Military Facilities Management for Safe, Functional Base Operations

By Dave Clifton
Content Strategist

Military bases function as self-sustaining ecosystems. For many, they eat, sleep, work, and relax on-base, and they rely on the facilities available to them daily. Depending on the size of the base, this means accommodating thousands of people across all aspects of daily life. To do this takes a keen focus on military facilities management.

In many ways, facilities management for military bases is akin to overseeing a college campus, or even a small city. There are so many different aspects to consider outside of what you might plan for when it comes to a commercial workplace, for example. It’s not just about maintaining the safety and accessibility of facilities—it’s about ensuring they can handle the constant demands of an on-base population.

What is military facilities management?

Military facility management needs to accomplish three specific goals. First, it involves keeping facilities open and accessible to the people who rely on them daily. Second, it needs to support and facilitate smooth base operations. Finally, facilities management in a military capacity needs to focus on safety, security, and protocol, to meet stringent military expectations.

Meeting these three goals is a function of facilities management: overseeing and orchestrating facilities within the base ecosystem. It spans everything from keeping the lights on, to promoting proper security, to ensuring people have the spaces they need to accomplish the activities they’re tasked with. It’s a monumental task that’s ever-changing and always present, which is why it requires a concerted effort from base administrators.

Finally, cost factors in. Military bases are expensive to operate, yet essential. Proper facilities management ensures the alignment of budgets and base upkeep, and seeks to optimize both wherever possible. From maintenance and repair to cost-centered decisions about how to use facilities, management encompasses all aspects of costing.

The benefits of facilities management for the military

There are a multitude of benefits that come from good facilities management. Well-managed facilities equate to efficiency and optimization across all facets of base operation. They touch everyone from on-base personnel, to administrators, to those tasked with budgeting, and beyond. Some of the most prevalent benefits include:

  • Safe and secure facilities that promote accessibility, yet safeguard access
  • Streamlined base operations through better space efficiency and utilization
  • More affordable facilities and better budgeting for upkeep and maintenance
  • Better transparency when it comes to base operations and activities
  • Easier management, upkeep, and improvement for space across facilities
  • Better adaptability and more flexibility to accommodate changing demands

The more attuned to base ops and facilities administrators are, the more control they have in shaping them around the needs of on-base personnel. Whether it’s upkeep and maintenance to keep facilities safe and accessible or decision-making surrounding how to allocate and use space, facilities management is at the core. It’s a growing pillar of base ops management—one that’s central to efficiency.

How does military facility management software help?

As mentioned, military bases are highly complex ecosystems that are constantly in flux. Not only are there a multitude of different on-base activities, those activities change day to day. Ensuring the base ecosystem supports them and the groups engaged in them means having a strong grasp on facilities. This high level of oversight is only possible through military facility management software.

Software consolidates the innumerable aspects of military facilities into an easy-to-read and digest dashboard of insights. From tracking costs, to understanding space allocation, to identifying inefficiencies, to observing trends—streaming data from FM software helps shrink the scope of base ops to a manageable level, without sacrificing important elements. It gives administrators the data they need to affect and measure change that improves the on-base experience.

Military facility management also serves an important role in tracking and reporting information about base ops. Military facilities are always under scrutiny for how they function, fund allocation, safety and security standards, and more. These important metrics come together in software, with reporting capabilities that generate insights in seconds. Whether they’re reporting to superiors or budgeting for the future, facility managers have the data they need to bring efficiency and improvement to an ever-changing military base ecosystem.

Cultivate facilities that support base operations

From servicemembers living on-base to the civilians who visit and work there, military facilities management needs to support anyone relying on the base’s ecosystem. From simple upkeep of the buildings themselves to the nuanced repair and maintenance of specialized equipment, it all falls under the realm of facilities oversight. Administrators need to serve as the all-seeing, all-knowing force behind keeping the base’s facilities up and running, to support everyone relying on them.

Facility management software is imperative in a setting as complex as a military base. Whether it’s protecting the integrity of vital systems or ensuring the health and safety of the people on-base, the practice is encompassing.

Keep reading: Military Space Planning: Organized Administration for any Branch


What is Archibus?

By Dave Clifton
Content Strategist

The purpose of a physical workplace is to provide support for employees—and a competitive advantage for the company. But these benefits are only possible if the workplace is well-run and managed carefully. To do that takes a concerted effort by facility administrators, who also need powerful digital tools to maintain oversight, affect change, and stimulate results. It’s why companies turn to Archibus to enable their facility professionals.

