The resulting metrics were grouped by BSRIA into seven key indicators:
- Building running costs
- Reliability of the building and resilience to failure
- Flexibility of the internal space
- Building and systems complexity
- Productivity of occupants
- Contribution to corporate image
- Environmental impact
A telephone survey was undertaken to test these metrics on a larger sample of 28 building operators. Respondents were categorised into types of properties that they operated. The majority of operators (63 per cent) were running office buildings; 18 per cent were running manufacturing plants, and 7 per cent were running University properties.
When the respondents were asked which metrics they already use, the results were slightly different from those they thought important. There is a tendency to record the metrics that are easy to assess. Metrics that are difficult to assess, such as productivity, are rarely used (Figure 1).
BSRIA took the ratings for importance and frequency of use to generate a ratio of importance to use for each metric. This highlighted metrics that are not currently used but regarded as valuable in the future.
It is reasonable to assume that if effort is concentrated on the top five most under-utilised metrics, and workable methods are developed, the facilities management community will welcome them. Of course, facilities managers do not all occupy similar premises or have the same needs. Hence the individual results for manufacturing, universities and offices are separated out in Figure 1. This reveals that the three environmental measures are used by all of the universities, but to a lesser degree by manufacturing firms. Less than 40 per cent of respondents in offices were using environmental metrics.
User perceptions, through the use of post-occupancy evaluations or customer surveys, were less important for the office and manufacturing groups, but remain a priority for universities.
The least used measures which are not important to the universities and only of small importance to the offices and manufacturing groups are business impact from disruption, lifecycle costs, flexibility of support systems, remaining liability costs and occupant productivity.
The metric of total facilities management (FM) costs is used by a good percentage of the respondents in each group, although some universities and manufacturing respondents did not regarded the metric as an appropriate measure for their facilities.
While the survey results were interesting, BSRIA recognises that the number of responses was too small for detailed analysis. The results are nonetheless a good indication that different performance metrics are needed for different types of building. BSRIA is working on the further development of these measures, with a view to introducing them to Members of BSRIA's Operation and Maintenance Benchmarking Network during 2010.