Higher education (HE) institutions assume a wide variety of responsibilities and activities that require suitable, productive, and safe working, learning and living environments. You only have to imagine a campus without its facilities—its buildings, grounds, infrastructure, and associated assets—to quickly appreciate their indispensable role in supporting an institution’s overall objectives. In short, facilities are mission critical, as are the professionals who manage and protect them.
In many respects, HE campuses are like small cities in that they provide similar facilities (e.g., dormitories, office buildings, classrooms, laboratories, research facilities, recreation and sporting venues, libraries, etc.) and services (e.g., planning, public works, utilities, safety and security, event management, etc.). Although every institution is guided by its own unique mission statement, common themes often include:
- Attracting top students, faculty, researchers and grants to advance innovation and academic excellence.
- Educating and preparing students to become productive contributors to society.
- Conducting research that addresses the most pressing issues of the day.
Facilities play a vital role in achieving institutional missions. This means that HE facility management (FM) professionals must overcome the daily challenges that often hinder the effective planning, managing, and improving of campus property. They also need to improve processes associated with protecting people, buildings, infrastructure, grounds, and assets with limited budgets and resources.
These are not small tasks. In fact, they can seem overwhelming when considering the magnitude, breadth and complexity of most HE campuses and property portfolios. The reality is that these challenges have become even greater in recent years. As the building boom of the 1960’s and 1970’s reaches its natural stage of renewal and scrutiny increases over the high cost of tuition, safety and security practices, and sustainability, we find ourselves in an era of save time, save money, save lives, and save the planet.
This white paper discusses the current capabilities of facility management and public safety technology solutions that are rooted in geographic information systems (Facilities GIS). It reviews the many ways Facilities GIS can help HE FM professionals make significant strides in the mission-critical aspects of:
- Portfolio Management: identifying, inventorying, analyzing, and managing property assets, owned or leased, and optimizing portfolio performance.
- Operations & Maintenance: optimizing campus, space, and asset utilization while efficiently and sustainably managing and maintaining facilities and infrastructure (indoors and outdoors)—all while reducing lifecycle costs.
- Safety & Security: proactively and effectively securing and protecting people, property, and assets.