What is Archibus? Archibus is an Integrated Workplace Management System (IWMS). It’s designed to provide visibility into the core facility operations that keep workplaces up and running reliably including real estate, infrastructure, building, asset, and project data. Using Archibus, facility managers have the insights and resources they need to affect change that translates to efficiencies and improvements for employees and the company.

Here’s a look at what Archibus is, how it works, and why companies at any scale need to consider using it to tap into a broader range of facility benefits.

Archibus overview

Archibus is central to the workplace optimization movement. In the era of intelligent buildings, non-traditional workplaces, flex work, and conscious workplace design, Archibus is the great enabler for companies that want to make the workplace the best it can be for employees.

Archibus was founded more than 35 years ago—before the advent of the IoT and smart buildings, and several workplace iterations behind what we consider the norm today. The software hasn’t just survived the evolving workplace—it’s been at the forefront of shaping each new version. From space planning tools to building maintenance resources, Archibus continues to fine-tune its capabilities to meet the modern-day demands of facility managers and the robust buildings and workplaces they oversee.

Through the years, Archibus has become a technical powerhouse. Drawing from CAD and GIS integrations, and embracing digital twin technology, Archibus enables workplace administrators to create, manage, and evolve workplaces in highly specific, nuanced ways. The result gives companies the ability to experiment with new, more efficient workplaces—and to create the future of work on the foundations of the Archibus platform.

Archibus features

A cloud-based IWMS, Archibus puts a wide array of vital tools into the hands of workplace administrators and facility managers, which allow them to affect change across all aspects of the workplace. Archibus’ core areas of focus include:

  • Space management. Space is a known commodity when it comes to the workplace. That means making the most of the square footage you’re paying for. Archibus offers tools to identify opportunities for better space utilization, while also tracking occupancy and usage.
  • Building maintenance. Archibus gives companies the building maintenance tools they need to ensure proper upkeep of systems, whether in-house or as part of an integrated facility management approach. This includes support ticketing and capital systems maintenance.
  • Risk management. Waste management, emergency preparedness, compliance, and more are all paramount in keeping the workplace safe and comfortable for employees. Archibus makes risk management simple by offering convenient tools to track and mitigate hazards.
  • Sustainability management. Track and monitor energy usage, green building elements, waste, and more, to promote a workplace that’s aligned with the Triple Bottom Line. Archibus sustainability tools ensure the workplace aligns with people, profits, and the planet.
  • Workplace services. From room reservations and hoteling to centralized help desk responses, Archibus makes it easy to find stability in the dynamic environment of the modern workplace. Space reservation and desk booking enable everything from hot desking to flex work, so employees can create their own work experience.
  • Capital project management. As companies seek to bring improvements to the workplace, Archibus helps manage capital projects—from construction timelines to cost allocations. When the time comes to make a reinvestment in the workplace, businesses will know exactly how much it costs and where those costs get billed.
  • Property and asset management. Facilities need to be functional and accommodating. Archibus provides the data and insights necessary to make property and asset management decisions that result in benefit to both employees and the organization.

As facility managers face greater demands to cultivate a productive, efficient, mindful workplace, Archibus’ many tools and features become increasingly important in connecting workplace with mission.

How can Archibus help?

Archibus gives companies a full suite of powerful tools they can use to craft the workplace their employees need. It goes beyond ensuring everyone has a desk—Archibus enables a deep understanding of facilities right down to their core. It’s about using CAD models and GIS data to contextualize facilities, and relying on visual space allocation tools to shape a workplace that’s efficient, agile, and comfortable. Above all, it’s about tapping into the benefits that make a workplace so vital to company operations.

Archibus can help business big and small, alone or when used in conjunction with the full suite of SpaceIQ software. As a platform for facility understanding, Archibus establishes the foundation for workplace improvements—and by extension, benefits for everything that touches it.

Keep reading: What is Serraview?


Military Stack Planning: A Top View of Space Allocation

By Devon Maresco
Marketing Coordinator

Like commercial and municipal facilities, military facilities benefit from a clear, top-down understanding of space allocation. To achieve this, administrators need to rely on military stack planning. Stack planning offers a clear and concise overview of all the space accounted for—whether it’s a small military facility or an entire military base. This information gives space managers the foresight they need to understand where and how military officials and employees utilize different spaces.

The key function of stack planning is to ensure available space meets demand in military facilities. This is especially important due to the specific nature of operations on-base or within high-security facilities. When the need for space arises, it tends to come with inflexible demands by nature. Stack planning ensures total available space fulfills demand.

What is military stack planning?

Stack plans offer a top-down view of space allocation within military facilities. This serves to show total representation of space by the determined criteria. How much of a military base’s total square footage do barracks and housing occupy? How much of a secure facility is delegated to Level II clearance and above? What is the cost associated with space allocated to fixed-use spaces on-base? The answer to these questions often exists within the stack plan.

