Industry calls for greater emphasis on whole lifecycle costs in construction

A UK Construction Week survey, in partnership with the British Institute of Facilities Management (BIFM), reveals that more than 80 per cent of facilities management (FM) professionals believe more needs to be done to take whole lifecycle cost into account during the construction process.

When asked what role FM should play in the construction process, 85 per cent of respondents said that it should be fully integrated throughout but only 15 per cent found in experience they were.

When asked about the prevalence of Building Information Modelling (BIM) use in practice, more than 60 per cent admitted they do not currently use the technology and only 16 per cent said they use it regularly.

Despite the low uptake so far of the technology, professionals in the sector see the value it can bring with almost three quarters of respondents agreeing that BIM can help support the on going delivery of facilities management beyond initial construction.

The survey also asked what is holding FM professionals back from using BIM and the top three answers given were: difficulty of integration with current technology and CAFM (44 per cent), training (41 per cent) and cost (37 per cent).

The survey also revealed that over half of FM professionals believe that the FM sector is in the same position as the wider construction industry when it comes to the current skills shortage. While 80 per cent of those surveyed agreed that FM apprenticeships would be one of the best ways to attract new talent, only 18 per cent said that their company currently offers apprenticeships or has plans to offer them in the future.

However, the majority (86 per cent) of FM professionals said that qualifications are becoming more prevalent in the sector and add value to the construction industry.

Nathan Garnett, Event Director for UK Construction Week, commented: “It is clear from the results that more needs to be done to fully integrate FM in the construction process to ensure smoother transitions from construction to on going operations.”

Peter Brogan, Research and Information Manager at BIFM, added: “BIFM continues to be committed to helping equip FM professionals with further skills and knowledge by producing up-to-date guidance and building on our existing training in this area. This will drive FM professionals and others from across the built environment professions to understand the role that FM can play in design and construction planning and implementing BIM processes.”