Why Structural Material Life Cycle Costs Matter
Life cycle costs or life cycle costing (LCC) is a process in which a business owner works out all the costs that will be spent on a product over its life span. This is important for any owner, but applying this to structural materials is equally important because it impacts decision-making and budgeting for an entire building. This blog post will discuss why structural materials' life cycle costs are essential.
What are Life Cycle Costs?
The life cycle costs of structural materials include those relating to cleaning, repairs, maintenance and even replacement of materials. Using life cycle cost analysis (LCCA) can help a business owner with financial preparations and make cost-effective business decisions about which structural materials to use.
Costs to be considered
Life cycle costs can be minimal depending on the structural material used, so it is vital to carry out a cost analysis before purchasing. Typical prices of material throughout its life cycle could include:
- Disposal costs
- Installation or construction costs
- Maintenance (cleaning and repairs) costs
- Operating costs
- Purchasing costs
- Service costs
- User costs
Most of the time, these costs are divided into two key categories: initial and future expenses. Initial expenses can be straightforward, but predicting future costs can be difficult and require thorough analysis.
What are the Benefits of Material Life Cycle Costing?
There are several benefits to material life cycle costing, including a few that go beyond saving money. When comparing several products, such as structural materials, for the same project, an LCCA should provide an in-depth understanding of how much a specific material will cost you over its lifespan and what costs it could incur because of its composition, strength, and other properties.
The life cycle costing of structural materials will help you budget more effectively. Predicting how much money a product will cost over time enables a business owner to make other informed decisions and stay within budget.
However, cheaper materials do not mean more affordable life cycle costs, which usually means the opposite. Using materials that are not suitable for your application can result in higher lifespan costs because the structure might need more maintenance and servicing than a high-quality, more expensive structural material.
An LCC has long-term benefits because it helps business owners plan and gain further insight into the structural materials used. Understanding the material allows for the preparation of maintenance schedules and reduces the risk of additional costs or service issues.
Some business owners might choose a cheaper material when trying to reduce costs. However, this impact can result in a shorter lifespan, higher maintenance costs and structurally unsafe buildings. All these points lead to higher life cycle costs of a material and can compromise the safety of a building1. Therefore, choosing a higher quality material can reduce life cycle costs in the long term.
Strongwell and Life Cycle Costs
Strongwell’s fiberglass structural materials meet many standards from several certifying agencies worldwide. Our EXTREN® fiberglass products are available in over 100 shapes, each with a specific composite design. The many benefits of these products include being corrosion-resistance, flame retardancy, lightweight and low maintenance.
Using Strongwell’s structural materials will significantly reduce life cycle costs because the mechanical properties ensure they are durable, high in strength and low maintenance.
Contact us today for more information on reducing life cycle costs with Strongwell’s products.
- GHONAMY, ABDULAZIZ & Esam, Mohamed & Aichouni, Mohamed & ABDULWAHAB, MOHAMMED & Ashraf, Noman & Alshamrani, Othman. (2015). Significance of Life Cycle Costing for Selection of Building Construction Materials. 94-98. 10.15224/978-1-63248-042-2-97.