Government Owned Buildings

Government owners are the stewards of the federal/state/county/local built environment, yet have generally not taken responsibility for their respective roles.

Federal agencies generally do not employ a best practice of “structuring budgets to identify the funding allotted (1) for maintenance and repairs and (2) to address existing backlogs.” – GAO Report – GAO-14-188

To this day, many if not most most, Owners do not have a standardized method of deploying LEAN construction management practices across their organization.  Common terms, definitions, and data architectures are not required nor are BEST VALUE collaborative construction delivery methods.   The latter are mandatory in order to improve productivity, transparency, and quality.

It’s time for the global oversight and support, and associated local implementation of collaborative LEAN construction delivery methods such as Integrated Project Delivery – IPD, and Job Order Contracting – JOC.

Federal real property porfolio

All federal departments and agencies must have full transparency and insight regarding “annual funding of maintenance and repairs–and the corresponding effects on their maintenance and repair backlogs.” This would “promote improved effectiveness of federal real property spending.” – GAO-14-188

Federal Real Property

LEAN Construction

Collaborative LEAN construction delivery methods drive increased productivity by enabling better decision-making, greater transparency, and ultimately optimal deployment of limited economic and environment resources.

The federal government’s real property holdings are vast and diverse—comprising hundreds of thousands of buildings and permanent structures across the country, and costing billions of dollars annually to operate and maintain. Since federal real property management was placed on the High Risk List in 2003, the government has given high-level attention to this issue and has made strides in real property management, but continues to face long-standing challenges in managing its real property. For example, the federal government continues to maintain too much excess and underutilized property. It also relies too heavily on leasing in situations where ownership would be more cost efficient in the long run. In addition, the federal government faces ongoing challenges in protecting its facilities. Finally, effective real property management and reform are undermined by unreliable real property data. Specifically, despite a high level of leadership commitment to improve real property data, the federal government continues to face challenges with the accuracy and consistency of the Federal Real Property Profile (FRPP), causing the federal government to report inaccurate inventory and outcome information.

  • FRPP data related to the federal government’s 480,000 structures are not reliable on a government-wide basis, due to the different approaches agencies take in defining and inventorying structures. For example, agencies use different approaches to counting structures—undermining any cross-agency comparisons.
  •  We found that the $3.8 billion which agencies reported in 2012 as cost savings from real property disposal, space management, sustainability, and innovation activities were not reliable
  • GSA has identified $4.6 billion in maintenance and repairs expected from 2012 to 2021 and anticipates that nearly a quarter of this amount is needed immediately. However, funding for maintenance and repairs has declined since 2006. GSA officials noted that reduced funding for capital reinvestments could result in deferred maintenance and repairs, and increase the cost and extent of such work in the future. These concerns are consistent with the National Research Council’s findings that each $1 in deferred maintenance and repair work results in a long-term capital liability of $4 to $5. – GAO-12-646
  • Both OMB and GAO guidance emphasize the importance of developing a long-term capital plan to guide the implementation of organizational goals. Having such a plan would enable GSA and Congress to better evaluate a range of priorities over the next 5 years. In short, more transparency through a comprehensive long-term capital plan would allow for more informed decision making by GSA and Congress among competing priorities.

– GAO 2015 Report

job order contracting



3 thoughts on “Government Owned Buildings

  1. Important topic – thanks for the alert. Too bad there is not more actual BIM content relative to the issues of property valuation, maintenance, conditions, etc.

    For example, in Huntington Beach, CA – the US Post Office is closing the downtown Post Office – an Historical Building treasured by many residents. How much data does the GSA already have on this structure? How might BIM 2.0 Information Exchange Requirements (John Messner’s PxP Guidelines and PxP Content process maps be applied? – Should/Could/Must Kristine Fallon’s Information Policy and Handover Guidelines be provided to those within the city government or policy advisors outside the city government?

    Just a few thoughts

    1. Good thoughts, however, with respect to BIM and the level of implementation as noted, it simply isn’t required. It would be GREAT, but no way it’s going to happen in our lifetimes.

      An even more fundamental approach to life-cycle management of the built environment would provide the requisite information to enable vastly improved decision support.

      The real issue is that the GSA lacks standardized approaches and associated deployment of robust efficient construction project delivery method. There is no excuse for this lack of centralized support and oversight in concert with local/regional action.
      At this point is is beyond lack of management, it’s utter failure to met stated goals and objectives.

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