- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
- Specialist wikis
Last edited 07 Oct 2022
Lifespan (or life span) generally refers to the length of time that a biotic factor, being or organism that is alive or likely to be alive. The same term is also used to describe the period for which an abiotic factor or object functions, this might be a building, element or product (for products it may sometimes be called shelf-life).
The term is relevant to the construction industry because it relates to how long materials, components, elements or whole buildings last or function as intended. This can be important in terms of how long products individually or in combination (to form buildings) are designed to function and in turn relates to performance requirements, construction quality, guarantees, warranties, collateral warranties, defects, latent defects, liabilities and insurances.
Construction quality is one of the highest causes of litigation in the industry and sometimes may lie in a discrepancy between how long an item was intended to function, how long it actually functioned as intended and the impacts of its failure. Contracts, insurance and many other mechanisms relate to the term lifespan or intended lifespan.
More recently the term may also be found in relation to whole life costing, life cycle, embodied carbon and end-of-life which relate the cost of items not only in terms of initial price or capital cost but the costs relative to how long the item functions, as well as other associated costs such as environmental and carbon impacts.
Featured articles and news
A challenging environment, where nothing can be left to the fate.
First report showing good product availability and prices.
Summary of the guide to the roles, duties and competencies.
The medieval stained glass of Herefordshire and Shropshire.
Environment Committee publish open letter to the Mayor.
Significant transformation for built environment landscape.
Setting new benchmarks to help reshape design practice.
Looking back at the Egan Report and its impact.
CLC launch plan to support the natural environment.
Terminology, benefits and barriers.
Electrotechnical businesses are feeling the effects of the economic slowdown.
When did they start and how many are there?
Roadmap to guide professionals in using smart technology.
Campaigning for buildings of all periods.
Meaning, understanding and implementation.
Advancing sustainable and regenerative project management.