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November 7, 1998

Building Condition Assessments
Prepared by Nadine Chin-Santos

What is a Building Assessment Program (BAP)?

A BAP is a system which collects baseline building information that addresses predetermined facility components (Physical Breakdown Structure). The information collected informs the owner of existing building deficiencies with recommended actions and their costs. The baseline surveys are best performed using automated data collection tools (hand-held computers) and conducted by trained A/E staff.

Some of the deliverables in the program at the NYC School Construction Authority have been Engineering Condition Reports, Facilities Reports, Deficiency photographs, A Deficiency Costing Program reporting environment and a Deficiency Costing Module.

What is its purpose?
To create a baseline of plant conditions for capital and maintenance planning purposes and to track deteriorating conditions.

What are some ancillary benefits?
Information collected in the field supplied background for the Scope and design phase. The BAP information can assist in justifying additional funding requests due to deteriorated conditions from the time of the inspection. The BAP information creates a general facilities database useful for all managers, designers and project managers. The PBS established a nomenclature for defining projects and tracking funds.

Who needs a Building Assessment Program?
Any real property owner wishing to proactively track and manage his or her assets. Particularly organizations like urban school boards who’s multiple assets often lack the proper maintenance and funds to ensure a safe learning environment for children’s education.

How does one get started?
Know what you need from the program and how you will use the information.

Some useful questions to ask are:
Do you know the current conditions of your entire plant?
Do you know the rate of improvement or deterioration over the last 5 years?
Are you aware of Hazardous Conditions in your plant?
Do you need better control and coordination for your capital and maintenance plan?
Do your plans have built-in flexibility for changing conditions and costs?

Some Lessons Learned from NYC Building Conditions Assessment Surveys.
Improve definition of information required and how it will be used. Insure consistent methodology, training, and teams. Increase QA/QC to insure above consistency.
Staff teams appropriately to ensure coordinated site visits with minimum individual down-time.