One of the most basic elements of facilities management (FM) is having information about buildings, equipment, and grounds. Yet, despite how obvious this is, many facility managers (fms) are frustrated by the fact that their information is incomplete, inaccurate, or outdated.
One aspect that is all too common: determining the accurate square footage of her leased facility spaces. The size of the space may seem like a simple thing that should be known from the facility’s construction, but in reality, the actual size of the space may differ significantly from what is shown on construction drawings.
There are two main reasons for this. First, architects and engineers are not very concerned about the accuracy of square footage in the buildings they design. They have no financial or performance incentive to be extremely precise, so they are usually satisfied with a close approximation.
Ongoing modifications to BOMA International’s rules that determine which spaces can be charged rent are another problem. These rules have changed several times since they were initiated, with the most recent taking place within the last few years.
The financial impact of these discrepancies is negligible for organizations that own their facilities, but for fms who lease space, there could be costs accrued for areas that are not actually in use. Conversely, if you are the owner and lease out space, must account for facility expenses on a department-by-department basis, or are going to sell a facility, you could be getting short changed.
Frequently, fms find spaces differ from the owner’s information anywhere from 5% to 7%. In a large building, this extra space can be worth millions.
Fortunately, there are many technologies that can help accurately measure just about anything. In the case of interior spaces, tape measures have been replaced by inexpensive and highly accurate handheld laser measuring devices. These are similar in size to a tape measure and are even easier to use. Just place the device against one wall of a room, push a button, and a laser bounces off the opposing wall and returns to the device, providing accuracy to within a fraction of an inch. Using these devices, it is possible for fms to measure a space far more accurately, with less disruption to employees, and in a fraction of the time it would have taken with an old fashioned tape measure.
Sometimes fms need to measure areas that are more complex or capture information and measurements about items inside the space. And some fms want to take an inventory and import that information into BIM or CAFM/IWMS systems.
For more details, kindly email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can help you have better control on your space.