Facility Assessments {and the value they provide to Senior Living communities, homes and service providers} By Mark Higgins, AIA

Typically, a facility assessment is undertaken to determine the condition of a Senior Living Community building(s) and associated site infrastructure. The process involves assembling a team of seasoned building design professionals to 1) observe and document existing conditions of the building systems, 2) identify deficiencies, 3) make recommendations to correct these deficiencies, 4) prepare cost estimates to implement corrections, and; 5) assign a priority to the correction which conveys (or expresses) the urgency of the implementation. This information can also be illustrated in a table of capital, operation and maintenance expenditures anticipated during the coming years.

Other features of a facility condition assessment could include a review of regulatory requirements such as building, life safety or accessibility codes and standards and a determination of the remaining useful life of major building equipment or systems.

A facility condition assessment basically answers the question, “If we do nothing, what will it cost to keep what we currently have?” Additional benefits include the ability to plan to reduce deferred maintenance backlog, enhance planning by addressing resources to the highest priority needs, renewal forecasting and as baseline data to inform planning for repositioning, renovation, addition, transfer or replacement of property. [My next post will cover the separate but related Functional Assessment].

Not all facility assessments are created equal! The quality of an assessment is influenced by the qualifications and experience of the assessment team, the required advance planning necessary to gather relevant data prior to the site visit, making the most effective use of time at the community, the commitment to detail and the organization of the report.

Aided by Schemmer’s team of highly skilled architects and engineers, I have prepared dozens of assessments for communities ranging from a single building to multi-campus, multi-building clients with considerable site area. Invariably, our clients adopt the findings and incorporate the data into their management and planning processes. Typical outcomes resulting from these facility assessments range from more rigorous and consistent maintenance programs to demolition, renovation or replacement of structures, to expansion of a ministry.