Understanding Life Cycle Cost Analysis for Long-Term Project Success

Understanding Life Cycle Cost Analysis for Long-Term Project Success

JLD performed a series of life cycle cost analyses on behalf of the Bonneville Power Administration, for the extensive renovations to their Ross Maintenance and Operations Complex located in Vancouver, WA. By comparing the life-cycle costs of materials and equipment used in this project, JLD was able to identify opportunities to implement best value alternatives and save future maintenance and operation costs by nearly 50%. These studies also discovered opportunities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 86%.

In the world of construction and infrastructure development, the concept of cost often gets reduced to initial construction expenses. However, it’s essential to go beyond this limited perspective by considering lifecycle costing, an approach that evaluates the total cost of owning and operating a facility over its entire lifespan.

This analytical method is particularly crucial for owners aiming for long-term profitability and is vital in public projects where the lifespan can stretch over decades.

The Importance of Operations and Maintenance

Operations and Maintenance (O&M) costs are as integral to a building’s financial blueprint as the initial capital required for its construction. These costs can encompass everything from regular cleaning to major system overhauls and are especially significant in public projects with lifespans reaching 50 years or more. Inclusion of O&M studies within lifecycle costing can reveal important insights into what to expect in terms of long-term expenditures, allowing for a more accurate forecast of the total cost of ownership.

Relevance in Public Projects

The significance of life cycle cost analysis is amplified in public sector projects, such as airports, libraries, or water treatment plants. In these projects, a building’s lifespan often exceeds half a century, making the long-term O&M costs a critical aspect of total project expenses. A thorough understanding of these costs is essential for maximizing the use of taxpayer money, ensuring both immediate and long-term value.

Conducting Life Cycle Cost Analysis: The JLD Way

At JLD Cost Consulting, we emphasize the importance of implementing life cycle cost analysis (LCCA) as early as possible in the design stage. Our LCCA incorporates an exhaustive review of the potential long-term costs, both monetary and environmental, associated with maintaining and operating the building over its expected lifespan. By doing so, we are able to offer project owners the confidence that their initial investment will yield maximum value over time.


Life cycle cost analysis is an indispensable tool for many construction projects, allowing for a comprehensive understanding of a building’s long-term financial implications. This holistic approach is not just beneficial but essential, especially for public projects where the stakes are high and the lifespans are long. By accounting for both initial and O&M costs, project owners can make well-informed decisions that optimize long-term value and sustainability.

For a more detailed understanding of how life cycle cost analysis can benefit your next project, feel free to contact us. We specialize in providing accurate and comprehensive cost estimates that consider every facet of your project’s financial landscape. Now, and, in the future.