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3 Condition Assessments To effectively manage its facilities portfolio, an organization must establish meaningful baseline data about the size and physical condition of its facilities. This information is used to estimate short- and long-range maintenance and re- pair needs. Many organizations with facilities portfolios have established system- atic condition assessment programs to provide this baseline management infor- mation. A relatively small number of organizations uses these data as part of an integrated capital assets management program. Condition assessments and a capital assets management program are key components of an effective maintenance and repair program. Tasks 2 and 3 of the committee's charge were to investigate the role of technology in performing au- tomated condition assessments and to identify the staff capabilities necessary to perform condition assessments and develop maintenance and repair budgets. This chapter reviews the components of condition assessments and capital assets man- agement programs; describes the use of condition assessments by federal agen- cies; reviews technologies for automating condition assessments; identifies the staffing implications for performing automated condition assessments; and iden- tifies issues related to condition assessment programs as they are currently imple- mented by federal agencies. COMPONENTS OF A CONDITION ASSESSMENT AND CAPITAL ASSETS MANAGEMENT PROGRAM A condition assessment has been defined as the "process of systematically evaluating an organization' s capital assets in order to project repair, renewal, or replacement needs that will preserve their ability to support the mission or activi- ties they were assigned to serve" (Rugless, 1993~. Condition assessment programs 42
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CONDITION ASSESSMENTS 43 generally begin with inspections of individual facilities by trained personnel who can determine the physical condition and functional performance of facilities, as well as maintenance and repair deficiencies. Building systems, components, and materials are inspected for outright signs of deterioration or failure, as well as for more subtle symptoms indicating abnormal conditions (NRC, 19901. Information gathered from inspections can be used to (1) estimate the need for maintenance and repair, (2) develop cost estimates and funding priorities for various projects, and (3) generate and prioritize work orders. Facility condition assessments can also be used to: evaluate deferred maintenance and funding re- quirements; plan a deferred maintenance reduction program; compare conditions between facilities; establish baselines for setting goals and tracking progress; pro- vide accurate and supportable information for planning and justifying budgets; facilitate the establishment of funding priorities; and develop budget and funding analyses and strategies (AME, 19911. Studies by the National Research Council, the Federal Facilities Council, and the GAO have reported that condition assessment programs are used by some federal agencies to identify and document maintenance and repair backlogs or deferred maintenance. Increasingly, computer software programs and other tech- nologies are being used to support the gathering and analysis of condition assess- ment data as part of a capital assets management program (CAMP). "Together, a condition assessment survey and capital assets management program (CAS/ CAMP) can provide a process for establishing condition standards, and inspect- ing, recording, reporting, prioritizing, and managing the maintenance and repair of buildings and infrastructure." They can also be used as a "tool to construct cost reports, develop priorities, and create life cycle analyses as well as provide the ability to construct a wide variety of ad hoc reports" (Rugless, 19931. A GAS/CAMP, as defined by the authoring committee, incorporates four key components: . a standardized, documented inspection process that provides accurate, consistent, and repeatable results a detailed, ongoing inspection of real property assets, including facilities, infrastructure, and large, in-place equipment that is validated at predeter- mined intervals · standardized cost data based on an industry-accepted cost estimating sys- tem to determine repair and replacement costs a user-friendly information management system or process that prioritizes current and anticipated maintenance and repair requirements to maximize the utilization of resources (labor and dollar) and return on investment (ROI)i and minimize the cost of irreversible loss of service lifer and total penalty cost.3 iThe ROT calculation "stems basically from comparing the extended life of the component or sys- tem that is being repaired or replaced to the remaining life of the existing item should no repair be
