Building sustainable hospitals with life cycle assessment

Building sustainable hospitals with life cycle assessment

BRE carried out whole life cost and life cycle assessment modelling for Kvarner to support its bid to build a sustainable new hospital for the NHS.


Kvaerner Construction (now part of Aker Solutions) was invited to tender for a new hospital building by an NHS Trust. It was required to demonstrate its approach to ‘Green Building Principles’. In its bid to the client, Kvaerner presented a combined whole life cost (WLC) analysis and life-cycle assessment (LCA) of environmental impact to demonstrate its approach to this requirement.


Kværner was a Norwegian engineering and construction services company. In 2004, it was amalgamated into Aker, now called Aker Solutions.


BRE was commissioned to model the WLC, measured as cumulative net present value (NPV) and LCA, measured in Ecopoints.

The modelling was able to demonstrate potential WLC savings of 5% on the 30-year service period for the building.

In this case, the lowest cost solution also had the lowest environmental impact. The LCA results, therefore, served to reinforce the choices identified by WLC analysis. In other cases, options with less environmental impact might have increased costs. However, by simultaneously analysing the WLC and LCA, the balance between financial and environmental performance can be properly assessed and maintained.


The contractor benefited from demonstrating to its client an effective, reliable and cost-conscious method for assessing the sustainability of different building options. The client benefited from being offered a clear technique with which choices based on financial and environmental criteria could be made to help made to help deliver best value.

The combined application of BRE’s expertise in whole life costing (WLC) and life-cycle assessment (LCA) of environmental impact enables the implications of ‘Green Building’ strategies to be properly assessed.

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