Although it is easy to show that some buildings cost more to run and operate than others, few people take the trouble to collect evidence and make the comparisons — reflecting the relatively low priority given to buildings in business. Reductions in costs can be significant to company profitability, yet it is a difficult matter to provide a convincing and fully costed argument for making changes to reduce future expenditure, especially where investment is required and where the benefits cannot be easily quantified. Indications are that significant savings are possible in most building costs in use. Indirect cost reductions may be achieved by reorganisation or by encouraging behavioural changes which will enable the building to be used to its full potential. However, direct cost savings may be made by changes to the physical fabric and positive steps can be taken in managing buildings to benefit from these changes and affect profitability. It has been possible to show through action research that the life cycle costs of buildings can be reduced by design, often at no overall capital cost With the availability of suitable tools the future, and its cost consequences, can become an influential factor in management decisions about the building stock.
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