Life Cycle Costs

Until now, the life cycle cost analysis – the calculation of all costs of a construction project between planning and retrenchment – was time-consuming and cost-intensive. With the introduction of Building Information Modeling (BIM) it is possible to calculate the total lifetime costs of a construction project digitally and within a short time.

Life Cycle CostsSource: Statista

80% of the expenses of a building arise during usage. The possibility to influence the costs is the highest during the planning phase.

It’s not all about the acquisition costs. Initially, higher purchase expenses are paid off over time. The construction of a building is expensive, and the investor usually is only interested in keeping his expenses as low as possible. It’s crucial for potential investors to calculate the amount of the complete life-cycle costs of a building. The competitiveness, the possibility to act flexibly and long-term value retention influence the decision of future investors.

Use in general

Planning planning costs
construction materials
Usage facade preservation
operating cost
Retrenchment demolition
recycling

A property that cannot be used, means a maximum waste of resources. To include possible future applications is necessary already in the planning phase. For example: If the room height is narrowly dimensioned, the construction costs will be lower, however, this is irreversible or not. Alterations like merging rooms or the installation of an air conditioning system will inevitably fail. The result: Although the building is functional, it is no longer sufficient for market demands.

Energy costs

Energie costs make up to 30% of the costs incurred during the utilization phase of a building. Buildings have been certified under the title “fm-benchmarking goes green”. As a result, the sustainability of these buildings has been investigated more carefully. The central question of this project asked whether these buildings were amassed less life-cycle costs than non-certified buildings. The answer is an undeniable yes. Furthermore, it is interesting that certified buildings are not necessarily more expensive than non-certified buildings.

Certifications

Energy balance plays an important role when buying or renting. Large, internationally active corporations regard it as self-evident to rent only certified real estates. Therefore, buildings need to be recognizable and comparable for investor’s certification. The most common types of certification are listed below:

USA LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design)
Great Britain BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method)
Australia Greenstar of the Green Building Council
Germany DGNB (German Sustainable Building Association)

Durability

There have also been exciting developments in this area in recent years: innovative materials and specially developed cleaning and maintenance products significantly extend the service life of a building and reduce its life cycle costs.

Facades with a lotus effect: Cleaning costs are an essential part of the operating costs of a property. These can be significantly reduced by self-cleaning windows. Organic pollution is decomposed by UV radiation and rinsed by rainwater.

Dismantling or demolition

By using recycled building materials during the project phase, costs are saved in the demolition or dismantling of the building. But, recycling building materials are usually cheaper than comparable natural building materials and the disposal costs to a processing plant are usually more favourable than to a landfill.

Read more about the trend of renewable building projects on our
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