Whole life costing

The public and private sectors are under increasing pressure from Government to find design solutions for construction projects which reduce carbon emissions. Unfortunately, these solutions often incur initial costs that are higher than traditional costs and current affordability limits. However, high initial costs do not necessarily lead to higher whole life costs: indeed, the opposite can be true. Thus, the environmental and economic business cases can often be aligned by calculating whole life costs. This has been recognised by, for example the Treasury and the OGC, who both require new public sector projects to be procured on the basis of best whole life value. Yet whole life costs are rarely calculated comprehensively. There are at least four reasons for this:

Our expertise

We specialise in whole life costing and have developed techniques for simplifying the process by recognising that a small number of elements contribute to the majority of the cost. This allows comparisons between competing design solutions to be carried out quickly and effectively without costing every element of a project. It also points designers to those elements of the design which have the greatest influence on both initial and whole life costs and which therefore merit most design effort. We have also developed powerful software that offers many benefits over the conventional spreadsheet approach and that is aligned with the new ISO Standard 15686-5 Buildings and constructed assets -- Service-life planning -- Part 5: Life-cycle costing.

Whole life costing can be used not only to choose amongst competing options, but also to:

We have produced calculations for various PPP and PFI/non PFI projects in the UK and overseas.


We also offer training in whole life costing.

Further Details

For more information on whole life costing, please contact Dr Mohamed El-Haram at mohamed.elharam@wlcuk.com or call 01382 224304.