Central to the practical application of whole life issues is the question of ageing. If we could achieve a principle of designing or engineering out the process of ageing, whole life would take on a whole new dimension. Above any other consideration, ageing will colour any decisions over the future life

replacement or continued use of a building, or any element within it. It is therefore useful to examine what we mean by ageing, and what influence it has in any debate over whole life issues.