Measuring FM Services

Facilities Management (FM) overall metrics provide measurable and comparable factors with other similar organizations and institutions.  Our metric categories are:

Customer Satisfaction

FM routinely queries campus clients to collect feedback on "how are we doing?"

FM also participates in the APPA Facilities Performance Indicators (FPI) survey which compares WWU Facilities Management with others through the country.

Sustainability & Energy

See the WWU Office of Sustainability web site for the following topics on "What We're Doing" at Western.

  • Climate Neutrality
  • Energy
  • Transportation
  • Food
  • Grounds
  • Purchasing
  • Building
  • Services
  • Resident Sustainability
  • Recycling
  • Inter-Campus Collaboration

Metrics Used at FM - To understand if funding levels are adequate the typical comparisons are with:

  • $ per GSF - Costs per gross square foot of facilities.
  • % of CRV - Percentage of funding per Current Replacement Value (CRV) of the facilities, grounds or utilities served by those funds.
  • $ per Student - Costs per student.  This compares density impacts with others.
  • $ per Acres - Cost per Acres maintained by Grounds Crews.
  • FCI - Facilities Condition Index
  • Revenue vs Expense History
  • % Labor versus % Material Support - WWU is tracking the breakdown of labor and materials for our various categories of work.  This aids decisions on budget allocations and reductions since the labor and material support are directly linked.  Both must be managed together and cannot drift off averages without significant consequences.

Summary of State Funded Maintenance and Asset Management

How does WWU generally compare with higher education institutions across the country on maintaining our assets?  The Association of Higher Education Facilities Officers (APPA) (formally the Association of Physical Plant Administrators) provides in depth comparison metrics.

  • Costs per GSF to maintain and operate Western's state funded assets including buildings, grounds and utilities systems.
    • WWU is similar to APPA institutions on $/gsf when the costs of utility commodities are removed.

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  • Costs per Student to maintain and operate Western's state funded assets including buildings, grounds and utilities systems.
    • WWU has much less GSF per student than most other APPA institutions.  WWU's GSF per Student is 64% of the APPA national average.  Having a much higher density of students results in higher maintenance costs per GSF which our funding levels per GSF do not reflect.  This is apparent when we compare WWU's M & O costs per student with others.

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  • Total Asset Expenditures on existing facilities, grounds and utility systems.
    • Are the total operating and capital expenditures on WWU's state funded asset adequate?  Historically WWU has spent significantly less on our assets than others throughout APPA.  Expenditures as a percentage of the Current Replacement Value (CRV) of our assets is a good comparison metric since it takes into account cost variation throughout the country.

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    • Operating Funding Requests - During the submittal process we studied what is needed to properly maintain our assets.  Using the GSF per trade to achieve 100% maintenance we conclude WWU FM maintenance funding needs to be 1.8 times more than existing to provide 100% maintenance.  This translates that our existing funding is 55% of what is needed.  When compared to the APPA national average for FY09 we conclude that on average other institutions are better funded to provide maintenance than WWU, but are still behind what is needed.  The fact that WWU is funded 1/4 less than the national average is significant.
    • Capital Expenditures on existing facilities - WWU has studied at length the renewal needs of all WWU assets.  In FY09 WWU needed to spend 2 times the actual capital expenditure to meet the predicted annual need.  This translates to our current funding being 50% of the need.  When compared to the APPA national average we simply conclude that on average other institutions are better capitalizing their asset preservation than WWU, but are still behind what is needed.  In FY09 WWU's capital preservation investment was + - 1/3 less than the national average.
    • FY10 shows significant preservation improvement with the major capital renovation of Miller Hall, but unless these major capital expenditures on existing facilities continue WWU facilities will fall into further disrepair.

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    • With increasing capital preservation expenditures what are the trends for WWU's building condition?  With Washington State's OFM Comparable Framework the Building Condition score increases have slowed due to the increased capital preservation expenditures.

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  • How will the WWU's state funded asset condition change if the preservation projects requested through WWU's latest 10 Capital Plan "aren't funded "?  WWU's Facilities Condition Index (FCI) history and 10 year Capital Plan projected impacts on FCI indicate the overall condition of campus will decline.  This decline will be significantly slowed if the requested funding is provide.  That said more is still needed, and without significant increases in preservation funding the overall campus condition will continue to worsen.

