Green Assessment Integrates Sustainability Initiatives into the Capital Planning Process

BOSTON – March 31, 2009 – VFA, Inc., a leading provider of end-to-end solutions for facilities capital planning and asset management, today announced completion of a green facility condition assessment of 18 buildings and nearly 530,000 square feet of real estate at Salem State College in Salem, Mass. VFA identified potential green opportunities on campus, providing the college with a strategy for achieving both traditional capital planning and sustainability goals.

Like many higher education institutions, Salem State College had recognized the importance of understanding the condition of buildings in its portfolio, prioritizing projects during the capital planning process, and establishing defensible funding requests through traditional facility condition assessments from VFA. Using the guidelines of LEED®-Existing Building Operations and Maintenance, VFA has now delivered recommendations for green actions and established a sustainability baseline for the campus.

“Salem State College is committed to operating and maintaining sustainable buildings in order to provide a productive and healthy environment for students, faculty and staff,” said Stephen Keyes, Director of Campus Development, Salem State College. “It is critical that we are prepared to pinpoint the specific projects that could positively impact the sustainability of the campus so that we are prepared to execute on those projects when funding does become available.”

In conducting the green building assessment of Salem State College, in conjunction with a facilities condition reassessment, VFA was able to focus on low-cost, easily executable initiatives that deliver a short-term payback and provide tangible improvements to the quality of the work environment, as well as identifying long-term initiatives with more wide-ranging impact and extended payback. The use of a performance scoring system allows Salem State College to compare buildings with one another and set benchmarks to monitor each building’s sustainability progress over time in the following areas:

  • Optimization of energy performance;
  • Conservation and protection of water;
  • Enhancement of indoor environmental quality; and
  • Reduction of impact of materials and operations on building sites and the environment.

“With the establishment of a sustainability baseline, Salem State College has laid the foundation for a comprehensive green implementation plan,” said Jerry Kokos, president and CEO, VFA, Inc. “Our Green Building Assessment is just one of the ways that VFA demonstrates a commitment to help higher education organizations readily integrate green facilities programs into their overall capital planning and project definition process.”

New Business Intelligence Capabilities in VFA.facility 9.0 Enable Users to Put Facility Data into Action

BOSTON – March 9, 2009 – VFA, Inc., a leading provider of end-to-end solutions for facilities capital planning and asset management, today announced the release of version 9.0 of its flagship software product, VFA.facility® for April distribution in the U.S. market. The latest release includes business intelligence capabilities enabled by embedded tools from IBM Cognos, including new reports and dashboards that allow users to view key performance indicators about their capital assets and easily access additional detail.

VFA.facility provides a central source of facilities information along with sophisticated tools for capital planning and budgeting. The latest release builds on these capabilities to provide customizable reports and dashboards to help executives gain business insight from facilities data, enable better prioritization of requirements, and support organizations that manage facility portfolios across multiple geographies.

“In today’s uncertain economy, organizations must carefully prioritize capital improvement projects and be able to make compelling funding requests,” said Melanie Ziegler, senior vice president of product development at VFA. “The latest release of VFA.facility gives organizations even better tools to understand the needs of their facility portfolio, prioritize capital needs and provide various stakeholders with the information they need, when they need it.”

New features in VFA.facility 9.0 include:

  • Report Center: A new reporting environment lets users view reports in multiple formats, organize them in public and shared folders, schedule them to run at specific times, and automatically email reports to recipients they specify. Users may create and modify reports with a simple drag-and-drop interface using the optional report authoring tool.
  • Dashboards: New homepage dashboards provide a graphical, interactive view of key performance indicators and the overall state of the portfolio. In addition to the dashboards provided with version 9.0, users may create their own dashboards using tables, graphs, dials and more, and easily share them with others.
  • Enhanced Budgeting: Users may now use an expanded set of fields within VFA.facility as criteria for ranking capital needs, including data fields in Regions, Campuses, Assets, Systems, Requirements and Prime Actions.
  • Multi-Currency Support: Local currencies may be used when viewing information about regions, campuses and assets, while reports may be rolled up in a standard site-wide global currency.
  • U.K. English: VFA.facility now supports U.K. English in addition to U.S. English, French and German.

“VFA is committed to providing customers with the tools they need to make optimal decisions about facility spending and capital planning,” said Jerry Kokos, president and CEO, VFA, Inc. “VFA.facility 9.0 lets decision makers see the information that is most important to them in a concise, actionable format, and helps them turn data into business insight for short and long-term planning.”

American School and University