Facility Condition Assessment Checklist: A Complete Guide

By - Chris Barnard
Last Updated - January 5th, 2024 3:50 PM
Property-Condition-Assessment-by-building-inspector

Your buildings are the heart of your operations, and over time, these buildings and their systems age, requiring assessment, maintenance, and renewal.

As per the study by SMR Research Corporation the average age of U.S. buildings is already clocking in at 53 years. So, keeping them in great condition is one of the major tasks of owners and facility managers.

And to do that, they rely on facilities condition assessment (FCA). 

You see, an FCA gives you a lowdown on where your assets are at in their operational life. This info is gold since it helps you make informed, budget-friendly decisions to keep your building going strong.

But before you get started, you first need a facility condition assessment checklist to make sure you don’t miss anything, which is what we will discuss in the article.

I will also answer the most asked questions about FCA: what it means, why it’s important, and, most importantly, how you can conduct a successful one.

What is Facilities Condition Assessment (FCA)?

An FCA is simply a process that analyzes the physical condition and functionality of a facility and its assets to make sure it is safe for operation.

It is also known as capital need assessment, backlog study, building condition audit, or building condition assessment.

FCA is typically conducted by facility condition assessment companies consisting building inspectors who can be architects, engineers, and skilled trade technicians. For building condition assessment, these experts consider various factors, such as the age of your building, its design, the material used, its assets, etc.

Book A Facility Condition Assessment Today!

We conduct facility condition assessments as per ASTM E-2018 standards and detect the smallest of problems lurking in your facility. Click ‘Inspect My Property’ to get an assessment and maintain your facility in top shape.

What are the benefits of FCA?

A FCA gives you 4 major benefits:

1. It helps you review the assets and systems of the facility

2. It assesses the extent to which the facility caters to occupants’ needs

3. It identifies the root causes of deterioration of the building

4. It determines the replacement value of the facility.

FCA checks the condition of your facility’s critical assets, such as the roof, machinery, plumbing, structure, and lights. It predicts each asset’s lifespan and estimates the costs and timelines for fixing or replacing them. The assessment also looks at any overdue maintenance and suggests improvements. 

That’s not all, as it also helps you plan your budget and ensures the facility meets all essential standards.

In simple words, FCA gives a clear picture of what needs attention and how much it might cost to keep things running smoothly.

But is an FCA really that important?

Now, conducting an FCA might seem like extra work, but it is essential for keeping tabs on your building’s health and long-term performance. 

Without it, budgeting relies on guesswork. 

As we have already mentioned, it helps you estimate reinvestment costs and guide your decisions on restoring, replacing, or maintaining assets. It uses data to prioritize projects for maintenance, repair, or renewal. 

The result? 

An accurate view of your building’s health so you can target investments and meet stakeholder goals.

did-you-know

Facility Condition Assessment Checklist

FCA relies on a well-planned approach and a series of tasks.

For a successful FCA, you can use our detailed facility condition assessment checklist to make sure you haven’t missed anything.

Note: You (facility owner/manager) should provide all the essential information to the consulting team before initiating a building condition audit.

1. Exterior Building Elements

  • Roofing system
  • Exterior walls
  • Windows and doors
  • Foundation and structure
  • Exterior finishes (paint, siding, etc.)

2. Interior Building Elements

  • Floors and floor coverings
  • Walls and wall coverings
  • Ceilings
  • Interior finishes (paint, trim, etc.)
  • Stairs and elevators

3. Structural Components

  • Beams and columns
  • Floors and ceilings
  • Stairs and handrails
  • Structural integrity

4. Mechanical Systems

  • HVAC systems (heating, ventilation, air conditioning)
  • Plumbing systems (pipes, leaks, fixtures)
  • Electrical systems (wiring, panels, outlets)
  • Fire protection systems
  • Elevators and escalators

5. Life Safety and Security

  • Fire detection and suppression systems (Fire extinguishers, Sprinkler systems)
  • Emergency exits and lighting
  • Security systems (alarms, cameras, access control)

6. Lighting

  • Interior lighting fixtures
  • Exterior lighting fixtures

7. Site and Grounds

  • Parking lot conditions (potholes, drainage)
  • Landscaping
  • Sidewalks and pathways
  • Fencing and gates

8. Accessibility

  • ADA compliance
  • Handicap-accessible ramps and entrances
  • Elevator accessibility

8. Environmental and Regulatory Compliance

  • Hazardous materials assessment
  • Adherence to local building standards
  • Environmental impact assessment

You might also want to read – Balcony Inspection Checklist: All That You Need To Know.

