What is it about?

There are several conclusions to be drawn from this study. The first is that a building’s usability and lifetime value creation largely is determined by decisions made or not made during early-phase planning. A common saying is that failing to plan, is planning to fail. Thus, building owners and building users who are reluctant to moderate investments in early-phase planning may actually have to invest substantial amounts later to remedy issues overlooked during early-phase planning. In some instances, the only costs for solving issues during early-phase planning are time and attention. This study has shown that measures concerning environment, LCC, facilities management (FM), safeguarding the building’s adaptability and even some of the measures promoting the organisation’s image are very important questions during early-phase planning, if the aim is a building with good usability that facilitates lifetime value creation. Some of these decisions are actually irreversible when the construction phase has been completed and the building has been taken over by the users. In worst case, inadequate early-phase planning may have long-term consequences, for instance that owners and users of buildings have to live for decades with blunders and inferior solutions that actually undermine the building’s usability and lifetime value creation. The second conclusion is that whether organisations are able to implement successful FM during a building’s use phase are also partly determined during early-phase planning, before construction and commissioning of the building. Thus, building owners and users who desire successful FM during the use phase should consider including FM on the agenda already during early-phase planning. FM is very important for the building users’ perception of a building’s usability.

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Why is it important?

Moderate investments in early-phase planning may be very profitable for both building owners and users. Adequate early-phase planning may significantly improve buildings’ lifetime value creation. In case of later sale, all other things equal, building owners may get a better price for a building that is thoroughly thought-through. The users may similarly get a building that is far better concerning key issues such as environmentalmatters, LCC, FM and operational costs, adaptability and image.


Writing this article was a great pleasure as it has co-authors Alenka Temeljotov Salaj, Svein Bjørberg and Anne Kathrine Larssen with whom I have had long standing collaborations.

Associate professor Knut Boge
Norges miljo- og biovitenskapelige universitet

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This page is a summary of: Failing to plan – planning to fail, Facilities, February 2018, Emerald, DOI: 10.1108/f-03-2017-0039.
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