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Know the COST before you build with the COST Forecaster

Since 2010, Sightlines member institutions have grown their physical space by an average of Print5%. This new space is characteristically larger and more mechanically complex than other existing buildings within an institution’s portfolio. New space means new operating budget demands (daily maintenance, custodial and utilities) and future capital renewal requirements. Proactive facilities organizations are able to anticipate these new needs and justify increased allocations going forward. Those who fail to do so are forced to stretch limited resources and risk reduced customer service and accelerated rates of maintenance deferral campus-wide.

How the COST Forecaster Can Help

Sightlines’ COST Forecaster helps colleges and universities avoid these future facilities risks by credibly making the case for capital and operating funding associated with a growing campus. By entering a few details about your planned construction (or demolition) project, the new web-based tool allows you to create different scenarios using your own validated data and that of our database.

The COST Forecaster provides a user friendly means of justifying these crucial budget requirements, and is easily accessible on our Member Portal. Ultimately, the COST Forecaster is used to define appropriate resources for the day-to-day costs and future capital liabilities of new space.

Watch the brief introductory video below to see how the COST Forecaster works.


The COST Forecaster:

  • Uses Sightlines database of over 1.4B GSF to estimate annual operating costs, including daily costs of maintenance, custodial, grounds and other contracted services.
  • Shows annual planned or preventative maintenance investment targets for the building based on its size, function, technical complexity and regional cost structures.
  • Estimates the ongoing utility consumption (fossil, electricity and water) of the facility and provide a utility cost range based on current market rates
  • Provides an amortized capital investment target for the facility which can be used to initiate a building reserve program for the future funding of capital needs

By utilizing a continuous and data-driven decision making process that fits within the context of broader institutional strategic priorities, our members can:

  • Align space priorities between the President, Provost and CFO,
  • Separate fact from fiction regarding an institution’s physical facilities, and
  • Identify high-cost, low-value facilities as well as functionally obsolete buildings.