In 1998 a full-service engineering and architecture firm was hired to perform a facility conditions assessment of the campus. The firm completed the survey in 2003. During the investigation, over 13 million square feet of building space was analyzed including air conditioning, heating, ventilation, plumbing, sprinkler, electrical service, electrical lighting, and fire alarm systems. Other areas of construction that were included in the investigation were building foundations and sub-structures, structural systems, exterior walls, roofs, floor coverings, interior walls and partitions, ceilings, and conveying systems. Cost models were developed and in 2004, a database was created that currently houses all of the University’s rehabilitation and renovation needs.

Every year, 20% of the campus is surveyed and the database is updated according to what projects have been completed and adding any new needs. The intent is that the customer (School or Center) will use the prioritization, organization, and report generating capabilities of the database as an effective capital budgeting tool.

Facilities Renewal Project Designations

There are five types of projects in the database. The project designations are as follows:

Deferred Maintenance

Work items in need of repair or replacement due to inadequate or past due maintenance, or when they have exceeded their expected life. It does not include ongoing maintenance. These items still function as originally intended and have not deteriorated to the point of being classified as Capital Renewal.
Example: Patch roof

Capital Renewal - NON-FRF

These projects correct Program Related Equipment in unacceptable conditions caused by aged building components that have exceeded or will exceed their useful life cycle.
Example: Sterilizers, fume hoods, lab benches, incubators

Capital Renewal

These projects correct unacceptable conditions caused by aged building components that have exceeded or will exceed their useful life cycle.
Example: Roof and window replacements in-kind or the replacement of old equipment with new items of equal quality of function, or life safety (renewal) of equal capabilities.

Capital Improvement - NON-FRF

Work done to a building that improves, enhance, or updates the building.
Example: Work done to bring a building into compliance with non-mandatory current codes (grandfathered and NOT considered a potential code violation), the addition of a handicapped accessible ramp, or installing new air condition. Program related items such as carpet, paint, and furniture.

Capital Improvement

Work done to a building that improves, enhances, or updates the building.
Example: Window replacement (single pane to double pane), installation of sprinkler systems (in code violation areas, windowless occupied basements), life safety immediate needs (that are not grandfathered), asbestos removal, and addressing mandatory code compliance.

Capital Construction

New construction or the addition of building area or volume.
Example: Renovations which allow the occupancy of previously unoccupied space, the construction of new facilities, such as substantial additions to existing buildings, entire new buildings, or addition of new systems to support a change in use of space (office space to lab space).

Each project is also assigned one of four priority levels. The time frame listed for each priority designates the time from the current year for which the projects are loosely scheduled.


Address immediately. These include safety or code violations, critical equipment that is not functional or close to failure. Generally scheduled for execution in the first year.


Schedule soon. These include items needing attention in the near term, as failure would impact the mission. Generally scheduled for execution two to four years out.


Schedule in the foreseeable future. Generally scheduled for execution five to seven years out.


Less important projects related to aesthetic or minor performance issues, or projects related to systems or equipment that will reach the end of its useful life cycle within the ten-year scope of this Assessment. Generally scheduled for execution eight to ten years out.

Project Selection

The Director of Engineering and Energy Planning meets with each School and Center every year to review their needs, identify the School or Center’s priorities, and determine where those priorities match immediate or high needs in the database. These synergies can become a project that is started in the upcoming fiscal year. Prior to the School or Center’s Capital Plan submission, the Director of Engineering and Energy Planning sends a letter identifying the projects that are earmarked for that coming fiscal year. These letters are approved by the Vice President of Facilities and Real Estate Services.

Schools and Centers are also encouraged to collaborate with Facilities to bring down the needs as quickly as possible. The short-listed projects that are included in the letters represent potential FY 2013 projects. The list may be altered to support other needs deemed higher priorities as they arise. The projects represent a commitment, barring unforeseen emergencies, by the Division of Facilities & Real Estate Services to carry out the projects during the fiscal year of 2013. Any unused funds, following the support of the above identified projects, will be returned to central Facilities Renewal Funds and redistributed according to updated priorities.

Matching Facilities Renewal Fund - Launched April 2010

As per the recommendation of the Senior Roundtable Facilities Renewal Subcommittee, Facilities and Real Estate Services (FRES) has launched the Matching Facilities Renewal Fund (MFRF).

This program provides a 1:1 match to school contributions for immediate and high priority FRF projects. Unlike the initial submission, this and future submissions are only for projects that have not yet gone through the capital approval process.  If you plan on requesting matching funds for a project to be started in the next fiscal year, please make sure to include it in Capital Plan submissions. The Subcommittee will review applications based on a set of predetermined criteria. The next submission cycles are twice a year - one in December and one in the Spring.

For more information and to find out if your School or Center is eligible, please refer to the Matching FRF Policy (PDF). To request matching funds, complete the Matching Facility Renewal Fund Request form and email it to Ben Suplick.

Questions about the program can be addressed to Ben Suplick or Mike Stack.

Century Bond Program Projects

Penn's Century Bond program is funded by a $300M bond issued in spring 2012 that has a 100-year term. Of that total, $200M is directed towards financing upgrades in lighting and HVAC systems that support energy efficiency and reduce deferred maintenance. The program will help Penn fulfill its goal of reducing the institution's carbon footprint as outlined in its Climate Action Plan. Of the $200M directed towards energy efficiency upgrades and deferred maintenance, approximately $8.5M has been invested in energy efficient lighting upgrades and $190M is planned for HVAC improvements. The remaining funds will be used for other strategic priority projects.

The utility cost savings realized through lighting upgrades and HVAC upgrades will be used to offset debt service and the principal repayment of the HVAC projects will be used to fund future projects.

Lighting upgrades have been completed on more than 57,000 fixtures in 45 buildings at a total project cost of $8.5M.

HVAC projects that have been completed or are proceeding through design and construction include:



Phase (as of January 2019)

Total Project Cost

Chemistry 1973

School of Arts & Sciences



Dietrich-Van Pelt Library

Penn Libraries



Evans Building
Centennial Renaissance

School of Dental Medicine




School of Arts & Sciences



(Laboratory for Research on the Structure of Matter)





School of Design



Towers A&B

School of Medicine



Towers C&D

School of Medicine




School of Veterinary Medicine




School of Veterinary Medicine




School of Medicine