It’s no secret that I have a healthy fascination for government buildings – courthouses, military bases, landmark buildings, office space, etc. Without getting Freudian about it, I must admit that what draws me to them is that when it comes to the construction and management of a building, nobody does it better than the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA).
Such was the conversation that I had with Peter Cholakis, vice president of marketing at Boston-based Vanderweil Facility Advisors (www.vfa.com). Peter never fails to draw my attention to legislative matters that impact the new construction/modernization industry of commercial buildings. He consistently offers insight into what’s happening in the real world of life-cycle planning and management and how these important issues impact building owners and facilities professionals.
Our most recent conversation, though, focused on government facilities and the GSA’s efforts to standardize the asset management functions of these facilities. Open for discussion before the subcommittee on government management, information, and technology is a legislative amendment to the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949. David Bibb, deputy associate administrator for Real Property at GSA, proposes an amendment that will enhance government-wide asset management at the Federal level. The amendment bill – the Federal Property Asset Management Reform Act of 2000, introduced to the Senate in June 2000 as S.2805 – provides the necessary legislative solutions for improved Federal property management.
Cholakis’ agrees with Bibb’s assessment that the government needs to incorporate private industry practices into government standards for best practices. This bill allows for the necessary flexibility of agencies to more effectively manage their portfolios and personal property assets. Along those lines, Cholakis points out the criteria that all building owners and facilities professionals are faced with when evaluating their specific software needs include facility life-cycle conditions, corrections cost analysis, capital project planning, and self assessment.
“That is what the government and even the educational system understands. It isn’t enough to be able to handle work orders, inventory, and space planning. Facilities professionals need to incorporate capital planning – the financial end of things – into the equation,” explains Cholakis.
Clara M.W. Vangen ([email protected]) is technologies editor at Buildings magazine.