See also: Benchmarking as business tool.
Benchmarking is a process by which the estimated performance (often cost) of a project is compared to other similar projects. This can highlight areas of design that are not offering good value for money and can help in the assessment of tenders from suppliers and contractors.
Benchmarking is increasingly being carried out on public projects, where the government has access to large amounts of cost data for similar projects. For example, when analysis of the recent schools programme was carried out, it was found that it '... exposed variations in costs that could not be justified by project differences' (Cabinet Office: Government Construction Strategy, May 2011).
In the private sector, comparable cost information may not be so readily available. However, large organisations may have access to in-house cost information, and some cost information is published. Comparative information can also be purchased from sources such as the Building Cost Information Service (BCIS).See BCIS Online for a description of the tender price and duration information available.
It is important however that benchmarking does not simply consider construction costs, as these are only a small proportion of whole-life costs, and setting a low benchmark for construction could result in higher operating, maintenance and refurbishment costs throughout the life of the building.
- CarbonBuzz, an on-line service that allows architects and engineers to share project forecasts and energy use anonymously.
- The Carbon Trust Energy Benchmarking
- The Chartered Institute of Building Services Engineers.
- Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM).
- Closing the Loop – Benchmarks for Sustainable Buildings (RIBA).
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Benchmarking as business tool.
- Business case.
- Carbon Buzz.
- Design review.
- Design quality.
- Earned value analysis.
- Identifying the causes of trends in construction labour productivity.
- Key performance indicators.
- Pareto analysis.
- Productivity in construction: Creating a framework for the industry to thrive.
- Public sector comparator.
- Time management of construction projects.
- Value management techniques.
- Whole-life costs.
 External references.
- Government construction strategy, Page 11.
Featured articles and news
"It can feel like we’re never going to keep everybody happy". We spoke with CEO Sarah Beale about the tough challenges ahead for CITB.
Do you know your mono pitch from your purlin roof? Have a look at the different types of domestic roofs.
"The UK is lagging way behind China, India and the South Pacific" - Designing Buildings Wiki attended a discussion on smart cities.
BSRIA publish updated guide to mechanical building services systems.
Apple's new HQ opened to employees this week, and has been touted as 'the best office building in the world'.
The risk of moisture in hard-to-treat buildings.
Find out about the intricate art of pyrography.
Have a look at this newly-opened linear park on an elevated highway in Seoul.
The charity for the blind wants to encourage greater collaboration with built environment planners.
Read our review of a new book examining methods used to observe how sustainable buildings work in occupation.
BRE and Loughborough University announce plans for a 'dementia-friendly' demonstration home.
CIOB launch new toolkit tackling the poor image construction still suffers among pupils in the 14-19 age group and their teachers.