It’s time for a facility condition assessment

January 24, 2018

Employee take note in boiler room

This is part one in a series on preventative maintenance.


Although you can never totally prevent all emergency repairs, a preventative maintenance program is a good way to head off most danger. The first step is to run a facility condition assessment (FCA)—an analysis of your facility’s condition that takes into account such factors as age, materials, design, assets, and more. An FCA is crucial in monitoring your building’s health and performance. This can help you avoid potential maintenance emergencies and, once you take into account the needs identified by the assessment, it can help you develop your long- and short-term budgets.


Your primary objectives in running an FCA are to arrive at a defensible estimate of reinvestment costs so you can make informed decisions on resource allocation, and to provide a benchmark of the current performance of your facility in order to prioritize your maintenance, repair, and/or replacement. An FCA can also provide you an opportunity to prepare a tangible capital asset inventory, determine the remaining useful life of your elements, prepare a photographic record of systems and elements, develop a Facility Condition Index (FCI), develop a 10-year capital plan for your facility, and establish Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and metrics.


Some of the methods and technologies you will want to use in your FCA include:


  • Performing a surface review of conditions, including visual, auditory, olfactory and tactile means, for telltale signs of wear and distress
  • Trend Analysis—Keeping records and reviewing them during each FCA to track trends and discover meaningful patterns (e.g. leak history)
  • Performing blackout testing to test your standby/emergency generators, UPS, battery pack, emergency lights, etc.
  • Running load tests on elevators, lifts, and cranes and even assets like emergency generators
  • Cycling your valves through full operation to test for isolation and other responses
  • Wearing debris analysis to analyze the presence of particles in mechanical fluids
  • Oil Analysis—Testing the chemical composition and wear debris in oil transformers, motors, etc.
  • Surveying your CCTV cameras
  • Thermography scanning for hot spots in electrical assets, mechanical assets, and enclosure assets


Other tests you may want to run include aerial surveillance using drones, vibration analysis for rotating machinery, ultrasonics for motors, drum gates, pipe walls, and coatings, radar for pipe testing, motor current signature analysis, impact echo analysis, and even using submersible divers for outfalls, marine crossing pipes, dam trash racks, and more.


For help in performing a thorough FCA for your facility, contact Vanguard Resources.