Standardized Facility Inspection
For the Department to assess the health of its facility infrastructure, it needs to regularly collect data on the condition of every DoD facility. One critical metric that enables this assessment is the Facility Condition Index (FCI)
. The FCI is a quality rating expressed as a comparison between the cost of repairing a facility to like-new condition, versus the cost of fully replacing that facility. For real-property professionals to make informed assessments about facility conditions, it is essential that they have accurate and consistent FCI data.
In the past, each DoD Component has used its own processes to determine how facility inspections are to be conducted. Unfortunately, this has resulted in inconsistent assessments of similar facilities despite their being in similar condition. To ensure that the Department has consistent facility-condition information on which to base its investment decisions, FIM led an initiative that resulted in a DoD facility condition assessment policy
(PDF, 3.28MB), issued on September 10, 2013. The policy established a DoD-wide facility condition assessment process that incorporates the Sustainment Management System (SMS) developed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Engineer Research and Development Center
- Construction Engineering Research Laboratory (ERDC-CERL).
The SMS application, commonly known as BUILDER®
, will enable trained building inspectors, engineers, technicians, and maintenance-shop personnel to decide when, where, and how to best maintain facility infrastructure, and will provide sustainment experts with real-time, integrated data on the condition, functionality, and remaining service life of DoD facilities, service systems, and components. Adopting a standardized facility condition assessment process using the BUILDER® SMS will significantly aid the development of short and long-range maintenance and repair work-plans, and help inform future budgets on where facility investments are most needed.
The Military Components and Washington Headquarters Services will ensure that an FCI for each asset on their installations is properly recorded in their respective real property databases, with inspections using the SMS standard process completed for all facilities and facility components within five years of the date of the September 10, 2013 policy (i.e., no later than September 10, 2018). This includes facilities occupied or used by tenant organizations per DoDI 4165.70, “Real Property Management.”
Facility Recapitalization Initiative
DoD installations must support the needs of the warfighter, either through the use of existing facilities or through the fiscally responsible construction of new facilities. Management of existing real property involves both facility sustainment and recapitalization. Whereas sustainment focuses on keeping facilities operational through preventative maintenance and repair; recapitalization includes the restoration, modernization, or replacement of facilities or their structural components to extend or restore a facility’s lifecycle.
Especially in the current climate of budgetary austerity, DoD cannot invest in facilities that do not support mission readiness. Because the Office of the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Installations & Environment
is responsible for a portfolio of more than 555,000 facilities worldwide, worth almost three quarters of a trillion dollars; it expends considerable efforts to determine which facilities need recapitalization and how extensive necessary investments should be. In support of those efforts, FIM is leading an initiative to establish a facility recapitalization program focused on:
- Sustaining current facilities;
- Achieving inventory-wide facility condition index (FCI) goals;
- Ensuring that all DoD facilities are capable of meeting mission requirements and providing a reasonable quality of life to DoD personnel using them; and
- Establishing methods to identify and remediate within a reasonable timeframe any “failing facilities,” i.e., facilities in poor physical condition; through demolition, replacement, or repair.
Refinement of Antiterrorism Standards for Buildings
Antiterrorism (AT) building standards help protect personnel, assets, and facilities from acts of terrorism by incorporating defensive safeguards into the construction of inhabited buildings. Key objectives of AT standards are to:
- avoid progressive building collapse
- reduce flying debris hazards
limit airborne contamination
provide mass notification
AT standards are developed by the DoD Security Engineering Working Group, in accordance with applicable DoD policy guidance, and published as Unified Facilities Criteria
under the authority of the DoD Engineering Senior Executive Panel.
In February 2012, DoD updated Unified Facilities Criteria 4-010-01
, Minimum AT Standards for Buildings
, including a refinement in the table of minimum standoff distances between protected buildings and vehicles. Rather than the previous "one-size-fits-all" approach, the new table reflects discrete distances for each type of building construction, based on the results of field testing. This will allow more accurate planning and site layout options without compromising protection for building occupants.
In December 2012, the Deputy Secretary of Defense directed a change to the Department’s AT standards for off-installation leased facility space. For these locations, the Department now uses the standards developed by the federal Interagency Security Committee (ISC) that apply to all other federal agencies. The ISC is comprised of representatives from twenty-one federal agencies and is chaired by the Department of Homeland Security.