The varying costs of maintaining and operating buildings of different functions


BCIS discuss maintaining and operating buildings and how the costs can vary depending upon the functionality of the building’s occupancy.

The latest annual update to the BCIS life cycle cost data provides estimates for the maintenance and operating buildings of over 100 types and shows that total costs can range from £4,850/100m2 per annum for factories to £11,000/100m2 per annum for hospitals.

The running costs comprise:

  • Maintenance costs including maintenance and renewal of:
    • building fabric and services
    • decorations
  • Operation costs including:
    • cleaning
    • utilities (water and energy)

Examples of the estimates are given in the following table.

Building function Estimated £/100m2 (4Q2017)
Maintenance Decoration Cleaning Utilities Total cost
Factories 1600 200 1200 1850 4850
Shops 2300 300 1950 2900 7450
Hospitals 3750 350 4250 2650 11000
Swimming pools 3050 250 1650 4000 8950
Universities 3150 250 1400 1700 6500
Hotels 2950 350 2850 2850 9000


The estimates are based on a variety of sources such as data from BCIS subscribers, BCIS occupancy reports, and from other public and private sector reports. It should be noted that the estimates are for buildings that are of typical size and design, and UK mean location. Users of the data should take this into account when interpreting the figures.

Maintenance and operating costs will be influenced by many other factors including:

  • hours of operation
  • intensity of use
  • current condition and
  • location

Life cycle costs are included in the Building Running Costs Online (BRCOL) service, providing benchmark estimates of annual costs for over 100 building types. These can be profiled over a range of years and expressed in terms of current cash or net present value. Benchmark estimates of construction costs are also provided to produce life cycle cost estimates.

In addition to the Life cycle cost module, BRCOL subscribers also receive regularly updated maintenance indices, economic briefings, and electronic access to the Maintenance price book.



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