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44 STEWARDSHIP OF FEDERAL FACILITIES Condition Assessment Surveys The CAS provides the evaluation criteria for inspecting each facility and is intended to ensure consistency among inspectors, assets, inspection intervals, and geographical locations. Data collection can be standardized through automated checklists and/or written guidelines to ensure that data are consistent from one facility to another; data can also be "rolled up" to represent larger numbers of buildings. Standardized inspection processes range from macrolevel assessments of facility systems for organizations with work-order systems in place to detailed microlevel inspections of individual buildings that identify deficiencies and can be used for managing daily work orders. A standardized inspection process with uniform deficiency standards and inspection methods can enable a facilities pro- gram manager to compare and prioritize inspection data from different facilities, equipment, infrastructure systems, locations, and inspectors. Standardization of inspection data is important because "human inspectors make subjective judgments, and their measurements and ratings are highly vari- able", whereas automated systems are less subjective and more consistent (Sanford and McNeil, 1997~. In an effort to provide for greater consistency and objectivity, some organizations have developed standards or guidelines for in- spections that may or may not be automated. The U.S. Army's Construction En- gineering Research Laboratories, for instance, has developed standardized condi- tion indexes for inspections. "Utilizing sampling techniques, inspectors view the building at the component level looking for which, if any, of 20 'generic' dis- tresses and their severities are present. Point values are assigned to each distress type/severity/density combination found. These are summed, corrected, and sub- tracted from 100 to obtain a Building Component Condition Index" (Uzarski and Burley, 1997~. Standardized checklists cannot, in and of themselves, provide for consis- tency in condition assessments across facility inventories. Buildings and their component systems are complex, and the identification of the causes of building deficiencies requires that inspectors be trained to recognize the root causes of deficiencies, not just the visual manifestations of problems. For example, peeling paint on a wall or ceiling may be caused by poor quality paint or may indicate a much more serious problem, such as a leaking roof. Inspectors should be trained to recognize these differences, to develop alternative courses of corrective action, made." To calculate the ROI, the repair cost is amortized over the lengthened life of the component or system and compared to the amortized cost of replacing the item earlier if the repairs are not made. If a repair would greatly lengthen the remaining life of the component, a favorable ROI is likely to result (Rugless, 1993). 2Cost of irreversible loss of service life can be defined as the cost associated with the loss of remaining service life if repairs are deferred. 3Total penalty cost can be defined as the total cost of deferred repairs.
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CONDITION ASSESSMENTS 45 to cost out the alternatives, and to determine the cost effectiveness of making a repair in the short term, the long term, or not at ally Capital Assets Management Programs The CAMP, in contrast to the CAS, is a systematic approach to scheduling and budgeting current and anticipated deficiencies that maximizes the ROI and preserves the value of the physical asset. The prioritization process incorporates both quantitative data (the condition of the inspection item or overall system, irreversible loss of service life cost, and total penalty cost) and qualitative data (importance of building function and mission). As parameters change, the data can be revised or updated because the CAMP is a "living document." The CAMP, combined with the knowledge of trained inspectors and facili- ties program managers, can also be the basis for making repair-versus-replace decisions, identifying maintenance and repairs that can be deferred without loss of investment, and projecting long-range capital renewal requirements. The CAMP can provide a standardized, cost-effective, convenient approach to: · establishing a systematic and economical method for periodically updat- ing asset conditions . . . . . ~ · mln~mlz~ng surprise failures of equipment or systems · determining critical maintenance requirements for physical assets · optimizing operations and maintenance dollars to maximize the ROI for large assets · developing sound, defensible budgets based on an organization's goals and objectives rather than on the physical condition of facilities alone · providing a consistent methodology for comparing requests from facility managers · allocating maintenance and repair dollars among competing requirements or organizations The application of a GAS/CAMP by federal facilities program managers can be broken down into four broad categories: CAS as a tool for identifying and validating deferred maintenance backlog CAS as a means of evaluating the condition of physical assets and their maintenance against projected life cycles GAS/CAMP as a process for identifying, prioritizing, and managing the asset portfolio · CAMP as a decision-making tool for trade-off analyses for allocating resources 4In some circumstances, it may not be cost effective to make early inspections and repairs but only to make corrections when needed. For instance, using remote control video cameras to inspect the interior condition of miles of underground pipes may be more expensive and less cost effective than simply replacing a pipe once it breaks, depending on where the pipe is located, the type of business disruptions, and the personal or real property damage the breakage causes.
