Whole of Life Costing Project Community Hub

whole-of-life-costing-projectEdge Environment was invited to undertake a Whole of Life Costing (WLC) exercise on a Community hub. The purpose of the works was to establish bottom line costings and impacts of a community hub for the whole of its life from feasibility and planning right through to the end of its life after 50 years. In particular the project was to rigorously explore and quantify whether there is a cost premium of applying sustainability initiatives to a community hub such as Ropes Crossing and to identify sustainability benefits and opportunities.

The analysis adopted the best practice ISO15686-5 standard for undertaking WLC, including IS014040/44 compliant environmental Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). The analysis has highlighted a number of opportunities for Blacktown City Council to consider, including:

– Implement the Green Building Design Guidelines and Best Practice sustainability as standard for all capital asset builds. The hotpots outlined earlier confirmed that improvements could be made in: Community consultation, Solar PV and LED, Rainwater harvesting, Insulation and air conditioning, Green materials and sustainable procurement, and Green building design

– Community consultation as standard to achieve better utilisation of these community hubs. More services could be provided at the hubs than are currently and a community officer could be established at each hub to ensure that the asset if fully maximised.

– The analysis revealed there is inconsistency of practice and that management of assets is disparate and not centrally controlled. Project planning for community hubs could be centralised with consistency of best practice achieved. Assets are also managed by several departments with there is confusion over roles and responsibilities between the Council and the developer .

– Sustainable procurement is an area of opportunity for the purchase of capital assets such as community hubs, but also for particular categories of goods and services and materials. A centralised policy and model can achieve significant savings through new contracts and through the strategic engagement of suppliers.