2
Committee Recommendations

Although the workshop participants focused on the task of identifying topics to be included within a scope of services for a planning solicitation, it became obvious during the course of the workshop discussions that the challenges faced by the Architect of the Capitol related as much to short- and medium-term operational issues as to a reconceptualization of the future of the Capitol Complex itself. As a result, the NRC committee appointed to oversee the workshop and develop this report has chosen to offer recommendations that not only address the immediate charge of helping to develop a scope of services but also provide practical guidance that can facilitate ongoing capital investment and facility management efforts.

The committee recognizes that the information-gathering potential of a 1 1/2-day workshop is limited. The recommendations that follow are based both on the workshop discussions and on the committee’s own extensive background in the topics discussed. This report is not presented as a treatise on master planning or as a comprehensive assessment of all planning issues that will arise as the form and function of the Capitol Complex continue to evolve. It is the committee’s intent to provide practical guidance to the Architect of the Capitol that can be used in planning and developing a solicitation package for an update of the Master Plan for the U.S. Capitol and Grounds. The workshop discussions also identified approaches that could facilitate ongoing capital improvement and facility management efforts, and the committee urges the Architect of the Capitol to consider them as well.

1. The Architect of the Capitol should prepare and maintain a 5-year rolling capital improvement plan for the Capitol Complex.

Perhaps the most daunting challenge facing the Architect of the Capitol is how to provide (1) enhanced security measures necessitated by the real threat of terrorist attack, (2) physical upgrades to bring historic buildings into compliance with U.S. laws mandating workplace safety and accessibility, and (3) ongoing facility management services in a dynamic workplace and tourist environment while maintaining fidelity to a long-established historic resource. Projects totaling almost $1 billion are currently planned or under way to address these concerns; additional funds will be requested in future budgets to complete the work.

As a first-order priority, the committee believes that the Architect of the Capitol should develop and implement a multiyear capital planning process to organize, in time and space, the approximately $1 billion in projects approved or under way in order to improve coordination and minimize disruption. A capital improvement plan would also assist in planning and coordinating future funding requests. As part of the capital improvement and investment plan, the Architect of the Capitol should annually gather, develop, and prioritize projects using a business metric, based on either internal rate of return or net present value. The capital improvement plan should express business goals in measurable terms, define the metrics, and plan for the use of information technology resources to monitor and report on progress toward achieving goals.



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2 Committee Recommendations Although the workshop participants focused on the task of identifying topics to be included within a scope of services for a planning solicitation, it became obvious during the course of the workshop discussions that the challenges faced by the Architect of the Capitol related as much to short- and medium-term operational issues as to a reconceptualization of the future of the Capitol Complex itself. As a result, the NRC committee appointed to oversee the workshop and develop this report has chosen to offer recommendations that not only address the immediate charge of helping to develop a scope of services but also provide practical guidance that can facilitate ongoing capital investment and facility management efforts. The committee recognizes that the information-gathering potential of a 1 1/2-day workshop is limited. The recommendations that follow are based both on the workshop discussions and on the committee’s own extensive background in the topics discussed. This report is not presented as a treatise on master planning or as a comprehensive assessment of all planning issues that will arise as the form and function of the Capitol Complex continue to evolve. It is the committee’s intent to provide practical guidance to the Architect of the Capitol that can be used in planning and developing a solicitation package for an update of the Master Plan for the U.S. Capitol and Grounds. The workshop discussions also identified approaches that could facilitate ongoing capital improvement and facility management efforts, and the committee urges the Architect of the Capitol to consider them as well. 1. The Architect of the Capitol should prepare and maintain a 5-year rolling capital improvement plan for the Capitol Complex. Perhaps the most daunting challenge facing the Architect of the Capitol is how to provide (1) enhanced security measures necessitated by the real threat of terrorist attack, (2) physical upgrades to bring historic buildings into compliance with U.S. laws mandating workplace safety and accessibility, and (3) ongoing facility management services in a dynamic workplace and tourist environment while maintaining fidelity to a long-established historic resource. Projects totaling almost $1 billion are currently planned or under way to address these concerns; additional funds will be requested in future budgets to complete the work. As a first-order priority, the committee believes that the Architect of the Capitol should develop and implement a multiyear capital planning process to organize, in time and space, the approximately $1 billion in projects approved or under way in order to improve coordination and minimize disruption. A capital improvement plan would also assist in planning and coordinating future funding requests. As part of the capital improvement and investment plan, the Architect of the Capitol should annually gather, develop, and prioritize projects using a business metric, based on either internal rate of return or net present value. The capital improvement plan should express business goals in measurable terms, define the metrics, and plan for the use of information technology resources to monitor and report on progress toward achieving goals.

