What is a Capital Needs Assessment?

When building owners and property managers plan the financial future of their facilities, the quantitative tool most often chosen is the Capital Needs Assessment (CNA).

A CNA creates a capital forecast of needed reserves to fund depreciating asset replacement and prioritize discovered deficiencies while providing a comprehensive document to justify lending requests. CNAs are often used to mitigate the risk of unanticipated or unrecognized potential failure of key building systems.

Communication is Key

The challenge of a successful CNA is its need to meet the specific requirements of both the building owner and potential lending institutions. Criterium Engineers has met that challenge for its clients for over 60 years with in-depth local and nationwide knowledge of building science and reliable capital budgeting expertise. Communication is the key. The clarity and depth of our written and verbal reporting are responsible for the long-term relationships we have established with our clients over the years.

Tailored to Each Client

Since all facilities are different and client needs vary, a CNA report is unique for each project. While a detailed discussion of the current physical condition of all major building and site improvement assets is common in all reports, the presentation of the financial analysis and recommendations is often driven by the specific needs of the client or lender.

Typical CNA planning schedules include a 20-year timeline. However, requested forecasts can range from 5 to 30 years. Property types including commercial, multi-family, or industrial will often dictate the report’s focus on asset inventory elements with consideration of like-for-like renewal vs. upgrade renewal.

Many commercial, federal, state, and local lending agencies have their own preferred spreadsheet or tabular templates needing to be considered. Criterium Engineers’ breadth of experience will ensure our evaluations are on target the first time.

Scope of the Assessment

Following authorization to proceed, our engineering team will review steps of the study to confirm your goals and coordinate data collection, field visits, and schedule report submission.

Our report’s narrative will consider the standard estimated useful life of various building elements while supplementing these standards with the actual observed conditions. Photographs of significant issues will be included as well as graphics and charts necessary to illustrate important points and summarize the capital expenditure (capex) estimate.

The report narrative will list assumptions including expected inflationary factors and methodology of the financial analysis.

Beyond the CNA

Typically, a CNA’s focus is on financial forecasting. However, the scope of work could be expanded to include consideration of nearly any special facility issue or client requirement.

Issues and tasks not typically considered or performed in a CNA, but which Criterium can address as optional, additional engineering services include: structural and environmental assessments, energy audits, building code or other regulatory compliance, ADA or Fair Housing accessibility compliance, invasive observations, material sampling and testing, construction quality assurance and building commissioning.

Criterium Engineers’ work is performed by, or under the direct supervision of, experienced Professional Engineers (PEs). The in-house staff of the 35 Criterium offices located across North America includes PEs licensed in nearly every state and province.