Facilties Leadership

Facilities Plays a Key Role in Student Enrollment


A recent study by the Association of Higher Education Facilities Officers shows the extent to which students are concerned about campus facilities and their upkeep. Following are facilities that the survey’s respondents deemed “extremely important” or “very important” when they were selecting a college:



What actually is IWMS?

I came across this conversation string on my LinkedIn account yesterday. It is primarily about Archibus. There was a comment by an Archibus reseller in Raleigh who claims that Archibus dominates the IWMS market throughout the world. As a past user of Archibus, I have no doubts as to its Space capabilities but, in my experience in integrated solutions, I would tend to shy away from actually calling Archibus an IWMS solution as it falls short in a number of important FM operational areas. Which brings us to today’s questions.

1. What actually is an IWMS solution – is it WORKPLACE or WORK MANAGEMENT? What’s your definition?

2. What are the fundamental modules which make up an IWMS system and how do these differ from a CMMS, RPM, AM or CAFM system?

3. If an IWMS solution is “integrated”, should not all of the above components be integrated within ONE system, on ONE database and developed from ONE code stream?

4. If a company promotes its solution as IWMS (ie Integrated) and does not meet the above criteria (3), can it claim to actually have an IWMS solution?

This blog conversation has not been started to promote any turf wars between vendors and resellers, so don’t start. It has merely been designed to provoke discussion and hopefully provide some definitional clarity behind a loosely used term.

Thanks for your input!

Lessons in a Design-Build Approach: The U.S. Department of Energy Leads the Way to Affordable Energy Efficient Designs | AASHE 2010 Conference (AASHE)

Commercial buildings account for 19% of the nation’s energy consumption, according to the Energy Information Administration, so when the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) decided to build a new office building to house its staff, energy performance was naturally a top priority. The new Research Support Facilities (RSF), currently in construction on the campus of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), is utilizing a wide variety of energy efficiency measures to reduce energy consumption by 50% over standard commercial buildings. But the goal to achieve a LEED Platinum rating didn’t override a focus on cost. The RSF’s construction costs are competitive with today’s less energy efficient commercial buildings, proof that energy efficiency doesn’t have to come at a premium. Read more……………

Lessons in a Design-Build Approach: The U.S. Department of Energy Leads the Way to Affordable Energy Efficient Designs | AASHE 2010 Conference (AASHE).

Federal Policy Summary on Climate & Sustainability Funding Opportunities for Higher Education

New Programs That Have Become Law:

• The Higher Education Act created the University Sustainability Program (USP) to fund competitive grants to colleges and universities as well as higher education consortia, associations, and alliances for the purposes of establishing new or existing sustainability programs

• The Energy Independence and Security Act Section 471 created the Energy Sustainability and Efficiency Grants and Loans for Institutions (ESEGLI) program, which provides up to $500 million in loans and up to $250 million in grants annually for renewable energy and energy efficiency projects to higher education institutions, public schools, and local governments.


IWMS Industry Happenings.

BRAINTREE, MASSACHUSETTS, January 26, 2010–- The Planon Group, the global leader in IWMS solutions, today announced the formation of its North American Higher Education practice and the limited-time availability of the Planon Competitive Upgrade Program, a solution for FAMIS Software customers who are facing their second acquisition in just two years.

“Higher Education leaders are facing myriad challenges in 2010. Foremost among them are the capital and operating budget pressure linked to the global recession and the aging of the buildings and facilities on their campus – infrastructure which is critical to attracting the best students, faculty and research funding,” said Pierre Guelen, Founder and CEO of the Planon Group. “Planon is committed to bringing higher education best practices to the U.S. to help universities meet these challenges and be responsible stewards for the future of their institutions.”

The new Higher Education practice will be lead by seasoned IWMS executive Tony Stack, formerly of FAMIS Software. As the North American Higher Education Manager, he will work closely with colleges and universities to make the goal of an integrated end-to-end IWMS solution specifically for the Higher Education market a reality. The new team is tasked with bringing Planon’s global vision, best practices, experience and success in Higher Education to North America.

“We are excited to announce our dedicated Higher Education team who will help deliver the winning combination of deep U.S. higher education experience with global success and best practices in areas like sustainability to our customers here,” said Jim Nauen, Senior Vice President, North America. “Our new Competitive Upgrade Program will add significant value to existing Accruent/FAMIS customers who are looking for a stable, long-term IWMS partner.”

Following last week’s announcement that Accruent/FAMIS was sold to Vista Equity Partners, Planon has created a migration solution for FAMIS customers consisting of a 50% discount on software licenses and a fixed price implementation if purchased by June 30, 2010.

Planon is the largest and most financially stable IWMS company in the world. In 2009 Planon experienced continued growth and profitability, maintaining the trend it has sustained for decades. With over 1,300 customers, Planon has more than 100 college and university customers, including University of Oxford, University of Mainz, Open University (United Kingdom), University of Antwerp and Sheffield University.

The Planon for Higher Education solution has been adding value to our customers since 1985 and offers a completely integrated web-based solution with significant functional breadth and depth. The solution offers a best practice for indirect cost recovery, environmental sustainability, reporting, including OMB Circular A-21 reporting and enables university leaders to manage and optimize physical resources for today’s virtual learning environment.

Facilities Management’s Role in the Sustainability Process

Higher Education Facilities Leaders at colleges and universities need at the forefront of the sustainability process. Approximately 80 percent of a university’s emissions are the result of physical-plant activities, which means the facilities manager’s role is crucial as a resource and expert on campus utilities and physical operations. (more…)

So How Much is a Ton of CO2……….really?

So how much is one ton of CO2?

I just learned that there are 617 coal fired power plants in the US emitting  4,643,734 metric tons of CO2 (epa.gov) each. That’s 2.685 BILLION tons of CO2 emitted each and every year. (more…)

Defending the Purchase of Facilities Technology

Facilities Budgets have always been limited to the actual operating costs of the department which means that purchasing decisions are based on the savings / benefits in direct proportion to the amount of money available in the Facilities Budget. Achieving this hurdle rate – or ROI is the basis for accessing the viability of competing demands for scarce capital. For certain acquisitions, this is the correct method. However, there are acquisitions made by Facilities that, although primarily used by  facilities personnel, have a far greater economic value to the university as a whole. As such, its acquisition costs (and the financial and societal benefits derived) must be considered in a much wider context. (more…)

Life Cycle Costing (LCC) for Higher Education

This article refers to Life Cycle Costing in terms of capital works funding programs only. An LCC approach to other areas of facilities management is also encouraged, however, since capital works tends to have the largest piece of the budget pie, then LCC methodology is an essential business practice.

What is Life Cycle Costing?

Life Cycle Costing (LCC) is a technique to establish the total cost of ownership (TCO) of a project. It is a structured approach that addresses all the elements of the TCO and can be used to produce a spend profile of the project over its anticipated – or functional – life-span. The results of an LCC analysis can be used to assist Facilities Leaders in the decision-making process where there is a choice of options. The accuracy of LCC analysis diminishes as it projects further into the future, so it is most valuable as a comparative tool when long term assumptions apply to all the options and consequently have the same impact.


Gaining Support for M & O Funding

Maintenance and Operations requirements have always dominated the complete life-cycle of Higher Education facilities and with current economic conditions, is at the forefront of the “cost-cutting discussion”. The increasing age of facilities stock in the US is automatically leading to higher maintenance costs and subsequent increases in operational expense incurred through the support of these maintenance requirements. Budget cuts and restrictions mean doing more with less, usually resulting in a blow out in deferred maintenance.


July 2018
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