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46 STEWARDSHIP OF FEDERAL FACILITIES Together, the GAS/CAMP would help facilities program managers identify, pri- oritize, and manage the overall condition of their physical inventories and pro- vide a sound, defensible tool for articulating the "business case" for investing resources in infrastructure. GAS/CAMP covers a wide range of methodologies, levels of detail, auto- mated support systems, and budgeting objectives. Although many systems and software programs are already available, the industry is still in the development stage. Few standards have been established, and the technology is changing rap- idly. An internal organizational evaluation to determine the objectives and report- ing requirements of the facilities management program is essential for federal program managers when choosing an appropriate system. USE OF CONDITION ASSESSMENTS BY FEDERAL AGENCIES Condition assessment survey programs were first used by federal agencies, including the U.S. Air Force Strategic Air Command, the U.S. Navy, the U.S. Army, and the U.S. Department of Energy, in the 1960s and mid-1970s. These programs were mostly focused on identifying backlogs of maintenance and repair or deferred maintenance and projecting future funding requirements for facilities and infrastructures.5 In the 1980s, more sophisticated inspection and engineering management programs were developed, such as the U.S. Army Construction Engineering Re- search Laboratories' suite of engineered management systems (EMS), including PAVER, RAILER, BRIDGER, ROOFER, GRIPER, and others. These computer- ized systems use condition assessment and prediction techniques to develop an- nual and long-range work plans based on timely maintenance and repair using specified policies and strategies. The EMS programs are designed to provide ob- jective, repeatable methods for inspections and evaluations, work histories of fa- cilities, information for real property updates, the consequences of decision alter- natives, and quick access to engineering technology. All of these systems, however, were designed for individual infrastructure elements or building com- ponents, not for complete buildings. Thus, PAVER focuses on pavement man- agement, RAILER on railroad tracks, BRIDGER on bridges, ROOFER on roofs, and GRIPER on underground gas pipes. The committee did not have adequate information to determine whether or under what circumstances the EMS pro- grams are cost effective. In the early 1990s, the DOE, and later the DoD, undertook expansive pro- grams to develop and implement standardized CAS programs across their entire infrastructures. Both departments focused on developing comprehensive pro- cesses that included detailed inspection standards, inspector training programs, Representative programs include the Strategic Air Command's Pavement Condition Index, the U.S. Army's IFS-1, and the U.S. Navy's Annual Inspection Summary.
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CONDITION ASSESSMENTS 47 automated data collection devices, and the ability to aggregate information at multiple levels based on location and organization. The DOE's CAS was "initially conceived in 1990 as an industry-based sys- tem of standards to develop deficiency-based capital maintenance and repair costs for use in managing DOE real property assets." The DOE developed basic stan- dards and automated systems, field implementation and maintenance, and en- hancement and field support (USACIR,1996~. DOE's goals for the program were to "have available for all of the field offices and contractors, a system that was simple and easy to use; achieved results that were as accurate and timely as possible; and reportLed] results consistently from site to site and across programs" (Earl, 1997~. CAS manuals were developed outlining deficiency standards and inspection methods systematically. Nationally recognized, geographically adjust- able cost algorithms were used, as well as an automated system of cost collection, to integrate and summarize building level detail to a site-wide level. The use of state-of-the-art tools by inspectors, such as bar coding and hand-held computers, was encouraged (Earl, 1997~. However, the initial concept of "rolling up" the data to produce a headquarters-level report was dropped early in the program, which left DOE operations offices and their secretarial offices on their own in deciding the type of CAS system they would employ. Since 1990, the DOE sys- tem has been revised, the software upgraded, and functional improvements made (USACIR, 1996~. In the Defense Appropriations Act for fiscal year 1992, funds were provided for the implementation of a pilot test program to conduct comprehensive mainte- nance surveys, referred to collectively as the condition assessment survey, at se- lected DoD installations. The pilot test of the surveys was completed in 1995. The pilot information system could calculate costs for repairs and replacements and rate facilities on a condition index scale of 0 (poor) to 100 (excellent). This computerized system could also determine the time frame for repairs based on a facility's ROI. However, DoD projected the cost of implementing the system across all services would be about $715 million, and service officials reported that the system's information management system was labor intensive and ex- pensive to maintain. For these reasons, the system was never deployed (GAO, 1997~. The Air Force Commanders' Facility Assessment (CFA) program was initi- ated in 1992. The CFA is "designed to link facility condition to mission require- ments to ensure that resources for maintenance, repair, and minor construction are allocated to the most critical mission needs of field commanders" (GAO, 1997~. The assessments are intended to help commanders stratify their mainte- nance and repair and military construction requirements for real property. Under this program, field commanders can identify recurring (day-to-day requirements) and nonrecurring requirements. Nonrecurring requirements are classified as Lev- els I, II, or III. Level I (unsatisfactory) facilities have deficiencies that cause frequent mission interruptions, accelerate the deterioration of the facility, result
