Whole life costing has been a subject waiting to come of age for many years. What was previously of mainly academic interest is now becoming a key business tool in the procurement and construction of significant projects.

With the advent of PPP and in particular of PFI, details of the project life need to be assessed and tied in to funding and operation plans. Many of these projects run to millions of pounds and are of high political or social importance, so the implications of the life of materials is crucial. A fundamental requirement of these procurement routes has been that the whole enterprise should be included within the bid, so that a company takes on not only the construction but also the running and maintenance of any building.

Additionally as sustainability has emerged and grown in importance, so has the need for a whole life time costing approach, partly driven by governmental insistence. At the heart of sustainability is an understanding of what the specification means for the future of the building and how it will affect the environment. Whole life costing considers part of this and provides an understanding of how materials may perform and what allowances are needed at the end of their life.

This book sets out the practical issues involved in the selection of materials, their performance, and the issues that need to be taken into account. The emphasis, unlike in other publications, is not to formularise or to package the issues but to leave the reader with a clear understanding and a sensible practical way of arriving at conclusions in the future.

chapter 1|5 pages


chapter 2|10 pages

Context of whole life costing

chapter 3|4 pages

Sustainability, energy and waste

chapter 4|6 pages

The rational analysis

chapter 5|5 pages

Value of whole life assessment

chapter 6|8 pages

How does this play out in real projects?

chapter 7|5 pages

History – how did we get here?

chapter 8|4 pages

Ageing and associated factors

chapter 9|4 pages

The process of procurement

chapter 10|13 pages

A material matter

chapter 11|4 pages

Construction methods

chapter 13|3 pages


chapter 14|5 pages

Predicting the future

chapter 15|5 pages

The ten-point strategic plan

chapter 16|10 pages

Key players

chapter 17|5 pages

Client experiences

chapter 18|4 pages

Redefining the future

chapter 19|3 pages

Searching for the ideal process

chapter 20|7 pages

Whole life costing: is there an end game?

chapter 21|2 pages

The underlying principle: entropy

chapter 22|6 pages

Carbon whole life cost

chapter 23|8 pages


chapter 24|1 pages

Final thoughts