Whole life costing is now integral to building procurement, both for new buildings and major refurbishments. It is key when assessing investment scenarios for estates as well as individual buildings, and has become a tool for justifying higher capital cost items.
Standard whole life costing methods combine capital cost, facilities costs, operational costs, income and disposal costs with a “single action–single benefit” approach. Costing based on this type of single attribute assessment misses out on realising value from the intricacies of the interactions buildings have with their occupants, users and the location in which they are placed. In contrast, the multi-attribute approach presented by the author of this book explains how to analyse the whole cost of a building, while also taking into account secondary and tertiary values of a variety of actions that are deemed important for the project owners and decision-making stakeholders. The process is an effective tool for presenting a good business case within the opportunities and constrains of real life. For example, it presents the interdependencies of how:
- Building location affects servicing strategies which impact on maintainability and control and, by extension, on occupant comfort;
- Material selection affects time on site, building maintainability as well as overall building quality and the environment;
- Building shape impacts on servicing strategies as well as operating costs.
The reader will be shown how to incorporate this method of whole life valuation into standard cost models allowing for a more robust decision making process. This is done by breaking down project aims into their most basic aspects and adopting the methods of simple quantitative risk analysis, the functionality of which is based on real data.
Written by an author immersed in project team collaboration to identify the interdependencies of design decisions throughout her professional life, this is the most practical guide available on the topic.