A Review of the BUILDER Application for Assessing Federal Laboratory Facilities

February, 2017
IDA document: D-8407
FFRDC: Science and Technology Policy Institute
Type: Documents
G. James Herrera, Chelsea A. Stokes, Vanessa Peña, Susannah V. Howieson See more authors
BUILDER is a web-based software application used to assess buildings. Developed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Engineering Research and Development Center’s Construction Engineering Research Laboratory (CERL), BUILDER helps Federal agencies improve long-term evaluation and maintenance of their building infrastructure. To better understand its history and its adoption across the Federal Government, STPI interviewed CERL officials and those involved in the development and integration of BUILDER across six Federal agencies. We found that BUILDER can provide standardized data and valuable insights to help Federal agencies determine priorities for, and investments in, their facilities. Despite these capabilities, BUILDER’s cost modeling and scenario tools have yet to be fully explored or implemented. In addition, several challenges need to be addressed for BUILDER results to effectively inform budgeting decisions, including updating cost books data over the long term and improving user understanding of cost modeling tools. These challenges are especially challenging for assessment of laboratory facilities, which have specialized critical support systems that may not be adequately captured in BUILDER’s inventory and cost data. A Federal community of BUILDER users has been growing over the past decade. Formalizing a community of practice under existing or new interagency groups, could help exchange lessons learned, identify ways to leverage resources to meet common needs, and support data analytics to assess condition and needs across laboratory facility portfolios at various agencies.