If necessity is the mother of invention, than the concept of Electronic Facility Records (EFR) was born more than 20 years ago in upstate New York capital construction projects. A young technology-infrastructure professional saw how difficult it was to plan, design and integrate converged data and voice cabling and pathways into construction projects for a number of reasons:

  • Being brought into the project in the middle of construction resulting in less-than-optimal installation due to existing MEP system requirements.
  • Complex, ever changing low-voltage technology components and systems were lumped with Electrical systems instead of being approached as a specialization.
  • Difficulties in communications with technologists that didn't understand construction standard processes and documentation.
  • The technology industry's lack of government-issued Codes instead sometimes-competing Certifications and levels.

In addition to these logistical challenges, another even larger issue was apparent: the construction industry was extremely slow to embrace productivity improvements that were becoming available with the intersection of ubiquitous Internet access and networked computing hardware and software. While smart phones and tablets didn't exist 20 years ago, the rapid adoption rates of PCs, cell phones and dial-up home Internet connections foretold their use.

So why did simple project modifications require snail-mailed, carbon-copy paperwork that could hold up an item for weeks? Why were all-important As Built drawings and other information handed over to the facility owner after project completion still paper based leading to storage, security and access issues? It seemed every other industry was already using networked, Internet-connected PCs to streamline paperwork and speed operations…the low hanging fruits of office automation. Why was the construction industry so far behind?

The answer to part of the formula was the development of what has become MasterLibrary Construction Project Management software that manages the Plan, Design and Construct (PDC) phases of a capital construction project, primarily of the technology infrastructure and related Communications, Life Safety and Communications (CLA) systems to which they connect.

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In the Plan/Design/Construct/Manage lifecycle of a facility, the first three phases typically account for less than 5% of the building's projected life. A building that takes 5 years to build, if constructed correctly, can certainly have a lifespan of 95 years: just look at any college campus in the country.

Whether new build or renovation, the information generated and captured during the Plan, Design and Build phases of a construction project have great value to the facility owner for efficient long-term operations and maintenance. Imagine if every data element in any format created during these phases were available to whoever needed it during the Manage phase of the facility's life.

That, in essence, is what EFR Systems is all about to deliver the following benefits to owners and Facility Managers:

  • Reduce service call costs and time
  • Improve decision making
  • Reduce operating costs
  • Enhance tenant experience
  • Conserve environmental resources
  • Increase facility asset value
  • Improve data protection
  • Improve succession planning
  • Improve emergency preparedness
  • Reduce phone/tablet expenses
  • Improve crisis management
  • Minimize insurance and bond rates

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