(Photo: Radcliffe Quad undergrad housing at Harvard University campus in Cambridge, MA, November 2013.)
Examples of this include a school system, with multiple elementary, middle and high schools, is an example of a network of public buildings – operated under a unified revenue and expense model, and with common management – and a county court system.
That percentage moves dramatically up if:
1. Asset management systems are upgraded to include source and use benchmarking
2. Procurement systems are opened up to allow life cycle competition
The chance to save money and improve service arises because networks contain multiple instances of the same systems in each building.
Systems common to public buildings include:
- Air conditioning
- Hot water
- Exterior window/wall
- Fire safety
- Security (including access control)
- Telecom (including internet)
Optimize a System Across the Network: An Example
Unlike public owners operating a single facility, facility managers running a network of public buildings have the chance to plan how to optimize one system at a time, across the network.
This involves moving from a single procurement strategy that focuses on one building at a time to a broader approach that includes a second strategy focused on improving service results across the network in each of the systems listed above.
[Related: 5 IoT Workplace Trends to Watch]
With roofing, this second strategy provides value for money (higher level of service at a lower life cycle cost).
The nature of network roofing needs presents opportunities for facility managers to package roofing projects differently over the long term so that “roofing” consumes a predictable portion of resources each year from the total pool of available resources.
Network analysis gives managers the chance to answer different, more helpful questions, such as for each building, how have different roofing systems performed in terms of:
- Initial cost
- Ongoing repair cost
- Lifecycle cost
Make Informed Decisions with Data
Armed with accurate long-term data about the performance of different systems on each building in the network, facility managers are in a position to build predictive maintenance, repair and replacement models for roofing expenses across the network.
Predictive models rely on basic financial analysis of source and use of funds. They permit public owners to benchmark one specific or type of roof against another.
Importantly, comparative source and use analysis allows government to use competitive procurement to independently verify that money for roofs is spent in the right place, at the right time and in the right way to meet the level of service required across the network.
[In the news: How New Tariffs Impact Facilities]
Each system provides similar opportunities to work on the central problem in asset management: how to allocate scarce resources across an infrastructure network when those resources have alternate uses.
An accurate, historical record of source and use of infrastructure funds provides a solid foundation for robust predictive models. These models, in turn, allow procurements to be structured to keep competitive pressure on private sector providers to accomplish the only two things that matter:
1. Higher levels of service
2. Lower lifecycle cost
Simple sheet-based tools can be used to build both these predictive models and scenarios using them.
Think Long Term
In the real world, procurement strategy for a school or government system is dependent on the condition of the assets and the historical record of sources and uses of funds. For relatively stable networks – like these – opening procurement models to allow 10- to 15-year contracts to maintain, repair and replace systems is a proven approach.
Structured competitions for network of building systems dramatically improves how public funds are spent on infrastructure.
Two handpicked articles to read next: