College Planning & Management

FEB 2013

College Planning & Management is the information resource for professionals serving the college and university market. Covering facilities, security, technology and business.

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the building's HVAC and electrical systems comes first. Plumbing and lighting are also frequently involved, along with carpeting. Upgrading fire alarm systems is also involved in more than 20 percent of the projects, and complying with ADA requirements is mentioned in 19 percent. Rising Costs In 1997, College Planning & Management began to track costs of different building types on campuses. We had previously looked at them as a whole, but it was obvious that science buildings had a different cost structure than residence halls, classroom buildings, or student unions. Even within those categories, there were tremendous differences (for example, a health-related building used to train nurses and medical assistants differs greatly from a university hospital), but it was still possible to examine how the median costs and sizes of buildings falling into these categories compared. But starting in 1997 and continuing this year we have focused in on the costs in terms of dollars per square foot of four building types that occur on almost every campus and that, when constructed, generally have very similar specifications. The median cost per square foot for academic buildings was just over $120 in 1997. While costs remained stable for two years, since 1999, there has been a relatively steady increase in these costs. Looking at Graph A, one can see that the rise has been steady and, if anything, has been accelerating, reaching $388 per sq. ft. in 2012. An academic building is one that essentially includes classrooms and offices, but there are still significant differences from campus to campus that affect cost. Ten years ago it was often whether science labs were included; today it is more likely the amount, location, and sophistication of technology in the new building. Science buildings (Graph B) from the start have been the most expensive, whether at a major research Graph A: Median Cost per Sq. Ft. for Academic Buildings $400 $380 $360 $340 $388 $320 $300 $280 $260 $240 $220 Change from 2011 $35 $200 $180 $160 $140 $120 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 Graph B: Median Cost per Sq. Ft. for Science Buildings $525 $500 $475 $450 $400 $375 Change from 2011 $18 $509 $350 $325 $300 $275 $250 $225 $200 $175 $150 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 Graph C: Median Cost per Sq. Ft. for Library Buildings $340 $320 $300 $280 Change from 2011 $21 $322 $260 $240 $220 $200 $180 $160 $140 $120 $100 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 FEBRUARY 2013 / CP&M – 2013 ANNUAL COLLEGE CONSTRUCTION REPORT CR7

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