Improving the Business Case for Facilities Renewal

Unlike many of the other facilities conditions assessments, the Sightlines assessment provided a very valuable business case rather than an engineering case for upgrading and renewal of our facilities. Facilities Assessment and Planning is our deep dive approach into understanding the condition of your campus. It really takes a traditional facility condition assessment approach but takes it much beyond that initial phase. We’re harnessing the latent knowledge of facilities leadership to help influence that detailed assessment. Then we’re able to take that information and communicate a strategic plan grounded in a portfolio management concept to help leaders make decisions around how they want to invest and to help reduced their risk and manage the deferred maintenance over a 10-year period. Traditional facility condition assessments often create a huge number of needs that need to be addressed without really a strategy around it. And what is often the case is that by throwing this big number out there, you actually freeze people into inaction. We do need to understand the total need, but we also need to create strategic tools for narrowing that need down into what has to be acted on immediately to maintain campus reliability, keeping the building’s functioning and identifying opportunities to align your investments with your institutional strategic priorities. And in doing that, you’re really working to get buy-in from others within the institution, not just from facilities. Sightlines has introduced a new vocabulary at Amherst College around facilities and facilities investment. Facilities had been seen as purely a cost in the past, but we’ve been able to change the language and to frame it around a facilities portfolio and a facilities endowment. When looked at in that light, it has really helped our trustees and key decision-makers understand the value of investment in facilities to preserve the net asset value. What sets Sightlines condition assessment apart is that we’re creating the detail that facilities needs to be able to execute on a plan and including the strategic mission of the university and the board of directors to buy into where funding is going and where we’re gonna have an impact. We’re going away from the traditional, technically-focused facilities conditions assessment to something that’s more valid to the trustees and to those in higher administrations, which makes more of a business sense. Click on the link in the description below to download our guide, “Project Selection: 6 Ways to Make Smarter Investment Decisions” and learn more about improving your business case for facilities investments.

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