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.

How can I ensure the safety of students, faculty and staff as they return to in-person learning and work?

Consider space configurations, student/faculty/staff densities, and cleaning/protective measures. The Stone House Group will develop strategies and plans aligned with government agency and social distancing guidelines to:

  • Optimize the flow of traffic throughout your facilities
  • Configure room furniture to optimize people per room while being mindful of relations to HVAC returns
  • Re-purpose larger gathering spaces, such as gyms and theaters
  • Ensure close contact areas are eliminated, or, where necessary, minimized by protective barriers and routinely cleaned well.

Space Planning is one component of our Pandemic Response Program, which is summarized in the following image.

The two other components of our approach can be found here:

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.

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.

How do I hire high-quality administrators that align with our campus mission?

Contact The Stone House Group to manage the hiring process for your institution. By utilizing national hiring platforms, niche job boards such as the National Business Officers Association (NBOA), and our expansive pool of contacts, our team can identify potential candidates that have the level of expertise your institution is seeking. Our team has filled open positions for Director of Facilities and Facilities Manager at several institutions, including Sidwell Friends School, The Lab School of Washington, New York Quarterly Meeting, New Canaan Country School, Landon School, Holton-Arms School, Brooklyn Friends School, and Maret School. Furthermore, if you require an immediate solution, members of our staff are able to serve as your interim Director of Facilities while the search is ongoing.


85+ Facility Condition Assessments conducted.

Did you know?

Thank you for everything you did for Princeton on the Art Storage Facility. Truly an outstanding job! I feel confident the BAS system will perform as expected.


Princeton University  |  Gary Brancato