Squeaky Roof Gets the Grease
LCE’s Facility Condition Assessment Helps Facilities Target Capital Investments for Less Risk and Increased Reliability
An elementary school experiences a massive maintenance issue that costs taxpayers $300K and requires parents to provide childcare for weeks. A nationwide energy company faces a question of whether to replace two aging assets or continue investing in their refurbishment. A pharmaceutical facility loses $1 million in finished product due to a chiller malfunction. A leaking roof, burst pipe, or critical equipment failure can quickly shut down an operation.
Across the economy, from transportation and public sector services to energy to manufacturing, aging facilities pose huge challenges for facilities managers. If not properly maintained, refurbished or replaced, deteriorating structures, facility systems and equipment can threaten safety, service levels, and reliability.
Life Cycle Engineering (LCE) has designed its Facility Condition Assessment to provide decision makers with accurate data about the health of their assets and facilities so that they can target their capital investments to meet their stakeholders’ requirements. Unique to each facility, these requirements can include 24/7 reliable operation, improved safety, reduced risk, improved service levels, or increased capacity.
In the case of many manufacturing facilities, production equipment has been upgraded or replaced, but the facility that houses the equipment and the utilities (air, water, steam, etc.) that support them, have not been upgraded and deterioration could threaten production capacity. This is especially true for older manufacturing plants. In 2006, Industry Week and the Manufacturing Performance Institute completed a census of manufacturers[i]. Nearly three quarters of the plants were more than 20 years old. This percentage applied across the size of the plant, with the highest percentage of old facilities in the category of plants with 250-499 employees. Twelve years later most of these plants are probably still operating, which means that almost three quarters of plants are now more than 30 years old.
The profile of aging public assets is similar. A September 2016 story in the New York Times shared these statistics from the Bureau of Economic Analysis: the average age for medical facilities, including hospitals and nursing homes, was 27.2 years; average age for power plants and power lines was 24.4 years; and schools and colleges averaged 23.3 years[ii].
For facilities managers dealing with aging infrastructure, facilities and equipment, LCE’s Facility Condition Assessment provides an assessment customized for the type of facility. Facilities managers receive:
- An asset health index that reflects the health of equipment, systems and facilities and where they are in their life cycle. This index helps facilities managers determine what intervention is needed and how soon – maintenance, refurbishment or planned replacement.
- Condition assessment results that can help facilities managers design an asset management program to appropriately care for existing assets and facilities.
- Cost analyses and timelines to help facilities managers build their capital budget.
[i] McClenahen, John. “Aging Assets: Rebuilding U.S. Manufacturing.” www.IndustryWeek.com 7 Oct. 2006
http://www.industryweek.com/companies-executives/aging-assets-rebuilding-us-manufacturing Accessed 22 March 2018
[ii] Russell, Karl and Dougherty, Conor. “America’s Infrastructure Is Getting Worse” www.NewYorkTimes.com 18 Sept. 2016 https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/09/16/business/economy/infrastructure-gdp-age-traffic.html Accessed 22 March 2018