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Current CFaR Projects - Project Abstracts


Tree Management Strategies and Practices on College Campuses
Principal Investigator:
Mikaela Schmitt-Harsh, Ph.D., James Madison University

The purpose of this study is to gather information about the way colleges and universities manage campus trees, including the strategies they employ, the challenges they face, and the stakeholders involved in cooperating in these strategies. Three key objectives are as follows: 1) identify and analyze the resources available to institutions to manage campus trees; 2) assess the extent to which campuses are undertaking a planned, systematic, and integrated approach to managing their trees; and 3) make broad recommendations to how college campuses might improve standards of tree management.

Multi Criteria Decision-Making Models for Repair and Replacement Decisions of Condition-Based Building Maintenance
Principal Investigator:
Deniz Besiktepe Karaman, B.Arch., M.Sc., Ph.D. Student, Colorado State University

Aging and rising building stock have critical importance on a country's economic and social well-being. For institutional organizations, particularly those with large building portfolios, an effective facility management approach is required to ensure these buildings function properly for their missions. The main purpose of this study is to generate a decision-making model for the effective repair and replacement decisions for building maintenance. The research will also identify the benefits of repair vs. replacement decisions with the proposed condition assessment support framework and MCDM compared to decisions given without model. Even though cost and budget are typically considered as the main factors in the decision-making process of building maintenance, concerns such as health and safety threats, loss of use, and lower performance will be emphasized as other significant factors in the decision-making process.

Measuring the Current Practices of Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) Principles Used in the Procurement of Flooring in Higher Education
Principal Investigator:
Jeffrey L. Campbell, Ph.D., Brigham Young University

The purpose of this research is to measure and understand how TCO principles are and are not being used in the procurement of flooring in higher education. By measuring the current practices of TCO principles used in the procurement of flooring in higher education, APPA and other stakeholders will better understand:

The Effect of Facility Condition Index (FCI) on National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded Research Grants in Higher Education
Principal Investigator:
Theodore J. Weidner, Ph.D., Purdue University

For more than 15 years APPA and other organizations have expressed concern about the poor condition of educational facilities.  Federal research expenditures for science and engineering have increased over 92 percent between 1991 and 2001, while APPA publications have cited steady or increasing accumulated deferred maintenance (ADM) compared to Current Replacement Value (CRV) or FCI.  This study will create an outcomes-based metric that may be used in future discussions with higher education administrators to address ADM issues.

There has been a long-standing challenge to get higher education administrators to recognize the significance of FCI and the importance of keeping it low.  If APPAs concern about deferred maintenance is real, then there must be a positive correlation between FCI for science and engineering research facilities and federal research expenditures.  Trustees and administrators are rightfully focused on positive outcomes when making expenditure decisions. 

Facility officers have been unable to make a clear and compelling argument for the reduction of deferred maintenance in campus facilities because they lacked an outcomes-based tool that is founded on clearly reported (and perceived as independent) data.  Since there is an increasing focus on research income as a substitute for falling state support and tuition pressures, this new metric should become a strong, compelling argument to address deferred maintenance in science and engineering research facilities.