Whole life costing and life-cycle assessment for sustainable hospital design

  • Client:  Skanska (Kvaerner Construction)
  • Project:  Kvaerner Construction was invited to tender for a new hospital building by an NHS Trust.

The client output specification required Kvaerner 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.

Contribution: BRE was commissioned to model the WLC (measured as cumulative NPV £) and LCA (measured in Ecopoints) and the presentation is shown in the graph above.

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

In this case, option 2 – 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.

Benefits: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.