BSI, the UK’s National Standards Body has recently launched the BS 8544 Guide for life-cycle costing of maintenance during the in-use phase of buildings. The costs that are involved in maintaining buildings after they have been through the construction process are often not fully realized, and this applies up to 90% of buildings that exist currently. This new guid-ance enables facilities managers, quantity surveyors, clients and owner operators to run their operations effectively and helps them estimate the long term costs of owning and operating buildings.
BS 8544 will help to avoid unnecessary expenditure on inefficient surveys and data collection which do not provide the information needed to operate buildings effectively and efficiently. It takes the approach covered in PD 156865:2008 (relat-ing to the life cycle cost plans made during the planning, design and construction stages of the life cycle) into the opera-tional phase. This transition from the operational phase into the maintenance phase means the entire cycle is taken into ac-count.
The synergistic approach combining a suite of standards throughout the various stages of the life cycle results in a unified facilities management strategy in the costing area. Positive impacts of this document can be felt by practitioners who wish to compete more effectively in Europe and internationally. For example when exporting UK consultancy services and exper-tise in PFI/PPP (Private Finance Initiatives/Private Public Partnerships) projects.
The guidance in the standard is aligned with industry cost planning data structures and methodology given in the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) New Rules of Measurement. RICS was one of the members of the committee responsible for creating the standard, which includes British Institute of Facilities Management, Chartered Institute of Building, Home Office and Institution of Structural Engineers amongst others.
Benefits of BS 8544:

  • Links the pricing and operational phases of life cycle costing allowing actual costs to be fed back into pricing
  • Offers a joined up approach between construction and FM professionals
  • Provides essential material for training and development of construction and property professionals on operational life cycle management
  • Is a ready-made toolkit for assessing condition and life cycle performance; covering short, medium and long term plan-ning
  • Is a mechanism to link in-use environmental performance with cost
  • Is a complete guidance suite

Deborah Rowland, Head of Facilities Management Policy & Strategy, The Government Property Unit, says, “The Govern-ment Property Unit supports the publication of the BSI standard BS 8544 to provide a much needed guide for industry to use when developing life cycle costing for their assets.”
Shirley Bailey-Wood Director of Publishing at BSI says, “Most buildings will undergo a series of modernizations and refur-bishment during their working life. BS 8544 will be particularly useful at those times, as it allows owners and their advisors to assess the value of improving the fabric of buildings, and building services to help reduce energy consumption.”