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  • Inflation Impacts - Another clear way to document whether maintenance funding levels are adequate is to study impacts of inflation.  We studied this in 2007 and found over 20 years the available funding related to inflation dropped our material buying power by 60%.  That is, in 2007 FM maintenance could purchase 60% less material support for our crews than in 1987.  This is significant.  While WWU has better funded labor, the crews per GSF have dropped.  The result was that total overall buying power dropped 18% in costs.  Without a process to address inflation impacts, good facilities stewardship becomes much more difficult.

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Loss of inflation, lack of operating funding to meet the needs, and lack of capital investment in existing assets combine to place FM in a very difficult maintenance environment where "fix it when it breaks" controls work flow and even then we cannot and will not keep up.

While Facilities Management will continue to do the best possible with the funds available, it is clear that WWU has been further behind on capital renewal than operating funding.  As we maintain older and older facilities and their components, all the maintenance possible will still not avoid failures and breakdowns that will impact the academic mission.  It is not a matter of if, just when.

FM State Funded Overall Budget - APPA's Facilities Performance Indicators (FPI) provides one mechanism for national comparison with WWU.

  Cost of Deficiencies

FCI = ----------------------------

Current Replacement Value

  • Revenue versus Expenses

General statistics on FM State Funded budgets and staffing

General statistics on FM Self-Sustaining budgets and staffing

State Funded Facilities & Utilities Maintenance - This covers both facilities and utility maintenance since the same labor crews provide both services.

State Funded Grounds Maintenance

State Funded Facilities Condition Assessment

The most common metrics on condition are:

  • Facilities Condition Index (FCI)
  • % of Current Replacement Value
  • Costs per Gross Square Foot ($/GSF)

These metrics generally indicate the funding WWU provides for facilities maintenance, operations and preservation is on the lower side of higher education facilities nationally.

FCI - The Facilities Condition Index (FCI) is widely accepted metric to measure facilities condition.  The Backlog Reduction Plan 2011-2021 lists WWU facilities, ground and utility FCI as 17.7%, poor condition.  The Backlog Reduction Plan describes WWU's approach to condition assessment.  This plan is a State of Washington requirement every two years within the 10 year Capital Plan for WWU.  It was last published in the Capital Plan 2011-2021.  The FCI is typically compared on facilities only, i.e., no grounds or utility assets.  The FCI for facilities in the 2009-2019 Plan is 15.3%

Comparable Framework - State of Washington Comparable Framework for Higher Education Facilities also uses the FCI comparing institutions within Washington State. The Comparable Framework only looks at facilities and does not address grounds and utility assets.  The process starting with JLARC then moved to HECB and currently resides with OFM.  Specific WWU comparisons with other Washington State Higher Education Institutions are linked below.  For full reports see related links.

% of CRV - Another metric showing the relative health of facilities compares total operating expenditures spent per year per the Current Replacement Value (CRV) to those facilities served by the funding.

$/GSF - Operating Costs per Gross Square Foot

Public Works New Construction Quality Assurance Program

On average 45 Public Works projects are constructed each year.  This translates into approximately 150 review documents being issued each year through the various stages of design.

State Funded Facilities Cleanliness

The Association of Higher Education Facilities Officers (APPA) published Custodial Staffing Guidelines in 1992 with an update 1998.  This national effort provides levels of cleaning for higher education facilities.  By categorizing WWU cleaned rooms with APPA room types APPA staffing guidelines provides the FTE's required to meet the various cleaning levels for the unique mix of room types at WWU.

Comparing the historical APPA cleaning levels at WWU and the cleaned square footage per custodian per day can provide the best image of how clean WWU has been with the available staff and support.  The links below clearly shows Western moving from cleaning level 2 to over 4 in the last 30 years.  While team cleaning in the last 10 years has slowed the degradation only continue operating budget support can reverse the trend.  Data is presented several ways due to various metric comparison nationally

National comparisons through APPA's Facilities Performance Indicators (FPI):


Contact Us

Greg Hough, Assistant Director, Facilities Asset Management

  • email: 
  • Phone:  (360) 650-3311

Related Links

Page Updated 04.14.2015