Welsh Assembly Government
In February 2006, the National Assembly took occupation of its new building, the Senedd. The Auditor General found that the Assembly Government and its project team did a good job in the second phase of the project which restarted in 2002.
The Auditor General recommended that the Assembly Government disseminate the use of good practice processes that had helped make the procurement of the Senedd a success. One of the key elements is whole life costing.
Whole life costing is a technique that quantifies financial values for buildings from inception and throughout the building's life. Whole life costing can be characterised as a systematic approach balancing capital with revenue costs to achieve an optimum solution over a buildings' whole life.
The whole life costs of a facility are the costs of acquiring it (including consultancy, design and construction costs, and equipment), the costs of operating it and the costs of maintaining it over its whole life through to its disposal - that is, the total ownership costs.
In the case of the Senedd, whole life costing was applied in the choice of floor finish. Carpet would have reduced initial capital costs but had a higher maintenance and replacement cost in the longer term. The choice of slate flooring, even though it was the more expensive option to purchase, has a longer life, is less expensive to clean and maintain and uses indigenous materials.
Further details can be found in the Auditor General's report The Senedd.