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procurement and funding

IT ALL

ADDS UP

W

hole life costing. What is it, how does it compare to other building procurement methods,

and how can it make a difference to the business performance and the bottom line of leisure operators? It may not be the most exciting

subject; think about whole life costing (WLC) and you may picture someone in a suit, analysing spreadsheets, perhaps comparing forecasts of cost and lifespan of different fl ooring types. This is not the

‘sexy’ end of an industry as fast-moving and dynamic as fi tness and leisure. Turn that on its head, though, and

proper use of WLC will create a leisure facility that’s more effi cient to manage and that makes better returns. Admittedly it still involves looking at

Adrian Hill looks at the value of factoring in whole life costs when procuring new health and fitness facilities

which materials wear best, or which boiler is the more energy-effi cient. But by using WLC as a basis for procurement decisions, and by involving the people who will actually run the centre in the early design phase, you can create a leisure facility that maximises both customer participation and revenue.

TEAMWORK FROM THE OUTSET

Whole Life Cost has been something of a dark art, with different companies and sectors using differing methodologies. However, in 2008, a new international

standard set down some defi nitions: broadly speaking, lifecycle costs are those associated directly with the building, while whole life costs include land and income and outgoings associated with the business. To

“LIFE CYCLE COSTS ARE THOSE ASSOCIATED WITH THE BUILDING. WHOLE LIFE COSTS INCLUDE LAND, INCOME AND OUTGOINGS”

june 2010 © cybertrek 2010

work out the whole life cost of a leisure facility, everything must be considered, from the orientation of the building on its plot, to the internal layout and fi ttings, to the heating systems and controls. The best way to do that is by sitting the designer, consultants, contractor and – crucially – the operator down from day one to interrogate every design decision. Some companies have been taking this

sort of approach for a long time, although they may not have labelled it ‘whole life costing’. Their drive is clear: to maximise revenue and minimise outgoings. And that means designing internal spaces that encourage customers to keep renewing their membership, as well as selecting materials and products that don’t detract from the customer experience by looking scruffy after two years. This has never been more important.

The impact of the economic downturn on membership, combined with rising energy prices, means that new centres must perform better than ever to retain members and avoid costly fuel bills. That

Read Health Club Management online at healthclubmanagement.co.uk/digital 57

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