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Arup Research & Development has carried out a series of studies commissioned by the Building Research Establishment on the subject of building performance and costs-in-use. This paper gives a brief commentary on the results of that research, explores the implications and application thereof in the context of the definition of client requirements, and outlines a methodology whereby these performance requirements may be taken into account in an explicit manner in the design and property management processes.
A variety of opinions were expressed by the participants at the Cambridge colloquium, as they had been asked to present their thoughts on design life from different viewpoints. The debates ranged widely as new opinions were outlined. For this colloquium the main opinions have been assembled and examined by pairs of presenters as client requirements, legal and organisational, and technical considerations. It is evident that there is considerable agreement on some of the principles and some of the difficulties which the concept of design life entails. So how best to make progress and
signpost the way ahead?
When considering the life to be expected from a structure before any major repairs are needed, it is important to remember that most structures are likely to require some maintenance during their service lives. This is especially true where structures are exposed to the demanding conditions of the natural environment as well as having to cope with often onerous ‘manmade’ loading. A structure could in particular circumstances be designed with a very limited life in view and with no provision for maintenance, but such structures are the exception rather than the rule.