Beyond understanding military space allocation, stack plans also help to shape that space to meet the needs of people using it. Stack plans bring together the context of spatial constraints and the need for space. For example, a stack plan might indicate that there’s 2,000 square feet of classroom space available on-base, split between three rooms, perfect to house data intelligence classes four days per week.

At the highest level, military stack planning is the concept of seeing space as a whole: how and where it’s allocated.

The benefits of stack planning for the military

From a military standpoint, stack planning is an essential tool in ensuring space is allocated appropriately among the many groups who need it—and the applications they need it for. This often means contending with very specific needs and ensuring there’s adequate space for groups to be productive within. Approached tactfully, stack planning offers several key benefits to building and base administrators:

  • More efficient use of facilities, from both cost and operations standpoints
  • Better understanding of space allocation and utilization
  • Purposeful allocation of space to support the needs of military personnel
  • Context for broader facilities data such as utilization and occupancy
  • Insights and opportunities to repurpose or reallocate space
  • Smarter spatial layout of facilities, to streamline accessibility

Stack planning insights offer the baseline for smarter decision-making about military facilities. Is there enough space to accommodate X, Y, and Z operations? Does the percentage of space allocated to A, B, and C justify their cost and utilization? The broader the understanding of total military facilities and their allocation, the more administrators can do to optimize space around the needs of groups and maximize the benefit they get from that space.

How does military stack planning software help?

The sheer complexity of planning space at military facilities necessitates the use of military stack planning software. Coordinating between the many groups, space types, activities and cost centers present in military settings takes software and digital intelligence to bring everything together accordingly.

Automated insights and stack planning data are perhaps the most important benefits afforded by software. The ability to quickly bring up a current stack plan and assess it through a variety of different lenses is instrumental in making quick decisions about important scenarios. Moreover, the sandboxing offered by stack planning software shows how those decisions play out at a macro level before administrators make any real changes.

Software is also quick enough to keep pace with the real-time changes occurring at military facilities. Moreover, the ability of facility managers to understand space dynamics at a glance trickles down into better management of facilities and bases on a day-to-day basis. For example, knowing that a certain type of space is over- or under-utilized can pave the way for a quick decision about where to house an activity today vs. where to house that same activity tomorrow or next week.

Above all else, stack planning software provides military space managers with the top-down, encompassing view of facilities they need. In a setting where every decision has an impact on total operations, macro stack insights are invaluable.

Optimize space allocation by understanding it

It’s important to remember that stack plans work both ways. Not only do they show the current allocation of space, they also represent opportunities to reconfigure and reallocate it to better serve the people using it. This enables administrators to make adjustments to space that better-support facility operations.

Should you turn the utility building on base into a new barracks to house recruits? Does the security building need more six-person conference rooms for intelligence briefings? The more facility managers understand demand for space, the more valuable a stack plan becomes.

Keep reading: Military Space Planning: Organized Administration for any Branch


Enterprise Stack Planning: Allocate Space Where It’s Needed

By Dave Clifton
Content Strategist

Enterprise-level companies do everything on a grand scale. Yet, even something as large as enterprise stack planning for a campus with thousands of workspaces needs a refined level of attention to ensure it’s done right. This is because often, enterprise success comes from the sum of the contributing parts. That means space efficiency, utilization, and optimization all hinge on the ability of facility managers to create a cohesive stack plan.

Stack planning at the enterprise level is a daunting task that takes tremendous foresight to the variables involved. What types of workspaces are available to you? How many employees are there in each business unit? What’s the breakdown of space by floor, building, or location? Figuring out these variables is a significant effort in and of itself—and putting them together in a stack plan can be even more arduous.

Why go through all the trouble? Because enterprise-level companies rely heavily on their facilities as an asset. When employees can interact with each other and the workplace in an effortless way, their results have the potential to be exceptional.

What is enterprise stack planning?

Enterprise companies have multiple business lines, each requiring space to ensure they’re able to contribute to the company’s operations. Accounting, Legal, Marketing, Sales, Customer Service, Executive, and dozens of other teams need space to call their own—and each department needs different space for different purposes. Stack planning offers a top-down view of the entire enterprise’s space allocation.

Enterprise stack planning is the simplest way for facility managers to understand space at a high level. 30% of space belongs to the sales team. Marketing’s facilities span floors three and five. There are nine shared conference rooms across three floors in Building C. These broad types of insights lend themselves to everything from operations planning to decision-making about how to best-use facilities. Facility managers have access to macro information at a glance, which allows them to make specific decisions about space in context.

