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Understanding the lifetime costs of a building

How do you weigh the cost of capital investments against future running costs?

1 October 2015
By Peddle Thorp

Owning and running a building brings costs. The cost of powering, cooling, heating, cleaning and maintaining a building add up over its lifetime.

Architects play an important role in helping clients manage and evaluate capital costs compared to life cycle costs. Design decisions and the incorporation of sustainable design principles can make a significant difference in terms of running costs over time.

The cost of constructing a building is usually a more pressing concern than the cost of ownership, but our thoughtful approach to design makes both more cost-effective.

Standing the test of time

Clever architects make cost planning and asset management easier. How does Peddle Thorp do it?

  • Holistic approach to decision-making: we imagine how a building will look and feel when it is complete, and use our experience to guide choices that ensure the overall vision is not sacrificed, even when compromises must be made.
  • Design ethos: we aim to create fresh and contemporary spaces, but we always favour features and styles that will remain relevant.
  • Focus on durability: we stay abreast of sustainable, advanced materials and construction techniques to design buildings that are made to last.

We are cognisant that our decisions help shape a building that you will live with for decades: our goal is to ensure key aspects of the design benefit your organisation in both the short and long term.

Investing in the future of human capital

For many organisations, the biggest long-term investment will be in human capital- employing the people that use your physical assets. This cost is also affected by architectural design.

Buildings with great design are often more desirable work spaces, more user-friendly and therefore contribute to productivity and retention. For instance, a well-designed clinical room in a hospital not only supports more efficient clinical procedures, it influences the job satisfaction of health professionals that use the space. A great place to work helps attract and engage talented people.

Complex buildings and complex costs

Research has shown that achieving a more sustainable building can incur little or no additional cost when you factor in utility savings, but it can be difficult to fully weigh the environmental, economic and social impacts of a building during design and construction.

When your attention is focused on making the business case for capital investment, and then juggling resources and stakeholder needs to get the project built, long-term asset management may not be a priority.

That is why your choice of architect matters. Peddle Thorp manages complexity well, and never loses sight of the fact your building will become a place where people live, work, learn or play for years to come. Our creative approach and practical attention to detail are underpinned by a commitment to longevity.