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Cornell University

Facilities Inventory: Facility Replacement Value

Last updated: August 31, 2022

Back to the Facilities Inventory Documentation

Content provided by Facilities Management and the Office of the University Architect.

Definition of Facility Replacement Value

A Facility Replacement Value is the estimated project cost to replace a facility with one of similar function, appearance, building systems, building materials, architectural and site detail.

Data development process

For new facilities constructed since 2003, the construction PAR amount was inflated to the present using the Turner Construction Cost index.

In 2018, Welliver Construction provided construction per square foot cost estimates for work they have completed in the region.  The projects were categorized as follows:

Category Construction Cost
per Square Foot
Welliver General College Classroom/Office Building/Wet Labs $503.00
Welliver General Greenhouses $559.00
Welliver General High End Student Housing-mass masonry dorms $699.00
Welliver General High End Student Housing-Other $471.00
Welliver General Performing Arts Buildings $440.00
Welliver General Science/Engineering $422.00
Welliver General Simple Office Building $306.00
Welliver General Storage Building/Warehouses $98.00
Welliver General Wood Frame or Metal Stud $225.00

Two additional categories are based on current projects in 2022:

Category Construction Cost
per Square Foot
Cornell Lab/Office - 70/30                                                   $700.00
Cornell Mass Masonry Lab/Office - 70/30 $1,000.00

Each facility was categorized as one of the above types. Facility replacement value is construction cost per square foot times 1.4 times the gross square footage of the facility to account for design and project management costs. A few facility values – McGraw Hall, McGraw Clock Tower, Sibley Hall for example – include an additional cost for “significant architectural character".

Future Updates

All costs should be updated annually based on the Turner Construction Cost Index.

As facilities are fully renovated and useful life of all systems and components reset, the actual renovation cost should be compared with the replacement value and adjustments made to the replacement value if there is greater than a 20% discrepancy.

As new facilities are constructed, the per square foot project cost should be compared to similar existing facilities and adjustments made if there is greater than a 20% discrepancy.

Future Audits

Compare Sightlines total campus replacement value, SUNY replacement value, Risk Management insurance value, and the “book value” from DFA schedule B.