10 Steps Toward Real Property Stewardship & Life-cycle Management of the Built Environment

10 Steps Toward Real Property Stewardship

Life-cycle Management of the Built Environment


Efficient life-cycle management of the built environment requires ALL of the following. As a  Real Property Owner, how do are you doing?

  1. Collaborative, LEAN business practices and construction project delivery methods (Integrated Project Delivery – IPD, Job Order Contracting – JOC, …)
  2. Metrics including Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
  3. Continuous education and training
  4. Financial transparency
  5. Common terms, definitions, and standard data architectures
  6. Long-term mutually beneficial relationships with service providers
  7. Life-cycle / Total-cost-of-ownership perspective versus first-cost mentality
  8. Best value procurement
  9. Enabling technology that supports processes/workflows
  10. Focus upon Outcomes

10 steps toward real property stewardship

Asset Life-cycle Model, Asset Information Model, and Why BIM Won’t Work

The U.S. tried to foster BIM with NBIMS,  also others in the world tried PAS this and PAS that, and ISO this and ISO that… the issue remains that standards can’t replace knowledge and competency.

At the end of there day BIM represents nothing new relative to the efficient life-cycle management of the built environment.  Sure, software firms, and folks that love 3D and make a living from it will tell you otherwise, but the simple truth is that BIM, as we now know it, can not and will not survive.

The fact that BIM is a failure is sad because the world desperately needs to get a grip on how to manage its limited economic and environment resources and built structures are significant in that process.   Furthermore, there are critical life-safety and security issues associated with our crumbling and mismanaged physical infrastructure.

The primary issue is that many facility management and AEC professionals confused 3D visualization with asset life-cycle management.  While 3D visualization is nice tool, is is just that, an individual component in the toolbox.  It’s not even the most important tool.   Large, multi-site, multi-national real property portfolios can be efficiently managed WITHOUT 3D visualization and BIM software as now available.

Thus the pressure by countries, such as the UK to use BIM is misdirected.

Any government regulation should be directly solely at Owners.  More specifically, asset life-cycle management practices and collaborative construction delivery methods (integrated project delivery – IPD, job order contracting – JOC)  should be mandated.  This includes a formalized set up key performance indicators (KPIs), robust lean best management practices, and ongoing education and training.

The methods to eliminate the rampant environment and economic waste endemic to the Architecture, Engineering, Construction, Operations, and Owner sectors has been available for decades,  we simply don’t require Owners to do their jobs.

Owners must be required to develop technical and business competencies with respect to asset life-cycle modeling and total cost of ownership, and be able to LEAD collaborative teams of service providers.     Until this happens….   nothing will change, it is indeed as simple as that.

BIM asset life-cycle competencies

Asset Comptency Model

Tenant / Building User Relationship Management

Tenant / Building User Relationship Management – FM Metric #1?

How well facility managers support their tenants and/or building uses with respect to their respective organizational missions is a critical performance metric for any real property owner.

Responsiveness, Quality, and Budgetary/Financial Performance represent key areas in which facility management professionals are judged.

The ability of real property owners, in their role as facility managers/stewards  to collaborate with and understand the needs of building users as well as services providers such as architects, engineers, and construction contractors  determines their effectiveness with respect to improved service delivery, mitigating risk, and overall life-cycle management of built structures.

The ability of an owner/facility manager to efficiently manage their numerous renovation, repair, and maintenance projects encountered on a daily basis, as well as strategically deal with capital renewal and deferred maintenance determines ultimate short and longer term success or failure.

Collaboration, transparency, mutual trust & respects, and shared goals are critical to the achievement of superior facility management outcomes.   Understanding user/tenant requirements is step one, and sharing this information with all project participants from concept through ongoing life-cycle management is necessary in order to improve overall satisfaction as well as return on financial investment.

Use of LEAN collaborative construction delivery is the single most important element in improving overall outcomes.  Whether adopting Job Order Contracting – JOC, for renovation, repair, and maintenance, or Integrated Project Delivery – IPD, for major new construction, the results of proper adoption and implementation with be a high number of quality projects delivered on-time and on-budget, to the satisfaction of all involved parties.

Most Owner (approximately 73%) either lack confidence, or are only somewhat confident of the satisfaction levels of their tenants/building users.  When combined with the fact that the construction sector as a whole remains highly unproductive versus virtually every other industry, the need for cultural and operational change is clear.

Isn’t it time to move beyond ad-hoc business procedures and workflows, lack of standardized information, and limited financial transparency?

LEAN FM and Construction practices deliver…

A focus upon outcomes…

Early and ongoing collaboration…

Financial transparency…

Mutual respect & trust…

Common goal & objectives…

Shared risk/reward…

More projects on-time & on-budget…

Higher quality…

Significant productivity gains…

Standardized data for information-based decision support…

Facility Operations and Maintenance (O&M), and Capital Renewal

Facility Operations and Maintenance (O&M), and Capital Renewal

Best Management Practices


Policies and procedures based upon BEST VALUE and OUTCOMES are critical to pro-active and efficient facility management.

