Architecture Engineering Environment
VISN 20 Facility Condition Assessments Facility Condition Assessments, AK, ID, OR & WA
ATEI was responsible for the Facility Condition Assessment (FCA) of 10 hospitals with roughly 6M square feet. The guidelines for a VA compliant FCA are contained in FCA-101. Protocol consists of review of existing data and reports, visiting the sites with a multifunction 5-person team and assessing the current condition of capital assets. The basis for assessment is a “Red-Green” report generated from the VA Capital Asset Inventory database. The team then compares previously reported items and grades them A-F and seeks out new or overlooked items. All unfunded deficiencies (D & F rated items) require RS Means based cost estimates. The VA has chosen to deviate from the prescribed reporting procedure and instead use the updated Red-Green report for the review cycle. This allows the ATEI team to continue database entry and quality assurance during the review cycle. After review, the database if finalized and released back to the owning hospital for use in planning and programming.
Innovation: 1) ATEI recommended and the VA accepted the use of a preliminary site visit to each facility to emphasize the importance and value of the assessment process. Our Project Team Leader visited each facility and met with senior staff to establish rapport, collect data, generate the escort list and familiarize the VA client with our methodology for site visits and data collection. The site visits were a resounding success and yielded substantial benefit to early data collection and client buy-in to the process. 2) We also recommended adding a Civil Engineer and keeping the cost estimator in the office. Both suggestions yielded substantially more efficient fieldwork freeing up the Architect to focus more where they are best suited and restoring customary discipline divisions of labor.
Challenges: 1) This entire region is a high seismic activity zone. In Anchorage, our assessment occurred 9 months after a 7.1 earthquake centered about 10 miles from the hospital. As part of our assessment, Mr. Staas, our structural engineer, provided value-added consultation regarding function of the seismometers. Through his extensive knowledge, Mr. Staas engaged VA and other federal experts on behalf of the hospital and negotiated a reasonable understanding of sensor function allying both management and expert concerns. 2) American Lake was virtually all historical buildings. To meet the challenge of historically significant structures, ATEI increased staff by two architectural assessors to provide time for our lead architect to better evaluate the buildings. 3) Data quality within the CAI database remains an on-going challenge. The change in methodology over the years and differing assessors tend to create anomalies. Composite grading and multiple records contained under a single FCA ID number adds to the confusion.
Results: ATEI is de-conflicting records as they are encountered and we are preparing comprehensive, easy to read reports and cost estimates. The CAI database is updated individually as each facility is completed releasing the data back to the VA for programming. Detailed RS means based cost estimates are included in location specific reports in an on-going basis, not waiting for the Final Master Report at the end of the project.
Project Owner: U. S. Department of Veteran Affairs
- VA Experience
- Facility Condition Assessment Experience
- RS Means Cost Estimating