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48 STEWARDSHIP OF FEDERAL FACILITIES in high life-cycle maintenance costs, curtail or eliminate some operations, or de- grade livability and workplace conditions. Level II (degraded) facilities have de- ficiencies that impair mission support, reduce the effectiveness of the workforce, or accelerate the deterioration of the facility. Level III (adequate) facilities are in good enough condition that they do not impair accomplishment of the mission, although they may have some minor deficiencies. The program provides condi- tion data for Air Force facilities for fiscal years 1993 and 1995. Improvements in the program and enhancements to the software are under way (GAO, 1997~. The U.S. Army began using its Installation Status Report (ISR) system in 1995 to "assist installations in articulating their infrastructure needs to the DA [Department of the Army] and to allow the DA to develop funding requests for Congress" (O'Hare et al., 1997~. The ISR established department-wide standards for each type of building on Army installations. Based on annual inspections, estimates of funding to sustain and/or renovate facilities based on national aver- ages for military construction were developed. The ISR also calculates the fund- ing needed for new construction to ensure that each installation has the facilities necessary to fulfilling its mission (O'Hare et al., 1997~. The data for fiscal years 1995 and 1996 on the status of installations are grouped into five broad areas: mission facilities, strategic mobility facilities, housing facilities, community fa- cilities, and installation support. The ISR also includes ratings indicating whether the Army has enough facilities and whether existing facilities meet Army stan- dards (GAO, 1997~. Refinements to this program are planned. A new EMS being deployed by the Army's Construction Engineering Re- search Laboratories, called BUILDER, is designed for owners of large numbers of buildings for managing building assets, both individually and in groups, in- cluding the development of long-range maintenance and repair plans. BUILDER "combines inventory, inspection, condition assessment, condition prediction, and M&R [maintenance and repair] planning features in a Windows™ software en- vironment" (Uzarski and Burley, 1997~. The BUILDER system incorporates a variety of technologies and methods, including an inventory of major building components, video imaging, checklist-style inspections, presentation graphics, and an interface to geographical information systems. Field experience with the BUILDER system will be used to evaluate its utility, accuracy, and cost effec- tiveness. Another development in condition assessment practices, known as reliabil- ity centered maintenance (RCM), is "real-time" monitoring of building and equipment conditions based on concepts developed in the airline industry in the late 1960s and early 1970s. RCM has been used extensively in the aircraft, space, defense, and nuclear industries where functional failures can result in loss of life, have national security implications, and/or have extreme environmental impacts (NASA, 1996~. The primary purpose of a traditional RCM program is to ensure safety at any cost; cost effectiveness is a secondary goal. A rigorous RCM analysis based on a detailed failure modes and effects analysis is used to
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CONDITION ASSESSMENTS 49 determine appropriate maintenance for each identified failure mode and its con- sequences. RCM decisions are based on maintenance requirements derived from sound technical and economic justifications (NASA, 1996~. An RCM program may not be the most practical or cost-effective approach for all facility mainte- nance programs. The version of RCM being used by NASA is not, strictly speaking, a condi- tion assessment process. RCM, "as defined and applied to facilities maintenance by NASA, is the integration of reactive maintenance (run-to-failure or break- down maintenance), preventive (interval-based) maintenance, PT&I [predictive testing and inspection] (condition-based) and proactive maintenance. RCM ap- plies these four techniques in combination where each is most appropriate based upon the consequences of equipment failure and its impact on organization, mis- sion, safety, environment, and Life-Cycle Cost (LCC)" (NASA, 1996~. The com- bination of techniques is intended to ensure the reliability of equipment and build- ing components and minimize maintenance costs. The U.S. State Department, and possibly other federal agencies, are evaluating NASA's version of RCM as part of their comprehensive maintenance strategies. ROLE OF TECHNOLOGY Recent organizational downsizing has prompted facilities program managers to look to technology to provide facility-related data for decision making. Task 2 of the committee's charge was to investigate the role of technology in performing automated condition assessments. The committee reviewed (1) technologies that can support the collection and analysis of data for condition assessments and (2) technologies that could automate the condition assessment process itself. Collection and Analysis of Data With advancements in computer technology, pen-based data collection de- vices are now available that can guide inspectors through the inspection process, validate data in real time, and save time and eliminate errors as inspection data are uploaded to host systems.6 Although these devices have a number of advan- tages, they also have some drawbacks: the average cost per unit is more than $2,000; they can be difficult to read in bright light; they can be cumbersome to use around mechanical and electrical equipment; they are susceptible to damage from falls and hard knocks; and they can be difficult to transport into tight spaces or up to rooftops.7 6Pen-based data collection devices have been used by DOE and DoD for both CASs and facility inventories. 7DoD inspectors used this system as part of the "Fence-to-Fence" CAS at 12 DoD Installations and the Facility Management System at Fort Riley, Kansas.
