FGI Bulletin #5
November 10, 2017 | Category FGI Bulletin
A Word from FGI
Welcome to the first ever joint publication of the FGI Bulletin. It’s been a little more than a year since FGI announced it would partner with MADCAD to deliver the next edition of the Guidelines. As we are preparing to release the 2018 Guidelines for Design and Construction documents in the next few weeks, it seems a good time to elaborate on that relationship and how it will affect users of the Guidelines. We have been working hard to ensure a positive experience for all Guidelines subscribers and are tremendously excited about this new partnership! Because this newsletter is intended for both the FGI and MADCAD audiences, we’d like to first introduce our organizations to those who may be unfamiliar with one or the other.
MADCAD is an online, subscription-based platform supporting compliance with U.S. building codes and standards, which differ from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. MADCAD provides access to more than 80,000 publications from more than 20 organizations, including ACI, ASTM, ASME, ASHRAE, ASCE, ICC, FGI, NFPA, SMACNA, and USGBC as well as local amendments, zoning ordinances, and select federal guidelines. A pioneer in technology and reference libraries for the building industry, MADCAD is the first cloud-based reference library to allow small or large enterprises to self-subscribe to custom, online code libraries with dynamic pricing models.
MADCAD allows subscribers to access files from anywhere without downloads or installations via a user-interface that is intuitive and easy to learn. Among the benefits provided by MADCAD are the ability to search through multiple resources simultaneously, filter results, and instantaneously jump between various resources; immediate access to building codes, standards, and guidelines; and localized content that allows users to quickly access applicable codes. MADCAD is owned by Compu-tecture, Inc., which was established in 1995.
About FGI and the Guidelines
Founded in 1998, the Facility Guidelines Institute (FGI) is a not-for-profit corporation dedicated to developing guidance for the planning, design, and construction of hospitals; outpatient facilities; and residential health, care, and support facilities. FGI oversees the revision process and publication of the Guidelines for Design and Construction documents, funds research, and offers resources that support the development of safe and effective health and residential care built environments.
The Guidelines documents originated from the General Standards published in the Federal Register on February 14, 1947, as part of the implementing regulations for the Hospital Survey and Construction Act, commonly known as Hill-Burton. The Hill-Burton Act was passed to provide funding for construction and modernization of U.S. hospitals, nursing homes, and some other health care facilities and improve delivery of the nation’s health care services. Now, nearly 71 years later, FGI will publish the 2018 edition of the Guidelines as three separate documents that clearly differentiate the needs of hospitals, outpatient facilities, and residential care facilities.
Why Has FGI Partnered with MADCAD?
For a number of years, users of the Guidelines have been asking FGI to provide site licenses to access the documents electronically. Fulfilling that request was a key priority for the FGI Board of Directors from the beginning of the 2018 revision cycle. Our search for a provider quickly led us to MADCAD, recognized throughout the design and construction industry as the premier resource for online access to building codes and standards. FGI selected MADCAD as its provider because they deliver superior usability and flexibility, providing firms the opportunity to tailor the number of seats provided at each location, create a customized code library from more than 80,000 titles, access codes and standards from the field, link directly from cross-references, and search and annotate documents. If you aren’t already a MADCAD subscriber, visit www.MADCAD.com to learn more.
Though FGI is committed to providing single-user and site licenses for Guidelines users, we also recognize the continued need to publish a softcover edition for those preferring a print copy of the Guidelines. MADCAD will take orders for the print copies, which will be shipped from a separate fulfillment house.
MADCAD: A Super-User Perspective
Marcia Ascanio, FAIA, NCARB, LEED AP, is an associate principal/senior vice president with HKS, Inc. in Dallas. Ms. Ascanio lobbied FGI for years to partner with MADCAD to deliver the Guidelines and was one of the first subscribers when the 2010 and 2014 digital editions became available through MADCAD in 2016. Currently, MADCAD is used in 24 of HKS’s offices. Below is an edited conversation with Ms. Ascanio; Erdem Dedebas, senior vice president of MADCAD; and FGI staff.
FGI: How is HKS using MADCAD?
MA: When we first started using MADCAD, we were purchasing print copies of the Guidelines for all of our offices that they may or may not have needed, but felt they should have at their disposal. We made an attempt to test an alternative method [of code provision and] basically bought the digital [version of available codes] with a network license and then put it through our network, but that proved impossible to sustain. So, we looked into MADCAD and found it was extremely helpful. MADCAD is probably the best service company we have. As we need to add additional codes to our library, MADCAD has them [available to us] usually within a day or two—if not within hours. That’s how we use it, and it’s been very successful.
FGI: HKS purchased the 2014 edition of the Guidelines through MADCAD in March 2016. How is that working?
MA: It works just as well as anything else we do on MADCAD. Our office is one of the largest health care designers in the world. We have teams of about 23 people that work on health care projects. We used to buy them books individually, then we went to buying books by team. We’d have a meeting and [someone would] take off with the books and the team would be left stranded, so it became a challenge to make sure everyone had access… With MADCAD, [staff] can access the Guidelines through a single point on our network and everyone has access to it.
FGI: What features of MADCAD have you found to be most helpful?
MA: I would say the easiness of being able to use it as well as the ability to read the [content both as it appears in the] book version and the html version. Sometimes we get a little bit stuck in our ways in that we get comfortable looking at the book version. Ever since we’ve had the [MADCAD PageView] feature it’s really [helped with transitioning to the digital version]. But frankly, it’s just the fact that it’s so easy to access and so helpful in providing the publications we need when we need them.
