For the U.S. Department of Energy, RSMeans Business Solutions developed a real property management system that included calculation of replacement plant values (RPV) for various DOE property assets, a scoring system based on condition assessments for facility deficiencies, a deferred maintenance schedule to plan, budget and forecast maintenance, and a life cycle costing capability.

An RPV module was utilized within the DOE computerized Facilities Information Management System (FIMS) to establish these values. The deferred maintenance costs are captured within the DOE Condition Assessment Information System (CAIS). DOE engaged Means to a) restructure and enhance the RPV cost database; b) provide parametric estimating to edit RPV's to local conditions; c) provide data for deferred maintenance and life frequency of each building asset; and c) develop new construction data elements with annual updates.


At project start, RSMeans held a three-day workshop with DOE personnel to agree on a process for developing the methods and to decide on the model types required for the DOE Replacement Plant Value System. The building types required by the DOE were reviewed and compared with RSMeans' existing library of building models. It was determined that 28 models would be developed from RSMeans Square Foot Models and an additional 44 RPV Models defined for input to calculating unit cost factors for 72 building types including a warehouse, garage, office building, auditorium and other structural facilities.

RSMeans created a Microsoft-Excel based system for the required RPV cost model data. Each RPV Model was built in its own separate workbook that included three worksheets: Model Profile, Cost Summary and Model Estimate. Means developed a model parameter information worksheet that DOE engineering personnel completed, which became the basis for each model. In some instances this method was not effective and Means performed a complete material and quantity takeoff from construction drawings. The parameter worksheet included: Model Number, Square Footage, Exterior Skin System, Structural System, and Common Additives.

The Cost Summary Worksheet includes the model's calculated national average cost per square foot and work breakdown structure (WBS) percentage values. These values are a percentage of the cost per square foot. The Model Estimate Worksheet includes a Uniformat assemblies-based cost estimate of the appropriate RPV Model. Each estimate includes assembly numbers, descriptions, quantities and calculated national average cost.

Newly developed RPV models will have this worksheet cost engineered based upon the Model Profile Information abstracted from client questionnaires. Union wages are used on all models.

The model estimate sheets utilize Excel look-up tables that link directly to the RSMeans Assembly Database. These tables allow for seamless annual updates in future years. A separate worksheet provides zip code-based location modifiers.

As the project moved forward, RSMeans Business Solutions recommended a more automated process and enhanced site/user capability. To accomplish this, the Models were reconfigured into a parametric Model whereby the site/user could be interactive with any of the 72 Models and customized to the generic Model to more appropriately fit into the building design at the local site. RSMeans used Means CostWorks™ as the engine for this application. The site-edited Model is then exported to the FIMS and CAIS systems in support of RPV's and deferred maintenance.


The DOE is now able to forecast for budget replacement and deferred maintenance costs of total building and systems within a building at an increased rate of speed and accuracy. The RPV System has been recognized by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) as the most advanced system within federal agencies for Real Property Management.

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U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
U.S. Department of Energy
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Clark Realty Builders
Forest City Chicago
Firestone Building Products
Armstrong World Industries
Portland Cement Association
Georgia Pacific
Alcan Cable
Institute for Water Resources
VA Healthcare
Hunt Building Corporation