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Should Buildings Have Expiration Dates? NBBJ Says Yes in Medium’s Re:Form Blog, Sponsored by BMW

Food items always come with an expiration date — whether fresh or frozen, perishable or nonperishable. So why can the same not be said about our buildings? That’s the question NBBJ Partner Ryan Mullenix sets out to answer on Medium’s Re:Form blog.

“A large percentage of buildings have a surprisingly high ‘mortality rate,’” he says. “In fact, the lifespan of a building  —  made of concrete, steel, wood  —  is shorter than that of a flesh-and-blood human. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the average office building lifespan in 2008 was 73 years. In contrast, human life expectancy in the U.S. was 78 years. Given their similar life expectancy, one would assume we spend a comparable amount of money on a person’s shelter as we do on other essential aspects of their life, right?”