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so STEWARDSHIP OF FEDERAL FACILITIES Another device, a bar code scanner, provides a relatively low-cost method of standardizing and uploading the data collection process but does not have the flexibility to adjust to unique situations or conditions. Bar code scanners typically have wand-type recording units that scan various condition codes carried by in- spectors on cards or in booklets. The units are relatively durable in the field and are an inexpensive means to capture data as long as the inspection process is simple and does not require substantial data entry. Recent developments include the integration of geographical information systems with video and inspection data through a mix of digital camera, auto- mated data collection devices and Global Positioning System technologies to pro- vide an integrated data process for assessing the condition of a system.8 Testing and Instrumentation With testing and instrumentation, facilities program managers can monitor the overall condition of their key assets. The committee identified two types of testing that could be useful for federal facilities managers: real-time monitoring and systematic inspection. NASA has an ongoing program of real-time monitoring, the RCM program, to manage the condition of physical assets, primarily machinery. Real-time monitoring, in the form of predictive testing and inspection, uses primarily non- intrusive testing techniques, visual inspection, and performance data to assess the condition of machinery. NASA now schedules maintenance only when it is war- ranted by the condition of the equipment rather than on a predetermined schedule. Continuing analysis allows NASA to plan and schedule maintenance or repairs to prevent catastrophic or functional failures and, at the same time, to optimize its resources (NASA, 1996~. NASA also uses predictive technologies for monitoring the condition of critical building components, but not as extensively. The DOE now uses third parties for proactive system monitoring and instrumentation as part of their overall asset management programs. The committee did not identify any other federal agencies that use real-time monitoring to manage the condition of their physical assets. Systematic inspections based on testing and instrumentation equipment as a means of monitoring the condition of individual systems are widely used by in- dustry. Examples of technologies used in the private sector are listed in Table 3-1. A number of nondestructive evaluation methods9 for determining the condi- tion of infrastructure, particularly of bridges and pavements, are available and in use in limited applications. "Nondestructive evaluation can be performed using a The University of Arkansas Mack-Blackwell Transportation Center and the North Carolina De- partment of Transportation use similar systems. Nondestructive evaluation involves the "use of tests to examine an object or material to detect imperfections, determine properties, or assess quality without changing its usefulness" (McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science and Technology, 1997).
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CONDITION ASSESSMENTS TABLE 3-1 Technologies Widely Used in the Private Sector 51 Type of Inspection Time Interval Thermographic analysis of electrical panels Eddy current analysis for chillers Roof moisture analysis 2 to 5 year intervals 5 to 8 year intervals 5 to 10 year intervals wide range of technologies that include a simple visual survey to photographic methods to noncontact sensors" (Uddin and Najafi, 1997~. These techniques are "most commonly used to evaluate the extent of damage discovered in a more traditional inspection, although some types of NDE [nondestructive evaluation] techniques can be used in place of visual inspection" (Sanford and McNeil, 1997~. Some of these technologies include radar for evaluating structural integrity, delamination, layer delineation, voids, and moisture damage; and, infrared ther- mography for measuring temperature, detecting leaks, delamination, defective areas, and for stress mapping. "Acoustic and ultrasonic testing and laser tech- nologies are being used for detecting cracking and defects, . . . faulting of trans- verse joints, and surface texture and displacement measurements" (Uddin and Najafi, 1997~. Data Management Systems In recent years, computer-aided facility management systems (CAFM) and computerized maintenance management systems (CMMS), which are similar, but not necessarily congruent, have advanced. CAFMs and CMMSs are used in a wide range of applications, from facility and space planning to preventive main- tenance and parts inventories to budgeting and project management. As these systems continue to mature, vendors are offering a wide range of hardware and software products and services, as well as tools to produce and manage informa- tion. Few standards have been established for these systems, however, and the technologies are changing rapidly. Federal program managers must first evaluate their agency's needs and objectives and reporting requirements before choosing a computerized system. Decision Support The increase in the availability of computer systems has provided one of the most attainable and useful technological advances for facilities program manag- ers. Current decision-support technologies offer a wide array of facility analysis tools with the capability to project maintenance and repair requirements, deter- mine life cycle costs, and prioritize needs.
