The University of Texas at Austin
In 2002, The University of Texas at Austin had a fixed annual budget of $12 million for renovation, renewal, and compliance-related improvements for its facilities. The Facilities Services Department had to prioritize facilities projects in an effective, objective, and repeatable manner to maximize efficient use of these funds. The department was responsible for creating the annual renovation and renewal budget and its 10-year capital plan.
During this time, the University Budget Council was making an aggressive effort to close out accounts and projects that were not using allocated funding. The Council wanted to be more involved in how each division of the university was spending its allotted funds. Facilities Services made it a point to find a way to show that every dollar they received from the Budget Council would be used appropriately and effectively.To demonstrate good stewardship, the university worked with VFA to provide campus-wide, detailed facility condition assessments. VFA's facility capital planning and management software served as a central repository for building condition data. The software provides a decision support tool for capital project planning, prioritization, and budgeting. The university has conducted three facility condition assessments since 2002 to keep the data current.
After a successful pilot of the Green Building Assessment on three of the university's facilities in 2010, Green Building Assessments will now be included each year on a portion of the buildings, based on the campus sustainability policy. This policy requires the university's courses, policies and procedures, when possible, incorporate approaches that "reduce life cycle costs, restore or maintain the functioning of natural systems and enhance human well-being" (http://www.utexas.edu/news/2008/05/06/sustainability_policy/).In 2010, the university began to use VFA.auditor, a Web-based self-assessment tool, to conduct assessments with its own facilities staff. The tool allows the database to be frequently updated without having to complete a detailed condition assessment each year, a vital step in making accurate and objective funding decisions. Each requirement discovered from the condition assessment allows members of the Facilities Maintenance organization to analyze these requirements, understand associated costs, pinpoint the location of the issue, and prioritize further actions. The Facilities Services Department now meets monthly with the University Budget Council to make sure that all aspects of funding are communicated.
The Facilities Services Department was able to secure an increase in annual funding from $12 million in 2002 to $18 million in 2010, based on its ability to demonstrate a need for more funding to support renovation and renewal projects with concrete data. Facilities Services management has been able to show they can account for every dollar that has been spent for this important program.
Dr. Steve KraalAna Thiemerhttp://www.utexas.edu/facilities/services/buildingassessments.htmlFacilities Services Department
Judges will add the point totals for each submission to
help choose the winners in each of the four categories.
The University of Texas at Austin is a 2011 Winner!
© 1995-2012 Trade Press Media Group, Inc.
Building Operating ManagementMaintenance SolutionsArticle DirectoryTopics
Contact UsPoliciesManage Email