​​When it comes to the cost of housing, the discussion tends to be focused solely on the price of construction. 

A wider perspective incorporates the costs of operating and maintaining homes over their lifetime. Adopting such an approach to the design and build of your home is called lifecycle costing.


​Sustainability outcomes – and the products and systems used to achieve them – are sometimes perceived as overly expensive when the focus is solely on construction costs. When looked at from a lifecycle costing perspective however, products and systems that are designed to reduce the operating or maintenance costs of a home often turn out to be cheaper in the long run.

Designing and building with sustainability outcomes in mind does not always require greater outlay. For example, good design that leads to a compact and optimum building shape can achieve big increases in a home’s performance without any additional construction costs.

As with the other sustainability outcomes covered in this series of articles, incorporating lifecycle costing in your project begins with setting objectives, using them to guide the process, and then performing checks after completion to gauge your success in achieving them.

Lifecycle costing can be complex but a good designer can help you understand and embed it in your project without demanding too much of your time. The savings over the lifetime of your home can easily compensate for the extra effort invested.

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