High Definition Benchmarking

The Problem

Conventional benchmarking studies are ineffective on most projects. They can’t account for the high variety of functions and space types that drive the building’s outcomes. Conventional benchmarking only works when there are near-identical, near-by, recent whole-building comparables. In most cases these studies are broad, dollar per square foot measures of a few major building elements. These studies lack reliability, are easily tampered with, and give a false sense of accuracy and precision.

A Solution    

Catalyst equips users with impartial benchmarking. This process is key to more reliably predicting and steering to more certain and known outcomes. Catalyst benchmarking is considered “high definition” because of the many predicted-to-actual data points that is assesses. These data points are in four groups: program, concept design, completed design,  and completed cost.  This video shows how the benchmarking function works in Catalyst.

All Catalyst users can start with a predictive model “Baseline” or  “market average and range”. As shown in Figure 1, these results have a wide range of variation. By contrast, users can run additional models to more precise benchmark predictions based on their own real world project experiences.

Benchmark VariationFigure 1 –  Benchmark Variation – Total Cost

Although the benchmarked projects may include a number of like functions (operating room, patient beds, etc.), the mix of these and other functions and other variables will can vary significantly. Simple square foot prorating will produce distorted results – both by function and system.

Figure 2, for example, examines both the design proportions as well as the unit costs at a system element level. These are all normalized to the same year and location as the proposed project. The large difference in the exterior wall and window system design ratios and systems costs would not be understood, for example, using traditional benchmarking.

Benchmark Barchart

Figure 2 – Benchmark Comparison – Exterior Wall and Window Metrics

To learn more about Baseline and Benchmark capabilities, please visit Basis of Results page.