When the economy faltered, we saw an increase in the utilization of existing buildings and a lessening in the demand for new construction. Private developers and public entities were not building new structures as zealously as we witnessed earlier this century.

On the public side, budgets are now being cut and facilities withdrawn despite the continued need for a more sound and revamped infrastructure. Utilization of existing facilities and structures is becoming the norm. Owners and operators of facilities and structures are looking to maximize their space and reassess what they already have in their buildings. Many do not even know how much usable square footage they possess. Records are often inaccurate or nonexistent. As owners and operators seek to expand or merely document what they already have, the demand for building documentation is increasing.

Geospatial service providers equipped with state-of-the-art technologies are stepping in to fill these needs and help facility owners and operators use their resources more efficiently. However, the current lack of standards for building documentation projects creates a danger. Without standards, projects risk being bogged down in miscommunication and frustration and ultimately can fail to reach the desired objectives.

Do you find yourself writing and rewriting scopes for clients, trying to streamline their building documentation proposal? Do you find yourself asking clients the same questions, trying to help them define what they require? How does your client determine who is equal to the task?

Standards matter. Without them, time and information are often wasted, and building resources remain underutilized. Achieving effective building performance will require everyone involved—from owners and operators to architects, engineers, contractors, technicians and other service providers—to come to the table and develop a successful framework for building documentation.