4 FM quick reads on Renovations
1. Make Sure To Get As-Builts After Renovations
Today's tip is about renovations to existing buildings and the importance of update-to-date as-builts. In today's economic environment, many facility managers are choosing to renovate existing buildings rather than build new.
One of the most important steps to a renovation project happens after the renovation is complete. Make sure to get up-to-date as-builts so that you, or your successors, aren't surprised if the building is renovated again some time in the future. If a building is renovated frequently over the course of its life, it may be completely different in a lot of ways than originally built. Up-to-date as-builts expedite the design and construction processes because they help limit the number of surprises.
As-builts show details of the facility that are essential for doing future renovations or improvements efficiently. Knowing exactly where and how every conduit and outlet is connected and what lies behind each wall can mean that there are no surprises, like accidentally shutting off power to an area that was slated to remain in service during a renovation.
If a contractor or designer uses Building Information Modeling, or BIM, it may be a good option to deliver the as-builts electronically. That way, especially if there is an electronic BIM file of the entire building, as-builts can be a matter of tweaking the BIM file, as opposed to redrawing the part of the building that was renovated.
It's easy to let this step of the renovation slide if you didn't plan for it initially. So as part of the bid process when hiring a contractor or designer, include a stipulation that as-builts be delivered after work is completed.
2. Lessons Learned from Educational Building Renovations
Today's tip comes to us with an assist from Craig Hardee, senior project manager at Butler University. Hardee gives seven tips for making renovation projects on college or university buildings a success.
Many factors, including short timelines, input from a wide variety of sources, and shifting budgets make renovation projects at colleges or universities particularly challenging. But these lessons learned can help facility managers navigate the tricky renovation waters.
First, says Hardee, understand that renovation projects are a team sport, and therefore not only do you have your job to do, but you have to be willing to trust that others can do their jobs as well. Trust in your teammates is key.
Secondly, communication is critical. Make sure everyone understands what's happening, and who needs to be where when decisions are being made.
Third, collect emergency contact information for all the decision-makers on the project. This logistical step can really save some headaches when decisions are required in a matter of hours on these short timeline projects.
Fourth, hold regular update meetings to keep all stakeholders apprised of progress. It's easy for this one to slide as the project steams forward, but it's critical to maintain these meetings to keep everyone in the loop.
Fifth, always have one person who is responsible for the project from design to delivery. This ensures that one person "owns" the project. Stakeholders also will feel more comfortable raising questions because they'll know exactly who's in charge.
Sixth, make sure to understand how technology in an academic setting is changing, and how design and construction methods must shift as well to support that new technology.
And finally, be flexible. Keep it light, and keep it fun. There will be days, hours and even weeks of frustration, says Hardee, but keep in mind that everyone is on the same team and everyone does make mistakes. But nothing is ever the end of the world, except the end of the world.