The benefits of enterprise stack planning

Stack planning for enterprise companies offers significant benefits when approached correctly. On the surface, it translates into providing each business unit with the space it needs to function effectively. Beneath the surface is where the true benefits emerge. Some of the most prevalent include:

  • More efficient use of facilities, from both cost and operations standpoints
  • Better understanding of space allocation and utilization
  • Purposeful allocation of space to support the needs of employees
  • Context for broader facilities data such as utilization and occupancy
  • Insights and opportunities to repurpose or reallocate space
  • Smarter spatial layout of facilities to streamline accessibility

Consider that the largest overhead expense for many enterprise companies is facilities and it quickly becomes apparent how beneficial stack planning is. Not only can efficient stack planning maximize the capability of facilities for bottom-line savings, it can also promote more efficient work for top-line growth.

Finally, one of the intangible benefits of effective stack planning is the effect it has on company culture. When employees in each business unit have space to work and be productive they’re more apt and able to collaborate—and to enjoy their time in the office. This translates to a better standard of work and a reduction of friction between employees, workplace, and the work itself.

How does enterprise stack planning software help?

The sheer scope of work associated with enterprise stack planning makes orchestrating space a monumental task. Enterprise stack planning software makes it easier. Software provides readymade analytics and integrations that bring together relevant information to promote useful insights. For example, software can provide utilization rates against different space allocations, allowing managers to see where space is underutilized, or where there’s demand for more.

Stack plan software also helps provide a truly macro view of enterprise space allocation. This means being able to see space distribution across a building, campus, or even multiple locations, for a complete and comprehensive picture of how space pans out. This drives better decision-making from portfolio managers as well—it’s easy to see where space efficiency can lead to cost savings through better portfolio management.

The ability to quickly assess and understand space is also a boon for facility managers. This aids in preparation of reports for executives, coordinate facility costs across different cost centers, and orchestrating facility operations around space constraints. Initiatives like hoteling or expansion/consolidation of facilities need a data-driven approach, and enterprise stack planning offers context for important decision-making about space.

A top-down view of commercial space allocation

Looking at the big picture is extremely important for enterprise companies. Yet, it’s also important to have a clear visual of the individual parts and pieces that make up that bigger picture. This is why stack planning is so important. At a grand scale, facility managers have a clear representation of the total space allocation of the company. In probing deeper, they can see the details necessary to orchestrate that space to meet demand.

Enterprise companies rely on their offices, buildings, campuses, and global locations to give them the competitive edge. To live up to this expectation, it’s vital to distinguish demand for space and allocate it accordingly.

Keep reading: Do You Need Enterprise Facility Management Software?


Military Space Planning: Organized Administration for any Branch

By Dave Clifton
Content Strategist

There’s a finite amount of space on military bases and in military facilities. These spaces need to accommodate very specific activities and applications, which means tremendous emphasis on military space planning. Facility managers need to not only understand the nuances of everyday operations, but the demand for space and amenities that come with them. You can’t send soldiers to the mess hall for range training, just like you can’t conduct an intelligence briefing in the cafeteria. Space needs to meet demand.

The inflexibility of many military applications makes space planning a difficult endeavor. How do you ensure everyone has exactly the space they need to fulfill a specific activity, while orchestrating numerous other (equally as specific) opportunities around them? It comes from a clear and present understanding of what space is available, what demand exists, and the path of least resistance for joining the two together.

What is military space planning?

Military space planning is the act of orchestrating space with purpose in mind. It takes into account the complete scope of base operations and ensures everyone has the space they need to accomplish a specific task. To do this requires a comprehensive understanding of both facilities and demand for them.

Take something like a five and dime (commissary). The base needs a specific place to house this building, and the building needs to have enough space to accommodate inventory and the number of people browsing it. This requires no small amount of planning and space allocation. The same goes for just about anything else, from a shooting range, to the base’s hospital facilities, to the armory and more.

The benefits of space planning for the military

Space planning is a complex process because it needs to balance space allocation with demand. Just because you have 8,000 square feet to dedicate to a new guard post doesn’t mean you need to devote all of it to that application. Instead, space planning involves looking at whether that’s the most efficient use of space and what other demands exist for it. Striking a balance between allocation and application results in a number of benefits:

  • Base facilities become more accessible to constituents
  • On-base personnel have the space they need to do their jobs
  • The cost to taxpayers drops as facility efficiency conserves funds
  • Fewer overlaps and interruptions ensure smoother base operations
  • Enhanced safety, security, and privacy in well-orchestrated spaces
  • Easier navigability and wayfinding on a well-organized base

Ultimately, the benefits of good space planning manifest themselves in smoother base ops. Whether it’s employees doing their job, visitors to the base, or enlisted servicemembers going about their day, well-planned space supports the ever-active environment that is an army base.

