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Cost Per Person Model

In a typical office building, each person is allotted 100 square feet. Say the building costs $200 per square foot to build, including overhead, then the first cost per occupant is $20,000. The annual operating cost is about $2 per square foot including about $1.14 for energy, or about $200 per year for that occupant's space. The person in that space costs about $60,000 a year. 

So, over an average 40 year life, people represent 95 percent of the total cost. Therefore, a mere 3.7 percent productivity gain in the people will pay for all the facility costs over the 40 year life of the building. 

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