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Whole life costing in construction: a state of the art review.

Kishk, Mohammed; Al-Hajj, Assam; Pollock, Robert; Aouad, Ghassan; Bakis, Nick; Sun, Ming


Mohammed Kishk

Assam Al-Hajj

Robert Pollock

Ghassan Aouad

Nick Bakis

Ming Sun


This report is a state of the art review of whole life costing in the construction industry. It is the first of a series reporting on-going research undertaken within the research project Developing An Integrated Database For Whole Life Costing Applications In Construction. This project is funded by the EPSRC and undertaken by a unique collaboration between two teams of researchers from the Robert Gordon University and the University of Salford. The fundamental basics of whole life costing (WLC) are introduced. First, the historical development of the technique is highlighted. Then, the suitability of various WLC approaches and techniques are critically reviewed with emphasis on their suitability for application within the framework of the construction industry. This is followed by a review of WLC mathematical models in the literature. Data requirements for WLC are then discussed. This includes a review of various economic, physical, and quality variables necessary for an effective WLC analysis of construction assets. Data sources within the industry are also highlighted with emphasis on current data collection and recording systems. In addition, the requirements of a data compilation procedure for WLC are outlined. The necessity of including the analysis of uncertainty into WLC studies is discussed. Attempts to utilise various risk assessment techniques to add to the quality of WLC decision-making are reviewed with emphasis on their suitability to be implemented in an integrated environment. Essential requirements for the effective application of WLC in the industry are outlined with emphasis on the design of the cost break down structure and the information management throughout various life cycle phases. Then, directions for further future research are introduced.


KISHK, M., AL-HAJJ, A., POLLOCK, R., AOUAD, G., BAKIS, N. and SUN, M., 2003. Whole life costing in construction: a state of the art review. RICS Research Paper Series, 4 (18)

Report Type Discussion Paper
Online Publication Date Dec 31, 2003
Publication Date Dec 31, 2003
Deposit Date Nov 25, 2014
Publicly Available Date Nov 25, 2014
Publisher Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS)
Public URL


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