10. Space Utilization

  • Office and workspace layout
  • Storage areas
  • Common areas

11. Technology and Communication Systems

  • IT Infrastructure
  • Communication systems (phone lines, data cabling)

12. Energy Efficiency

  • Insulation and energy-efficient windows
  • Lighting efficiency
  • HVAC system efficiency

13. Maintenance and Housekeeping

  • Cleaning and janitorial services
  • Routine maintenance practices
  • Record-keeping for repairs and maintenance

14. Documentation and Record-Keeping

  • As-built drawings and blueprints
  • Maintenance logs and records
  • Warranties and equipment manuals

15. Budget and Cost Analysis

  • Cost estimates for necessary repairs and maintenance
  • Long-term budget planning

16. Future Capital Improvement Needs

  • Identification of potential future upgrades or renovations

17. Safety Protocols

  • Emergency response plans
  • First aid stations and equipment

18. General Observations and Recommendations

  • Any other general observations and recommendations for improvement

Read further: A Complete Commercial Building Inspection Checklist For 2024

Who needs a facilities condition assessment?

Simply put, anyone responsible for a building’s upkeep, especially commercial property owners, should consider a FCA. Not to mention, many commercial properties are legally required to have regular FCAs.

If you own or oversee commercial properties like offices, schools, hospitals, government facilities, retail spaces, manufacturing plants, or storage warehouses, an FCA is surely beneficial for you. 

It’s a practical tool for various types of real estate investments, including rental properties and commercial assets.

You can also read – Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessment Checklist

Why do you need FCA?

1. It helps you prepare for upcoming expenses.

The goal of an FCA is to let the owners understand the current condition of their facilities and how suitable they are to meet the needs of their operations in the upcoming years.

The data you get from FCA gives you a deeper understanding of the physical condition and value of your building’s assets. It helps determine the likelihood of encountering issues with the physical assets.

And when you encounter these issues, you need capital to address them. FCA helps you prepare your funds in advance for the repair, renewal, or replacement of the building in the coming years.

2. Decide on the priority for maintenance or renewal of items.

In managing buildings, it’s crucial to prioritize items for maintenance based on their current condition, and an FCA helps you with this. 

AssetLocationConditionDescriptionRecommendationCostUrgency
RoofingMain buildingFairSome cracks and leaks were observedRepair and seal$10,000High
HVACMain buildingGoodNo major issues detectedMaintain and clean$1,000Low
PlumbingMain buildingPoorSeveral pipes corroded and leakingReplace and upgrade$15,000High
ElectricalMain buildingGoodNo major issues detectedMaintain and inspect$1,000Low
LightingMain buildingFairSome fixtures are broken or flickeringReplace and upgrade$5,000Medium

It evaluates assets, putting urgent tasks fixing security systems at the top of the list. It also clarifies which assets are critical and which are secondary.

3. Carry out preventive maintenance as needed.

An FCA keeps your assets well-maintained, lowering the chances of breakdowns and reducing downtime. It helps you prioritize preventive maintenance, as we discussed earlier, by showing the health of all assets. This allows for more efficient scheduling, cutting overtime costs.

4. Strive for the net-zero target.

Researchers have stated that to prevent severe climate impacts, carbon emissions must decrease by half by 2030 and reach net zero by 2050. 

Many countries are dedicated to transitioning to a net-zero emissions economy because simply reducing emissions is insufficient. 

An FCA provides you with essential information for making energy-efficient improvements and working toward net-zero goals by gradually reducing the carbon footprint in your facility.

pro-tip

6-Step Facility Condition Assessment Process

Step 1 – Plan and prepare for the assessment

In the planning phase, start by establishing your goals and the scope of the assessment. Decide which parts of the place you want assessed, like the building structure, machines, electrical systems, and design features.

Step 2 – A thorough visual inspection

With a facility condition assessment checklist handy, engineers conduct a thorough visual building inspection of both the exterior and interior of the facility. They look for evident signs of damage, deterioration, wear, and potential safety hazards and document visible deficiencies, such as cracks, leaks, corrosion, or malfunctioning equipment. To support their findings, they attach photographs or videos for comprehensive documentation.

Step 3 – Review relevant documentation

In this phase, experts collect and review existing documentation related to the facility, including maintenance records, repair history, architectural plans, and equipment manuals. This information offers them valuable insights into past maintenance practices, known issues, and warranty details.

Step 4 – Systems and components assessment

Technicians evaluate the condition and performance of various systems and components within the facility. They use testing and measurements to assess the functionality of HVAC systems, electrical circuits, plumbing systems, and structural integrity.

Step 5 – Data analysis and report generation

In this phase, your commercial building inspector will analyze the gathered data and present it in a comprehensive report. This report clearly highlights identified deficiencies, prioritizes maintenance needs, and estimates costs for repairs or replacements. It also provides concise recommendations for addressing identified issues.

The report includes supporting documentation, such as photographs, sketches, or diagrams, to be easily understandable.

Step 6 – Follow-up and action plan

In the end, they communicate the findings and recommendations to you or any relevant stakeholders. They also collaborate to develop an action plan based on the assessment results. 

You should prioritize and schedule maintenance activities, allocate resources, and establish a tracking mechanism to ensure that identified issues are resolved in a timely manner.

What is Included in a Building Assessment Report?

