Northwestern University (NU) retained GHA to assist, update and improve their GIS database. The Evanston Campus of NU is crisscrossed by 20 miles of steam pipes, 12 miles of hot, chilled, and domestic water lines, 5 miles of sewer lines, miles of electric, telecommunications lines, and underground utility tunnels. Information about these systems is available from record plans and atlases; however, after 165 years of campus improvements the records were of questionable reliability. Ground surveys were previously performed using Global Positioning System (GPS) tools, but much of the underground infrastructure cannot be located by surface features alone. Staff combined asset mapping with maintenance tasks in order to complete the inventory.

Leveraging routine maintenance tasks, NU Facilities Management added value by enhancing the GIS database. The GIS efforts, in turn, now provide a tool for asset management, tracking maintenance work, inventorying the data collected, and planning and monitoring subsequent repairs and replacement needs. The total inventory was completed in phases over approximately two years. GHA provides ongoing GIS services and asset management support for the University.