Gordian’s State of Facilities in Higher Education Report Finds an Unsustainable 36% Shortfall in Deferred Capital Renewal

Greenville, SC, March 27, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Gordian, the leading provider of unrivaled insights, robust technology and comprehensive expertise for all phases of the building lifecycle, announces the publication of the 10th edition of the State of Facilities in Higher Education report. The report reveals an unsustainable shortfall in deferred capital renewal investment and confirms the substantial impact of inflation on costs. Preliminary fiscal year 2022 data shows a year-over-year investment increase of 10%. Still with inflation skyrocketing and stretching the needed funding to steward existing space, the shortfall in deferred capital renewal is a surprising 36%.

“This 10th edition marks a decade of reporting about the remarkable resilience of an industry embedded in the fabric of American culture, anchoring communities nationwide, and central to solidifying the foundational infrastructure that strengthens our future,” says Kris Gorriarán, President of Gordian. “This year, we’re not only offering insights and recommendations. We’re calling for a proactive leadership response.”

Throughout the report, Gordian’s database research and expert insights affirm the following trends that are underscoring the industry’s formidable challenges:

  • Deferred asset renewal costs substantially increased since Gordian last reported $105/GSF at the end of FY20. This year’s research shows $133/GSF, a 27% increase.
  • Capital renewal funding for existing space has returned to $4.34/GSF which is 97% of 2020 levels and a 10% increase over 2021 funding. While a tremendous rebound, it comes as inflation has been pushing the needed dollars to steward existing space to $6.76/GSF. The resulting 36% annual stewardship shortfall presents a critical risk to building performance.
  • Operating costs are funded at only 80% of target budgets, straining the workforce to care for properties and programs.

Gordian’s annual State of Facilities in Higher Education report includes data from Gordian’s database of 52,000+ higher ed facilities representing 325 campuses across North America, with a collective enrollment of 3.5 million students and 1.5 billion total square feet of campus space. Approximately 40% of the institutions in the study are private and 60% are public.

“Ultimately, we observe that stewardship demands are now so acute, facilities issues can no longer be reactive,” said Pete Zuraw, Vice President of Market Strategy and Development for Gordian. “Every facilities, planning and business leader will need to be a key participant in institutional decision-making going forward.”

For a decade, the State of Facilities in Higher Education has provided a record and a reflection of what has been happening on campuses across North America, including Gordian’s recommended reactions and responses to some of the industry’s most pressing circumstances. Gordian is focused on collaborating with leading societies in higher education, including APPA, SCUP and NACUBO, to best understand and aid industry leadership. This collaboration has provoked a call to action to transform institutional planning such that facilities considerations are integrated into the fabric of institutional decision-making. The framework for this transformation can be found in the report.

Click here to download the full report.


About Gordian
Gordian (www.gordian.com) is the leading provider of Building Intelligence™ Solutions, delivering unrivaled insights, robust technology and comprehensive expertise that fuel customers’ success throughout every phase of the building lifecycle. Gordian created Job Order Contracting (JOC) and the industry-standard RSMeans Data. Gordian empowers organizations to optimize capital investments, improve project performance and minimize long-term operating expenses.