For some time now, it has been recognized that facilities are one of many tools necessary to accomplish a business objective or agency mission. Construction costs receive much attention but over the life of a facility, the preponderance of the cost goes toward supporting the occupants. It is now understood that operations and maintenance activities which improve occupant comfort, health and productivity can pay very large dividends.
In 1996, the Facility Maintenance and Operations Committee (FMOC) was established as an outgrowth of the National Institute of Building Sciences CADD Council. The FMOC, a body operating under the auspices of the Institute, provides industry-wide, public and private support for the creation of higher quality facilities through improved maintenance and operation and attention to the full life-cycle of buildings.
In 1998, the FMOC published a document highlighting remarkable success stories at several federal agencies: Excellence in Facility Management: Five Federal Case Studies.
In October of 1999, the FMOC cosponsored with the Federal Facilities Council a workshop at the National Academy of Sciences. The workshop introduced and promoted implementation of an SGML - DTD (Standard Generalized Markup Language - Document Type Definition) created to standardize the preparation and format of operations and maintenance manuals in electronic format. This DTD will allow equipment manufacturers to deliver Electronic O&M Manuals that may be entered directly into CMMS (Computerized Maintenance Management Systems) eliminating the expensive, time-consuming, and error-prone process of manual data entry.
Further the FMOC designed and secured a grant for a pilot project to examine the full range of complexities involved in implementation of the DTD process. The pilot project will include participation of groups across the broad spectrum of the building industry; architects, facility managers, owners, software vendors, publishing companies, and others. Follow-on activities contemplated are  planning and implementation of procedures for requiring vendor manuals to be prepared in standardized language for electronic distribution through the Construction Criteria Base (CCB) to federal agencies and  development of standard language and procurement language for vendor manual submittals through guide specifications.
In 1999 the FMOC investigated "best practices" in two new categories. At its regular meetings a range of organized methodologies for performing systematic Condition Assessment of facilities were reviewed. Comprehensive condition assessment surveys and resulting databases allow large building owners to more effectively understand, manage, and budget for both critical and routine repair of their facility portfolios. The FMOC also initiated an effort to address Healthy Building issues in bio-medical facilities (hospitals and research laboratories).