Home » ICMS 2 and BCIS life cycle cost data

ICMS 2 and BCIS life cycle cost data

Published: 15/03/2020

BCIS provides Life Cycle Cost benchmark data for buildings that can be used in conjunction with the second edition of the International Construction Measurement Standards (ICMS 2).

In ICMS 1, capital construction costs, associated capital costs, and site acquisition and client’s other costs combine to form a total capital cost. In ICMS 2, these costs are viewed from a whole-life costs (WLC) perspective. Acquisition costs (AC) appear under the non-construction costs bracket. The life-cycle costs (LCC) are:

  • Construction costs (CC): costs incurred by the construction works
  • Renewal costs (RC): costs of renewals included in the capital rather than the revenue budget
  • Operation costs (OC): costs incurred in the day-to-day operation of a built asset
  • Maintenance costs (MC): costs of keeping a built asset in good condition
  • End-of-life costs (EC): costs incurred when planning and managing the next step for a building when it is no longer in use.

The Life Cycle Cost section of the BCIS Building Running Costs online service provides benchmark costs for most building types covering:

  • Renewal costs

    • Fabric
    • Services
    • Decorations
  • Maintenance costs

    • Fabric
    • Services
  • Operating costs

    • Cleaning
    • Utilities

ICMS 2 is a response to industry feedback from ICMS 1 and resulted in the formation of a second independent standards-setting committee (SSC) which included experts in life-cycle costing. Both editions of the international standards have adhered to a transparent, detailed and inclusive development process, and around 300 comments were received and reviewed during the consultation period for ICMS 2.

Life-cycle costs play a key role in the financial management of construction projects. They allow critical decisions to be made relating to longer-term and capital costs that ultimately affect asset performance, longevity, disaster resilience and sustainability. ICMS 2 is a high-level cost model for recording the life-cycle costs of a project and the constructed asset.

The BCIS Life Cycle Cost section provides benchmarks by building type that can be adjusted for:

  • the size of the building
  • the length of the building life required for the study.

Results can be calculated for:

  • running costs only
  • life cycle costs using a benchmark £/m2 figure for the capital cost

Results can be calculated at:

  • Current cash (0% inflation)
  • Future cash using a selected interest rate
  • Net Present Value (NPV) using a selected discount rate

The example in table 1 shows that over 30 years the cost in use amount to nearly the same as the capital costs.

Primary School, 1500m2, 30 year study, Life cycle costs at current cash (0%interest)

Costs at 4Q2018 and UK mean location

Source: BCIS


An estimating expenditure tool which helps facility managers and surveyors find maintenance and operating costs. It includes component costs, maintenance costs, wages and day rates

Find out more