15 October 2008 | Jake Kanter
Public sector buyers should consider "whole life costing" when purchasing for construction projects, according to an expert.
Speaking at a sustainable purchasing conference in London yesterday, Andy Green, director of construction consultancy Faithful+Gould, said public procurement decisions do not always assess the total cost of building projects because of a deep-rooted culture in the construction sector.
Green argued whole life costing should be at the heart of construction purchasing. "The industry is not skilled in looking to the future. We make decisions on what we know now."
He said public sector buyers must overcome four barriers to achieve this. They must use clearer terminology, develop industry standards on assessing future costs and improve skills and incentives. He also stressed that purchasers should increase communication with internal customers on the issue.
Green concluded whole life costing is not always the cheapest option, but it is the most sustainable in the long run.