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52 STEWARDSHIP OF FEDERAL FACILITIES The American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) has published in- formation on a number of standard practices that can provide facilities program managers with automated analysis tools to determine benefit-to-cost and savings- to-investment ratios, internal rate of return, and net benefits for infrastructure investments (ASTM, 1992~. In addition, a number of multiple-attribute decision- making methods have been developed and automated for use in evaluating facil- ity maintenance and repair requirements based on multiple criteria.l° These decision-support tools have been used for quite some time for the evaluation of weapons platforms, software systems, and research and development projects and could also provide facilities program managers with defensible methodologies for evaluating and prioritizing maintenance and repair requirements. Intelligent Buildings In 1988, the Building Research Board of the National Research Council un- dertook a study entitled Electronically Enhanced Office Buildings to provide guid- ance to project administrators, building owners, chief executive officers, and fa- cility planners about incorporating modern electronic technology in new or renovated buildings (NRC, 1988~. "Smart" or "intelligent" buildings were made possible by the convergent evolution of communication, control, and computer technologies that had the potential to create highly efficient, automated buildings that could be monitored for energy, environmental, and life safety parameters and which could then respond to either remote or preprogrammed control. These in- telligent building systems are governed by straightforward feedback and control logic, which predated by many years the technologies that could implement them economically. However, the energy crisis of the 1970s and the resultant national focus on energy efficiency provided an economic motive for reducing building energy costs and ultimately led to the development and deployment of the neces- sary technologies. Today's intelligent buildings integrate sensor and monitoring devices, data transmission capability by means of telephone lines, fiber optic cable, or satellite uplinks, computers for data management and decision making, and microprocessor control devices. Most of the control decisions are pre- programmed and require little, if any, operator intervention. However, the con- cern that the realization of these buildings would fall far short of their potential has still not been fully addressed (Teicholz and Ikeda, 1995~. Although the num- ber of existing buildings that now offer one or more of these features has in- creased, the potential of these technologies has not been fully realized. In light of this, the committee attempted to determine if intelligent building technologies could be used for the monitoring, diagnosis, and management of potential main- tenance problems, i.e., automated condition assessments. I°Current applications include Fort Riley's facility management decision support system and Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport's capital asset prioritization system.
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CONDITION ASSESSMENTS 53 Building Diagnostics The concept of building diagnostics was defined in a previous NRC study (1985) as: a set of practices that are used to assess the current performance capa- bility of a building and to predict its likely performance in the future. The essential elements of a building diagnostics program are: · knowledge of what to measure · appropriate instruments and other measurement tools · expertise to interpret the results · a capability for predicting the future condition of the building Ideally, a building diagnostics program would enable a facilities program man- ager to devise corrective procedures when the future condition is likely to be undesirable. Although all components of a building and its systems could be in- cluded in a building diagnostics program, as a practical matter, the process is particularly well suited to the components and systems with high consequences of failure. Automated Condition Assessments The idea of linking building diagnostics with the monitoring and control capabilities inherent in intelligent buildings is very appealing. Building diagnos- tics deal with the measurement and interpretation of data and the relationship of those data to expected building performance. Technology for monitoring, telem- etry, processing, and control, as well as the capability to integrate these technolo- gies, is well developed, if not fully mature, and is already deployed in many buildings. Automating the condition assessment process for high-consequence systems through intelligent building technologies would appear to be a small step. However, at the present time, such systems are not widely used (Smith, 1998). Microprocessor technology has made it possible for manufacturers to include intelligent controllers on various types of mechanical equipment, such as heating, ventilating, and air conditioning systems, chillers, and boilers. Enabling these systems to communicate and share data with each other is a matter of systems integration. The capability for them to work together is referred to as inter- operability. Integration can occur at both the equipment level (unified control of the various devices) and the information level (the ability to access and process data from intelligent equipment). One of the chief impediments to full inter- operability has been the lack of a unified standard or protocol for communica- tions between individual devices. The BACnet™ communication protocol for building operating systems is an attempt to overcome this impediment (ASHRAE, 1994) and could be an important step toward full and open systems integration.
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54 STEWARDSHIP OF FEDERAL FACILITIES Open systems integration is also a requirement for automated condition assess- ment systems. A simplified diagram of an automated condition assessment pro- cess is shown in Figure 3-1. Beyond the "traditional" control of building mechanical systems, existing sensor and microprocessor technologies also have the potential to monitor and manage a range of environmental parameters that are difficult to inspect and mea- sure during routine site visits and condition assessments. For example, interior building moisture levels behind walls and bulkheads may indicate that conditions are favorable to the growth of micro-organisms associated with Sick Building Syndrome and other adverse health effects. Sensor nets could be installed at the time of construction (or major renovations) to monitor and report on moisture levels and bring potential problem areas to the attention of facility managers long before they become serious. The same technology could also be used to monitor the integrity of the roof system. Although there are numerous possible applications of currently available in- telligent building technologies for monitoring and assessing buildings and their systems, proactive building diagnostic systems have not been widely deployed. The primary reason appears to be that economic paybacks to justify the initial cost of the systems themselves have not been well documented (Clear, 1998; Smith, 1998; Teicholz, 1998~. Unlike process industries where automation and monitoring can be shown to have direct and quantifiable beneficial effects on the FIGURE 3-1 Logic and activity flow of an automated condition assessment process.
