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Estimating the life expectancies of building components in life‐cycle costing calculations

Allan Ashworth (School of the Built Environment, Nene College of Higher Education, Northampton, UK)

Structural Survey

ISSN: 0263-080X

Article publication date: 1 June 1996


Considers how the life expectancies of building components in a life cycle cost calculation can be determined. Makes comparisons with initial capital cost estimating, where forecasts or estimates of cost have been carried out for many years. By definition an estimate is unlikely to be spot‐on. Also recognizes that life expectancy is not just a mathematical calculation but also requires the use of expert judgement. Any forecast of a future event, while utilizing previously recorded performance data, will always be influenced by prevailing conditions and future expectations. The initial quality and standards of the building project are important characteristics in determining component life expectancy as is the type of project itself. Identifies a range of different sources of published information on building component life expectancies. Different techniques are also discussed that have a potential in assisting with the prediction of the lives of building components.



Ashworth, A. (1996), "Estimating the life expectancies of building components in life‐cycle costing calculations", Structural Survey, Vol. 14 No. 2, pp. 4-8.




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