How does military space planning software help?

Military bases are sprawling, with dozens of facilities and thousands of individuals relying on them daily. Coordinating everything with cohesion isn’t a manual process. Space planning software is essential in allowing base administrators to recognize need, review opportunities, and create space that bridges the gap.

For example, a base might be considering a new on-premise research facility. That facility needs 20,000 square feet to function. Space planning serves an important role in approaching the decision to adapt existing facilities or build a new building. Software makes it easy to understand available space and opportunities for new construction, and to plan for either option accordingly. Such is the case for any situation involving demand for space—or the opposite: repurposing space to create future opportunities.

The true benefit of military space planning software is in data readiness. Digital insights allow for better decision-making about facilities and space, with quantifiable insights behind them. It puts base administrators in a position to think quickly and act decisively, which is especially important for military space that could see rapidly changing demand. Software provides agility where and when it’s needed, without compromising solutions.

Stringent space governance at all times

There’s little-to-no margin for error in military facilities. Government employees need exactly the right space to conduct specific business, and they’re relying on the facilities around them to meet those needs. For barracks for soldiers to sleep, to briefing rooms where officials exchange sensitive information, to correctional facilities to deal with insubordination, every unique space plays a role. It’s up to facility managers to plan for these spaces, so they meet demand.

Beyond having the right facilities available, stringent governance is essential. This is more and more why military administrators turn to space planning software. The ability to plan, govern, and understand the finite amount of space available to military personnel results in optimizations that improve utilization. The result? Better efficiency and reliability where they’re needed most.

Keep reading: Military Space Utilization – No Square Foot Left Unused


Military Space Utilization: No Square Foot Left Unused

By Devon Maresco
Marketing Coordinator

Military bases are beehives of activity at all hours of the day and night. They’re home to a variety of individual buildings, from administrative facilities and hospitals to housing and commissaries. Bases need to support a broad array of activities within the confines of these spaces, which makes a focus on military space utilization imperative. After all, the bounds of the base only stretch on so far.

Thinking about base operations as an ecosystem sets the tone for military space utilization. Everything needs to happen within the confines of the base, which means it is important to maximize the accessibility, usefulness, and availability of buildings. With different groups utilizing different facilities at different times—and for different purposes—it becomes imperative to ensure spaces are well-orchestrated to support all facets of base operations.

What is space utilization?

Space utilization is the practice of using a space in an optimal fashion. It’s juxtaposed against availability. If a briefing room is available 12 hours a day and is in-use for six of those hours, it has a 50% utilization rate. The goal is space efficiency: to determine the optimal utilization rate and to strive for it as often as possible.

In military applications, the concept of space utilization goes beyond occupancy. Cost also factors in. Does the cost of facilities justify the benefit they bring to base ops? For example, if more soldiers live off-base than on-base, does it make sense to have two barracks at 40% occupancy or one barracks at 80% occupancy? The question becomes: how much does it cost to maintain space factors while considering usage and purpose?

Utilization is all about making the most of space. In applications where space is precious, costly, or dynamic, it becomes an important metric for governance. On military basis, it’s all three.

The benefits of space utilization for the military

Tracking and optimizing space utilization on-base is a cornerstone of effective operations. Unused or under-utilized space represents waste, which not only stunts efficiency, it also takes away from other, more deserving applications. On the flipside, optimal utilization confers a wide range of benefits to everyone from the personnel using the space, to the leadership managing it. Some of the benefits of tracking utilization include:

  • More efficient use of facilities, from both cost and operations standpoints
  • Better understanding of space allocation and utilization
  • Purposeful allocation of space to support the needs of base occupants
  • Context for broader facilities data such as utilization and occupancy
  • Insights and opportunities to repurpose or reallocate space
  • Smarter spatial layout of the base, to streamline accessibility

Monitoring and managing utilization across all spaces on-base clues administrators in on how to make the most of it. As different needs for space arise or the dynamic nature of base ops changes, it becomes easier to plan for and allocate space, without up-ending what already works.

How does military space utilization software help?

Military bases are home to multiple groups of people and a multitude of spaces to support them. Software helps organize and contextualize the many spaces on base and their relationship to these groups. The result is better a better balance between space and use.

For example, administrators can track the utilization rates of the shooting range and coordinate range time between training groups, specialists, and open slots. If the range is 60% occupied during the week, with 90% occupancy occurring at 1100 hours, facility managers can coordinate the space around those who need it, without disrupting other groups. Software makes it easy to not only observe these trends, but to plan solutions alongside them.