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CONDITION ASSESSMENTS 55 process, financial practices in the real estate industry do not always account for total life-cycle costs, which makes it difficult to justify the cost of automated systems (Petze, 1996~. Unless a building owner is committed to reducing the life- cycle cost of a building and maintaining it at a high performance level, he is not likely to install these expensive systems. The availability of a technology does not ensure its deployment. The tech- nology must also be reliable and affordable and must clearly demonstrate benefits over existing methods. At this time, none of these three conditions can be met unequivocally for proactive building diagnostic systems. Although individual system components with acceptable reliability exist, sufficient experience with the components integrated into an automated condition assessment system does not. Affordability is a relative term, the absolute values of which can only be determined in application. Although the benefits of an automated system are as- sumed to include timely reporting (and avoidance) of problem conditions with associated long-term cost savings (as well as potential direct savings over exist- ing condition assessment practices), data to support this assumption are not readily available. Automating the condition assessment process offers the federal facilities pro- gram manager the potential for cost savings, improved building performance, and a means of coping with reduced staffing levels. The data to test these assumptions could be obtained either by designing and installing several systems in new fed- eral buildings or by studying and evaluating buildings that already have them in the private sector. The federal government's responsibility for the long-term stewardship of buildings and facilities supports this kind of leadership role in deploying new building technologies and accepting higher first costs to reduce life-cycle costs. Personnel Implications Automated condition assessment processes will require different skills than are typically found in facility management and maintenance organizations. Intel- ligent buildings with building automation systems require facilities personnel to be familiar with a broad range of computer applications (graphics, databases, and spreadsheets) as well as hardware (personal computers and microprocessors). Personnel involved in automated condition assessments would be expected to have similar computer skills. Increasing the level of building sophistication will require staff to maintain and update the software systems and will require con- tinuous training for operations and maintenance personnel. Although automated processes may require fewer personnel (or in turn be driven by them), the cost of highly trained, computer-literate facility technicians necessary to maintain these systems may offset any apparent savings attributable to downsizing. Therefore, decisions regarding the automation of monitoring and assessment processes should be based on a full life-cycle and building performance analysis.
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56 STEWARDSHIP OF FEDERAL FACILITIES ISSUES RELATED TO CONDITION ASSESSMENTS The use of condition assessments by federal agencies is increasing. Attempts to catalog maintenance and repair deficiencies have evolved to include computer- ized programs with automated checklists linking condition assessment data to agency mission and improving facility management. NASA's condition assess- ment practices involve a sophisticated mix of regular inspections and predictive testing and instrumentation, as well as computerized programs. Federal agencies with condition assessment programs have generally developed them indepen- dently to meet their specific needs within resource constraints. Consequently, the level of sophistication varies widely. Based on the information available to the committee, condition assessment programs, as currently practiced in federal agencies, are labor intensive, expen- sive to maintain, and time consuming. In theory, CASs provide excellent infor- mation as a basis for facilities management practices and maintenance and repair budget requests. In practice, the data are usually not provided in a time frame or format that is useful for cost-effective facilities management. Cost of Data Collection A database containing the numbers, ages, and sizes of buildings and similar "inventory" characteristics requires that data be gathered only once and updated when major changes occur, such as the acquisition of a new facility, the comple- tion of a major addition, or the demolition of a building. The cost of establishing a database will depend on the number of facilities in the inventory. Once estab- lished, the maintenance of this type of database costs relatively little. In contrast, data related to the condition of buildings and their components must be gathered and updated on a regular basis to be useful. Condition-related data are usually gathered through inspections by trained personnel, often a team of several spe- cialists. Facilities may be inspected on a two to five year cycle. Because of the personnel, equipment, data entry, and time involved in inspecting large inventories of buildings, the cost of data collection is high. For most agencies and organiza- tions, "tradeoffs occur between the amount of data collected, the frequency at which it is collected, the quality of the data, and the cost of the entire process, including data entry and storage" (Sanford and McNeil, 1997~. Type and Volume of Data Collected The federal agency condition assessment programs reviewed by the commit- tee were designed to be comprehensive. Besides inspecting critical building com- ponents and systems, such as roofs, plumbing, electrical, and fire safety systems, agencies also collect data on more cosmetic deficiencies, such as broken door locks, and torn or worn carpeting. Having a team of inspectors identify both sys- tem and cosmetic deficiencies involves more time, resources, and data entry, and,
