Proper Planning for the Lifespan of your Project

May 03, 2016
The early involvement and integration of all project stakeholders is increasingly the norm on construction projects, not just those where it is contractually mandated. This collaborative approach directly benefits all parties, leads to a successful delivery and tenant occupancy, and optimizes the performance of a facility over its entire lifespan.
In most instances, this integration does not include a facility planning and maintenance specialist, but the advantages of engaging a knowledgeable facility solutions provider early in a project are numerous, and doing so will return value for the full life of a facility. Owners and developers make a tremendous investment in conceiving, designing, and building their projects. Engaging the right facility solutions partner early provides better certainty of efficiency and performance for the life of a facility.
In our experience, there is a direct correlation between the start of a project’s initial outfitting and transition (IO&T) planning process and the overall occupancy schedule. IO&T services, which primarily relate to a facility’s fixtures, furnishings, and equipment (FF&E), consider everything from multimillion dollar medical equipment to garbage cans. A full-service facility solutions firm, engaged early in a project, can properly coordinate all aspects of FF&E, including design, purchase, warehouse, installation, and training. More importantly, fully integrating a facility solutions firm into the building delivery team provides greater certainty that a project’s FF&E infrastructure is properly designed into each space and that delivery is planned concurrently — not consecutively — with other aspects of the project. Most importantly, this single point of responsibility reduces client risk and helps ensure that a facility is “coffee-cup ready” its first day in operation.
A full-service facility solutions firm also can properly train a client’s personnel on appropriate operations and maintenance protocols. Contemporary facilities rely on modern technologies to maximize efficiency, performance, and security. To realize the full value of these technologies, including integrated building management, building automation, and BIM/CMMS systems, on-site facility personnel must be properly trained. An integrated approach allows the facility solutions firm to provide this necessary specialized and experiential training. We are currently providing such services for the Navy during a one-year transition period at the Indian Head Naval Support Facility. Our team is providing hands-on training to the Navy personnel in the operation and maintenance of a new Combined Heat and Power plant that replaced an antiquated coal fired steam plant. As part of our role, we are also developing personnel guidelines and training manuals for the Navy to use in the future when placing new personnel at the plant.
Early integration leads to lasting benefits for the life of a project. Involving a facility manager in the design phase of a project allows for a seamless transition from turnover and punch list to initial start-up and stabilized operation. Working in advance of delivery, a facility manager can ensure enhanced performance by developing facility operating plans, safety plans, preventive and predictive maintenance plans, inventory control processes, life-cycle cost strategy plans and quality assurance/control plans.
As new projects are conceived, an equal focus should be placed on operations and maintenance as design and construction. An integrated design, construction, and facility solutions team will not only expedite project delivery and occupancy, but continue to add value and provide benefits for the life of a facility.