Whole Building Philosophy
Whole Building Perspective – from Construction to Maintenance and Operations 30 Years Out – Significantly Impacts Brown’s Career
When Brown and his team oversaw the construction of Wellmark Inc.’s $200 million structure which included 550,000 square feet of space and 600,000 square feet of parking, he felt he was in his “zone”, doing what he loved. Why is it, then, that when someone reaches that point is when life throws a curve ball?
In Brown’s case, the curve ball came in the form of Wellmark CEO John Forsyth asking Matt to transition from his role as construction director to vice president of property management. When approached with the opportunity, Brown’s response was, “I’m not a property manager, I’m an architect and construction guy.”
“You’re the only person who understands why we did what we did to make this facility what it is today.” So, Brown did what anyone with an open-mind, life-long learning attitude and grit does: He hit the curve ball out of the park.
The National Institute of Building Sciences offers a Life-Cycle Cost Analysis that has become Brown’s building Bible of sorts. It’s a method for assessing the total cost of facility ownership and takes into account all costs of acquiring, owning and disposing of a building or building system. It’s the most straightforward and easy-to-interpret measure of economic evaluation.
Additionally, it can be applied to any capital investment decision in which relatively higher initial costs are traded for reduced future cost obligations.
Embracing it empowered him and his team to forecast that while the Wellmark Headquarters would cost $200 million to construct, it would cost three times that during the next 30 years. A few years into managing the facility, results aligned with the forecast.
As it turns out, over a 30-year period, the initial building costs are just two percent of the total cost. Six percent is spent on operations and maintenance while 92 percent is personnel-related expenses.