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2. The Architect of the Capitol should solicit the services of a core management group with proven expertise in architecture, landscape design, urban design, historic preservation, facility planning, facility performance evaluation, and facility-based information management to manage the master planning effort through all of its phases. Workshop participants devoted considerable time to discussing whether the master planning effort should be performed by a multidisciplinary team selected through a single procurement or a number of consultants selected on an as-needed basis as the master planning effort proceeds. A problem with multidisciplinary teams is that typically they are rigidly structured to respond to criteria established early in the procurement process and often lack the flexibility to go off in new directions as ideas and information are generated and priorities shift during the planning process. The committee favors the selection of a core consulting group that would develop a close working relationship with the staff of the Architect of the Capitol and, working within the overall “Capitol vision” guidelines, perform many of the day-to-day activities involved in drafting the master plan. If specialized expertise or capabilities were needed, it would acquire them, often by using task orders. Because this management group would be working in a complex political and institutional environment, its senior managers must possess uncommon communication skills and a profound appreciation for the context of the master planning effort. The team working on the master plan should also: Study best practices in capitals around the nation and the world. Reevaluate past planning and visioning efforts. Extend and enhance the Architect of the Capitol’s geographic information and facilities information models, which designers and stakeholders could use to explore the relationships between existing facilities, work in progress, approved projects, long-range plans, and heritage inventories. Conduct ongoing systematic evaluations of existing and redeveloped public spaces, workplaces, and public buildings. The evaluations should create an information base for decision making and should focus on issues such as satisfaction among workers and the public, energy and technical performance, circulation and wayfinding, support of work, and other issues as appropriate. This information should be provided to decision makers and integrated into the Architect of the Capitol’s geographic and facilities information systems. Solicit the views of interested parties such as the Capitol Hill community, the District of Columbia government, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, the National Capital Planning Commission, and the Fine Arts Commission, among others. 3. In support of the master planning process, the Architect of the Capitol should consider the establishment of an expert panel to advise on facility design and operational issues. An outside advisory panel of recognized experts could provide the Architect of the Capitol with guidance for internal decision making and could help explain design policies and decisions to the public and other stakeholders. The State Department in 1953 created such a panel, which included both architects and other professions, and the General Services

