Organizations typically spend more of their scarce capital on facilities than any other activity or asset. Making the best use of that capital requires two things:

  • effectively linking the facilities capital planning activity with the organization’s overall strategic and business plans, and
  • accurate, up-to-date data on what facility assets you have, what condition they are in, and what needs to be done to them to ensure they support their part of the organization’s activities.

Bad data –missing, inaccurate, or out of date – leads to bad decisions and bad outcomes. Not only does the organization stand to waste scarce capital by deploying it on activities that do not best support its mission, but it increases its risk of business disruption, health/safety incidents, and regulatory violations. The organization also loses opportunities to reduce operating expenses through smart capital investments, bulk purchase discounts and avoiding emergency repairs.

What is a Facility Condition Assessment?

A Facility Condition Assessment (FCA) involves a team of one or more specialists inspecting each system in a building to understand its condition. You can even start with a model of each building before sending teams to do the assessment. Systems include all mechanical, electrical, plumbing and architectural elements in a building; so for example, the team would review the chiller, electrical panel, and roof. There can easily be upwards of 80 systems in a building. The condition is based on any deficiencies and the remaining useful life of the system. Armed with this information, you can determine when system repairs and renewals will be required. Summing up the condition of each system can give you the overall facility condition, allowing you to target the proper level of investment based upon the function of the facility.

What are the results of an FCA?

  • Understanding of what is in your portfolio and the condition of each facility
  • Visibility into the appropriate level of capital funding for each building and across the portfolio
  • Prioritization of facilities capital plans that aligns with the organization’s mission and goals

Why do an FCA?

Even if your organization is not required to do an FCA, there are numerous compelling reasons to do so.

  • Short-term financial needs: how much is needed to remediate a particular facility? Is this a building we should keep or dispose?
  • Competitive needs: do we have an environment that employees, students, and/or the public want to be in?
  • Long-term mandates: how do we manage our portfolio over the next 20+ years? Are there opportunities to leverage bulk purchases?
  • Building stewardship: Where should the condition of each building be so we are investing the right amount? What’s the best way to invest capital to be meet organizational needs?

Benefits of working with VFA

VFA has been the leader in facilities capital planning for over 15 years and has assessed over 4.5 billion square feet. Performing thousands of assessments on a wide range of building types has given VFA some advantages:

Credibility VFA maintains one of the largest teams of dedicated assessment professionals in North America. Our architects and engineers have an average of over 20 years of facilities experience. Each is certified in our proven assessment methodologies. And organizations can confidently rely on the results of our assessments to provide expert third party validity to findings presented to important constituencies such as executives, boards of directors, legislatures and community groups.

Objectivity VFA’s Professional Services Group focuses exclusively on expert facility assessment. We do not provide any follow on design, construction or program management services, so our only objective is to provide our customers with the most accurate and complete information possible.

Visibility By having visibility into the capital needs across the portfolio, you now have a transparent, defensible capital plan that allows you to get the right level of funding, as well as showing all stakeholders the impact and risk of reduced funding.

Configurability Based on experience, VFA understands that not all buildings need the same level of assessment and analysis. Critical buildings need more detail, while auxiliary buildings may just need a cursory analysis. VFA has a suite of assessment services, along with specialized assessments (such as energy and non-structural seismic) that allow you to mix and match the appropriate level of assessment to the importance of each building.

Ongoing Value & Decision Support Unlike static printed reports that quickly become outdated, VFA relies on our award winning capital planning and asset management software to create a central repository of asset information. Our software supports our assessors to consistently evaluate asset conditions, accurately estimate the cost of requirements, and efficiently report on results. Organizations may choose to continue to maintain this asset data and use the sophisticated decision support tools our software provides for ongoing facilities planning and management.

What kind of Facilities Condition Assessments does VFA Offer?


  • Modeling – Statistically-generated representation of expected renewal costs based on industry model of different building types [ learn more ]
  • Systems Lifecycle – On-site, system level assessment for asset’s capital renewal profile [ learn more ]
  • Standard Assessment – On-site inspection that utilizes a system template of the building type, expected costs, and descriptions with template driven short and long term requirements [ learn more ]
  • 5-Year Needs – On-site assessment for condition of assets over the next five years [ learn more ]
  • Comprehensive Assessment – On-site inspection that utilizes a system template of the building type, expected costs, and descriptions with customer specific short and long term requirements [ learn more ]

  • Energy – Capture energy data alongside condition data and develop energy audits with less time and expense than traditional methods using modeling software [ learn more ]
  • Green Building – Capture sustainability data alongside condition data, including energy [ learn more ]
  • Non-Structural Seismic – Evaluate the building’s non-structural systems in terms of risk of failure during a seismic event and identify the needs to correct with cost estimates [ learn more ]
  • Site Linear – Address the unique needs of linear and infrastructure assets and create a holistic approach that optimizes your capital planning for both building and linear assets together [ learn more ]