Leeds Trinity University WLCC

Client: Leeds Trinity University

Value: N/A

Contract: NEC3 Option E


Cost Management

Niche Services

Leeds Trinity University, Whole Lifecycle Costing

Sum Ltd were appointed by the Leeds Trinity Estates team via the YORConsult2 Framework (www.yorhub.com/frameworks/yorconsult2), Lot 5 – Quantity Surveying Services. A competitive mini-competition resulted in Sum Ltd being elected to develop a bespoke and fully interactive Whole Lifecycle Costing model, incorporating ~40 built assets on campus.

Reducing the Repairs Backlog of a University Estate: A Life Cycle Thinking Approach to Reducing Costs and Carbon

AUDE’s annual Higher Education Estates Management Report 2019 (link) says that repairs and maintenance accounts for 32.6% of total property costs for the university sector. To put this into perspective, this is almost double the amount spent on energy and is also the single largest item of expenditure for property and facilities managers in the sector.

Not only does this constitute a sizeable proportion of annual spend, the condition and performance of buildings also impacts the carbon footprint. Inefficient buildings increase carbon footprint (link – blog post) and badly performing buildings, those suffering from under investment in maintenance and repairs, are a drain on time and resources. They can also be detrimental to the health and wellbeing of users, be unattractive to occupy and can negatively impact the student learning environment.

The Leeds Trinity campus is just six miles from the city centre of Leeds – one of the UK’s most vibrant student cities. The University prides itself on providing outstanding, student-centred, higher education. One of the key components of the University’s 2018 – 2021 strategic plan is to invest wisely in its campus and ensure the University acts as a responsible organisation for the benefit of students and the wider community, and for society and the environment.

The world of higher education is fast-moving, and Leeds Trinity recognises that its ability to be flexible, responsive and innovative and to make best use of our resources is crucial. Creating and maintaining a sustainable property portfolio on the campus, together with prudent and sensible management of the costs of this portfolio, is a vital part of this strategy.

Recently Sum Ltd worked in partnership with Anthony Waterman and the University to develop a proactive approach to identifying the extent of their backlog maintenance and calculating the investment needed to reduce it.

We created a user-friendly and dynamic life cycle cost model – one which we believe is the most powerful cost models ever created for a university estate.

The model records the condition of building sub-elements and the cost to repair, replace and maintain them. It provides the University with the clarity and understanding they need to make informed investment decisions and optimise the reduction of their backlog maintenance.

Within the model, you can filter by building, asset type and sub-element, as well as by condition, use and importance. You can also easily identify the top 10 buildings with the highest maintenance cost over any time period e.g. 5, 10 and 20 years. The model also allows you to identify the building elements that will require the highest expenditure over similar timeframes. It provides useful data to both facilities management and finance teams, in graphical and tabular format, and is an effective tool to enable their respective strategies and decision making.

The model is designed to be intuitive to use and is compliant with industry measurement rules and best practice such as RICS NRM 3, BS8544 (AIM), CIBSE Guide M (2015), ISO 15686-5 and the Standard Method of Life Cycle Costing.


“I believe this work provides an exemplar for the University sector as a whole and it will have a positive impact on the built estate, ensuring the student experience at Leeds Trinity for many years to come.” Andrew Schmidt, Director, Sum Ltd


“Leeds Trinity have taken a proactive approach to managing their Estate and with this model they can create operational life cycle expenditure plans for their hard assets” says Anthony Waterman. “The model we have developed provides instant answers to questions of asset condition, and what are the most important and necessary repairs.”

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