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Whole-Life Costing

Whole-life costing (WLC) provides a method by which alternative solutions to a project can be compared, in financial terms, over the total life of a structure. As such, WLC is a process with which all structural engineers should be familiar, to enable them to give their clients the best value for money. Whilst the basis of WLC is relatively simple, the assignment of values to the variables involved is more difficult, and this is hindering wider application. To try to decide how WLC should be progressed, the Concrete Industry Alliance Task Group for Quality & Client Satisfaction held a WLC workshop at the Institution of Structural Engineers on 25 November 1996. In this brief article, some of the discussion at this workshop is reviewed. Whilst the workshop was primarily related to concrete structures, much of the discussion was relevant to all forms of construction. A.E.K. Jones and Professor A.R. Cussens