Last edited 14 Sep 2021

Asset register for built assets

An asset register is a schedule of components that form part of a built asset such as a building. It may form part of a building owner's manual, (operation and maintenance manual or O&M manual) for a building which contains all the information required for the operation, maintenance, decommissioning and demolition of a building.

An asset register may be prepared for every component in a building, or just for the ‘active’ assets that require regular inspection, maintenance, cleaning or replacement, such as building services components.

Ideally, it should be prepared during the design stage, but it may be prepared during construction, or as part of a survey of a completed building. Software is available to help prepare and manage asset registers, and companies exist that will carry out an asset survey to compile an initial register.

An asset register may contain a wide range of information, such as:

An asset register can be useful for programming and providing the information necessary to carry out activities such as inspections, cleaning and planned preventative maintenance as well as for carrying out repairs or alterations. In addition, it can be useful for budgeting purposes, or for valuing assets, and a copy might be archived as part of an annual financial reporting process.

Asset registers will tend to be prepared digitally, will be searchable and include links to supporting documentation. They may be integrated with maintenance scheduling software, computer-aided facilities management (CAFM) software or building information models (BIM).

Increasingly, building information models (or asset information models) should include all the of information that previously might have been held on a separate asset register. An asset information model (AIM) is an operational BIM model that compiles the data and information necessary to support asset management, that is, it provides all the data and information related to, or required for the operation of an asset. The information required for an asset information model should be defined in the asset information requirements (AIR). In the case of a new asset, asset information requirements will have been used to develop the employer’s information requirements (EIR) incorporated into the tender documentation for a project.

Once compiled, it is very important that the asset register is kept up to date. Responsibility for maintaining the asset register may be given to an asset manager.

NB NRM3: Order of cost estimating and cost planning for building maintenance works, defines an asset register as: '...a record of applicable maintainable assets, including information such as constructed specification, operational performance data, financial and technical details about each asset.'

See also: Creating an asset register for construction projects.

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