Case Studies

City of Waterloo, Ontario

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Client

Located in Canada’s technology triangle and the heart of southwestern Ontario, the City of Waterloo is a dynamic urban municipality with a strong cultural and economic base. Waterloo has a population of 120,800, but combined with Kitchener, Waterloo’s “twin city,” the population totals approximately 50,000. With its seasonal climate and close proximity to several universities in southern Ontario, the City is a center for manufacturing and high-tech industry. Encompassing 64 square kilometers, the City of Waterloo includes a portfolio of 137 assets municipal and recreational buildings, totaling almost 2 million square feet. These facilities include community and recreation centres, hockey arenas, fire stations, libraries, and administrative and operational buildings.

Challenge

Like many cities, Waterloo has an aging municipal infrastructure, which was inconsistently maintained over the years. Until a few years ago, the City had no dedicated facilities management function, and relied on individual departments to manage their own physical assets. With no consistent method to capture building condition data or manage work orders, proactively managing the City’s building portfolio relied heavily on anecdotal data, making it all but impossible to manage effectively and efficiently.

Solution

In 2008, the City selected VFA to provide assessments services and capital planning software to manage Waterloo’s facility assets. Key factors in the selection included the fact that VFA offered an integrated solution with combined facility assessment services, assessment methodology training, and a software system that centrally managed information about building assets while providing analytic tools for capital planning.

Results

Today, the City can compare facility data across the portfolio, accurately prioritize repairs and integrate this information into capital plans and budgets. With processes and systems in place to evaluate the short and long-term implications of capital funding decisions, Waterloo can now make decisions about the allocation of municipal dollars that most effectively support the City’s needs today and into the future.

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