For clients with large, complex projects and properties spread over several sites, the need for comprehensive planning and architectural design services goes well beyond the ribbon-cutting.

For clients with large, complex projects and properties spread over several sites, the need for comprehensive planning and architectural design services goes well beyond the ribbon-cutting. A multidisciplinary team can work with clients throughout the continuum of the facility life cycle.

In Cincinnati, GBBN works with clients that have multiple buildings, built over time on sites throughout the region such as banks, hospitals and Hamilton County, Ohio, the firm’s home county.

GBBN’s in4mation division evolved as a service to architectural clients over the last decade, said director Gary Rahn. in4mation was created as a distinct entity two years ago to provide professional services directly to clients in the implementation and maintenance of facility information management systems. They have expanded the use of web-based access to provide secure facility information to multiple users within the client’s organization. The information goes beyond data about the space and how it is utilized to incorporating systems to help clients manage their facilities. Such systems can capture building utilization and performance information in a single data repository. This allows analysis to ensure that the investment in new facilities is sustained over time and future facility planning can benefit. The newest development is the use of PDAs or Tablet PC by on-site workers to process work orders, enter information during facility condition assessments, etc. Doing so will allow information/updates to be entered during the normal course of work, and for work orders to be processed without paper.
The service is unique for architectural firms in Cincinnati, and is growing nationwide to support the expanding computer-aided facility management (CAFM) market.

in4mation’s typical client has more than one million square feet of space, built over time with multiple uses. Web posting makes information developed by the Facilities Department accessible to all for strategic planning purposes, asset management and daily operations. With defined space as the foundation, all information and processes related to the building can then be associated to the room or space affected. The in4mation division has a dedicated staff of seven and draws upon other firm resources and outside business partners as needed.

CAFM tends to be implemented in existing facilities. However, space and facility asset information can most effectively be added to a CAFM system if it is incorporated as a by-product of the design and construction process. Specifications for equipment and furnishings identified during the design and construction phases can easily be captured in a CAFM database. Great value and efficiency can be realized if time is spent initially to format the way contractors submit information during the shop drawing approval process. in4mation is currently working with Cincinnati Public Schools to implement a building operations/work order system. The District has recently embarked on a 10-year, billion-dollar program to renovate or replace every school in district. GBBN is the Architect of Record for the first of these projects. CPS will capture information about the facilities and its equipment assets in a single data repository. From this, maintenance business plans will be developed. The performance of the specified assets will then be tracked by the building operations system once the building is commissioned. The information gathered about space and other assets can then be benchmarked and used for future strategic space planning purposes.

—GBBN, Greenway Consulting