Frequently Asked Questions

This tool has been designed for those with little or no prior knowledge of Whole Life Costing principles or building construction, operation or maintenance. 

Although this tool can be used by anyone with an interest in managing or owning a building, the tool is aimed primarily at community based organisations who are considering taking on a building for the first time, as well as those who already manage a building and want to make a basic cost assessment of it for future planning purposes.

Using this tool will help community based organisations to become more informed about the long term costs of a building and produce robust and realistic plans for its future. It is important to assess the financial risks of taking on the long-term responsibility for a building’s operation and maintenance. This protects the interests of both prospective owners and stakeholders in community based building projects. 

As a result of undertaking an assessment using this tool, organisations will have a better awareness of key areas of future expenditure connected with a building project. The results will provide the decision-makers within the organisation with a reasoned basis upon which to go forward with a project or stop for a more fundamental re-think. 
Although this tool is a comprehensive resource, it should not be relied upon to provide all of the answers for a building project. We strongly recommend that organisation take appropriate professional advice to complement this initial assessment and to dig deeper into any areas of uncertainty. 

Although every situation is different, an early indication of the cost profile of a building project is particularly important for creating a realistic business plan or for making funding applications, etc. Therefore, as soon as an organisation has a reasonable idea of what they want to achieve, (and they have identified a specific building), this would be the right time to make use of this tool.

VAT is not addressed in this tool. Where figures are requested for input by the user, they should be provided exclusive of VAT. Reporting outputs from the tool will not reflect any VAT applicable to a building project. Therefore, we strongly recommend that organisations obtain additional advice about the VAT implications of their building project at an early stage.