ED: We did a study [of] how many times the FGI Guidelines has been accessed [by HKS] since the beginning. There’s almost an average of five times per business day—and it wasn’t just the FGI Guidelines that was being used. People were using the Guidelines then jumping to the NFPA standards, jumping to ASHRAE, and going to the [International] Building Code. That’s also a good advantage—having all the references in one location helps ease the code research process.
MA: Sixty percent of our work is health care. [With] 1,500 employees, we still buy books by team, but you figure any time they need to plan a project or answer a question from an authority having jurisdiction about why something is where it is, they’re all accessing MADCAD one way or the other.
FGI: How has MADCAD affected your ROI?
MA: It’s a cafeteria program. Basically, I [tell MADCAD] how much company-wide access we need and that’s all we pay for. If I need to increase [the number of seats or locations], they do it. If I need to drop a publication [or] go into a more current version, we do that. It’s about as service-oriented as anything else we have. It’s just awesome. We spend quite a bit of money on MADCAD, but I think it’s worth every dime.
ED: As Marcia mentions, our strength is that as long as we have the files ready, we can make them available to subscribers quickly—sometimes in less than an hour. Also, for a nationwide company, the code sets of information change from state to state, jurisdiction to jurisdiction; [with MADCAD], you can easily access needed local and state code information. Another key benefit is that when renewal time comes, we [are able to convey] exactly which documents have been accessed how many times. [This helps subscribers determine whether] they need more seats or, if it’s something they don’t need anymore, they can drop a subscription so the return on investment is in really [ensuring that] every single penny is spent in a wise manner every year.
FGI and MADCAD Pricing: Scaled to Fit Your Need
MADCAD has worked with FGI to improve the Guidelines user experience by tailoring purchasing options to fit a wide variety of needs. For example, Guidelines users will soon be able to purchase the 2018 edition in paperback, single-user license, and site license formats. Bundling of the Guidelines products is available (including previous editions) and discounts are calculated when ordering for multiple locations and users. In addition, flexibility has been built into the ordering options to allow Guidelines purchasers to mix and match the available media depending on their need.
To illustrate, Marcia Ascanio noted in the Q&A feature above that HKS purchases the paperback Guidelines for each of its health care design teams, but they also purchase site licenses for multiple locations and simultaneous users. MADCAD’s pricing structure allows HKS to purchase paperback editions and site licenses of the Guidelines in one transaction. For examples of bundling options see below.
Ideal for individuals who need personal, unlimited access to the FGI Guidelines. Only one designated user is authorized for access and the license cannot be transferred to another user. The account can have single or multiple publications and multiple editions. One designated user can access the subscribed Guidelines immediately after the transaction is completed. If a paperback book is purchased with a single-user license, the book price will be discounted.
Ideal for organizations that need access for multiple users. Subscriptions are simultaneous-use based, meaning a company can decide on the number of users who can access the FGI Guidelines at the same time and share the seats among their employees. If a multi-site license is purchased, employees from different offices can share the same account to access the subscribed Guidelines.
Further, if the company continuously subscribes to the same publication(s) for two years, beginning from the third year, they will receive a 25% discount on the annual price. Starting from the fifth year, subscribers will receive a 50% discount.
FGI’s Beyond Fundamentals will be provided free of charge with single-user and site licenses.
Print publications are for those who need or prefer offline access to the Guidelines. Organizations can purchase the 2018 Guidelines print publications in volume to achieve discounts. Each office location needs to purchase their print publications separately. Purchasers of the paperback edition can get a subscription for Beyond Fundamentals for $25.00. For more information on pricing and discounts for the paperback editions, please visit MADCAD.com.
FGI’s Beyond Fundamentals is Growing
Visitors to FGI’s website may already be familiar with our series of offerings called “Beyond Fundamentals.” Although the Guidelines documents are updated every four years, health care changes, trends, and innovations emerge and evolve rapidly, and these changes subsequently affect the planning, design and construction of health and residential care facilities. To be responsive in this dynamic environment, FGI is expanding its informational offerings beyond the “minimum” requirements. Beginning with the 2018 Guidelines, a Beyond Fundamentals subscription will be included with an annual single-user or site license through MADCAD and offered to softcover purchasers as a $25/year subscription. Looking ahead, FGI will expand our Beyond Fundamentals activities to provide timely information and guidance about the latest thinking on how the built environment can support people, practices, and developing technology.
The Beyond Fundamentals library will support the content of the Guidelines for Design and Construction documents by supplementing and expanding on the minimum design requirements published in the Guidelines. Moreover, we will continually add to the Beyond Fundamentals resources to provide information and guidance on industry conditions as they evolve with new trends, practices, and technologies.
Among the Beyond Fundamentals topics FGI is preparing for 2018 are detailed discussions of Guidelines requirements and how to apply them, research and tools related to Guidelines requirements, draft minimum requirements supported by research or other evidence, and emerging trends in practice that promise to change health care facility design. There also will be reports and articles about what providers, designers, researchers, and regulators are experiencing or planning. Offerings will be presented in various formats, including white papers, videos, reports, advisory opinions, and checklists.
As we continue to develop the Beyond Fundamentals library, FGI website visitors and Guidelines subscribers can expect an expanding repository of current information. Some content will continue to be available for public access, while most will be exclusive to our subscribers. This premium content will be available for all Guidelines users who purchase our cloud-based digital offering or separately through the MADCAD store for softcover purchasers.
Let us know if you have suggestions for the type of information you’d like to see in this newsletter. Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.