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Administration and Federal Reserve Board utilize similar bodies for design issues. The advisory panel for the Architect of the Capitol should possess sufficient technical depth to be able to advise in such areas as planning, architecture, landscape design, urban design, security and emergency planning, historic preservation, civil, mechanical, structural, and building systems engineering, transportation, technological infrastructure and systems, human environments, facilities performance evaluation, and sustainable design. Public participation planners will be needed to develop and implement a strategy for communicating with stakeholders and for outreach to interested groups. If such an advisory body is established, the committee believes that the Architect and elected officials and representatives of various user and stakeholder groups should oversee it. 4. A comprehensive and inclusive vision for the U.S. Capitol and Grounds should be developed to underpin the formulation of a master plan. A bipartisan, bicameral group of congressional leaders as well as the leaders of the Supreme Court and the Library of Congress should be intimately involved in the process of creating a vision for the Capitol Complex. The vision should be inspirational and clearly articulate why the master plan is important. The vision should help identify the place of the U.S. Capitol within the world, the nation, and the local community as a shrine of democracy, temple of law, and seat of government, as well as the national library and congressional museum. The committee believes that creating a vision for the U.S. Capitol Complex is a critical part of the master planning process. However, because the visioning process will be lengthy and involve many stakeholders, it should proceed in parallel with the many observation and analysis tasks that need to be undertaken in support of a master plan. These include such topics as origin and destination studies of employees, the condition and use of the buildings and grounds and their historic context, relevant plans and planning efforts of the District of Columbia, and the impact of the Complex’s proposed development on surrounding neighborhoods. 5. The physical planning element of the master plan should provide guidance for development and change within the Capitol Complex based on the scale of the change and its relationship to the Complex and the District of Columbia. In advance of future site planning, the site inventory needs to be updated to include information on buildings, landscapes, and other structures on the grounds, such as statues and fountains that are protected by law or need to be preserved because of their aesthetic or historic value. In the long run, a design approach that would assist in maximizing security without compromising aesthetics (as defined by the Capitol vision) and historic structures and grounds should be developed. The question of what can be done to increase the sense of comfort and security of workers and visitors as they move within the Complex should be explored, e.g., ways that parking areas could be used to both enliven the landscape and enhance security. Likely changes in the ways office and meeting space in the Capitol Complex will be used in the future as a result of new technologies and shifts in the ways people interact could have a dramatic impact on site planning. For example, computer and communications technology might make it possible for more work to be relocated to district or home offices, with less office space required at the Capitol Complex.

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6. As part of the facility planning process, the master plan should address workplace-of-the-future issues. One of the important responsibilities of the Office of the Architect of the Capitol is to set policies and standards for space utilization. Space standards must be studied in depth because the Congressional Accountability Act now establishes that federal worker health and safety standards apply to the Capitol Complex. However, the master plan should contain a facility management component that provides policy direction by concrete physical example on a number of workplace issues such as indoor air quality, thermal quality, visual and spatial ergonomics, organizational flexibility, technological adaptability, and energy and environmental effectiveness. 7. The master plan should include an element that thoroughly explores the potential of information technology (IT) to enable, monitor, and improve the working environment. It should also study improvements that might be achievable through the further integration of current IT systems supporting congressional/judicial business processes and IT systems associated with facility support. Information technology can assist in reducing overcrowding in offices, enabling flexibility and environmental control, and improving worker health and safety. Robust network infrastructures allow flexibility in worker locations, including sites away from Capitol Hill, thereby supporting space density management options and rapid relocations. Network infrastructure, information and transaction standards, and document management technologies, which allow remote storage and retrieval of documents, enable more automated transactions, and promote space density reductions, reduced floor loadings, and flexible location of staff. They also support a more robust and secure business environment through strategies such as redundant and disbursed assets and rapid business resumption at predetermined alternative sites in case of a natural disaster or attack. 8. The master planning process should be supported by a comprehensive facility management system. A complete inventory of current assets for which the Architect of the Capitol has management responsibility should be developed that includes, for example, both their current and projected condition, serviceability, and short- and long-term operational costs. The facility management system should formalize the scope and details of facility information management as a function of desired facilities and operational quality standards, define recommended organizational responsibilities for facility information, and make the acquisition and management of facility information an integral part of every initiative undertaken under the master plan. This information can also be used in support of building commissioning and post-occupancy evaluation (POE) activities. 9. The computer-aided facility management (CAFM) system should be continuously improved.

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The Architect initiated the implementation of a CAFM program in 1998, an effort that included a strategic plan for development and maintenance of the program. The revised Master Plan for the U.S. Capitol and Grounds should incorporate the CAFM strategic plan and make use of and continue to extend capabilities in the CAFM system. It is especially important that building superintendents have ready access to performance metrics derived from information contained within the CAFM system. Superintendents and their immediate management staffs interface with customers most often and need to know the status and capabilities of their facilities as well as which projects are under way or in planning. Because craftspeople who have not yet been born will maintain and repair the Capitol Complex’s buildings and grounds in the future, it is important that the CAFM system be configured to routinely capture both graphic and nongraphic data in the system in standardized formats that will be usable many years from now.