Helping community organisations make informed decisions about the ongoing costs of building ownership from often limited information - it seems an age ago that we started on this journey, and now the time has finally come to unveil the Building Calculator we’ve developed with the Creative Coop for Locality.
Davis Langdon Facilities Management Consulting has been working with the Locality for the past couple of years to develop a tool to help with the cost of ownership decisions that are involved in the ongoing transfer of assets from the public to the third sector and, looking ahead, with community right to bid and build initiatives. At the outset, the project sought to enable a reasonably informed assessment of condition by communities to be translated into a guide for the ongoing profile of expenditure over the period of a long lease arrangement. This we have achieved after much review and revisiting of assumptions, and through extensive engagement with Locality members.
The initial aim was to prepare a model that assisted prospective community asset owners to make an informed decision about the likely cost of ownership and lifecycle replacement issues. What became apparent after a series of workshops was that the tool needed to step back and provide information on all of the costs associated with the asset acquisition process. This resulted in a series of guide sheets - each of which came to a ‘stop/go’ decision - based upon the assessed risk associated with the level of information available and the experience and capacity of the prospective asset owner. This research has informed the final web-based tool.
Developing the tool was the start of this journey. Assisting community organisations to understand the implications of replacement costs for sustainable building management is where the Locality Brokers scheme comes into play to add value. Offering paid-for services, alongside considered pro-bono advice, will support the community sector and provide ongoing opportunities for professional organisations.
The Building Calculator would not have been possible without such relationships, and translating this into real benefit for people engaged in community asset initiatives will take a similar investment for the good of the community at large. The ‘Big Society’ starts with many small steps - the right direction by both community champions and the professional organisations who can offer support.
We look forward to meeting you and working with you on this exciting journey and are proud to have played our part to date.