prioritize future projects.

Why Conduct an Assessment?

The importance of facility assessments increases with the number of items in inventory. The more property an agency maintains, the more difficult it is to manage it. Recognizing this importance is critical to tailoring assessment services to meet the specific needs of each client.

It's All in the Details

Each assessment will have a unique set of goals depending on the project or client type. A campus assessment will have vastly different demands than an assessment of a governing agency inventory, and an assessment of a single building can be much simpler (or much more in-depth) than an assessment of multiple buildings – it all depends on the clients’ goals.

Types of Assessments

There are numerous reasons to conduct an assessment, including facility management, planning, operations/maintenance, and fundraising. The level of detail in an assessment can be loosely divided into three categories:

1) Overall state of an existing facility, including structural stability

2) Systems assessment, including review of mechanical/electrical/HVAC systems

3) Detailed inventory of equipment

Interpreting the Results

Conditions assessments provide direction for prioritizing future projects, identifying needs for minor or major renovations, additions, demolition and replacement or even recommendations for future facilities. Assessment reports are often further developed into large-scale planning documents. Additionally, assessments conducted for the purposes of fundraising efforts can be enhanced with graphic analyses, photos, renderings, etc.  while assessments for the purpose of facility management can be provided with extremely detailed spreadsheets and similar indexed data for ease of use in future planning efforts and ongoing maintenance.

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