Investing in Facility Renewal Planning Can Ensure a Longer Building Life

In general, commercial buildings are built with an expected life cycle of 50 years. Within that time frame there are generally three sub-life cycles that occur in order to keep the facility running properly and up to code. Understanding those life cycles, and what updates and renovations should be addressed in those cycles, can help ensure a building long life.

The Today’s Facility Manager article, “Tricks of the Trade: Facility Renewal Planning,” takes a closer look at the details of a commercial building lifecycle. Author B. Kevin Folsom explores and outlines the details of what can be expected when it comes to the life cycle of a commercial facility, as well as what to account for in each phase of a building’s life.

It is to a facility manager’s benefit to know how to predict the renewal needs of a property for each of the life cycles, and can be very important for budgeting to ensure updates can be made in a timely manner. In doing so, a variety of variables can affect the timing and frequency of renewals, including organizational pain tolerance, component durability and facility use.

Folsom provides the following general guideline with regards to the sub cycles that occur in the life of a commercial building:

  • First sub life cycle: This typically occurs about 8-12 years into the building of the facility. Certain components of the building need attention, some visible and some not. Items that likely need to be addressed include high traffic painting and flooring, updates to electronics in fire alarms, elevators and building automation, roofing, etc.
  • Second sub life cycle: This cycle generally occurs between years 25-30. Many of the items that needed to be addressed in the first sub life cycle will need to be revisited. In addition, many major components of the structure will need to be replaced or upgraded, including HVAC, elevators, fire alarms, ADA compliance, etc. Spacing these upgrades and/or replacements out over a small window of time can limit disruption to the building users and the checkbook.
  • Third sub life cycle: This cycle is generally the same as the first sub cycle life and generally begins when the building is between the ages of 38-42.

Once a commercial facility has reached the end of its expected 50-year life cycle, the organization and/or owner must determine whether to remove the structure to start over, or historically restore the building to continue using it. The investment is likely to be relatively the same either way.

To learn more about how to plan for facility renewals, upgrades and renovations throughout the life cycle of the structure, visit

In between those life cycles, property and facility managers must also prepare for property damage. It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when! ICC Restoration & Cleaning Services helps facility and property managers prepare and minimize loss when disaster happens. Contact us today at 651-739-4289 or email us


This entry was posted in Business, Commercial, Contractors, Disaster Response, Facilities, Facility Managers, Green Buildings, Hotels, Multifamily, Nursing Homes, Properties, Property Managers and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply