Developing and creating a facility master plan can seem like a daunting task, but facilities managers shouldn’t let the scale of it dissuade them from developing a useful document. Managers often think of tools as being spreadsheets and similar resources; however, a tool can simply be a list of topics and notes. 

To get started, facilities managers should develop an outline of all the categories of facility systems that apply to an organization. They should break it down into subcategories with as much detail as required, and use the inventory to define these categories. They should also reference previous years’ capital requests and group those into these categories. They should assign an age, replacement cost and useful life to the assets or groups. This can help determine the area of greatest priority to begin the detailed analysis. 

Facilities managers should break things out to a per-unit basis and average cost per square foot by system, such as fire alarms, sprinklers, paving, signs and other infrastructure. Then they should scale those up to give a rough budgetary number for a five- to 10-year forecast. It is acceptable to be over because this is a budgeting process that can be refined later when the need arises. The idea is to document what is on the horizon for this year, next year, or five to 10 years down the road.

It is important to understand the value of current assets and their conditions. It is even more important that the organization’s leadership understands the value and the critical nature of these systems. The value of often-unseen infrastructure must be communicated to leadership.

For example, consider an organization that has 1 million square feet of roofing of various ages. The goal is to develop a budgetary planning number for routine replacement over the expected life of these roofs. Roofs vary greatly in type, durability and lifespan. With an average replacement cost of $40 per square foot, the current replacement value would be about $40 million. If the organization plans to spend $1 million per year on roofing improvements, it will take approximately 40 years to replace all the roof systems. 

Communicating not only the need, but also the scope of a health care organization’s portfolio is critical to successful funding. For assistance, visit the link at the left to download a helpful master planning tool.