Military space utilization software also helps to contextualize space in the context of cost. It’s easy to pull up the annual costs for a specific facility or segment of base ops and see if the spaces dedicated to these operations justify their costs. If the Hangar B is only 22% occupied but accounts for a full 16% of the base’s available space, it’s a sign of cost inefficiency. Again, software makes these figures readily available and can help contextualize a solution to improve utilization and cost efficiency.

Put space utilization at the forefront of base operations

Military bases need to be everything to everyone on them—whether it’s providing living facilities, research work, recreational activities, or medical care. To fulfill these lofty expectations takes emphasis on space utilization. How can base administrators ensure each building serves its role?

Moreover, a military base needs to be the pinnacle of efficiency. With people flexing into and out of spaces for different reasons and at different times, the burden of support shifts to individuals managing these facilities. Identifying demand and planning for utilization takes foresight, which is why utilization software has become a core standard for on-base facilities management.

Keep reading: Military Space Planning – Organized Administration for any Branch


Healthcare Stack Planning: Patient-Focused Space Allocation

By Devon Maresco
Marketing Coordinator

It’s easy to think about a hospital in terms of its individual units. Oncology is on the fourth floor and urgent care is on the first floor. Even nurses and physicians tend to reduce the hospital ecosystem to wherever they’re staffed or what a patient’s current need is. The holistic sense of the hospital ecosystem can get lost in the moment—you’re not thinking about radiology when your patient needs hematology. Nevertheless, it’s important for facility managers to have a top-down view of the hospital to show how these seemingly compartmentalized units come together in healthcare stack planning.

Seeing the hospital from the view of a stack plan sets the stage for better patient care and general healthcare administration. Radiology isn’t just a space on the second floor—it’s adjacent to orthopedics, to ensure injured patients get results quicker. Access to oncology is far away from the infectious disease unit to protect those with compromised immune systems. The stack plan brings clarity to the hospital ecosystem—it recognizes individual business units as part of a continuum of patient care.

What is healthcare stack planning?

Stack planning is the practice of allocating space for different purposes within facilities. This happens at a high level, and a stack plan shows the general distribution of space by type, floor, department, use, or other values that make it easy to categorize. For example, a stack plan might show that patient waiting areas account for 23% of the hospital’s total space. Or, it might show that radiography occupies space on three different floors.

Healthcare stack planning is an opportunity for facility managers to take a top-down look at facilities and make sure the current space distribution meets the operational needs of the people relying on them. By itself, a stack plan offers quick information about facilities and how they’re used. In conjunction with other metrics like space utilization, it provides context for everything from cost-savings initiatives to efficiency improvements.

Would it be smarter to switch the oncology department with pediatrics, so it’s closer to hematology? Where in the hospital is there room to put a new respiratory therapy station? Is there an opportunity to consolidate optometry into the ophthalmology department? Stack plans make it simpler to gain an understanding of space at a high level, to drive better decision-making about where and how to use precious space in healthcare facilities.

The benefits of healthcare stack planning

A keen understanding of space distribution within facilities paves the way for optimization improvements on both operational and cost fronts. Above all, it also enhances the ability of physicians and facilities to deliver a higher level of patient care to those who need it. Some of the many benefits associated with thoughtful stack planning include:

  • More efficient use of facilities, from both cost and operations standpoints
  • Better understanding of space allocation and utilization
  • Purposeful allocation of space to support the needs of patients and physicians
  • Context for broader facilities data such as utilization and occupancy
  • Insights and opportunities to repurpose or reallocate space
  • Smarter spatial layout of facilities, to streamline accessibility

Stack plans shed light on essential space distribution and ensure these spaces serve their intended purpose. Is there ample waiting room for concerned family waiting for a patient in surgery? Where is it in context to the surgical suite? How many post-op beds are there, and what allocation of them is nearest to that specific surgical suite? Stack planning brings patient care and the patient experience together, cohesively.

How does healthcare stack planning software help?

In healthcare facilities, stack planning is an important part of keeping up with demand. Between census changes, demand for different services, and the cost of maintaining different business lines, stack plans illuminate how effective healthcare facilities are at tailoring space to deliver patient care. Stack planning software brings all of this imperative data into one dashboard, to provide quick access to insights that improve decision-making.

Healthcare stack planning software is also integrative. As healthcare facilities become more and more digitized, the stack plan serves as a backdrop for contextualizing other metrics. A hospital may find that pediatrics accounts for 21% of facilities, but only brings in 8% revenue. Or, the stack plan may show 40 post-op beds at a 29% utilization rate, indicating opportunity to consolidate. Software makes it easy to compare and contrast different metrics to make better decisions about how to organize, orchestrate, and allocate space.

