Restructuring the way a university prepares and budgets for deferred maintenance.

Capital improvement planning helps avoid disasters

A burst water pipe in one of the university’s flagship buildings, designed by a famous architect and representing a major investment by the university, caused extensive damage, prompting the institution to engage DBI to implement the repairs as quickly and efficiently as possible. As DBI became familiar with the facilities and capital budget allocation processes, it became clear there was significant investment needed in the building beyond what had already been contributed but no comprehensive planning mechanism with which to forecast, prioritize, and set aside funds for capital improvements.

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Uncovering the reality of building conditions

Like many institutions, the university set aside a percentage of its annual budget for deferred maintenance.  However, this approach did not correspond with the on-the-ground realities of aging infrastructure and building systems. Once engaged, DBI conducted a comprehensive building audit at each property to fully assess its condition and identify the repairs and renovations necessary within the next 5 years in order to maintain their integrity.

Comprehensive planning and prioritization

DBI identified and priced more than $2,500,000 in deferred maintenance work outside of the annual operations budget, with projects ranging from structural repairs to duct work deep cleaning to bathroom modifications to fire alarm upgrades. DBI then worked with the facilities team to prioritize each deferred maintenance item as “high,” “medium,” or “low,” and developed a plan to address them according to priority, while operating within the parameters of available funds. DBI has since transitioned into a hands-on project management role and has developed procurement standards, managed competitive bid processes, overseen the engagement of contractors, and managed the implementation of the work.

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Please note: While details have been altered to protect the anonymity of our clients, the nature and outcome of each case study remains accurate.