The Cost of Aging Retail Buildings

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According to the 2019 Connex Retail Facilities Maintenance Industry Benchmarking Report, the cost of repairs and maintenance is closely related to the age of the building. Connex surveyed a wide variety of multi-site retailers and found that the average R&M budget per store nearly doubled for stores aged 11-20 years-old, when compared to stored aged 0-10 years-old. The budget grew another 17.6% when the age of the building was 21 years-old or more.

Older buildings are more likely to have outdated infrastructures and equipment, both of which lead to higher repairs and maintenance costs. Not only will older equipment require more repairs, but the looming threat of a major retrofit necessary to bring the old building’s infrastructure up to speed becomes more likely with every passing year.

Older buildings also come with energy usage concerns, which only increase operational costs. Many of the outdated retail building infrastructures were not built on efficient energy consumption models, resulting in unnecessarily high day-to-day expenses. With 29% of the surveyed buildings being older than 20 years, a large section of the retail industry is directly feeling this strain.

These issues with aging buildings have been known for years, and there are proven methods for cutting those costs. Preventative maintenance strategies are a primary way to reduce the burden of old equipment. Knowing the signs of a struggling unit, and keeping a forward-thinking maintenance schedule, are shown to be much cheaper than reactive maintenance for unit failures. As for energy consumption, predictive energy management strategies based on occupancy hours can drastically offset the inadequecies of aging buildings. In a 2019 case study of a large department store, software that paired lighting and HVAC usage with a schedule of occupancy rates during the day led to a decrease of 9.8% energy consumption, and more than $38,000 in savings per year per location. The automated lighting and heating schedules were the ideal workarounds to the old building’s outdated infrastructure.

Contact us if you would like to learn more about how SiteSage can improve preventative maintenance programs and increase energy efficiency for multi-site operators.