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Engineered Asset Lifecycle Management Tools

BUILDER Sustainment Management System



The BUILDER Sustainment Management System (SMS) is a web-based software application developed by ERDC’s Construction Engineering Research Laboratory (CERL) to help civil engineers, technicians, and managers decide when, where, and how to best maintain building infrastructure. Because building assets are so vast and diverse, a “knowledge-based” philosophy drives the BUILDER process.  The process starts with the automated download of real property data, and then more detailed system inventory is modeled and/or collected which identifies components and their key life-cyclejoetablet.png attributes such as the age and material.  From this inventory, Condition Index (CI) measures for each component are predicted based on its expected stage in the life-cycle.  Objective and repeatable inspections can then be performed on various components to verify their condition with respect to the expected life-cycle deterioration.  The level of detail and frequency of these inspections are not fixed like other processes; they are dependent on knowledge of component criticality, the expected and measured condition and rate of deterioration, and remaining maintenance and service life.  This “Knowledge-based” inspection focuses attention to the most critical components at the time.  In addition to these condition assessments, functionality assessments can be performed to evaluate user requirement changes, compliance and obsolescence issues.  This provides a comprehensive picture of the overall performance of building assets and their key components.


The Department of Defense owns almost 300,000 buildings comprising 2.3 billion square feet.  It spends about 55 percent of its installation real property maintenance funds on maintenance and repair (M&R) of these buildings.  But, because of tighter resources on funding and personnel, inspection and preventative maintenance programs for critical building systems and components have been abandoned at many installations.  This has forced building managers into a largely reactionary mode, responding to unexpected component breakdowns and system failures at the most inopportune and expensive time.  In addition, many buildings currently serve some function to the mission that is much different than the originally intended purpose when designed.  The total result is that work cannot be planned, programmed, and budgeted efficiently.   BUILDER SMS addresses these issues by providing managers responsible for the building assets with a support tool for sustainment, restoration, and modernization (SRM) decisions.


BUILDER is an asset management solution to repeated GAO criticisms of existing DoD facility management practices. It is an important tool in ensuring mission readiness, and sustaining building infrastructure investment.  With information about condition, functionality, and remaining service life, short and long-range work plans can be developed based on sound investment strategies, prioritization criteria, and budget constraints.  Penalty costs are reduced allowing more work to be accomplished with the resulting improvement in mission readiness.  Simulations can be run to show the future impact of current M&R decisions.  The result is a flexible list of work items expected to be accomplished based on actual funding levels.  In all, the BUILDER process provides a more proactive means of asset management and resource allocation.  In addition, the knowledge-based principles have been proven to significantly lower the cost of re-inspections while providing more meaningful SRM decision support metrics.


BUILDER is being widely adopted across the Department of Defense and is in varying stages of adoption by:
·         US Marine Corps
·         US Navy
·         US Air Force
·         US Army
·         Defense Logistics Agency
·         Tri-Care Medical Agency
A recent National Academies of Science report, “Predicting Outcomes of M&R Investments in Federal Facilities” highlighted BUILDER; BUILDER addresses five out of the seven recommendations of this report.  Federal agency interest is widespread and CERL recently presented BUILDER at a Federal Facilities Council meeting to a diverse audience from many federal facility management organizations.  As an outcome of this presentation, USACE is in discussions with multiple agencies on how to adopt BUILDER.
BUILDER is also available for use in the private sector through several licensed distributors.  Current users include educational, municipal, and private enterprises.
Distribution Licensees:
Atkins Global
Calibre Systems, Inc.
FM Projects
DIGON Systems
North Pacific Support Services