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CONDITION ASSESSMENTS 57 therefore, higher costs than having them identify only critical component defi- ciencies. Including cosmetic deficiencies in a condition assessment program makes it more labor intensive and data intensive and, therefore, more expensive. More important, perhaps, the information collected becomes less timely, more diffi- cult to analyze, and, consequently, less useful for ongoing facilities management. Timeliness of Data Current practices take so long to gather and analyze condition assessments that the information loses its value in the budget development process. Even one of the most sophisticated condition assessment programs, the Air Force's Com- manders' Facility Assessment, has reported difficulties in keeping the data timely; in other agencies, the information is three to five years out of date. In a budget cycle that begins two years before the actual fiscal year, the information compiled through condition assessment programs loses much of its value for the develop- ment and justification of maintenance and repair budget requests. REFERENCES AME (Applied Management Engineering). 1991. Managing the Facilities Portfolio: A Practical Ap- proach to Institutional Facility Renewal and Deferred Maintenance. Washington, D.C.: National Association of College and University Business Officers. ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air Conditioning Engineers). 1994. BACnet - A Data Communication Protocol for Building Automation and Control Networks. Document SPC-135P-031. Atlanta, Gal: American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air Conditioning Engineers. ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials). 1992. Standards on Building Economics. Phila- delphia, Pa:. American Society for Testing and Materials. Claar, C. 1998. Personal communication from Charles Claar, Director of Research, International Fa- cility Managers' Association, Houston, Texas to Richard Little, Director of Board on Infrastruc- ture and the Constructed Environment, National Research Council, Washington, D.C. June 6, 1998. Earl, R. W. 1997. The Condition Assessment Survey: A Case Study for Application to Public Sector Organizations. Pp. 277-286 in Infrastructure Condition Assessment: Art, Science, and Practice. Mitsuru Saito, ed. New York: American Society of Civil Engineers. GAO (General Accounting Office). 1997. Defense Infrastructure: Demolition of Unneeded Buildings Can Help Avoid Operating Costs. Report to the Chair, Subcommittee on Military Installations and Facilities, Committee on National Security, U.S. House of Representatives. NSIAD-97- 125. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office. McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science and Technology. 1997. "Nondestructive Testing," 8th ea., vol. 12, pp. 32-37. Chicago, Ill.: Lakeside Press. NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration). 1996. Reliability Centered Maintenance Guide for Facilities and Collateral Equipment. Washington, D.C.: NASA. NRC (National Research Council).1985. Building Diagnostics, A Conceptual Framework. Building Research Board, National Research Council. Washington, DC.: National Academy Press. NRC. 1988. Electronically Enhanced Office Buildings. Building Research Board, National Research Council. Washington, DC.: National Academy Press.
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58 STEWARDSHIP OF FEDERAL FACILITIES NRC. 1990. Committing to the Cost of Ownership: Maintenance and Repair of Public Buildings. Building Research Board, National Research Council. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press. O'Hara, T. E., J.L. Kays, and J.V. Farr. 1997. Installation status report. Journal of Infrastructure Systems 3(2): 87-92. Petze, J. D. 1996. Investing in Facility Automation - Improving Comfort, Air Quality, Building Man- agement and the Bottom Line. Manchester, N.H.: Teletrol Systems, Inc. Rugless, J. 1993. Condition assessment surveys. Facilities Engineering Journal 21(3): 11-13. Sanford, K. and S. McNeil. 1997. Data Modeling for Improved Condition Assessment. Pp. 287-296 in Infrastructure Condition Assessment: Art, Science, and Practice. Mitsuru Saito, ed. New York: American Society of Civil Engineers. Smith, T. 1998. Personal communication from Thomas Smith, Eastern Regional Manager, Teletrol Systems, Inc., Manchester, New Hampshire, to Richard Little, Director of Board on Infrastruc- ture and the Constructed Environment, National Research Council, Washington, D.C. June 6, 1998. Teicholz, E. and T. Ikeda. 1995. Facility Management Technology Lessons from the U.S. and Japan. Engineering and Management Press. Norcross, Gal: Institute of Industrial Engineers. Teicholz, E. 1998. Personal communication from Eric Teicholz, President, Graphic Systems, Inc., Cambridge, Massachusetts to Richard Little, Director of Board on Infrastructure and the Con- structed Environment, National Research Council, Washington, D.C. June 6, 1998. Uddin, W. and F. Najafi. 1997. Deterioration Mechanisms and Non-Destructive Evaluation for Infra- structure Life-Cycle Analysis. Pp. 524-533 in Infrastructure Condition Assessment: Art, Sci- ence, and Practice. Mitsuru Saito, ed. New York: American Society of Civil Engineers. USACIR (U.S. Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations). 1996. The Potential for Out- come-Oriented Performance Management to Improve Intergovernmental Delivery of Public Works Programs. SR-21. Washington, D.C.: U. S. Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations. Uzarski, D.R., and L.A. Burley. 1997. Assessing Building Condition by the Use of Condition In- dexes. Pp. 365-374 in Infrastructure Condition Assessment: Art, Science, and Practice. Mitsuru Saito, ed. New York: American Society of Civil Engineers.
Representative terms from entire chapter: