Tricks Of The Trade: Non-IFMA Benchmarks

By James C. Elledge, IFMA Fellow, CFM, FMA, RPA, RIAQM
Published in the October 2006 issue of Today’s Facility Manager

Q I am trying to track down facilities benchmarks. Because you have expertise in commercial real estate and facilities issues, I was wondering if you would know of a source/organization that might keep this information.

Specifically, I am trying to get commercial averages for:

  • Utilized/occupied space as % of total space;
  • Common space as % of total space;
  • Non-utilized/unoccupied space as % of total space;
  • Square feet per employee; and
  • Number of moves/add/changes per employee or per year.

I purchased a benchmarking report from the International Facility Management Association (IFMA), but it did not contain the data that I require. I appreciate any help you can provide.

Sandra Shoufani

A One of the better resources for space benchmarking is from the GSA—the nation’s largest public real estate organization. The GSA provides workspace for more than 1.2 million federal workers through its Public Buildings Service. Approximately half of the employees are in buildings owned by the federal government and half are located in over 7,386 separate leased properties (including buildings, land, antenna sites, etc.) across the country.You can view GSA reports, studies, and other research online.

You may also want to take a look at some of the reports from Whitestone Research, another good resource of benchmarking data.

Elledge,facility/office services manager for Dallas, TX-based Summit AllianceCompanies, is the recipient of the Distinguished Author Award from theInternational Facility Management Association (IFMA), is an IFMA Fellow, and isa member of TFM’sEditorial Advisory Board. All questions have been submitted via the “Ask TheExpert” portion of the magazine’s Web site. To pose a question, visit this link.