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

With Facilities Capital Planning and Management, a structured and consistent approach is key. Ideally, a facilities manager has a process in place to gather objective analytical information regarding facility condition, enabling the organization to:

  • Pinpoint exactly where repairs and upgrades need to be made
  • Calculate the estimated costs of those requirements
  • Prioritize the requirements according to the organization’s objectives
  • Run funding scenarios that demonstrate the impact of different spending levels
  • Develop a capital plan and budget that will sustain the facilities and support their function for years to come

Step one is to define the process itself – a facilities management team must agree upon the key strategic goals that will guide the capital planning and management process, based on organizational objectives and expectations about the future.

Does your team agree on a process for:

  • Defining goals?
  • Establishing evaluation criteria?
  • Collecting relevant data?
  • Communicating results?
  • Measuring success?

This is just the first step. Stay tuned.

According to School Planning and Management, 98,916 K-12 public schools serving more than 55 million students and staff are back in business this fall. The challenges faced by facilities management teams at these schools are enormous, including the need to provide the right facilities for new ways of learning based on rapidly changing technology and evolving educational norms.

In the August issue of SPM, an article describes this latest challenge: “The most critical space in terms of education delivery, of course, is the classroom itself. A key consideration is that the space for large-group learning be easily broken into multiple, small-group learning spaces. For example, one group of students may be building a working volcano, while another group is writing a report on volcanoes, and a third is watching an Internet-access volcano video.” James Brady, AIA, REFP, executive director of Austin, Texas-based America’s Schoolhouse Council, a national consortium of educational planners and designers, comments, “The classroom is less and less of a container to hold children. It’s more and more a place of engagement.”

These new ways of learning will necessarily have an impact on strategic facilities capital planning and management, as facilities teams make plans to support students and teachers with buildings that meet their varying needs.

BOSTON – SEPTEMBER 12, 2011 VFA, Inc., the leading provider of end-to-end solutions for facilities capital planning and asset management, today announced the release of version 3.0 of its guided facility self-assessment solution, VFA.auditor®, featuring iPad® support for mobile surveys.

VFA.auditor is a Web-based guided self-assessment solution that provides facility and building managers with surveys to assess and rapidly collect data about the condition of facilities and major building systems. With more than 600 professionally engineered and designed systems included in the survey library, VFA.auditor leverages VFA’s building condition domain expertise to guide and standardize the efficient collection of facility condition data. This latest release of VFA.auditor expands support for mobile devices, enabling the flexibility and versatility of condition assessments using the market-leading Apple® iPad. The VFA.auditor support for the iPad now extends beyond the previously released support for Windows-based tablets.

“Leveraging emerging technologies is a significant benefit that our customers at VFA have come to expect,” said Ameeta Soni, Chief Marketing Officer, VFA, Inc. “The VFA.auditor’s support for iPad devices demonstrates our commitment to providing customers with innovative solutions to accelerate facility condition data collection, identify ‘hot spots’ within a portfolio that require a more detailed professional condition assessment, and help to develop quick budgetary estimates.”

VFA.auditor with added mobile support is transforming the way that facility managers and capital planners utilize technology solutions to optimize the management of capital investments. Employing a guided self-assessment solution, whether it’s a complement to a professional assessment or an alternative approach to capturing asset data, provides organizations with efficient and cost-effective options for gathering accurate, current facility condition data.

For more information on VFA.auditor, view a short video tour. To schedule a demonstration of VFA.auditor with mobile support, please visit

To connect with VFA, please 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.


Dates: November 6 – 8, 2011
Expo Open: Monday 12:30 pm – 6:00 pm, Tuesday 12:30 pm – 2:30 pm
Venue: Georgia World Congress Center
Atlanta, GA

Come visit us at Booth #815 in the Innovation Pavilion!


By Keith O’Leary, Director of Product Marketing, VFA, Inc.

When budgets are tight, facility managers need to effectively manage their building portfolios and make smarter capital planning decisions. Yet, it is challenging to prioritize deferred maintenance projects, minimize risk, and develop justifiable funding requests with incomplete, inaccessible or dated facilities condition information.

 Guided facility self-assessment is one option.  It enables facility managers to:

  • Identify deficiency “hot spots” across the portfolio that need professional facility condition assessments
  • Create quick budgetary estimates
  • Cost-effectively audit a large facility or geographically dispersed portfolio

Guided self-assessment can be a solution to today’s economic challenges.

 See a short video tour of VFA.auditor, a guided self-assessment solution with mobile support.

Facilities Management Journal