Last edited 09 Feb 2021

Required life

Several definitions have been developed to assess or specify the lifetime performance of buildings, structures and their components from the perspective of different stakeholders.

'Required life' is the minimum period during which the element, or part of it, should meet the users’ requirements. This means that it should remain capable of performing its design functions, taking into account routine servicing and maintenance.

This may be set out by clients in briefing or tender documents in order to specify how long the element should fulfil their requirements, before potentially needing to be replaced.

However, as there is no general legally-agreed definition of required life, if it is to be included in contract documentation as a performance requirement, it is important that it is carefully defined within those contract documents and that it is consistent with all other requirements in the contract documents.

Other definitions include:

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