Institute Completes VAFM Contract

The end of FY2012 brought to completion the Institute's contracts with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) that began a transformative process to promote organizational and management advances in lifecycle facility management, including planning, design, acquisition, construction, sustainment and decommissioning across VA. The VA Facility Management Transformation Initiative (VAFM) was created by the Secretary to transform the Department into a 21st-century organization. The VAFM initiative, led by the Office of Construction and Facilities Management (CFM), was one of a number of integral initiatives to ensure activities undertaken as part of the transformation conform to the management initiatives formed by the Integrated Operating Modeling (IOM). CFM initiated the VAFM transformation work with the Institute at the end of FY2009.

The VAFM initiative encompassed all facilities management activities across five core processes: Planning, Project Delivery, Operations and Maintenance (O&M), Resource Management and Enterprise Portfolio Management. The purpose of the transformation is to operate as an enterprise system and organization for the management and administration of effective and efficient planning, design, acquisition, construction, sustainment and sustainability and disposal of the VA facility portfolio in support of VA's mission. VAFM transformation will improve operations (and facility services to VA) by introducing and improving enterprise processes for planning and execution of Major, Minor and Non-Recurring Maintenance (NRM) programs. The goal is to enhance sustainability of VA infrastructure and to improve workforce focus and management of both programs and process.

The Institute provided a team of healthcare planning and A/E professionals to conduct the VAFM Post-Occupancy Evaluation (POE) and Integrated Planning (IP) pilot projects. The Institute/POE team conducted six POEs for NCA, VBA and VHA at five sites and issued a report in February 2012. The Institute/IP team oversaw the conduct of two year-long pilot studies incorporating NCA, VBA and VHA participants in two Veterans Integrated Service Networks (VISNs). The VAFM IP Report was issued as a final draft in September 2012. These two reports, along with the earlier, VAFM Pilot Initiatives Benchmarking and Best Practices Research: Facility Master Planning, Project Management Plans, Post-Occupancy Evaluation, dated September 30, 2011, are intended to guide VA as it transitions from pilots to projects.

Special mention must be made of the VA staff who developed the pilots and led the transformation. Their vision, leadership, day-to-day management and unwavering commitment to improving service to Veterans were key to the success of this effort. Also worthy of mention are the many VA field and station staff who assisted in scheduling, touring, explaining, copying, providing input, photographing, reviewing, meeting, conducting interviews and other forms of leadership that enabled the pilot projects to succeed.

The Institute has new contracts with VA for FY 2013 to continue with projects from VAFM. One is in the area of planning, to develop a manual and directive for CFM planners. The other is in the area of resource management, to develop a strategic plan for the integration of building technology across the Department.


The National Institute of Building Sciences, authorized by public law 93-383 in 1974, is a nonprofit, nongovernmental organization that brings together representatives of government, the professions, industry, labor and consumer interests to identify and resolve building process and facility performance problems. The Institute serves as an authoritative source of advice for both the private and public sectors with respect to the use of building science and technology.

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