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A successful facility planning begins with building a strong foundation, good planning, and effective program. Organizations must realize that utility, space, and financial requirements are also important in facility planning. Facilities that is contributing to an efficient and well-organized work environment, tends to be effective and highly productive. Researchers say that a successful strategic facility plan can help an organization achieve its fiscal performance and productivity goals by integrating near- and long-term facility planning with the facility business plan. The requirements for a successful plan consist of many different things. However, regulatory requirements, budget planning and cost are key components in facility planning.
Facility planners believe there are regulatory requirements that impact several stages of the facility planning and design. The complexity of designing and building of facility projects has led to an increase in the number and complexity of regulations. Facility designers have to ensure that every step or process is compliant with regulatory requirements during the design process. In today's society, hospitals are very difficult and complex buildings to design. Most hospitals that are built have a broad range of services and well- designed units that functional. Most of the units include different laboratories, trauma units, imaging, and other clinical units. Hospitals are now being designed with cafeterias for employees, patients, and other hospitality functions. This diversity should be in compliant with codes, specific regulations, and oversight, which presides over hospital construction and operations. Regulatory requirement has a huge impact on equipment used in facility planning and design. The developing functions of a hospital have very complicated equipment such as, mechanical, electrical, and telecommunication systems, which should be specialized or operated with knowledge and expertise. Specialize consultants should play an important role in facility planning and design. The functional units within the hospital can have competing needs and priorities. Idealized scenarios and strongly-held individual preferences must be balanced against mandatory requirements, actual functional needs, and the financial status of the organization (Carr, 2010). Facility planners should consider the wide range of services that must be accommodated; hospitals must serve and support many different users and stakeholders. The design process incorporates direct input from the owner and from key hospital staff early on in the process. The facility designer should be an advocate for the patients, visitors, support staff, volunteers, and suppliers who do not generally have direct input into the design. Good hospital design integrates functional requirements with the human needs of its varied users (Carr, 2010).
Color implications and noise issues should be taken into consideration during the facility planning. Facility planners should have an interior design committee to handle all renovation projects including colors for different levels or units, flooring, ceiling, carpeting, and other architectural materials. The committee should have a plan for addressing regulatory issues, and focusing on problem-solving strategies and other methods during the process. The committee may include an enhanced facility image and identity, better controls over short- and long-range planning and costs, enhanced control over patient safety, and more efficient processes in selection of finishes and furnishings. A well thought out and documented interior design master plan allows administrators to anticipate costs related to interior expansion or remodel projects and respond in ways that permit flexible, cost-effective solutions. By having a committee for interior design could be an important tool, which could help with project budgets, schedules, and help with patient safety and other regulatory issues. Noise issue should be controlled by people who are knowledge of the equipment that is being used during the design stage process. Understanding noise issues are important in facility planning, because excessive loud noises or vibrations could be a problem or have an effect on treatment and care within the facility (Snow, 2009).
The financial impact should be taken very seriously for all strategic facility planning. Facility planners believe the tremendous long-term cost and impact of facility decisions, the financial analysis is an extremely critical component of any strategic facility planning (IFM.com, 2009). A number of financial tools are available to evaluate scenarios, options or alternatives, which is critical to provide the complete business case for any strategic facility planning. Facility planners say the strategic facility planning must demonstrate that the facility supports the organization's core mission and strategy, and the financial analysis must demonstrate that the recommendations will yield the highest return at the lowest risk (IFM.com, 2009). Facility planners should have a budget set when designing a facility. Facility planner's budget should include a statement of facility objectives, risk analysis of options, sustainability analysis, and operating expenses. The budget for a project could result in spending millions of dollars. In a struggling economy budgeting and examining the pros and cons of designing a facility, plays a major role in the planning process. The cost to maintenance a facility should be factored in when determining a budget during the planning process. Being to able to afford to pay for engineering, air-conditioning, heat, water, and other valuable utilities on a yearly basis, should be factored in the facility planning. Knowing the cost of personnel, employees, consultants, and the benefits the facility must pay, should also be factored in the planning process. Over a period of time cost for operating the facility will continue to increase over the years.
Strategic facility planning is a process that can lead to better, more proactive delivery of services from a facility management organization to its stakeholders. The time taken to carry out strategic facility planning is well spent in that it helps to avoid mistakes, delays, disappointments and customer dissatisfaction. It can actually allow facility plan implementations to run more quickly and smoothly (IFM, 2009). Many facility managers are unfamiliar with the best way to accomplish this type of planning, or perhaps have been asked by senior management to quickly provide a strategic facility plan and are not sure where to start. Facility managers may still be unsure how to initiate the strategic facility planning process and need to obtain information on methods and techniques useful for successfully implementing a strategic facility planning to correspond with their organization's needs. Facility planners say every organization is different, but all organizations strive to become more competitive, effective and provide the best workplace possible for its employees (IFM, 2009).
Facility planners should understand the competition and the pressures of cost when planning the design of a facility. There are many things that factor into planning a facility. The size, location, and cost play a role in determining the outcome and success of the facility. In order for organizations to reach its financial and achieve its goals, the community has to be considered in the initial planning process. Facility planners have to be involved with the community, because the right facilities must be online at the right time.