Understand healthcare facilities at a glance

Hospital administrators need access to healthcare stack planning. Not only is it one of the best ways to understand space allocation in a hospital setting—it’s an important tool in space planning and utilization, as well as operations management. When it comes to something as important as the health and wellbeing of patients, facility orchestration can’t be anything less than perfect.

At a macro level, the stack plan drives better decision-making about where and how to ensure patients get the help they need. Whether that’s reallocating space based on census demand or organizing business units to facilitate a smoother patient experience, the stack plan delivers invaluable high-level insights.

Keep reading: Hospital Facility Management Software and the Patient Experience


Education Stack Utilization: Allocate Space to Learn

By Dave Clifton
Content Strategist

There’s a lot more to educational facilities than classrooms. From the library to the computer lab, auditorium to the cafeteria, each represents important, purposeful space where students experience enrichment. Schools need to balance the relationship between classrooms and these other learning and recreational environments in order to create harmony within the school. That means looking at education stack utilization.

Stack planning provides school administrators with a quick overview of spaces and their broad allocation within the context of the school. How many classrooms are there and what percentage of total space is allocated to them? What percentage of the school’s non-classroom square footage does the gymnasium represent? These questions factor not only into understanding school facilities, but in tailoring an environment that’s conducive to learning—no matter the subject matter or curricula.

What is education stack planning?

To better-manage different environments within the scope of a school or campus, administrators need to understand space allocation. To do that, they’ll consult a stack plan. The stack plan offers a high-level overview of space allocation by type, location, purpose, and numerous other variables. This information provides the context for everything from utilization rates to operational questions of efficiency.

Say, for example, a high school wants to add a new robotics lab to support its STEM program. The lab needs a full-time space that’s 30’ x 40’ to accommodate students and equipment. Where does the school come up with this space? Facility administrators can look at the stack plan to see several opportunities:

  • Where in the school are there spaces large enough to support this?
  • Which spaces are unused or underutilized that could make way for this new lab?
  • If there are no open spaces, how can administrators rearrange rooms to make space?

Beyond supporting activities through better space allocation, stack planning also provides context. How much of the total facilities does this new lab take up? If it’s part of the STEM department group, how much of facilities do these spaces occupy? Stack plans provide at-a-glance insights about space distribution to pave the way for better decisions about it.

The benefits of education stack planning

In better-understanding space allocation at a high level, education facility managers can adapt it to the needs of students, faculty, and staff. Stack planning provides these insights quickly and with context, to influence decision-making in a variety of ways. Some of the key benefits include:

  • More efficient use of facilities, from both cost and operations standpoints
  • Better understanding of space allocation and utilization
  • Purposeful allocation of space to support the needs of learners and educators
  • Context for broader facilities data such as utilization and occupancy
  • Insights and opportunities to repurpose or reallocate space
  • Smarter spatial layout of facilities, to streamline accessibility

Whether it’s a small elementary school or a huge college campus, stack planning offers a top-down look at where and how space exists, and what opportunities are available to maximize it. From adding a new robotics lab to ensuring there are enough dorms to accommodate out-of-state college students, the stack plan makes it simpler to take stock of space and purpose it accordingly.

Better function is only the beginning. Cost efficiency, safety, accessibility, and even compliance standards are all important facets of space planning and allocation. Stack plans are instrumental in ensuring administrators meet these needs and expectations.

How does education stack planning software help?

Few environments are as demanding to manage as educational facilities. The needs of students, faculty, and staff are ever-changing, and expectations for facilities grows with each passing semester. Stack planning software helps take the burden of manual space allocation off of administrators. Moreover, it provides much-needed information about facility usage to drive better decision-making about where and how to create powerful learning environments.

The cost of maintaining and improving educational facilities is consistently on the rise. Stack planning offers an effective tool in avoiding excessive cost due to inefficiency. Instead of building new facilities or adding on to existing buildings, stack planning software can identify unused or underutilized space and opportunities to repurpose it. Moreover, it can also provide context for facility costs according to utilization.

Above all, stack planning software offers insights that administrative professionals simply wouldn’t have otherwise. It’s worth knowing that the computer lab occupies 12% of total space on the second floor or that the science department’s classrooms stretch across four buildings, instead of one or two. These insights ultimately drive better space allocation, distribution, and floor planning.

Understand education space allocation

Stack planning is one tool in a series of space planning and allocation resources school administrators need to use. In the era of flipped classrooms, dynamic facilities, and experiential learning spaces, it’s vital to know how the space breaks down in a school—and how to use it effectively.

