Reducing the Repairs Backlog of a University Estate

A Life Cycle Thinking Approach to Reducing Costs and Carbon

AUDE’s annual Higher Education Estates Management Report 2019 says that repairs and maintenance accounts for 32.6% of total property costs for the university sector. To put this into perspective, this is almost double the amount spent on energy and is also the single largest item of expenditure for property and facilities managers in the sector.

Not only does this constitute a sizeable proportion of annual spend, the condition and performance of buildings also impacts the carbon footprint. Inefficient buildings increase carbon footprint and badly performing buildings, those suffering from under investment in maintenance and repairs, are a drain on time and resources. They can also be detrimental to the health and wellbeing of users, be unattractive to occupy and can negatively impact the student learning environment.

The world of higher education is fast-moving, and many universities and further education colleges recognise that the ability to be flexible, responsive and innovative and to make best use of resources is crucial. Creating and maintaining a sustainable property portfolio on a campus, together with prudent and sensible management of the costs of this portfolio, is a vital part of this strategy.

Recently ADW Developments have developed an enhanced backlog maintenance database in which we record the condition of buildings in a estate portfolio and calculate the extent of their backlog maintenance and the investment needed to reduce it.

We created a user-friendly and dynamic life cycle cost model – one which we believe is the most powerful cost models ever created. This life cycle cost model it has been used on a University estates portfolio. The model records the condition of building sub-elements and the cost to repair, replace and maintain them. It provides the University with the clarity and understanding they need to make informed investment decisions and optimise the reduction of their backlog maintenance.

Within the model, you can filter by building, asset type and sub-element, as well as by condition, use and importance. You can also easily identify the top 10 buildings with the highest maintenance cost over any time period e.g. 5, 10 and 20 years. The model also allows you to identify the building elements that will require the highest expenditure over similar timeframes. It provides useful data to both facilities management and finance teams, in graphical and tabular format, and is an effective tool to enable their respective strategies and decision making

The model is designed to be intuitive to use and is compliant with industry measurement rules and best practice such as RICS NRM 3, BS8544 (AIM), CIBSE Guide M (2015), ISO 15686-5 and the Standard Method of Life Cycle Costing.

“Universities can now adopt a proactive approach to managing their estate and with this model they can create operational life cycle expenditure plans for their hard assets” says Anthony Waterman of ADW. “The model we have developed provides instant answers to questions of asset condition, and what are the most important and necessary repairs. I believe this model will be popular with estates teams in universities across the country, helping them to prioritise future investment needs. It will help enhance the value of their estate and make it a more attractive environment for students.”

Call Now Button