How does University of California ensure buildings are performing?


How does the University of California plan to manage their property assets across 10 campuses? By implementing an impressive new program called ICAMP – the Integrated Capital Asset Management Program. We caught up with Rich Powers, of the University of California Office of the President (UCOP) to find out how ICAMP enables visibility and integration across campus systems, and promotes efficient asset lifecycle management, too…

Defining the key elements of ICAMP

The ICAMP solution contains three solutions, all of which come together to support better decision-making:

  •       IBM TRIRIGA Cloud
  •       RSMeans
  •       FieldFLEX Mobile.

UCOP chose the TRIRIGA platform to bring together all of their asset data into one integrated system. TRIRIGA lets you create a building inventory and location hierarchy. It has the capabilities required to manage those buildings throughout their lifecycle. Crucially, it supports facility condition assessment, or FCA. This is how they access every building component, from floor to ceiling, for health and performance. By using TRIRIGA, Rich’s team can overlay their building inventory with the FCA data to see which assets are most at risk, or in need of maintenance.

By combining this information with industry data from RSMeans, the team is able to estimate potential repair costs, then kick off opportunities from within TRIRIGA. UCOP also built a mobile FCA application with FieldFLEX Mobile that makes TRIRIGA available to technicians in the field. This carries the advantage of a streamlined inspection and assessment process. It allows architectural, electrical, and mechanical inspectors to look at their respective inventory elements and access asset data with ease. The application supports storing floor plans, uploading photos and videos, geo-tagging buildings and assets, and cross-referencing lifecycle data to help inspectors make better real-time assessments across the portfolio…

[Admin: To see other related posts, use the Cloud tag, FCA tag, RSMeans tag, or FieldFLEX tag.]

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Planon: Real estate managers and the changing role of the campus


Whenever I talk to my nephews, nieces and other people who I know are currently studying at university or at a higher education college, they always complain about how busy the university library gets. This is hardly surprising considering the research carried out by the Association of Universities in the Netherlands (VSNU), which found that over the past 15 years the number of students has grown by 22% and the number of staff has increased by 4%. Consequently, educational institutions are now faced with the challenges of satisfying both students and staff and making efficient use of available space…

The role of the campus is changing

As a result of these continual developments, the needs of students and staff who visit campus is starting to change at break-neck speed. More than ever, real estate managers need to have tools to help them predict what kind of campus will be needed in the future. To make matters even more difficult, real estate contracts usually span long periods of time.

If you want to be able to respond dynamically to changing needs, it might be a good idea to start thinking about different types of contracts, investing in new premises, renovation and refurbishment and other potential commercial models to help you get the most out of your buildings. Key questions here are: what will bring people to campus in the years to come, what will students and staff expect from their working environment and what kind of spaces would meet these expectations? To put it simply, what role will the campus play in the future?

Real estate managers can take student and staff preferences into account when making strategic real estate choices, but they can also base their decisions on facts and figures. In my previous blog about the Internet of Things, I mentioned that data collection can yield surprising insights. You discover trends and usage patterns you never knew existed. For a real estate manager, for example, it’s very useful to know which study areas on campus are the most and least popular…

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FM:Systems FM:Interact success story at Drexel University


Prior to using FM:Systems Integrated Workplace Management System (IWMS), FM:Interact, the University had abandoned an obsolete Space Management solution and were largely using Excel sheets to “guesstimate” space utilization…

After investigated 6 different Space Management software providers, they chose FM:Systems because it met, and exceeded, these baseline requirements:

  • FM:Systems provided more out-of-the-box functionality than its competitors
  • FM:Systems had a vested interest in our success, because it offered direct contact during implementation and maintenance, with no third-party managing the process
  • The Software as a Service (SaaS) model meant FM:Systems had a lower cost of implementation and ongoing maintenance
  • The system allows for unlimited “general users” which was critical to the RCM mandate for transparency
  • The user interface was easier to navigate for University stakeholders than other products investigated
  • The most compelling reason for choosing FM:Systems? Their people.

[Admin: This post is related to the 08.01.16 post about the competitors of IBM TRIRIGA.]

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FM:Systems & Planon can help universities optimize their space


FM:Systems: Universities Should Treat Their Space as a Strategic Asset

When it comes to talking about cost reduction in terms of space on university campuses, we really need to focus on two primary elements that can provide us with opportunities for reducing costs. The first strategy is to maximize the capacity of your existing space portfolio, and second would be increasing the utilization of the spaces that you already have in your physical space inventory.

  • Maximize the capacity of your existing space: The most common and simplest method of affecting capacity is to use a different method of arranging the spaces you currently have. This could be as easy as rearranging the existing furniture, supplementing it, or removing some to convert it from, for instance, classroom style to theatre seating…
  • Analyze the utilization of your existing space: A second approach can happen when you begin to analyze the utilization of your existing space, and plan for and schedule how you will increase the utilization of all your spaces, by maximizing the amount of time that they are used on a daily basis…

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Planon: Avoid Investing Blindly in Building Expansion

Universities often struggle to absorb the intake of new students, partly because of a drastic shortage of teaching space. At least, this is the picture universities themselves paint. However, is this really the case? Or could the problem be eased significantly by optimising the occupancy of the available space and facilities? In practice, a real estate manager or building owner can resolve three problems by making the best possible use of space.

  • 1. Inefficient occupancy of areas: Many organisations share the same challenge as universities – they need more space. An interesting fact in itself, because in many cases, they may have enough floor space without actually realising it. It could be that space just hasn’t been used efficiently…
  • 2. Wasting company resources: When a real estate manager or building owner has clear insight into the occupancy of areas, he might then decide that he needs to either expand his existing premises or invest in new real estate. That investment could be substantial and incur a long lead time…
  • 3. Improving the user experience: A third point is the user experience, as this can also benefit from space optimisation. Let’s stay with the example of universities. Frustration may set in when students and teachers have to spend considerable time looking for a free workplace or when they encounter double-booked meeting rooms…

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Can anyone help with FICM/HEGIS codes and space class records?


I wanted to reach out to the broader TRIRIGA community on this question. We’re implementing TRIRIGA for a private university. The space classes on space records drive many area formulas, rollups, calculations, etc.

  • How have other universities implemented FICM codes (formerly HEGIS codes) in TRIRIGA?
  • Have you added them (FICM room codes) as a new classification?
  • Have you put the FICM codes on the space class records or on the space records?
  • Have you completely replaced the space class records with FICM code records instead?
  • What worked for you? What didn’t work for you?

[Admin: For convenience, here are the meanings of the acronyms: Facilities Inventory and Classification Manual (FICM), Higher Education General Information Survey (HEGIS).]

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