Deferred Maintenance at Canadian Universities: An Update

This study updates and refines available national estimates of deferred maintenance at Canadian universities, last reviewed at this level by CAUBO in 2000.

Deferred maintenance and supporting information was solicited from CAUBO member institutions; responses were received from 51 institutions, which together represent about 77% (by FTE student) of the Canadian university system. The responses provide a reasonable sample from all regions, with somewhat greater representation in Ontario and the West.

The report found that the estimated total deferred maintenance for the participating universities is $8.4 billion, or $42/GSF (gross square foot). This is more than double the amount reported in 2000, an increase that can be attributed to a number of factors. The study describes targets for annual stewardship based on both a full life cycle need and an annual investment target, and provides several strategies for consideration by universities and by funders when considering deferred maintenance needs and management. These strategies are intended to provide a practical starting point for detailed renewal plans which, by their nature, must ultimately be unique to every university.

Click the link below to read the Deferred Maintenance report.  CAUBO’s previous deferred maintenance report, “A Point of No Return,” published in 2000, is also below for reference.

Deferred Maintenance report 2014
CAUBO’s previous deferred maintenance report – A Point of No Return

Clarification: The report (page 7) describes a major renovation as “… addressing at least 50% of a building’s components while reinvesting at least half of the building’s current replacement value …”  Note that the actual definition used by study participants was “… renovation that cost at least 50% of the building’s replacement value and/or the scope of which involved work done on at least 50% of the building’s various components …”
(applies to English version only)

Further Reading on Deferred Maintenance and Related Topics:

Infrastructure Funding: Rising to the Challenge, in the Fall 2011 issue of University Manager magazine

The Importance of Accessing Building Performance, in the Summer 2010 issue of University Manager magazine