COVID-19 has created profound disruptions in everyday life and the operation of the places where we work, learn, and play. Re-entering these places will require new tools and approaches to facility management.
Many organizations are looking for affirmation that a space or building is safe from infection risk. Understandably, they want occupants to have the confidence needed to return to something resembling normal routines. This has led many facility managers and property owners to look for stamps, certificates, or similar representations about facility conditions. These can play a part.
Arc has taken a different, complementary approach to this issue. Our strategy is rooted in an iterative management process based on transparency, situational awareness, and continuous improvement. This strategy is based on our assessment of the current situation. We believe that:
- The management of infection risk will be a marathon, not a sprint.
- Conditions and knowledge will continue to change rapidly.
- No single technology or management action will be sufficient to address infection risk and build confidence.
These beliefs support the conclusion that portfolio owners, corporate occupiers, and facility managers need a systematic, repeatable process to address infection risk. We believe that the key elements of this process include:
- Clear description of management intent;
- Explicit references to relevant public health authorities;
- Consistent execution of management actions;
- Coordinated evaluation of occupant experience; and
- Measurement of relevant physical conditions, particularly indoor air quality (IAQ).
Critically, these actions must be coordinated and repeated to provide situational awareness and improve management over time. The result will be a practical platform that allows for immediate action, while realistically preparing for conditions change and new information.
Arc Re-Entry is one piece of this management process. Here’s a one way to implement the whole system:
- Start by setting up a project or projects in Arc -- a space or whole building. If applicable, organize projects into portfolios relevant to management action, e.g., grouping by differences in property attributes, tenants, or occupancy levels. These groups will provide the basis for aggregated reporting and analytics.
- Use the Arc Re-Entry toolkit (available under the Leadership tab) to:
- Complete a minimum of one facility management survey within 90 days.
- Send the management survey to the relevant facility manager
- Verify completion of the survey on the Re-Entry dashboard under the performance tab.
- The management survey can be updated any time by submitting the survey.
- Complete three occupant survey data collections (a.k.a., “campaigns”) within 60 days -- these must be separated by at least one week.
- Send the occupant survey to target groups
- Verify responses by reviewing data on the Re-Entry dashboard.
- Note the scope and group parameters must be selected to results from specific surveys.
- Report at least three IAQs measurements for each category within the last 30 days.
- Enter IAQ data in the relevant section of the Meters & Surveys area. Note that some meters for Re-Entry have the same names as their Human Experience counter-parts; however, they have different units and interpretations.
- Add rows to enter temporal data coverage for the period -- the fraction of time with data for each hour during the period.
- Add rows to enter spatial data coverage for the period -- the fraction of floor area with data during the period.
- Add rows to enter performance data for the period -- the fraction of measurements categorized as “good”, “warning”, or “investigate”.
- Estimation techniques are described in the Arc Guide to Re-Entry.
- There is nothing magic about these time intervals -- 90, 60, or 30 days -- however, they represent simple, reasonable guidelines for an iteractive management process during unpredictable times.
- Review results in the Re-Entry dashboard (Performance tab). The overall Comprehensiveness Score provides an aggregated measure of the management and performance of the facility. An overall score of 100% indicators that the facility is taking a wide range of management actions and this is reflected in occupant experience and measured IAQ. Comprehensiveness score components (sub-scores) help identify areas of relative strength and opportunities for improvement. For many organizations, it will be practical to start by improving Facility Management (plans and policies), then complement these with surveys of returning occupants, and, over time, build out IAQ measurement capabilities.
- Arc Essentials users can find more information in the Arc Re-Entry dashboard. This includes four additional histograms comparing project performance to all other participants. The histograms allow users to see if their practices and performance lead or lag other participants; perhaps there are good reasons for differences or possibility learning opportunities.
- In future updates, users will be able to refine the benchmark by selecting specific portfolios for comparison. Under Reports, Arc Essentials users can download a dedicated Arc Re-Entry report. This is an approximately 17 page PDF document providing a detailed overview of project management, occupant experience, and measured IAQ. It also includes a high-level one-page “scorecard”. This summarizes activities in a form that may be suitable for distribution to stakeholders and non-technical audiences.
These steps illustrate a 90-day program leveraging Arc Re-Entry. Ideally, this process would be repeated over time to support improvements in facility management practices and provide on-going situational awareness based on occupant observations and measured indoor air quality. Most of these capabilities are free, and it is easy to scale the process across entire portfolios or a global organization.