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End of (Service) Life Care: Evaluating Aging Building Infrastructure

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Evaluating the performance of aging building elements is not one of the hard sciences; and in the case of electrical, HVAC, plumbing, foundations, below grade waterproofing, and more, it is complicated by the fact they are partially or entirely hidden. This program is for those tasked with helping people make long-term decisions about their building systems and Pete Fowler Construction Services’ approach to applying the scientific method to building rehabilitation decisions.

End of (Service) Life Care: Evaluating Aging Building Infrastructure" begins with a discussion of the importance of this subject, because most people spend 20-50% of their income on housing. Then we get into the details of who should be on the team and exactly what should be done to professionally evaluate the discrete building elements and apply professional judgement about what work should be done and when. We will have a high-level discussion about professional construction contracting discipline and how a broad lack of this in the building rehabilitation industry is causing harm to the most fragile property owners. Finally, we will wrap with a discussion of how to plan for the inevitable future.


  1. Introduction

  2. End of Life Care

  3. "Don’t ask the barber whether you need a haircut."

  4. Playing Doctor

  5. Operation

  6. Retirement Planning

  7. Conclusion

Learning Objectives

  1. There is an alternative to the terrible way that aging properties are typically assessed and rehabilitated.

  2. Who is on the team in evaluating aging infrastructure is VERY important.

  3. Building performance analysis is about 80% science that should be performed according to industry standards, and 20% art or professional judgement.

  4. Professional construction contracting discipline is 95% science.

Backup Materials

  1. Managing Property Maintenance & Repair by Peter D. Fowler

  2. The DBSKCV Construction Management Method by Peter D. Fowler

  3. Overview of ASTM E2128 by Haughton & Murphy – Interface Magazine

  4. Managing Construction Quality by Peter D. Fowler

  5. AIA A201 2017 General Conditions of the Contract for Construction


1. Introduction

  • We Know Buildings

  • Team

  • Projects

  • Clients

  • Program Outline

  • Program Introduction

  • Learning Objectives

  • This Might Sound Salesey

2. End of Life Care

3. "Don’t ask the barber whether you need a haircut."

  • Case Study: Soil Subsidence Repair

  • Who? The Most Important Q

  • The Building Doctor

  • Who Is In Charge of What?

  • Who is on the Team?

  • Fee for Service

  • Hiring Discipline

  • RFP Sample for Hiring Professionals

  • Firing an Engineer

  • An Army of Sheep

4. Playing Doctor

  • Case Study: Plumbing in a High-Rise

  • Building Performance Analysis

  • Document & File Management

  • Meetings/Interviews with Key People

  • Building Information Management

  • Inspection

  • Analysis

  • Testing

  • Estimate

  • Property Condition Assessment

  • Element Analysis

5. Operation

  • Case Study: CM with Major Savings by Minimizing COs Using Estimating Skill

  • The Traditional Approach

  • Common Pitfalls

  • Professional Construction Contracting Discipline

  • The DBSKCV Construction Management Method

  • Prescribe: RFP Contents

  • The Golden Rule

  • Don't Sign That contract!

  • Start with One Building or a Small Sample

6. Retirement Planning

  • Case Study: Elevator Closet

  • Comparison of Plan to Actual: Construction Costs & Schedule

  • BLM Matrix

  • As-Builts or PCA Update

  • Standardized Maintenance & Repair Scopes of Work, and RFPs

  • Reserve Study

  • The Most Powerful Force in the Universe

  • Comparison of Plan to Actual: Reserve Study

7. Conclusion

  • Program Outline

  • Learning Objectives

  • Program Introduction Revisited


This program was originally presented at the Reserve Analysts (APRA) Symposium 2018 in Nashville, TN.

Here is a link to the complete presentation and backup materials