Real property owners must team with building users, architects, engineers, and contractors to delivery desired outcomes on-time and on-budget.  Focus upon best value, requisite outcomes, and life-cycle costing, full cost transparency, shared knowledge, combine to drive lower total cost of ownership.

job order contracting

While globalization and centralized oversight will continue, knowledge, capability, and consistent execution at a local level is equally important.  In fact, competence development at all levels internal and external to the organization is becoming necessary to meet increasing economic and environmental pressures and requirements.

Timely and accurate information driving analytics support fact-based decision-making, proactive planning, and technical maintenance excellence.

Transforming from low bidder to procuring strategic long term, value-added partnerships lowers risk, delivers optimal financial returns.

job order contracting

Facility Management Checklist

  • Develop competencies across all knowledge domains that support the organization, suppliers, and service providers
  • Create competitive advantage and best value through developing long-term partnerships
  • Engage in best value procurement
  • Segment “Fixed” and “Variable Costs”
  • Create a Capital Renewal Plan
    • Capital Renewal – Major repairs and cyclical replacement of building systems/components versus established building life-time (50 years, 100 years)
    • Sustainment Model (planned, preventive, and emergency maintenance, plus capital renewal) and Restoration/Modernization Models
  • Evaluate Current and Plan Status of Maintenance and Operations Program
  • Document cost savings via estimated return on investment (ROI) what-if analysis versus various timeframes
  • Review procurement policies
  • Review construction delivery methods
  • Ongoing education and training
  • Continuous monitoring inclusive of key leading and lagging performance indicators
  • Maintenance (General, Routine, Preventive)
    • Review operations affecting maintenance
    • Procedures
  • Utilities
    • Review operational procedures affecting utilities
    • Usage patterns/peak usage
    • Monitoring (meters, motors, etc.)
    • Life-cycle repair versus replace analysis
    • Review major systems (heat/light resistant glazing, insulation, automatic shut-offs for all fixtures, high efficiency heating/cooling, daylight lighting controls, intelligent building controls.
  • Capital Renewal
    • Regular condition audits
    • Prioritize versus organization mission
    • Multi-year scenario analysis
    • Repair versus replace analysis




Sustainability and Federal Government Facilties – A Candid Survey of Federal Executives – GBC and Deloitte – September 2010

Federal agencies and public companies share sustainability challenges, however, JOC / Job Order Contracting provides an efficient Construction Delivery Method to deploy associated renovation, renovation projects for existing buildings.


Many respondents believe the level of  effort and resources put towards sustainability by their agency is lacking.  Over half  of  them call the sustainability effort “inadequate.” 

Many of  the roadblocks to sustainability are strategic or cultural.”

A majority (54 percent) of  respondents anticipate the level of  effort put towards sustainability will remain constant.”



Executive Summary

 Federal executives surveyed have taken significant steps to “go green” in their personal lives.  A strong majority (81percent) say they now turn off  lights when not in use.  Almost as many print less, turn off  electronics, use more energy efficient products, or recycle. 
 Federal executives believe they have a responsibility to promote sustainability in their agency as well.  Nine in ten of  those surveyed agree with the idea that they have such a responsibility.  Nearly as many of  them say that they have personally taken action to promote sustainability. 
 Respondents almost universally agree that it is important that their agency implements sustainable practices.  Over 95 percent call it very or somewhat important.  When presented with a list of  three elements of  sustainability and asked to rank their importance, most viewed all three as critical.
 While a “sense of  obligation” is the top reason for going green on a personal level, it ranks fourth among reasons agencies make changes.  Agencies’ moves towards sustainability tend to result from different motivators including fulfilling a mandate or reducing costs.
 Almost all respondents believe it is important to increase sustainability, but most report their agency has taken few actions
to do so.  In fact, on average, those surveyed know of  less than three things their agency has done
Many respondents believe the level of  effort and resources put towards sustainability by their agency is lacking.  Over half 
of  them call the sustainability effort “inadequate.”
  In contrast, four percent say the effort has been “excessive.”  
 Many of  the roadblocks to sustainability are strategic or cultural.  Over a quarter say that sustainability is not an agency
priority, or that there is a lack of  coordination.  Almost as many claim there is a lack of  involvement, enthusiasm, and engagement in “going green” among agency employees.
 Respondents recognize ways in which their agencies could become more sustainable.  Almost 60 percent say that better
education, training, and engagement can help their agency implement more sustainable practices.
A majority (54 percent) of  respondents anticipate the level of  effort put towards sustainability will remain constant.  A significant portion (39 percent) anticipate their agency will be more dedicated to sustainability in the future, while almost
none expect that their agency will be less committed to it.  
 Almost all federal executives (86 percent) say that a primary force driving them to be more sustainable is a sense of 
obligation.  Many also behave more sustainably to save money, while far fewer do so to follow a trend, or because of  social


Reasons for Agency Action to Increase Sustainability

Executive Order 13514

Strategic Sustainability Performance Plans

Most Important Sustainability Related Goals

Why Revit is NOT BIM !

If you think Revit is BIM, please stop now.

Revit is a BIM tool, as are similar products from Graphisoft, Bentley Systems, etc. etc.  These tools provide the basic 3d design/rendering/engineering components of BIM (and, yes I know, some additional functionality) and associated object technologies. 

