Powering Effective Capital Plans with Space Utilization Data

Powering Effective Capital Plans with Space Utilization Data

Short on spaces for student classes



Space utilization 13% below target level



$33 million of unused space identified


Background: Outgrowing Campus…Or Seemingly So

Student population growth at Clemson University has significantly outpaced the growth of space on campus. While the University had added a few buildings, it was not nearly enough space to offset the increase in students. As for the buildings that were already present on campus, when comparing ages of those facilities to Clemson’s peers, data revealed that Clemson had a higher facilities risk profile with an overall older campus age. All said, the Clemson campus needed more reliable spaces for its students.

Solution: Finding Hidden Treasure in Space Utilization Data

To the University’s leadership, these findings suggested the need for more new buildings to increase the program space per student. But as the end of the fiscal year approached, Clemson experienced a shift in leadership. As a result, the Vice President of Finance and Operations contacted Gordian to conduct a space utilization study in order to provide the academic planning team with current data on the deficiencies of existing academic buildings, utility infrastructure and space usage.

The study revealed that Clemson’s average room utilization, the percentage of available rooms scheduled weekly from 8 AM to 11 PM, was 47%, much lower than their goal of 60%. Additionally, the percentage of available seats occupied within each utilized room fell short of their optimal goal of 75%. While some buildings were being used to full capacity, many were not. This translated to $33 million worth of unused space, meaning that much of the extra space they needed already existed on their campus and could be accessed through improved utilization rates.

The study revealed that Clemson’s average room utilization, the percentage of available rooms scheduled weekly from 8 AM to 11 PM, was 47%, much lower than their goal of 60%.

Result: A Capital Plan Built to Compete

Through Gordian’s capital planning solution, Clemson created a 10-year strategic plan to make the case for a complete systems replacement and a functional makeover for underutilized spaces. Armed with their project plan and their space utilization data, Clemson provided the provost with informed recommendations on the correct mix of new space, renovation of existing space and repurposing of existing space needed to align with their academic priorities.

In line with their ethos to “build to compete – facilities, infrastructure and technology,” Clemson has continued to engage with Gordian to help drive facilities and capital project planning. Using Gordian’s benchmarking data to put their performance into context with peer averages, Clemson secured an additional $216,000 in planned maintenance funds. They have also been able to close a multi-million-dollar funding gap to meet a $15 million Annual Stewardship goal as part of their future financial plan.

Gordian

About Gordian

Gordian is the leader in facility and construction cost data, software and services for all phases of the building lifecycle. A pioneer of Job Order Contracting, Gordian’s solutions also include proprietary RSMeans data construction costs and Sightlines Facility Intelligence Solutions. From planning to design, to procurement, construction and operations, Gordian’s solutions help clients maximize efficiency, optimize cost savings and increase building quality.