Maximizing Space Utilization

Measuring, Allocating, and Incentivizing Efficient Use of Facilities

Topics: Academic Affairs, Deferred Maintenance, Facilities and Operations, Administration and Finance, Energy Management and Sustainability, Space Utilization, Capital Planning, Budgeting, Research Parks, Research Enterprise, Interdisciplinary Research

The Deferred Maintenance Hangover

While institutions were focused on growth, many failed to maintain existing buildings appropriately, leading to soaring levels of deferred maintenance. Most campuses will be saddled for years with large costs for bringing down this backlog, further limiting resources to invest in new space.

Sightlines estimates that between 2000 and 2008 deferred maintenance per gross square foot of space rose from $56.55 to $65.68. For a typical public university (3.1 M GSF) total deferred maintenance increased by $28 M over the decade, while the typical private university (2.0 M GSF) saw an $18 M increase. This “hangover” from the building boom is likely to worsen. Experts estimate that two thirds of the cost of a new building is incurred after construction is complete. The consequences of the building boom are likely to further limit new construction in the coming years and to put increasing pressure on utilization of existing facilities.

The Deferred Maintenance Hangover

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The Bubble Bursts

The Drivers of Space Growth