From single buildings to entire campuses, stack planning offers high-level insight about space. These metrics trickle down into more granular adjustments that enhance the student experience. By identifying space and pairing it with demand, administrators can adjust the stack plan to create a more cohesive (and inclusive) learning environment.

Keep reading: Facilities Management Software for Schools


Government Stack Planning: Understand Municipal Space

By Dave Clifton
Content Strategist

Government buildings tend to serve a specific role: police, fire, courts, motor vehicles, utilities, etc. These municipal functions get delegated to different buildings to ensure they get due attention. But within each need-focused facility, there are a variety of functions that all require different space. As such, government stack planning becomes important.

Consider your friendly neighborhood Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). This isn’t just a place to renew your license. Each day, the DMV serves a broad range of purposes from administering drivers’ tests, to registering new vehicles, to title duplication, and more. Different services require different levels of space utilization; as such, a stack plan provides facility managers with a top-down view of available space and how to best-use it.

What is government stack planning?

Government stack planning is a high-level look at different types of spaces and their uses. It’s a simple way of seeing space allocation within facilities by floor, space type, department, and any number of other defining factors. This birds-eye view of space distribution makes it easier to coordinate operations around facilities and vice-versa.

Stack planning is best-used in conjunction with other metrics such as utilization rate or occupancy. For example, consider a stack plan of the local courthouse. It may show that courtrooms occupy 40% of facilities while median rooms take up 20%, and waiting rooms take up 20%, while miscellaneous facilities take up the remaining 20% of space. If mediation room utilization is at 80% almost constantly and waiting rooms hover at 30% utilization, the stack plan makes it easy to identify these inefficiencies and reallocate space.

Beyond recognizing opportunities to improve space function, stack plans also inform floor plan design. For example, if the courtroom decides to turn 10% of waiting room space into mediation rooms, the stack plan may show that the best place to change this space allocation is the third floor—attorneys often migrate from this floor to others looking for mediation rooms.

All in all, the stack plan serves as a high-level look at where space exists and how it’s allocated. It’s useful for influencing workplace operations or shaping facilities around them.

The benefits of government stack planning

Used correctly, a stack plan is a valuable part of a broader facilities management strategy. Combined with utilization metrics, floor plans, occupancy insights, usage trends, and myriad other data, stack plans provide the foundational building blocks for better space allocation. The benefits that follow are numerous:

  • More efficient use of facilities, from both cost and operations standpoints
  • Better understanding of space allocation and utilization
  • Purposeful allocation of space to support the needs of government employees
  • Context for broader facilities data such as utilization and occupancy
  • Insights and opportunities to repurpose or reallocate space
  • Smarter spatial layout of facilities to streamline accessibility

Stack plans allow facilities managers to understand government space at a high level. Even in well-defined buildings, it’s important to know where and how space allocation breaks down, and how that affects everything from the cost of facilities to the utilization rate of specific spaces.

With a stack plan in-hand, facilities managers have the context they need to make sense of other facilities data. Whether it’s reallocating space to better-serve employee needs or breaking down space by cost center or usage, a stack plan offers answers to high-level questions about the workplace.

How does government stack planning software help?

Government facilities range in size and the scope of their operations. Many times, this means dealing with dozens of different workspace types, across different groups of people, in facilities with strictly defined parameters. All these variables make it difficult to visualize and allocate space without the help of software.

Government stack planning software brings cohesion to facilities. Whether used alone or in conjunction with other facility software, the stack plan provides a necessary visual for administrators so they can see the breakdown of where and how space pans out. For example, color-coding employee-only areas in red and common areas in green makes it easy to distinguish allocation based on permissions. Or, the ability to group spaces by location in the building can show potential inefficiencies in the floor plan.

Above all, government stack planning software provides data-driven insights. It’s easy to look at a stack plan and see that 36% of your space has restricted access or that the five courtrooms in Building C take up 61% of its total available space. These top-level insights make stack plans useful in both a governance capacity and for future planning and improvement.

Get a clear picture of facilities

Whether it’s a DMV, courthouse, city hall, or some other municipal building, a stack plan is an invaluable resource for seeing total space allocation. A visual representation of space allows facility managers to contextualize operations to ensure they’re meeting demand. Do you have space set aside to fulfill the requirements of the people visiting your government building? The stack plan will tell you.

Government stack planning is an important tool in both understanding and optimizing space—especially at facilities designed to meet a specific constituent need. The ability to facilitate an effortless, accessible experience is the product of using a stack plan to make sure the right space exists to meet demand.

Keep reading: 5 Pillars of Government Facility Management Software