replacement of facility components (usually accomplished by contract) that are expected to occur periodically
throughout the facility life cycle. This work includes regular roof replacement, refinishing wall surfaces, repair ing
and replacing electrical, heating, and cooling systems, replacing tile and carpeting, and similar types of work.1 It
does not include repairing or replacing non-attached equipment or furniture, or building components that typically
last more than 50 years (such as foundations and structural members). Sustainment does not include restoration,
modernization, environmental compliance, specialized historical preservation,2 or costs related to acts of God,
which are funded elsewhere. Other tasks associated with facilities operations (such as custodial services, grass
cutting, landscaping, waste disposal, and the provision of central utilities) are also not included.3
Use of Sustainment Cost Factors
Sustainment requirements can be forecasted accurately using unit cost factors adjusted for location. DoD employs such a cost-
factor methodology in the Facilities Sustainment Model (FSM) to determine the DoD-wide facility sustainment requirement.
The formula is:
Requirement = Facility Quantity4 x Sustainment Cost Factor x Area Cost Factor5 x Inflation Factor
The cost factor methodology is inherently superior to other methods in calculating sustainment requirements. Another
common method--using a percentage of plant replacement value--is a less-accurate generalization across an entire inventory.
In terms of plant replacement value, actual sustainment costs for DoD facilities range from considerably less tha n 1% (FAC
8112 Stand-By/Emergency Power) to over 19% (FAC 8122 Exterior Lighting Lines). This finding is supported by
Whitestone Research, 6 and other studies published by the National Academy of Sciences. The use of the backlog of
maintenance and repair (BMAR) as a means of estimating the sustainment requirement, is also fraught with problems,
including subjectivity, the difficulty and expense of obtaining a valid number, and its propensity to change independent of
funding levels. Even if these inherent problems could be overcome, BMAR fails as a facilities sustainment metric since the
backlog often includes other costs (such as restoration and modernization) that are beyond the scope of sustainment. Because
of this, DoD no longer uses BMAR as a metric.
Facilities Sustainment also generally allows for overhead costs, which include architectural and engineering services.
Specialized historical preservation costs are those for customized components or materials that are no longer readily available.
Facilities Sustainment Program Element (PE) definition adopted for use in FY 2003 budget development.
The application of cost factors to existing real property records could lead to large errors if the inventory and units of measure are not first screened and
validated, as is done in the DoD Facilities Sustainment Model. These errors and conversions primarily involve facility categories that are measured in terms of
capacity (miles, feet, kilovolts, kilowatts, gallons, thousands of gallons per day, millions of BTU per hour, etc.).
A geographic location adjustment for costs of labor, material, and equipment, published in Part 2 of this pricing guide.
The Whitestone Building Maintenance and Repair Cost Reference, 2002, p. 7.
DOD FACILITIES PRICING G UIDE Version 5.0