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Assessment Sample
The number or facilities, with a portfolio, that have received (or will receive) a Facility Condition Assessment (FCA).

The primary purpose of the assessment sample are listed below:
  • To launch the assessment program for the buildings identified as being in most need. (see pilot assessment)
  • To extrapolate the data from the sample to the full population.

Composition of the Sample
The assessment sample may vary for each assessment cycle.

Title: The Demonstrated Effectiveness of Mixed-Scanning as a Tool for Assessment and Re-Assessment of Large Portfolios of Facilities under Budget Constraints

The average municipality in British Columbia, Canada, is responsible for the stewardship of a portfolio of several buildings, including recreation centres, fire halls, police stations and works yards. In light of budget constraints and competing priorities across municipal departments, the Facilities Group often finds that it does not have sufficient funds to commission an interdisciplinary team of consultants to prepare detailed condition assessments on all their facilities.

In 2007 the Public Sector Accounting Board issued a bulletin (PSAB-3150) that specified changes to the reporting on tangible capital assets. Over the ensuing eight years, a  wave of competitive tenders were issued by municipalities across the Province seeking condition assessments on their respective portfolios of facilities. These tenders have generally been confined to the larger municipalities (60+ buildings) while many of the relatively smaller municipalities are still working towards these large studies.

In the local market, a Facility Condition Assessment (FCA) is an expensive undertaking that can range from $0.12 to $1 per square foot of gross floor area. Eight years after PSAB-3150, many municipal managers are still operating their facilities with incomplete data on the performance of their buildings and, furthermore, some of the studies conducted in the late 2000’s are now outdated.

This article introduces a methodology that was developed to help one of the local municipalities identify an assessment sample from their portfolio of over 100 buildings.  The author participated on a team that compiled an algorithm to identify, through objective and impartial means, the “best candidates” for a condition assessment.

The sampling algorithm was based on eight factors:
  • i) age of each facility,
  • ii) size of each facility,
  • iii) reproduction value of the facilities,
  • iv) the primary occupancies of the facilities,
  • v) the relative mission dependency rankings; vi) interactions between facilities on the same site;
  • vii) the condition of the facilities that could be derived from any prior studies.
Weightings were attached to each factor based on their relative importance. For example, the mission criticality (Factor “v”) was given a higher weighting than the size of the facility (Factor “iii”) since small facilities (such as fire halls) are typically of very high importance to a municipality.

Drawing upon the results of the criticality score, the municipal staff in the facilities department presented a compelling business case to city council and secured the funding to assess the sample.  The article demonstrates the efficacy of a “Mixed Scanning” approach whereby some facilities are subject to a Level-1 Assessment, intended as a preliminary screening process, and later, a subset of those facilities advance to a Level-2 Assessment once a means-and-needs analysis has been completed. Matching a different level of review to each group of facilities results in an assessment mix, which can evolve over time in recognition of changing need and priorities.

Finding an appropriate sample to launch the assessment program, coupled with a defensible mix of assessments at corresponding re-assessment cycles, provides portfolio managers with a protocol to procure data in a cost effective way with alignment to their institutional goals.

I. Care is figuring out the right balance of assessments for his assets, including: physical needs assessment (PNA), capital needs assessment (CNA) and functional needs assessment (FNA)
Fig. I. Care is figuring out the right balance of assessments for his assets, including: physical needs assessment (PNA), capital needs assessment (CNA) and functional needs assessment (FNA)

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