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Utility costs: a survey of Swiss office buildings

Christian Stoy (Institute for Construction Economics, University of Stuttgart, Stuttgart, Germany)
Susanne Kytzia (HSR Hochschule fuer Technik Rapperswil, Rapperswil, Switzerland)

Journal of Facilities Management

ISSN: 1472-5967

Article publication date: 2 May 2008




The purpose of this paper is to examine the utility costs in Swiss office buildings. Owing to their high amount, as well as from an ecological perspective, the utility costs of a building are a relevant aspect of facility management. Against this backdrop the provision of utilities and waste disposal of buildings must be optimized. Benchmarking is an important instrument in this effort. On the one hand, it requires indictors and on the other, it requires knowledge of how they can be influenced (relevant cost drivers).


A study of the specialist literature revealed, from a theoretical perspective, the relevant drivers of utility costs. Using regression analyses, these drivers are examined on the basis of a set of primary data collected within Switzerland (105 owner‐operated office buildings). In addition, this data set also provided indicators for utility costs.


For the properties surveyed, a utility cost median of CHF 39/m2 usable floor area and year was ascertained (with a lower and upper quartile of CHF 32 and CHF 47/m2 usable floor area and year, respectively). Furthermore, it should be noted that in principle it is the building characteristics (extent and standard of technical installations) that determine the utility costs, while aspects of usage (e.g. share of residential and recreational area) are of secondary importance.

Research limitations/implications

The majority of the projects studied are office buildings of banks and insurance companies. For this reason, it can be assumed that these properties have a comparatively high standard. Whether the interrelations found also apply to office buildings with other standards must be clarified by additional studies.


This study identifies cost indicators for utilities and waste disposal of Swiss office buildings.



Stoy, C. and Kytzia, S. (2008), "Utility costs: a survey of Swiss office buildings", Journal of Facilities Management, Vol. 6 No. 2, pp. 120-131.



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Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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