Higher Education Facilities Investments Surge by 26%, Gordian Report Unveils

Greenville, SC, April 02, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- In a seismic shift, higher education institutions upped their facility reinvestment game by more than 26% year-over-year in 2023, as unveiled in Gordian's latest State of Facilities in Higher Education report.

Gordian, provider of data-driven solutions for all phases of the building lifecycle, published the 11th edition of the State of Facilities in Higher Education report. The report reveals the significant facilities investments over the past year have reduced the spending shortfall to 34%, closing the gap by 2 percentage points from Gordian’s analysis last year.

“After last year's call to action, it's rewarding to see campus leaders stepping up with transformative strategies,” said Kris Gorriarán, President of Gordian. “This report offers valuable insights for higher education authorities striving to honor their institutional missions amid space, budget and staffing trials.”

The report is based on comprehensive analysis from Gordian’s expansive database of 43,000 campus buildings, 1.1 billion gross square feet of space and more than $13.5 billion in capital and operating budgets. This year’s findings spotlight the intricate challenges campus leaders face:

  • Space growth has remained flat for the third year, marking a real signal that institutions are recognizing the importance of restraint in the face of countless indicators about the future.
  • Capital spending on existing buildings is now $5.20/GSF, growing more than 26% year-over-year. However, inflation has pushed the cost of stewarding existing space to $7.85/GSF.
  • The pandemic presented an opportunity to alter service expectations and rein in costs going forward, but service quality appears to be declining for the first time in a decade.
  • Facilities leaders suggest that finding talented staff is their greatest challenge, and without sufficient people to care for a facilities portfolio, the properties will deteriorate more quickly.

“This year’s report takes a deeper dive into the staffing challenges that have accelerated in higher education and some creative efforts being taken to overcome these hurdles,” said Pete Zuraw, Vice President of Market Strategy and Development for Gordian. “It is also exciting to see that while some of the current challenges and risks we see in the data are daunting, the innovative energy and commitment to investment being demonstrated by campus facilities stewards suggests there are reasons to be encouraged about the strength of the state of higher ed facilities and the work ahead.”

For over a decade, the State of Facilities in Higher Education report has chronicled and analyzed trends on North American campuses, offering strategic guidance to navigate the sector's most pressing issues. Gordian collaborates closely with leading higher education societies, including APPA, SCUP, and NACUBO, to provide industry leaders with the insights they need. The report also features real-world case studies and commentary from higher education leaders.

To access the comprehensive report, click here.

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 during 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.