Whole Life Value Rises Up Construction Agenda

Dale Potts
Whole Life Value, as a means of calculating costs and aiding effective investment decision making, is rapidly being recognised across construction markets and attracting some of the country’s most highly regarded specialists.

Project and cost consultant Faithful+Gould is one of the leaders in the field. It is a key member of the Whole Life Value Task Force set up by the European Construction Institute. It played a central role in co-authoring a new guide to ‘Achieving Whole Life Value in Infrastructure and Buildings’ produced under a project funded and supported by the DTI’s Partners in Innovation scheme. Now it has attracted Kathryn Bourke, formerly Director of whole life performance at the Building Research Establishment, to join its fast growing team.

Andy Green, director of whole life value explains, "The concept of Whole Life Cost is well established. Whole Life Value takes planning a stage further and involves making decisions based on broader criteria whilst also taking account of the needs of a wider range of stakeholders instead of just those typically involved in the immediate decision making process. This is a highly beneficial approach which genuinely moves the industry forward. We believe it will increasingly be viewed by public and private sector organisations as vital to effective planning and ensuring schemes have appropriate regard for sustainability and life cycle considerations."

The arrival of Kathryn Bourke, a world renowned expert who has become a familiar industry figure through her work at BRE, shows that Faithful+Gould’s team is one to work for. Says Kathryn, "This is a company that is at the very heart of innovative thinking on how best to construct and manage property related assets and that is committed to developing new solutions for its clients, making my new role an exciting challenge that very much builds on my previous work."

Kathryn will champion how to practically achieve Whole Life Value for major procurement and asset management programmes, as a key part of the company’s whole life cost management consultancy activity. Her track record is indicative of the expertise in the field becoming available to the industry.

After graduating from Oxford University with a Masters in Jurisprudence, Kathryn joined the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea as assistant litigation surveyor. In 1989 she moved to Construction Audit and Building Performance Group, initially as a building surveyor and subsequently heading the research and development team.

She joined BRE in 1998, leading a team of consultants and researchers working on whole life performance issues, as well as fulfilling business development and public representation roles. Most recently she developed the Public Sector Comparator Equivalent and other tools for MoD Regional Prime Contracting.

She has played a central role in the development of numerous publications including the 'HAPM Component Life Manual', the 'Client’s Guide To Whole Life Costing', the 'Whole Life Value Framework for Designers and Clients', 'Unlocking Whole Life Value' and guidance on whole life costing for Construction Excellence. She chairs the ISO working group on whole life costing and she authored the BS/ISO standard on general principles of service life planning.

Her experience includes membership of the National Construction Benchmarking Forum and the Environmental Industries Commission, and various international working groups. She is a Chartered Building Surveyor and, as well as her law degree, has an M Phil in risk management of premature deterioration of building components.

Says Andy Green: "We worked with Kathryn on development of the Whole Life Value Guide and are delighted that she is joining our team. She is one of the most widely regarded specialists in the field and brings expertise in asset performance as well as extensive knowledge of public sector PFI / Prime procurement. Her appointment is a reflection of the importance placed across our business on developing industry leading whole life value solutions and the smart tools and processes needed to deliver them."