BIM on the other hand is a business process enabling cradle-to-grave life-cycle management of the built environment supported by a variety of techologies, of which Revit is  just “one”.

Those who have spent ten to thirty plus years in the AEC sector know how much a  laggard our industry is versus others when it comes to efficient business processes and supporting technologies.  As a result, the adoption of BIM will REQUIRE fundamental “cultural changes” in AEC business practices.  The basic business foundations of the AEC community must adapt to enable BIM and it’s resulted added value to flourish.

Sure, the risks that come with change are ever present, however, the reward, a productive AEC industry, will benefit everyone… owners, users/occupants, contractors, architects, engineers, software providers, business product manufactuers, and the community at large.

The Future of BIM , Green , and Integrated Project Design

Owners drive the construction market.
In this regard, “Green”, “BIM”, “Sustainability”, “Integated project design”, “Evidence-based design” will rapidly blur into High Performance Building Management.
The wheel is already in motion with the event triggers being climate change and associated federal and state regulations.
The government sector has always lead in the areas of lifecycle / total cost of ownership management with respect to the built environment, with higher education following a close second.
Standardized cost data (i.e. RS Means) integrating sustainability costs / benchmarking, and leveraging BIM technologies will be required to effect change and monitor progess.

The future of "Green"?
The future of "Green"?

Facility Operations and Maintenance Audits

Is your organization following industry “best practices”?    A operations and maintenance audit my save your firm 15% in energy related costs, and improve  both systems reliablity and “client” satisfaction.


Faclities Stewardship
Faclities Stewardship

High Performance Buildings Research and Analytics for Competitive Advantage in HEALTHCARE  

Sustainability and High Building Performance for Existing Hospitals – Hospitals account for a disproportionate percentage of energy consumption, representing a significant opportunity to lower operating costs and minimize carbon footprint.   Drawing upon our nationwide databases and decades of experience, RS Means engineers and analysts off a perspective driven by the power of data mining, predictive analytics, and decades of real world experience.


RS Means Operations & Maintenance Audits – Recognizing the disparate needs of healthcare institutions, we offer multiple service levels to help focus resources upon facility operation best practices and projects to optimize building performance and reduce energy impacts.  Our experienced teams can help to identify underperforming structures within your portfolio, and/or building systems within a single hospital.  Traditional approaches have not leveraged standardized cost databases, nationwide data mining, and research analytics to normalize varied content and enforce quality standards, thus lacking the ability to inventory and benchmark, conduct year-over-year analysis, create prioritized project lists, and predict ongoing system requirements.                                                                                                                                                                                                    

Level I—Our collaborative, customized process begins by gathering critical building, system and equipment level information via a “smart survey” questionnaire-based approach. Service efficiency is directly related to highly organized and focused maintenance activities.  By comparing the survey to our knowledge of industry best practices the Level I analysis provide a relative benchmark and associated score on an overall basis and within specifically defined subcategories.                                                                                                                                                                                            

Level II—In addition to a smart survey, Level II involved a site visit by RS Means team members.  During the visit, we will have an opportunity to review on-site documentation as well as view major building systems.  The Level II analysis yields specific, prioritized recommendations for cost savings opportunities.   Deliverables include a critical equipment inventory with associated recommendations spanning operational changes, automated controls, and engineered changes.                                                                                                                                    

Level III— Level III delivers all aspects of the prior stages, plus implementation assistance in the form of a document noting prioritized projects, associated cost and scheduling estimates.  Recommendations are targeted to move existing facilities toward reaching and maintaining a lower carbon diet.


  • Critical equipment list
  • Operational changes
  • Automated controls
  • Engineered systems changes


Additional Services:

Life Cycle Cost Studies—Our data shows that in 2007, green products entered the construction specifications market at a 22% adoption rate. Life-cycle cost savings are a distinct market advantage for green building products. RSMeans engineers conduct studies can that benchmark present net values and ROI for existing hospitals; multi-year capital renewal, maintenance, and janitorial costs. Customized, robust building cost models, built from RSMeans Square Foot, and Assemblies (Uniformat II) databases, are used for the analysis.

Market Segmentation Analysis—Analysis from actual hospital construction projects as well as geographic market segment (e.g., national, state, MSA).  Market penetrations for building product markets, such as “green products” are calculated for micro market analyses.  Material usage, a significant metric for the analysis, is determined from the “percent of spend” of CSI divisions regarding building materials represented in RSMeans square foot models.

Statistical analysis of Reed Connect “plans and specifications” database identifies architectural influences within contract documents. Studies analyze product adoption for trends as well as competitive analysis. The analysis is available as an executive summary report (e.g. regions, states and vertical markets) or as web-based decision support dashboard.

Market Size & Market Opportunity Dashboards—Multiple drill down layers of analyses provide a quantitative market overview. Dashboard data feeds and analyses include RCD/Means proprietary data, client data, and publicly available data to address questions about market size and growth potential of healthcare construction as well as renovation markets.



For more information contact RSMeans Business Solutions at 781-422-5101
or email consulting@rsmeans.com