Space Inventory Collection and Analysis
Managing any facility is complex. A complete space inventory is a tool that will help to properly clean, inspect, conduct reports, and maintain an institutional space. An inventory will provide answers to essential questions for example; how much space is available, what kind of space is it, to whom is it assigned, and how efficiently is it being used and maintained. Chiefly, understanding one’s space inventory is essential to calculate the number of cleaning and maintenance FTEs (full time equivalent's). This information is essential for budgetary purposes.
The first step is to determine the total square footage and the cleanable square feet. Second is to determine the area types. An “area type” denotes the purpose of a space, for instance, a conference room, operating theater or elevator. We use the term “area type” because not all spaces are rooms. A hallway is not a room, but is essential to a building and must be maintained.
Most institutions have CAD files or blue prints. If there are no drawings then one must physically measure the facility. A laser device is used to perform physical measurements.
Starting from Drawings
Not all drawings are created equal. Complete CAD files contain square feet, room number, room use and flooring material. However, complete CAD files are often hard to come by or they are out of date. Each file is examined for accuracy and the scale is confirmed. Next we find and mark a starting point, usually the first room number. Each room number is entered into a spreadsheet along with all other available information. Each spread sheet bears the name of the building with columns for dimensions, area type (use), and flooring. After each “area type’s” information is entered into the spread sheet we cross it off the drawling. This helps us to keep track.
No Drawings no Problem
We use a laser device to perform physical measurements and the square foot total is entered into a spreadsheet along with all appropriate information.
Walking the Facility Working with Drawings
The facility must always be “walked”. Area type information needs to be verified, including the space use and flooring. Any missing information from drawings is added to the spread sheet. Buildings are frequently modified. Modifications can be anything from flooring change to room divisions. Most importantly, getting the area type use or purpose is paramount. At a hospital I recently encountered a room use change. An “office with carpet” had been reassigned as a patient room. Obviously, the time it takes to clean a patient room is much longer than an office with carpet.
The area type or room use confirmation is extremely important for hospitals. We have discovered a lot of room reassignment issues and flooring changes that directly affected the number of required staff.
We've found an organized effort, using a laptop on a cart can operate at a production of rate of 12,000 to 14,000 square feet per hour (1 person) or 18,000 to 22,000 SF/Hr. (2-person team). The only advantage we see to 2-person teams is that if both genders are present, access to gender-specific areas is easier. Often, our worker is accompanied by a representative of the facility and this can also help provide access to restricted areas as well as solving the 'gender' problem.
We cannot over estimate the value of a complete and accurate space inventory. It can be used for many things including software, inspections, asset locations and department space use billing. And, of course, it’s absolutely essential to lift the professionalism and knowledge base of the EVS and facility management departments. Conducting an accurate space inventory can be a time consuming project and often costly. It must be carefully managed. We know facility managers have limited time, with that in mind, we strive to minimize the cost of this service.