BIGMODERN - Subproject 4: Life-cycle cost analysis (LCCA) during the planning process

Creation of technical and organisational preconditions for constructors to integrate life-cycle cost analysis (LCCA) already into the planning process. Furthermore, the findings will be applied within the two demonstration projects of the flagship project BIGMODERN (SP2 and SP3). The publication of fundamental results makes conceptive basics and LCCA-results available for all stakeholders in the real estate industry.

Short Description

This project is a sub project of the flagship project "BIGMODERN - Sustainable modernisation standards for buildings owned by the Federal Republic of Austria of the period from the 1950s to the 1980s"




Starting point / motivation

In the course of various national and international agreements on energy saving and climate protection, the Republic of Austria has committed itself to higher energy efficiency standards in buildings. The Bundesimmobiliengesellschaft m. b. H. (BIG) is one of Austria’s largest public real estate companies owning roughly 2,800 public buildings (among them about 300 schools, 21 universities and 1,800 administration buildings) which comprise a total building area of approx. 7 million m2. Thus it is understandable that the BIG has to meet high demands in terms of energy savings in renovation in the next few years.

Therefore, the BIG has submitted a pilot project to House of Future Plus. The core element of the flagship project is the implementation of two demonstration projects, which should be modernized especially for the BIG according to above-average quality standards concerning energy efficiency and sustainability while complying with an industrial management point of view. This is supposed to raise the BIG’s awareness of breaking new grounds (especially as far as the planning phase is concerned) in order to maintain innovative and yet cost-effective renovations. The aim is to set new standards in conventional renovation and to tap the BIG’s full potential concerning implementations.

Contents and Objectives

Against this background, the objective of the very sub-project is the life cycle cost analysis during the planning process. The sub-project consists of the following contents:

  • life cycle cost analysis (LCCA) during the planning phase for the demo projects official building Bruck / Mur and University of Innsbruck
  • development of a LCC model for renovation and expansion of the existing LCC tool for construction
  • analysis of BIG internal cost data regarding treatment in a LCC cost database and development of a model for long-term use of internal operational data for LCC analyses

Methodological Approach

The methodological approach in the present sub-project was very heterogeneous. In order to develop a LCC tool for refurbishment, a theoretical conception of the LCC model had to be implemented. The analysis of the main cost drivers for renovations and the establishment of communities of fate for building elements were part of the concept. Within the scope of the programming of the software tool, test runs were required in order to validate the results.

The life cycle cost analysis during the planning phase was part of the integral planning of the demonstration buildings. The method of life cycle costing is based on national and international standards and guidelines.

The use of the BIG internal data for the development of LCC data for renovations required an analysis of the company's internal cost data and a comprehensive data analysis of completed renovation projects.

Results and Conclusions

The life cycle cost analysis during the planning phase was an innovation in the planning phase regarding the modernization of buildings. So far, basically the economic viability of various heat recovery systems or the economic efficiency of whole home automation systems has been taken into account. This time, the system boundary has been extended to take the entire construction project into account for the life cycle cost analysis. Hence, additional influences of the building envelope or façade are considered in the economic analysis. It could thus be shown that – given the same ease of use in the buildings – higher energy efficiency standards are economically viable for a longer period (life cycle). At the same time it was also shown that low-tech buildings are economically advantageous. Other aspects of sustainability, just like the ease of use are taken into account within the interpretation.

The use of BIG internal cost data in order to calculate life cycle costs for future modernization projects is a major challenge. Currently, these cost data are not suitable for using them as a basis for LCC calculations. Within the scope of life cycle orientated planning of standard buildings it is necessary to restructure and reorganize the company. The shift towards a learning company must succeed in order to ensure successful and sustainable modernizations with high quality.


These energy efficiency standards shall be recommended to the ministries for implementation for all future modernization projects of BIG in existing buildings of construction period of the 1950s to 1980s. However, this quality standard has to be accepted by the ministries, any additional costs incurred in the implementation / in compliance with energy efficiency standards have to be budgeted. The advantages in terms of life cycle costs have to be presented. Hence, the consideration of the life cycle costs shall be implemented in a standardized way in the future planning.

From the perspective of BIG it is necessary that the ministries as principal of BIG are not relieved of their responsibility. Without active contribution of the tenants to the implementation and the operation of energy-efficient buildings, high energy efficiency standards are not viable.

Project Partners

Project management

  • BIG Bundesimmobiliengesellschaft m.b.H.
    Architekt Mag. Dirk Jäger

Project or cooperation partner

Contact Address

BIG Bundesimmobiliengesellschaft m.b.H.
Architekt Mag. Dirk Jäger
Hintere Zollamtsstraße 1
A-1031 Wien
Tel.: +43 05 0244 4829