How facilities managers should defend their budgets


Construction repair and maintenance output is expected to grow by 8.5 per cent in the next five years, a cost data specialist has forecast. Let’s see what this means for facilities managers…

The growth, however, will be negative for the first two years (-1.4 per cent in 2023 and -0.4 per cent in 2024) but should see low single-digit growth by Q2 2028, according to Building Cost Information Service (BCIS) construction data. 

It follows an investigation into the presence of reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC) in public buildings, including schools and hospitals.  

RAAC was a lightweight building material used between the 1950s and mid-1990s.    

However, the absence of coarse aggregate – present in ‘traditional’ reinforced concrete – means RAAC has a limited lifespan, after which it deteriorates rapidly, having usually developed air pockets inside.    

As part of its Facilities Management Forecast to Q2 2028, and in light of the RAAC scandal, BCIS aims to equip facilities managers with the latest construction market trends to better defend their budgets. 

This is also against private and public sector building maintenance costs set to rise by nearly 19 per cent in the next five years. 

What to expect 

To Q2 2028, private and public sector building cleaning costs are forecast to increase by 20 per cent, up 5.7 per cent in the year Q2 2023 to Q2 2024, and by around 3 per cent per annum thereafter, said BCIS.   

And, although energy prices remain variable, BCIS expects costs to decline by more than 43 per cent over the next five years.  

In the year to Q2 2023, energy prices rose by 23.3 per cent but, as the markets stabilise, BCIS expects costs to cool and to fall from 2025 onwards.   

‘Properly constructed budgets’ 

Properly constructed budgets are required to maintain the country’s building stock, as economic constraints put pressure on revenue expenditure in the public and private sector, said BCIS. 

Further, the need to reduce carbon emissions may see a shift from revenue to capital expenditure as backlog maintenance is carried out on refurbishment schemes.   

“A positive outcome of the recent media inquest into the use of Reinforced Aerated Autoclaved Concrete (RAAC) in schools and other public buildings has been a spotlight on the need for proper maintenance of the country’s building stock,” said BCIS chief data officer, Karl Horton. 

“Hopefully facilities managers will find it easier to defend properly constructed maintenance budgets. Ultimately, they are working to keep buildings operational and their occupants safe.” 

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