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Tracking Equipment Replacement Needs

There are a few different ways to track replacement Needs for Equipment Items in CapitalForecastDirect. Each approach has benefits and drawbacks depending on what you are trying to accomplish. What is your main purpose for using CapitalForecastDirect – to get a general forecast of upcoming capital costs related to various building systems; to map out the replacement of individual pieces of equipment and track the history of when specific items were last replaced or placed in service; or, most likely, a combination of both?


First, it's important to understand the difference between Equipment and Building Components in CapitalForecastDirect.

Equipment Items

Equipment Items represent the specific unit of equipment that is currently in place. An individual Equipment Item can only be replaced once and should only have one replacement Need associated with it. Once a unit has been replaced, the new unit replacing it will have a new Serial Number, Model Number, etc. and should have a new Equipment Item created for it in the Equipment List. This will help ensure work order history, both reactive and preventive, is accurately related to the actual item the work was performed on.


When a piece of equipment is replaced, perform the following steps regardless of whether you are using CapitalForecastDirect or not:

  • Update the Add/Update Equipment page with a Date Removed. This will prevent the item from being selected on future work orders.
  • Change the Item Number to indicate it has been replaced.
    • For example: If the Item Number is “HS_BLR_001”, change to “Z_HS_BLR_ 001_Replaced 2015” or something similar. The "Z" will drop the equipment item to the bottom of the equipment list.
  • Duplicate the replaced Equipment Item to create a new Equipment Item for the new unit that was put in its place. The new unit can then have the same Item Number, “HS_BLR_001”.
  • Update PM Schedules to replace the old unit with the new unit in the schedules.

Building Components

Building Components are created by the CapitalForecastDirect model and represent a specific instance of a Building System. Building Components are renewable objects, meaning they can be set up with recurring replacements based on their Life Cycle. In most cases, Building Components will represent a section of a larger System (such as Roofing, Flooring, etc.). They can also be used to show how a System breaks down into its constituent parts. For example, Components can be used to show how many groups of related equipment units or how many individual units make up the System.

Options for Tracking Equipment Replacement Needs

With those definitions in mind, here are some different ways to approach tracking Needs related to replacing Equipment in CapitalForecastDirect. These are not “all-or-nothing” options – it could be that a hybrid approach is needed where one approach works best for some systems and another approach works best for others. As is always the case, consistency in labeling makes a big difference in reporting. If some Needs will be related to Equipment Items and other Needs related to Systems and Components, it will be best to make sure ALL Needs have Classification and Type listed on them for a common thread in searches and reports. Even Needs created by the CFD model can be updated (manually or via import) with a Classification and Type.

Creating Individual (Non-Modeled) Needs Related to Equipment Items:

  • Needs related to specific Equipment Items can be created manually or via import.
    • Select the Asset Type as Equipment.
    • Select or enter the Equipment Item Number.
    • If creating the Need manually in CapitalForecastDirect, Estimated Replacement Cost and Estimated Replacement Date will populate from the Equipment Item if they have previously been entered there. Classification and Type will not populate from the Equipment Item and should be selected on the Need.
  • If the CapitalForecastDirect model will also be run for the Location/Building, be sure to turn off Systems that cover Equipment Items that Needs have been created for to avoid duplicating costs in reports
    • For example, if individual Needs have been created for the Boilers as Equipment Items, make sure the “HVAC – Heat Generating Systems” is un-checked in Step 3 of the Building Component Setup Wizard for those Locations/Buildings.


  • The advantage to this approach is that Needs and the Work Orders created from them are directly tied to specific Equipment Items, meaning those work orders will show up in Equipment Reports run from MaintenanceDirect.
  • The disadvantage is that because Equipment Items are “non-renewable”, the Needs reports in CapitalForecastDirect will only show the next expected replacement for each item. Each time an Equipment Item is replaced, a new Equipment Item is added.

Use Building Components to Create Replacement Needs for Groups of Equipment Items:

For example, if there are two boilers at the High School that were placed at the same time and have similar life-cycle and cost, then a single Building Component can be used to represent the replacement cost of both. Here’s how:

  • Use the HVAC – Heat Generating Systems System.
  • If the Unit of Measure (UOM) of the System is Sq. Ft., enter the Units on the Components the square footage served by the boilers. If the UOM is each, enter the number of units on the Component. *Note: Keep in mind that the UOM assigned to the System template will be applied to ALL Building Components created for that System, so it’s important to be consistent in how these Components are handled at each Location/Building.
  • Enter the Last Replaced Date as the date they were put in service.
  • If there are also Equipment Items created for the boilers, the item numbers can be entered into the Building Component Description as a reference to which specific units the Component represents.
  • If a single unit has to be replaced early, the Component can be updated and/or duplicated to reflect the change.


  • The advantage to this option is it allows the Components to forecast recurring Needs based on the Life Cycle as well as allowing the Components and Needs to be controlled and updated via the model controls. Need reports in CapitalForecastDirect will show all expected replacements within the 30 year forecast.
  • The drawback is that the Needs and Work Orders created from the Needs will not be directly related to the specific Equipment Items in the Equipment List.

Use Building Components to Represent Individual Equipment Items:

Keep in mind, these Needs will NOT be directly related to the Equipment Items in the Equipment List; but this option provides the most granularity while still being able to leverage the renewability of the CapitalForecastDirect model.

  • For Systems that will be used to track Needs related to individual units, make sure the Unit of Measure is Each and that the Cost/UOM reflects the typical replacement cost for this type of equipment.
  • Run the Building Component Setup Wizard to create Building Components.
  • Update and duplicate Components to represent individual pieces of equipment that need to be tracked.
    • For example, if there are (2) boilers at the High School, duplicate the “HVAC – Heat Generating Systems” Component to end up with (2) Components.
    • The Component ID can be updated to be the same as the Item Number of an Equipment Item:
      • “HS_BLR_001”, “HS_BLR_002”, etc.
      • *Note: Changing the Building Component ID to match the Equipment Item Number must be done manually within CapitalForecastDirect. Changing the Component ID via import will result in a duplicate component being created.
    • Enter the Units as one and update the Last Replacement Date. If the Life Cycle or Cost/UOM needs to differ from the model default, be sure to change the Component Control from Model to Manual.


  • The advantage to this approach is that the Needs are recurring. Need reports in CapitalForecastDirect will show all expected replacements within the 30 year forecast. In addition, using the Item Number as the Component ID will provide some consistent labeling between MaintenanceDirect and CapitalForecastDirect.
    • As units are replaced, the Equipment Items will still need to be updated and duplicated so the new units have a new Equipment Item created for them. However, because the Component (HS_BLR_001) represents the space the equipment occupies and not the specific unit itself, the Component ID remains the same.
    • When a Need is completed, the CapitalForecastDirect model will update the Component to show the Last Replaced Date as the Actual Completion Date from the Need and any existing Needs will be updated, or new Needs created, to reflect the new replacement cycle.
  • The drawback to this approach is that the Needs and Work Orders created from the Needs will not be related to the specific Equipment Items.