A typical building assessment report includes these 7 components:

1. Executive Summary: A quick overview highlighting the assessment’s scope, key findings, and main recommendations.

2. Introduction: Brief insights into the building, its systems, and the purpose and scope of the assessment.

3. Assessment Methodology: Describes how the assessment was done, including inspection methods and data analysis.

4. Findings: Key discoveries, pointing out problems or deficiencies in the building’s systems and components.

5. Recommendations: Suggestions for addressing identified issues, whether it’s repairs, upgrades, or changes to the maintenance program.

6. Conclusion: Summing up the main findings and recommendations, providing an overall assessment of the building’s condition.

7. Appendices: Extra info from the assessment, like photos, diagrams, or test results.

You might also want to read – What Is A Property Condition Assessment Report?

How Often Should You Get FCA Done?

In general, we recommend that you get a building condition audit conducted once every 3-5 years.

However, the frequency of FCA is highly influenced by the type, age, usage intensity, and budget constraints of the facility.

In other words, it depends on your specific facility and your needs.

That being said, the general guideline suggests that you should get FCA conducted at least once every 5-10 years or more frequently if your facility is showing signs of wear and tear or if there is a change in its usage intensity.

For example, facilities with high use, like schools or hospitals, may require more frequent assessments than less-utilized ones, such as warehouses.

Facility Condition vs. Property Condition Assessment

People often mix up facility condition assessment and property condition assessment, thinking they are the same thing.

These terms may sound alike, but they have different roles.

A property condition assessment (PCA) is usually done during the due diligence process when a property changes hands. Lenders may require it before approving a loan, and investors or buyers may request the assessment before making a purchase. 

It gives a snapshot of the building and its contents at a specific moment, outlining the general costs for fixing existing issues and maintaining the property.

On the other hand, an FCA is all about long-term planning. With the help of a facility condition assessment checklist, you examine each piece of equipment, giving specific data on future repairs, maintenance, and replacements. This helps in making accurate predictions about capital expenses and maintenance costs over time.

Want to learn more about the differences between PCA and FCA?

You can go through my blog – PCA Vs FCA In Real Estate: What’s The Difference

What is the Facilities Condition Index (FCI)?

​​The facilities condition index, or FCI in short, is a numerical value that reflects the overall condition of a building.

FCI=[(Total Renewal/Repair Costs)/ Estimated Replacement Value]*100

The resultant FCI is then divided into 4 categories: Good, Fair, Poor, and Critical.

Imagine you’ve spent $100,000 on your renewal/repair costs, and if you had to replace everything, it would cost you an estimated $1,000,000 (that’s the replacement value).

Based on this, the FCI of the building would be:

FCI=($100,000/$1,000,000)*100

FCI=10%

Now, imagine your facility with renewal/repair costs of $700,000 and an estimated replacement value of $1,000,000. 

In this case, the FCI would be:

FCI=($700,000/$1,000,000)*100

FCI=70%

Here, 70% FCI deficiency, which means that the building’s condition is critical and requires extensive repairs and replacements. 

Note: Keep in mind that different business groups may have distinct average rates, which gives us the versatility of FCI as a comparative measure in facility management.

Looking to lease a facility under a triple net lease agreement?

If yes, then do read my blog on the pros and cons of triple net lease and know what you can expect.

Key Takeaways

  • FCA is conducted by inspectors who can be architects, engineers, or skilled trade technicians.
  • FCA analyzes the physical condition and functionality of a facility to make sure it is safe for operation.
  • Our facility condition assessment checklist helps you plan a well-planned approach for a successful FCA.
  • FCA checks assets and systems, identifies building deterioration causes, and determines replacement value.
  • It makes sure that occupants’ needs are met
  • FCI indicates the condition of a facility after an assessment.
  • You should get FCA conducted at least once every 3-5 years. 

Book A Facility Condition Assessment Today!

We conduct facility condition assessments as per ASTM E-2018 standards and detect the smallest of problems lurking in your facility. Click ‘Inspect My Property’ to get an assessment and maintain your facility in top shape.

You might also want to read – Apartment Building Inspection: An All-inclusive Guide (2024).

We Are Here To Help

We at Florida Commercial Building Inspectors (FCBI), have been providing facility condition assessment services for the past two decades, ensuring the safety of thousands of lives.

More than talking about us, we would like to know more about your needs.

Reach out to us and let us talk about your needs in detail, and based on that, we will give you a quote for the facility condition assessment services that you need.

You can also find our commercial building inspectors in JacksonvilleMelbourneOrlandoSt AugustinePalm CoastDaytona BeachPort OrangeSawgrass, and more.

Chris Barnard

Hi there! I am Chris Barnard, a licensed building inspector and the founder of Florida Commercial Building Inspectors. With over two decades in the inspection industry, I’ve delivered thousands of commercial and residential inspections across various states. During all these years, I’ve developed detailed insights on the ins and outs of building inspections, something I look forward to sharing with you through my blogs.

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