Highlights . . .

  • In 1996, science and engineering (S&E) research accounted for 136 million net assignable square feet (NASF) in the nation's 565 research-performing colleges and universities. The top 100 universities in research and development (R&D) expenditures accounted for 72 percent of all S&E research space in 1996, and 80 percent of all R&D dollars in 1994, the most recent year for which data were available.
  • S&E research space increased since 1988 at an annual average rate of about 2.4 percent, from 112 million NASF to 136 million NASF in 1996. Other National Science Foundation (NSF) surveys show that academic R&D spending grew in constant 1995 dollars at an average annual rate of approximately 4 percent from 1988 to 1994, the most recent year for which data are available.
  • At least half of research performing institutions reported inadequate amounts of research space in the biological sciences outside of medical schools, the physical sciences, engineering, the agricultural sciences, and the medical sciences, both within and outside medical schools.
  • In 1996, 18 percent of the S&E research space at research-performing institutions was rated as needing major renovation or replacement. Altogether, 24.5 million NASF of S&E research space required major renovation or replacement.
  • In fiscal years 1994-1995, research-performing colleges and universities began S&E research construction projects costing $2.8 billion, representing a continued decline in the construction of S&E research space. Institutions began construction projects valued at $3.0 billion (in constant 1995 dollars) in 1992-1993, and $3.4 billion in 1990-1991.
  • Expenditures for repair/renovation projects increased from $905 million in fiscal years 1992-1993 to $1.1 billion in 1994-1995, an increase of 17 percent in constant 1995 dollars.
  • The main source of construction funding was state and local governments ($1.2 billion, or 43 percent of all construction funding). Direct Federal funding for construction declined in constant 1995 dollars from $537 million in 1990-1991 to $207 million in 1994-1995. Funds from the Federal government used to defray the indirect costs of conducting Federally-funded research are counted as institutional funds.
  • Repair/renovation projects were most likely to be funded through institutional funds ($433 million, or 41 percent of all repair/renovation). Federal funding of repair/renovation increased in constant 1995 dollars from $55 million in 1990-1991 to $111 million in 1994-1995.
  • The total estimated cost for deferred S&E research construction and repair/renovation projects in 1996 was $9.3 billion, including both projects that were identified in approved institutional plans and those that were not. Over three-quarters of all deferred capital project expenditures ($7.4 billion) were included in institutional plans.
  • In addition, colleges and universities estimated a total of $2.5 billion in deferred repair and renovation costs for projects affecting central campus infrastructure. It is estimated, conservatively, that $.7 billion of this amount might be attributed to S&E research needs. Combining this $.7 billion with the $9.3 billion in deferred construction and repair/renovation projects yields a total of $10 billion in deferred research facilities and infrastructure needs.

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