VFA.auditor® Guided Self-Assessment Solution Enables Capture of Facility Data Needed for Funding Requests
BOSTON—June 6, 2011—VFA, Inc., the leading provider of end-to-end solutions for facilities capital planning and asset management, announced its ongoing work with The University of Texas at Austin, one of the largest public universities in the United States with over 51,000 students, to evaluate the condition of more than 19 million square feet of buildings, including the main campus and additional research centers.
The University of Texas at Austin has been working with VFA since 2002, utilizing VFA.facility®, VFA’s capital planning and management software solution, as a decision support tool to establish an efficient, objective and repeatable method of prioritizing facilities projects. VFA has completed three facility condition assessments of the University’s buildings, most recently in 2010, when it also conducted a pilot Green Building Assessment. As a result, Green Building Assessments will be included each year on a portion of the buildings, based on the campus sustainability policy adopted in 2008.
The University wanted to maintain the integrity of the data in VFA.facility, while implementing a schedule of annual condition assessments of 20 percent of the portfolio, beginning in 2011. The University has a large maintenance and facilities staff, making self-assessments a feasible solution to complement the new five-year facility condition assessment cycle. Using VFA.auditor®, a Web-based guided self-assessment tool, the staff gathers current facility data for critical buildings. A reliable, updated database is vital to the University’s ability to make accurate funding decisions.
The University’s facility capital planning program has helped to demonstrate a need for more funding to support renovation and renewal projects, resulting in annual budget increases. The University implemented a visionary funding strategy that inverted a spending trend of 80 percent funding for repair work compared with only 20 percent system replacement and renewal – to what is now 15 percent funding for repair and 85 percent for system renewal.
“We really wanted to be able to show everyone – from the president to the associate deans and the student body – the true condition of the school’s facilities,” said Dr. Steven Kraal, senior associate vice president for campus planning and facilities management at The University of Texas at Austin. “Selling and defending your budget will always come back to how effectively you use every dollar given to you. With the building assessments, we are able to let the data speak for itself, and to prove that every time you give us a dollar, we’re going to give you back every cent of it.”
According to Jerry Kokos, president and CEO, VFA, “The University of Texas at Austin is a long-standing VFA customer, and we are pleased to continue our work with them by offering the latest technology solution, guided self-assessment. Our combination of software and services provides the tools the University needs to implement best practices and make optimal decisions about facility capital planning.”
For more information about VFA’s work with higher education institutions, please visit vfa.com/markets/higher-education/.
Or, to connect with VFA, follow us on Twitter at @VFAINC, or visit our blog, Foundations, which is aimed at providing information to readers that serves as a foundation for intelligent capital spending and facilities capital planning and management.