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"Why Standards Matter"
Author: Anthony, Michael A.,Caleb, Derry,Mitchell, Stanley G.,
Published In: Facilities Manager
Date: 45/46 July-August

When standards are absent, people soon notice. They care when products turn out to be of poor quality, are unreliable, or dangerous because of counterfeiting. By positioning their products in relation to a common standard, firms grow the total size of the market, and can focus their innovation efforts in areas where they have a comparative advantage. Standards are always in-progress, living documents that, by necessity, do not develop in step with each other, much as one would like them to. They are complex and interdependent, made even more complicated by gaps in local authority, overlapping jurisdictions, or both. They are a Rubik's Cube of core, referenced, and spin-off documents in which a single noun or verb can move hundreds of millions of dollars. Some of the specific ways standards create value for the educational facilities industry are: (1) They level the playing field for building industry suppliers and service providers so that resources are available from multiple sources; (2) They provide public safety benchmarks for front-line enforcement authorities; and (3) Bonding agencies that finance building projects can be assured that a facility will conform to life-cycle expectations and can deliver on the promised revenue stream. (Contains 1 figure, 1 table, and 2 sidebars.)

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