compliance, specialized historical preservation,2 general facility condition inspections and assessments, planning
and design (other than shop drawings), 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 facilities 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 than 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.
Specialized historical preservation costs are those for customized components or materials that are no longer readily available.
Facilities Sustainment Program Element (PE) definition.
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 Assessment Database. 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.
The Whitestone Building Maintenance and Repair Cost Reference, 2002, p. 7.