NRM3: A New Standard Methodology

Andy Green
The construction industry will finally have a standard methodology for quantifying and managing maintenance and renewal life cycle costs.

I was delighted when RICS asked me to be the lead author of NRM3: Order of Cost Estimating and Cost Planning of Building Maintenance Works. I was able to build on my experience as a technical author and also bring my passion for defining assets in a way that drives down whole life costs and achieves best value for clients.

This is an exciting moment for the UK's construction and facilities management industries, where maintenance and renewal finally catches up with capital building works. We've had RICS measurement rules for the cost management of capital building works since 1922. But we've never had a consistent methodology for quantifying and managing the life cycle costs of maintaining and renewing constructed assets or facilities.

This is an exciting moment for the UK's construction and facilities management industries...

The launch of NRM3 changes all this. It brings consistent rules and guidelines for the measurement of capital, maintenance and renewal works. So the new standard will have a major impact on how future buildings are handed over, maintained and appropriately invested in over the whole life cycle. This helps clients set and defend their budgets, develop affordable and sustainable design development options and optimise the maintenance and renewal programmes of work in use. BIM data can also be shared between maintenance and operation teams, providing a consistent basis for cost managing assets and targeting expenditure.

Key benefits include:

  • Consistency - the standards enable key stakeholders to compare costs on a like for like basis
  • Greater confidence and cost certainty - throughout the whole life cycle process
  • Transparency and control - of where and when money is spent, or not, and what it’s spent on
  • Bridging the capital / revenue divide - unlocks life cycle cost analysis and benchmark data
  • Informs better decision making - during project option studies; setting / defending budgets
  • Enables targeted future investment and prioritisation of the maintenance and renewal programmes of works

In developing the new standard, collaboration has been very important. NRM3 has been an industry-wide project with technical input from BCIS, CIBSE, BSI, RICS and others.

The new standard also supports the UK government efficiency and BIM agenda and will enable more robust life cycle cost management to become the industry norm. It's transformational for the cost management profession and will impact on all the services that we offer.

The new rules will transform the UK construction and maintenance industry, and will be pivotal in enabling BIM and life cycle costing to become widely used.

At Faithful+Gould we've had the opportunity to put these principles into practice over the last few years, ahead of industry-wide adoption. Our large-scale pilot projects have helped champion the new standard, and those clients have benefited from the intensive input arising from the methodology’s taking shape. The methodology has achieved excellent results such as University College London, Heathrow Airport, the Ministry of Justice, and Network Rail. 

Our early involvement means that we're now able to help our clients realise the benefits, by applying the standard in practice. We have packaged these skills into a highly transferable, market-ready approach. Both our cost management and building surveying teams are already using the standard to achieve substantial savings for clients. We’re getting really positive feedback too. The new rules will transform the UK construction and maintenance industry, and will be pivotal in enabling BIM and life cycle costing to become widely used.

Written by

Andy Green Director Contact me View my profile >