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Database Maintenance and VFA. Presented by:. Detailed Facility Condition Assessment (FCA). School Facility Management System (SFMS). It’s important to distinguish between the two sides of VFA. One is NOT the other…they are very different.

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Facility Condition Assessment


School Facility Management System (SFMS)

It’s important to distinguish between the

two sides of VFA. One is NOT the other…they are very different.

VFA is a company out of Boston that designed the facility software for use by the Maine Department of Education.

VFA also had assessors that conducted the detailed field studies of schools when this process began.

VFA still hosts the Maine Schools facility data. Originally it was with DETAILED facility assessments. In 2009, the SFMS was added.


Background detailed data

The Department of Education recognized there was an issue with Maine schools and their school buildings.

They initiated the process with VFA in 2003 and paid a portion for schools to have their buildings assessed and the data entered into the VFA database. McCormick was one of the approved vendors to conduct this service by the DOE.

This began the DETAILED data portion of the process and was intended to provide school districts with capital asset management tools and data with which to meet the expectation that districts were committing appropriate resources on an annual basis to the preservation of their facilities.

*It’s recommended that 2% of the building value be invested every year to keep a building in like-new condition.

Background – Detailed data

Detailed with Maine schools and their school buildings.

Facility Condition Assessment


School Facility Management System (SFMS)

Someone walks the buildings collecting data on the Systems that make up the building and the Requirements – things that are wrong.

This information is entered into the database where it can manipulated to build cost models for your schools.

Facility replacement values are created, system life expectancies are assigned, requirements are given a cost to remedy, and so on.

In 2009, the DOE decided to do away with the detailed FCA, and only require schools to complete the SFMS surveys.

There are 34 sections of surveys that are extremely generic and lack, in some cases, crucial details about facilities.

Once completed, these surveys don’t provide data that you can manipulate, run reports from, or use in your capital improvement planning. There is NO OUTPUT.


Background sfms

In August 2009, the Department announced the use of SFMS as a way for schools to be eligible for Revolving Renovation Funds.

SFMS have been due each March 31st since 2010.

To the best of our knowledge, the Department does nothing with this data entry. In fact, much of the data fields in the SFMS surveys are repeat information that the Department already has in other reports.

Again, there is NO output data available as a result of completing the SFMS surveys. Unlike with DETAILED data entry and database maintenance, the surveys provide no benefit to the schools.

Background - SFMS

Database maintenance

Once a DETAILED facility condition assessment (FCA) has been completed on a building and the information is entered into VFA, that data must be maintained.


Database Maintenance

Database maintenance1

  • The data that is entered in VFA is a capture of what was observed at that facility during the time of the walk-through. However, conditions change.

  • Systems may age faster than we predicted due to various reasons.

  • Damage can occur that no one could have predicted.

  • Issues may have been remedied that were identified as Requirements, but are no longer an issue.

  • The VFA data is only as accurate as we make it, so changes as they occur must be added and/or adjusted to the VFA database.

Database Maintenance

Database maintenance2

There are 2 factors that help us “build” a facility in VFA:


(aka deficiencies)


Database Maintenance

Database maintenance3

There are 2 factors that help us “build” a facility in VFA:


Systems are everything that makeup a building, ie. roof covering, floor coverings, windows, doors, etc.

Each System has a life expectancy, a cost to replace it entirely, and a cost to renew it to like-new condition.

We use the Systems to build a facility replacement cost. This should be close to the amount the building is insured for.

As things are added or changed in the facility, the Systems will be updated to reflect the changes in life expectancy and value.

Database Maintenance

Database maintenance4

There are 2 factors that help us “build” a facility in VFA:


Requirements can be issues observed during the walk-through such as stained ceiling tiles and torn carpet, or ADA and other code issues.

Each Requirement is assigned a Priority from 1-5, an action to fix it with costs, and is left OPEN until reported that it has been fixed.

The total cost of all Requirements factored into the building replacement value, results in the FCI %. The higher the percentage, the worse condition the building is in.

As Requirements are fixed, it’s important to report them so the database can be updated to reflect the changes.

Database Maintenance

Our database maintenance service
Our Database Maintenance Service VFA:

  • With our Database Maintenance Service, a member of our team will manipulate data in the DETAILED side anytime your school sends us information.

  • We aim to enter changes at least once a year and will ask for capital improvement lists from your facility department so we can update the database.

  • Once these updates have been entered, SYSTEMS and REQUIREMENTS reports will be run, formatted, and provided to your school.

  • These reports are excellent for building budgets for your capital improvement plan. They will show issues that will need attention now and in the near future, and provide costs to do so.


Our database maintenance service1
Our Database Maintenance Service VFA:

  • If you ever need tailored reports, we can create a special report that only shows the information you’re looking for.

    • Examples:

      • You need a report that only shows SYSTEMS that are past their life expectancy and a cost to replace or renew them.

      • You’d like to have report that only shows Priority 1 REQUIREMENTS.

      • You wish to see issues that are classified as Life Safety.

      • and so on…..


Summary VFA:

VFA and parts of this process can be a bit complicated. Our firm has been working with this program since it was introduced to Maine schools, so we can help with most questions and/or issues.

Please don’t hesitate to ask!