Whole of life cost benefit analysis is a tool for the financial evaluation of a range of design options over their life cycle using a combination of capital, maintenance and operating costs to make the best long term decision.
Whole of Life Analysis recognises that capital construction costs represent only a fraction of the cost of a property over its entire life. That it is often a false economy to make design decisions based on initial capital costs alone.
For example; short term decisions in residential property developments to select the cheapest hot water or air conditioning systems might reduce up front construction costs, but result in higher operating costs for purchasers. In an increasingly better informed and environmentally aware market, this could impact on purchase decisions.
Long term owner/occupiers of buildings including public sector clients like defence, health and universities, can achieve real benefits from the selection of materials, finishes and services that normally might be ruled out on the basis of having a longer pay back period than would normally be considered acceptable.
Experienced clients increasingly prefer to justify increased up front capital investment in buildings with superior whole of life costs, compared with having to continually seek additional funds for ongoing maintenance of buildings that could have been better designed.