Yes, an "inventory" makes traditional sense for counting inanimate objects, such as typical buildings.
But the good new buildings are not typical and it will not be long before existing buildings are equipped with devices that make them "smarter" and able to communicate with us. Some buildings are already interacting with us through an ever growing array of sensors that reach out to our mobile devices to report on energy performance and other conditions.
Also, a census implies there is a latent value in understanding dynamic qualities of those being counted. In terms of dramatically reducing our global carbon footprint, it is all about buildings. Sure, it is easy to see that vehicle improvements can save energy. But do you ever spend all day in your car? And when you are not in it, do you keep it running? Homes are almost always "On." The latent value in gaining a comprehensive understanding of our buildings is significant.
So let's see what can be done when all of your facilities are in one list, visually represented as boxes on Google Earth and contributing to one report.
OK, maybe not all of your buildings, but a good representative sample will allow you to experience a wide range of business insights. Based on the clear visualizations you will say, "I SEE what you are talking about."
We use BIMStorms to help with the online brainstorms using Building Information Models to aid the visualization process. (Check out award winning activities at www.bimstorm.com.)
We have done it before, we will do it again. And we won't stop until we get significant energy savings and cost reductions for all building owners.
BIM Education Co-op