LSBU’s research Centre for Sustainability and Resilient Infrastructure
and Communities (SaRIC) has partnered with Local Authorities and Housing
Associations to develop a life cycle costing approach when it comes to
selecting building components in the affordable housing sector.
The Government has asked UK housing associations to reduce
costs, placing pressure on the housing sector to cut costs without compromising
on quality. Despite improvements in the procurement of maintenance services,
maintenance costs continue to rise. By improving the life cycle of components
the sector can reduce these costs, as well as reduce the number of maintenance
Achieving this has added benefits too: it means less intrusion for
residents, which improves satisfaction ratings, and it will also help to
minimise associations’ carbon footprint, both of which are important key performance indicators for
Making informed choices
The project aims at establishing a robust business case for
investing in life cycle components in order to provide better value for money
for affordable housing providers over a 30 year cycle. It will also consider wider
issues such as resident and landlord satisfaction, carbon savings, installation
costs and the role of the supply chain.
"We believe that the purchase costs should not be the only
importance factor in building component procurement decisions, but also the
overall life cycle costs," says Dr Alex Opoku, Director of SaRIC and project
The research project has the potential to make significant changes to
the culture of the housing sector procurement processes and the way the sector
makes choices about the development and maintenance of new and existing units.
Dr Alex Opoku
Several Housing Associations and Local Authorities have
signed up to be part of the pilot study and are now at various stages of the
project. Organisations working with LSBU include Barnet Homes, London Borough
of Barking and Dagenham, Basildon Council, Genesis Housing and Peabody.