Facilities / Project Management

Aligning facilities

with an institution's mission

Facilities / Project Management

For most institutions, the value of the physical facilities is greater than the organization’s fiscal endowment. Like a good fund manager, management of facilities needs to ensure the proper stewardship of the asset.

The Stone House Group approaches facilities and project management by looking at the fiduciary perspective, the user’s perspective, and the owner’s perspective to ensure the longevity, programmatic needs, and maintenance of facilities.

Is your rate of depreciation faster than your rate of reinvestment?

Let us develop a roadmap for you. The Stone House Group uses key facility indicators to provide a barometer of stewardship. Our Facility Condition Assessments (FCAs) include comprehensive evaluation of your facility’s architectural, mechanical, electrical, plumbing (MEP), grounds, codes and accessibility to generate a detailed inventory. We will help you identify deferred and cycle maintenance projects, as well as modernization and safety/statutory projects. The Stone House Group creates a maintenance plan to establish funding levels needed for renewal projects. A preventative maintenance plan is established to ensure all components meet their expected life cycles. Our team evaluates the state of your facilities’ condition, providing valuable information for balancing physical and fiscal needs. Calculating the impact of deferred maintenance and developing the FCA priority matrix helps trustees allocate capital and operating budgets as well as helps facility operations staff select specific projects.

Relevant Case Studies:

Are you managing your facilities with the same expertise you handle your endowment, and how do you rank against peer institutions?

Assess and benchmark. Adding value to the physical investment of your facilities is an effective strategy for long-term institutional success. A Facilities Overview Assessment evaluates the facilities management function. We examine source delivery, management of resources and planning. From the information identified, The Stone House Group then performs a benchmarking study against other institutions with respect to factors such as staffing and energy consumption per gross square foot. The resulting study and fiduciary components lead to recommendations about the future of your institution’s facilities. Benchmarking is one tool that The Stone House Group can use to help understand your physical plant. Understanding your physical plant is the first step in “Building Stewardship.”

How can you facilitate the alignment of facilities with your institution’s mission?

Conduct an inventory and utilization study. In order to align campus facilities with an institution’s mission, we must understand current facilities capacity and space allocation through a Space Inventory. The Stone House Group will conduct the study to identify and categorize each space on campus to understand how the facilities are currently configured and utilized. The Space Utilization Study will take the information found in the Space Inventory and identify areas of high use, low use, and make recommendations for how space can be better utilized in the future.

How does your facility rank against peer institutions with regards to staffing and energy consumption per gross square foot?

Conduct a facilities benchmarking study. Whether it is part of a more extensive Facilities Overview Assessment or a stand-alone service, Facilities Benchmarking is fundamental to understanding your physical plant and overall well-being of your institution. During a Facilities Benchmarking study, The Stone House Group gathers quantitative information about your campus, including staffing, enrollment, energy consumption, service contracts and campus gross square footage. These metrics are compared internally with previous benchmarks, or externally to peer institutions from our client database to understand places where your facilities are performing above or below similar institutions.

How can organizations properly manage their budget and facilities?

Train and develop the physical plant staff. The Stone House Group can provide onsite management for complete operation of your facilities. Our Facilities Management service supports and enhances the core mission of your institution by providing leadership along with fiscal responsibility. Our diverse knowledge of architectural and technical systems, construction and management, and  financial planning allows us to make educated and relevant recommendations. Our staff have served as facility and interim facility directors on many campuses and have successfully integrated into the client’s team and culture. We work at all levels, from temporary support and oversight, to permanent onsite management and quality assurance.

How can organizations keep to their core mission while expanding their physical plant?

By picking a strong partner to help them. Because the process of constructing a new building happens infrequently for most organizations and institutions, few are sufficiently staffed to handle the details associated with major construction projects. The Stone House Group’s Owner’s Representation and Project Management provides clients with management assistance, technical and financial analysis, advocacy, and oversight to ensure they understand “Building Stewardship” while they continue to do what they do best – run their institution. Sound communication is a focus of our strategy while we meet budget needs and handle change orders, purchase orders, delays, permits and fundraising.

We also offer Project Oversight and Mechanical/Technical Oversight where we still manage and lead the project team, but are not physically present on the job site every single day during construction or renovation. Mechanical/Technical Oversight is a specialized form of Project Management that utilizes our mechanical and technical backgrounds to provide dedicated support throughout your project.

Is your organization looking to hire a new Director of Facilities, but do not know where to begin?

The Stone House Group has experience recruiting and placing qualified Director of Facilities candidates. We will not only assist your organization in preparing a job description tailored to your campus’ specific needs, but we will also post the position on a variety of local and national job boards in order to attract the right candidate. Additionally, we have fostered personal relationships with qualified candidates in the industry and will reach out to those we believe would be good candidates. Our staff will review, organize and conduct preliminary screenings of applicants, delivering to you the top qualified candidates for late stage interviews.

Do you have the necessary inputs to achieve the master planning outputs you desire?

We can prepare those for you. Our studies combine institutional goals and future program requirements to compile data and infrastructure that informs the planning process. Our belief is that a strategic approach yields comprehensive implementation and financial planning, design standards, building projects, and stewardship foundation. Modeling new scenarios with program and budgetary impacts help outline clients’ short and long-term options. Understanding project programming and cost scenarios ultimately guides a smart, cost-effective master planning process that is achievable.

You have been given recommended solutions for a project, but who do you turn to implement it?

The Stone House Group. Whether it’s assistance with next steps, managing projects, monitoring data, or structuring future programs, we and our trusted partners can provide tools and solutions for these projects. We are mindful of our evolving industry and therefore utilize the most forward-thinking technologies to assist with our implementation.

300+

The Stone House Group has served over 300 clients to date.

Did you know?

The Hotchkiss School is very pleased with the energy procurement and contract management services provided by Stone House Solutions.

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Chief Financial Officer, The Hotchkiss School  |  John Tuke