Date: Thursday, September 29, 2011
Time: 11:00 AM Pacific/2:00 PM Eastern
Length: 60 minutes

Fees: This webinar is complimentary
Location: Available Online Using WebEx

With limited budgets and a long list of repairs, U.S. colleges and universities face difficult choices when deciding what to renew, what to renovate, and what to replace altogether. As a priority measure, The University of Texas at Austin, implemented a solution to track every project dollar allocated.  By leveraging both detailed facility condition assessments and a web-based self-assessment tool, they plan to establish transparency into the process of making accurate and objective funding decisions. 

In this webinar, learn how the University secured an increase in annual funding based on its ability to demonstrate concrete project data and the need for more funding.   

In this webinar, you’ll learn how the University plans to:

  • Leverag existing facility resources using facility self-assessments to quickly assess assets of all types and sizes
  • Maintain a reliable, updated database to support accurate funding decisions
  • Employ repeatable processes for prioritizing capital projects and allocating capital funds
  • Obtain needed funding based on defensible data

Ana Thiemer, Project Manager, The University of Texas at Austin
Keith O’Leary,
Director, VFA Product Marketing, VFA, Inc.

By Jim Streeter, Director, Professional Services, VFA, Inc.

Recently, a rare earthquake shook the East Coast, measuring 5.8 on the Richter scale. The quake was centered in Virginia, but was felt in 25 states and Ontario. It has caused many to begin thinking about the importance of earthquake preparation, especially in regards to facilities. We have talked about this in previous posts, particularly the challenge for facilities managers in addressing the risk posed by nonstructural components.

According to FEMA, in general, the structural components of a commercial building account for approximately 15-25% of the original construction cost, while the nonstructural (mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and architectural) components account for the remaining 75-85% of the cost. Contents belonging to the building occupants, such as movable partitions, furniture, and office or medical equipment, represent a significant additional value at risk. When these costs are compared, it becomes clear that the largest capital investment in most commercial buildings is in the nonstructural systems and contents. You can read more about the sources of earthquake damage that can occur in nonstructural components on the FEMA website.

The Red Cross offers a helpful checklist for earthquake safety, which may be especially useful in areas where people are not used to this type of natural disaster. As they mention, bookcases, cabinets, light fixtures are among the items that can fall and cause serious injury and damage. Understanding seismic risks and assessing facilities for non-structural components is an important first step for facility managers.


Dates: October 11 – 12, 2011
Venue: Mirage Events Center
Las Vegas, NV

Susan Buchanan will be presenting “Integrating Green Incentives for Your Existing Building Portfolio into the Capital Planning Process” on October 12, 2011 at 2:10 pm in room Montego B. 

Date: Thursday, September 8 2011
Time: 11:00 am Eastern
Location: Complimentary via Webex

Given the substantial, ongoing impact of facilities on balance sheets and income statements, corporate real estate and facility managers need to take a disciplined approach to aligning real estate objectives with strategic business priorities.

 This live webinar will explore the strategies, practices and processes that have set high-performance corporations apart. You’ll learn how proactive facility management have tied their corporate real estate approaches to strategic business priorities in a decisive and disciplined fashion. 

What You’ll Learn

  • How to align your real estate strategy with strategic corporate initiatives
  • How to quantify the value and liability of your capital assets
  • How to implement a capital asset management framework that gives all stakeholders visibility into the process
  • How to use funding scenarios to gauge asset performance over time
  • How to prioritize projects to enable corporate capital investments that yield the highest returns on facility assets


By Ameeta Soni, Chief Marketing Officer, VFA, Inc.

Unlike businesses that may relocate as their needs change, most colleges and universities have a long-term relationship with their physical site and buildings, which form an important part of their identity. As stewards of the physical plant, facility managers are responsible for ensuring that all its facilities – including classrooms, dormitories, libraries, dining halls, and student centers – are effectively meeting the needs of students, staff and faculty.

Given the challenges of today’s economy, colleges and universities have to make difficult choices when it comes to deciding which building systems to repair or replace, which renovation projects to complete, and when to build new. How do the costs and benefits of renovating an aging dorm compare with replacing it? What is the top priority: building a new athletic center, or expanding facilities for research? The answer is not always easy or as obvious as it may seem and requires effective facilities capital planning and management.

With the right tools, FM teams can make defensible decisions in support of the school’s mission and goals. How are you making difficult choices today?


Dates: November 3 – 4, 2011
Venue: Crieff Hydro Hotel

Visit us at Booth #42!


Dates: October 16 – 18, 2011
Expo Open: Sunday 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm, Monday, 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm, Tuesday 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm
Venue: Hyatt Regency San Francisco Airport
Burlingame, CA

Visit us at Booth #503!


Dates: October 2 – 5, 2011
Expo Open: Sunday 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm, Monday 11:30 am – 1:00 pm & 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm, Tuesday 6:45 am – 8:15 am & 9:30 am – 10:15 am
Venue: Halifax World Trade and Convention Centre
Halifax, NS

Come visit us at Booth G-01!

By Ameeta Soni, Chief Marketing Officer, VFA, Inc.

A full economic recovery continues to be slower than anyone would like, but facility managers must continue to support the organizational mission with functional facilities in good condition. They also must prepare for the inevitable economic rebound. During an economic recovery, only organizations that have consistently managed information about their facility assets and leveraged that information in the creation of capital projects, plans and budgets will remain strong. Access to accurate, current facility condition data for facilities capital planning will provide a strategic advantage. The benefits in cost and strategic outcome will be significant, whereas the financial and functional price of poor facility planning will be painfully high.

What are you doing to face the current economic situation and prepare for the future?

Read how VFA’s Capital Budgeting Solution helps prioritize capital projects.