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Leveraging previously reported research to create a decision support tool for institutional facility maintenance

Michael A. Beauregard (Arizona State University)
Steven K. Ayer (Arizona State University)

Journal of Facilities Management

ISSN: 1472-5967

Article publication date: 1 January 2019

Issue publication date: 12 July 2019




The discretionary expense budget required to maintain public infrastructure has declined in recent years, even as public expectations and accountability for performance have increased. The purpose of this paper is to leverage previously reported research to create a decision support tool (DST) for prioritizing institutional facility maintenance.


A structured literature review was developed to identify critical aspects of facility maintenance shown to have a positive relationship with academic performance in K-12 schools within the USA. Analytical hierarchy process (AHP) serves as a framework for a multi-criteria DST based on the findings of the literature review. Finally, a targeted focus group of industry professionals was used to validate the usability of the resulting DST.


The framework for the DST developed for this study effectively represents the scale and scope of an institutional facility. Results of the study suggest that when evaluating multi-criteria work orders, the proposed visual AHP methodology can be used to generate usable DSTs to assist with the prioritization of work.

Practical implications

This study provides a methodology for building a multi-criterion DST leveraging precedent research, using a visual AHP to assist facility management (FM) decision-makers in the prioritization of routine work orders.


The developed process indicates a practical approach to incorporating disparate research findings into a concise and useable manner to guide FM decision-makers, who have traditionally not been able to explicitly leverage this information to make evidence-based spending decisions.



The authors acknowledge the support of Arizona State University’s Building Facility Services staff for their generous participation and informed guidance.


Beauregard, M.A. and Ayer, S.K. (2019), "Leveraging previously reported research to create a decision support tool for institutional facility maintenance", Journal of Facilities Management, Vol. 17 No. 3, pp. 249-266.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

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