Evaluating the real age of your real estate

Five questions you should be asking about the condition of your assets, and how to answer them

March 05, 2020

With the increased pressure to get more done with less, it may seem easier to push upgrading aging buildings to the backburner. But that could quite literally be deteriorating your assets, at the expense of your business goals, employees and customers. Understanding the true age of your facility or portfolio allows you to get ahead of costs, prioritize resources and get a full picture of your real estate performance. Here are the five questions you should be asking, and how to answer them.

1. What is the overall condition of my building inventory: structures, systems and equipment?

While you may know when your space or building was constructed, there are various components that not only contribute to the overall age of your facility but will impact your bottom line now and in the future. A facility condition assessment can help you understand the useful life of everything from the roofing to heating and cooling to finishes and fixtures.

2. Do I have items that require repair or replacement?

Due to deferred maintenance or other circumstances such as weather, your building might not be in as good a shape as you may think. Depending on the condition of these items, they could be in violation of codes, pose a danger to public safety or lead to further deterioration. A project manager takes careful inventory of your facility from top to bottom so you can get ahead of costly consequences.

3. Is my building up to the standards of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)?

You may not be thinking about whether your space follows ADA regulations, but adhering to best practices can save time, money and undue stress down the line. While a facility condition assessment does not replace a full ADA audit, it will identify areas of concern, such as accessible entrances, paths of travel through buildings and accessible restroom facilities.

4. Is my building in violation of any codes?

Beyond routine preventative maintenance work, you may not be aware that you are in violation of codes that not only increase your likelihood of costly fines, but impact marketability or habitability of your space. A project manager should leverage relationships with building and fire departments to review records and uncover potential violations against the building.

5. How much should I be forecasting for building equipment and major maintenance?

An objective, data-driven capital plan empowers organizations to get ahead of emergencies and make capital allocation decisions based on full knowledge of the impacts of your projects. A facility condition assessment kick starts this process by delivering a capital expenditure forecast—based on industry accepted lifespans of building equipment—so you know how and when you should be allocating capital to building equipment and major maintenance items.

Knowing the true age of your facility may seem daunting, but assessing the structures, systems and equipment of your space can help you to plan and modernize areas that are critical to the long-term success of your business.

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