Introducing 10 80 10…

Are you familiar with the 10 80 10 rule? Perhaps you’ve heard of the term within the built environment but are unsure of the role it plays in regard to operational costs in today’s sophisticated buildings?

Let’s break it down. The rule refers to the total lifetime costs of a commercial building. You may be surprised to learn that only 10% is invested at the construction stage while a staggering 80% is spent on the operating and maintenance of the building – more on that later. The remaining 10% is accountable for the dismantling and demolition of the building.

Just let those figures sink in for a moment. It’s not often that we take time out to view the collective costs involved in constructing and running a building. More often than not, everyone in the supply chain will focus on a specific area of a building project, whether that’s to design an eye-catching building, liaise with the client regarding deadlines, or ensuring that suitable building controls are in place.

It is only when you consider the entire lifecycle costs of a building, that you can really appreciate the impact of action taken, or in many cases, not taken…

The matter of costs is a big talking point at the design stage of a building. Naturally, there are budgets to meet and everyone has their own tasks to complete. Therefore, trying to marry all expectations can be a difficult juggling act and often something has to give.

It is at this point of the process, that having an effective building controls system in place is of high priority. But it can be all too easy for some to overlook it for a variety of reasons…As a consequence; vital actuators, sensors and so forth are often reduced at this stage as a cost-saving measure. Ultimately, this will go on to have a negative effect on energy efficiency and lead to higher operational costs over the years.

Implementing effective controls from the start of the design process will be a wise investment and is particularly helpful when you consider the life span of a building to be at least 40 or 50 years generally…

The running costs of a building can be very high due to unforeseen breakdowns or malfunctions within building services which require urgent repair and maintenance.

Therefore, being able to identify weakening plant and energy wastage issues through an effective controls system alleviates many of these potential concerns.

The results may not be instantly visible at the design stage but if you ensure that your building is equipped with sophisticated controls technology, your sensible and considered approach will pay off with a Return on Investment (ROI) due to lower running costs.

We therefore urge the industry to take into account the operational costs of a building from the start of the construction process. By acknowledging the benefits that building controls have, a building can perform to its optimum from the outset. Consequently, this will result in substantially lower operational costs in today’s commercial buildings…isn’t this something we should all get on board with?