Whole life cost assessment - also known as life-cycle costing (LCC) - is key to evaluating the overall value of a construction project.
It broadly involves merging capital costs (capex) and operational costs (opex) to give a total cost (totex), whilst also taking into account wider social and environmental considerations.
When the client defines the lifespan of an intended building or infrastructure, the procurement team can establish a procurement strategy. The current measurement standard is BS ISO 15686 on Service Life Planning which sets out how to establish the base criteria, though whatever principles are involved, wider factors that can prematurely end a building’s life or changes that make the original assessment meaningless cannot be accounted for.
The Building Cost Information Service (BCIS) run by RICS is the main database using insurance data to establish average life of construction types.
Whole life cost assessment applies primarily to the design team and 'tier 1' contractors. Procurers may request that manufacturers provide details of the optimum durability of a product in relation to the building's lifespan.