City of Richmond's buildings' condition worrisome

A lot of Richmond city-owned and leased buildings are getting run down and are costing more to repair.

With around 50 buildings at the “accelerated aging” phase of their life cycle, city staff are warning that repairs are going to become costly – especially if there is a major failure, like a HVAC breakdown, which can end up costing five times as much as regular maintenance.

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City staff have prepared a report for council about aging infrastructure to be dealt with at Monday’s committee meeting. 

The city owns or leases 165 buildings – with a floor area of about 2.2 million square feet – and the average building age is 48 years. The “practical life expectancy” of a building is 45 years.

Fewer than 30 buildings are less than 20 years old and almost 60 are between 20 and 40 years old, considered an “aging facility.”

The city’s worksyard is cited as an example of an aging facility and needs increased funding for major repairs and replacement to make sure the city can deliver services.

Over the past 20 years, the city has spent $436 million on direct service facilities, $135 million on emergency service facilities and $72 million on operations facilities.

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