BUILDING MAINTENANCE/Assessment leads to long-term maintenance plan
The Sacramento, Calif., Maintenance Services Division (MSD) oversees more than 380 buildings, many of which are old and in need of repair. However, the MSD did not know exactly what needed repair until April 2000 when it hired an engineering firm to conduct a facilities assessment for the majority of the city’s buildings.
Because of budget constraints during the last half of the 1990s, the MSD had gone for several years without completing any large-scale building maintenance projects. “We just fixed immediate problems, like patching a leaky roof rather than replacing it,” says Jim Johnston, general supervisor for the MSD. “We took a look at how many problems that caused, such as computers and carpets that were ruined because of leaks. If we had replaced a leaky roof to start with, we could have saved a lot of money overall.”
In November 1999, the City Council approved funds for a facilities assessment. The MSD contracted with Houston-based 3D/International to inventory the condition of 331 city buildings.
During Phase I of the project, the company assessed 315 of the city’s buildings — including City Hall, the Crocker Art Museum Mansion, park buildings, fire and police stations, and utility department buildings — totaling about 1.3 million square feet. Phase II of the assessments included 16 additional city buildings — such as the convention center, the Civic Center Theater, Memorial Auditorium and buildings along Sacramento’s waterfront — totaling 800,000 square feet.
The company examined electrical, structural and mechanical components; interior construction; exterior building materials, windows and doors; roof structures; and a five foot area around the buildings. It identified deficiencies based on visual observations and discussions with building occupants, and it provided the city with recommendations and cost estimates for correcting each deficiency.
The company found problems ranging from worn carpet and damaged ceiling tiles to damaged plaster partition walls and poor safety lighting in stairways. Overall, the company found that Sacramento would have to spend more than $23 million to restore its buildings to their original condition.
According to Gene Moore, maintenance services manager for the MSD, the City Council has approved $7.9 million in deferred maintenance funds to correct some of those problems. So far, the MSD has replaced 26 deteriorating roofs, and it plans to replace seven more by summer 2003. It also has renovated 16 restrooms located in community parks and repaired or replaced sidewalks near the city’s fire stations.
“[The assessments] have allowed us to identify the existing problems, estimate and prioritize the work needing to be done, and plan future maintenance projects,” Johnston says. “It is our first real preventive maintenance program.”