How to Write an RFP for a Facilities Condition Assessment (FCA) 1

You know your campus could benefit from a comprehensive Facilities Condition Assessment and now comes the hard part: writing the Request for Proposal (RFP). Below are answers to frequently asked questions about how to write an RFP that results in a thorough FCA and an actionable long-term investment plan.

How do you write an FCA RFP?

There are countless ways to structure an RFP. Here are the valuable elements we typically see in RFP’s that have been issued.

Sample RFP template and content

Are there engineering requirements for an FCA?

There are no licensing requirements for performing this kind of work. What’s important is to have trained and competent professionals familiar with building systems who can evaluate lifecycles and fundamental condition. Engineers are but one excellent example of the many types of professionals who can deliver on the recommended outcomes outlined below.

What do I need to do to prepare for the implementation of an FCA?

Start with gaining a firm grasp on the strategic objectives of the institution and understand how you expect to utilize the results of the assessment. Reviewing what you know about the institution and evaluating the results of any past assessments will be critical to ensuring everyone is clear about the scale of the project and the effort required. Forecasting future resource capacity and the political forces that could potentially influence the use of those resources will also help to devise an approach that carefully balances those factors. Finally, identify all the data points you’ll need to help guide the process and consider the time needed for the inherent knowledge of your internal community to be shared to assure the plan is informed appropriately.

Bonus tip: Don’t forget to determine who’s going to pay for it. That’s important. This affects not only your ability to implement but who ultimately “owns” the outcome.

How detailed/technical does my assessment need to be?

If the purpose of your assessment is to determine areas of funding emphasis on campus and develop a realistic capital plan, the technical requirements for your assessment can be narrowed and conducted more strategically. A more granular and less strategic exercise will be appropriate if the intent is to focus on asset inventory.

Should you combine an FCA with an asset inventory?

If you have the financial resources to add an asset inventory to your condition assessment and the personnel to manage and utilize the extra information that is gathered, combining both efforts to minimize disruption on campus makes sense. But be cautious, it can be an expensive and demanding addition to the plan. A team prepared to take advantage of such information will need to be larger and, as a result, require greater expense to fully optimize the campus maintenance systems for the most effective planned, predictive or fault detection focused programs.

The New Way FCA: Facilities Assessment & Planning from Sightlines

How is Sightlines facilities assessment different from traditional methods?

Our Assessment & Planning solution is more than the assembly of a project list. It’s a technical and strategic process that leads to the formation of an actionable, long-term capital plan. This comprehensive approach helps campus decision-makers target investments that reflect university goals and ensure each dollar is allocated to the highest priorities.

A technical assessment and detailed evaluation of project needs is the first step in the process and should be the cornerstone of your assessment. This step includes:

  • Reviewing and consolidating facilities data from existing drawings, reports and previous evaluations
  • Inspecting and collecting asset conditions in the field
  • Interviewing facilities operators to confirm observations and validate project list

Successful long-term planning requires more than a technical evaluation. Invariably, this process should define a plan that is credible, affordable and actionable. This strategic step includes:

  • Coordinating project needs with institutional objectives and strategic planning documents
  • Segmenting campus needs into project portfolios and analyzing investment criteria to create a framework for rational, mission-based funding distribution
  • Creation of a multi-year capital plan that will manage backlog deferral and guide future investment decisions.

What outcomes should I expect to get from a Sightlines facilities assessment?

Fundamentally, a facilities assessment should help you get a realistic cost of the needs on campus that is strategically categorized and arranged into a field validated project inventory. With our approach, this technical foundation will lead to an actionable framework for project prioritization and implementation that can be understood by all constituents across campus. Specifically, this includes:

  • Strategic assessment of the condition of campus assets to include repair, modernization and potential new space needs
  • Segmentation and sequencing of facilities backlog based on both technical and program needs
  • Development of scenarios based on various funding levels and reinvestment
  • Strategies for slowing the rate of backlog accumulation.

Our Assessment & Planning solution will enable a strategic dialogue on campus and provide the framework for a community agreeing to act in unison to address the highest priority needs. A plan that reflects university goals and objectives will establish a rationale for funding allocation that is broadly supported and create confidence that the actions being taken will propel the institution forward.

Who on my campus may benefit from a Sightlines facilities assessment?

The entire campus community wins from a strategic assessment of asset conditions and the implementation of a mission-driven capital plan.

  • Facilities staff gets a comprehensive inventory of their conditions and an actionable plan to help communicate and prioritize project needs
  • Finance administrators gain a complete understanding of the scale of facilities challenges and the opportunities to optimize fiscal resources
  • Fiduciary leaders have transparent access to the condition of the property and its impact on the mission of the institution
  • Faculty and students will have affirmation that the critical issues are identified and part of the investment plan