Life Cycle Costing in BREEAM – The Main Benefits and Considerations

Adrian Wilkins
The benefits and considerations for getting the most out of BREEAM Man02 Life Cycle Costing and Service Life Planning

In my earlier article “The Growing Significance of Life Cycle Costing – BREEAM” , national life cycle champion for Faithful+Gould, explained the importance of life cycle costing (LCC)  in the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) – a method for assessing, rating, and certifying the sustainability of buildings.

Life Cycle Costing currently provides four BREEAM credits that can help achieve a higher excellent or outstanding rating for a building during the design stage and to do so, there are some key considerations for both the client and the project teams to acquire these credits.

BREEAM Man02 and its benefits

The Management section 02 (Man02) of BREEAM encourages the use and sharing of life cycle costing and service life planning to improve design, specification and through-life maintenance and operation. This helps deliver whole life value on a project.

By providing relevant capital cost and design information at the appropriate RIBA Stages of a project, the following benefits of Man02 can be realised:

  • 4 BREEAM credits:
  • 2 credits at RIBA Stage 2 for an elemental life cycle cost plan
  • 1 credit at RIBA stage 4 for component level option appraisals
  • 1 credit at any RIBA Stage for reporting the capital cost in £/m2
  • LCC significant elements that could influence the future design. This enables the design team to consider alternative design options that deliver lower LCC and higher value to the project.
  • Unlock hidden / unknown opportunities in operational and maintenance costs, not just replacement costs, which provide long term savings for the building users.
  • Inform the construction value engineering process from a whole life value cost basis rather than just an upfront build cost.

Overcoming the key considerations to achieving the LCC BREEAM Credits

The number of BREEAM Man02 credits that can be achieved on a project is contingent on the point in the design stage at which the life cycle costing work is considered. BREEAM assessors should therefore encourage the early involvement of Life Cycle Cost Consultants to maximise the number of credits that can be achieved.

LCC at the early planning and design stages also provides the highest impact and influence on future design and construction concepts. This allows for early adjustments to the design to be made for maximum impact and lower cost. BREEAM recognizes this and provides two credits for an elemental LCC plan at RIBA Stage 2 (concept design).

Another consideration is the period of analysis chosen for the LCC plan and appraisals. BREEAM recommends a period that is relevant to the project in order to take into account the frequency of replacement as applicable to the use and type of the building.

For example, a period of analysis of say 30 years would be appropriate for a pharmaceutical laboratory as there are more frequent component replacements within this period due to the complex nature of the M&E plant and instrumentation and maintenance requirements. A civil infrastructure project on the other hand would likely have a longer period of analysis of say 120 years as the assets and components are more structural in nature with fewer replacement frequencies. Other factors influencing the period of analysis include:

  • the duration for which the building will be used
  • the length of time the developer or client wants to own the building
  • the life of the processes & operations being undertaken within the building
  • the degree to which flexibility has been built in to the building for future uses

To achieve the highest possible BREEAM rating for a building it is obviously beneficial to consider all four of the BREEAM Man02 LCC credits. To have the greatest impact on the whole life value and cost of the project, the following BREEAM guidance should be noted:

  • The elemental LCC plan must be completed by the end of RIBA Stage 2 to inform design and enable the project to acquire the 2 credits available at this stage.
  • The component level LCC options appraisal must be completed by the end of RIBA stage 4 and must appraise elements that are deemed relevant to the project

The Capital Cost Reporting credit on the other hand can be achieved at any design stage. This simply involves reporting the capital costs of the project to the BREEAM assessor to input into the BREEAM assessment Scoring and Reporting tool. It is therefore the easiest BREEAM Man02 LCC credit to achieve.

Faithful+Gould’s Life Cycle Costing team can ensure that you achieve these BREEAM Man02 LCC credits. We were part of the working group that reviewed the ‘BREEAM Man02 guidance’, and have extensive experience in providing BREEAM Man02 elemental LCC plans in various sectors

Authored by Nour Halloway.

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